4 Tech Stock Stories Causing Commotion on Thursday

Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG): Closing price $887.70

In Russia, authorities are now looking into possible tax and privacy violations by the Russian division of Google Inc., and have scheduled Facebook and the micro-blogging service Twitter for their next inquiry, according to parliament member Ruslan Gattarov on Thursday. Some politicians in that country have accused foreign social networks of various misdeeds, such as prompting mass protests taking place in Moscow and other cities in the past 18 months, which depend upon social media for coordination. The Kremlin has said publicly that it does not intend to censor cyberspace, but there have been growing numbers of calls for curtailing the Internet. Gattarov told reporters that the country’s upper house of the parliament has initiated the investigation into Google, and now the tax authorities are exploring whether the company avoided taxes in Russia.

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BlackBerry (NASDAQ:BBRY): Closing price $8.98

BlackBerry Ltd. said Thursday that it has laid off some 250 of its workers at its headquarters in Waterloo, Ontario, as part of its latest attempt to reduce costs. A company spokeswoman said, “This is part of the next stage of our turnaround plan to increase efficiencies and scale our company.” In 2012, the company eliminated thousands of jobs, and recently hinted that more reductions are coming. In June, BlackBerry posted bleak quarterly results, which caused a 28 percent plummet in its share price.

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Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL): Closing price $438.50

Sources from the upstream supply chain report that Apple’s iPad shipments should fall to only 10 to 12 million units in the third quarter, which would be down from the firm’s announced 14.6 million units in the second quarter, while consumers wait for the company to release its next-generation iPad and iPad mini. Apple’s iPad shipments in the second quarter slid from 19.5 million units in the first to 14.6 million units. Of the second quarter shipments, between 10 and 11 million units were iPad minis, while from 3.6 to 4.6 million units were 9.7-inch iPads, according to estimations by sources.

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Siemens AG (NYSE:SI): Closing price $104.13

Siemens announced Thursday that it no longer expects to attain the minimum Total Sectors profit margin of 12 percent by fiscal 2014, as targeted in the Siemens 2014 company program, primarily owing to lower market expectations. However, the company said that measures for optimizing the portfolio and reducing costs are mostly on track. As announced, Siemens will post its third-quarter figures on August 1.

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