Apple Before Earnings, Telefonica Grabs KPN Unit, and 3 More Hot Stocks

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL): With its earnings coming in after the bell on Tuesday, investors are eagerly awaiting the company’s quarterly results. Apple guru Philip Elmer-Dewitt notes that the Street is expecting Apple to report earnings of about $7.30 per share on sales of $35 billion, which would make it the second consecutive quarter of declining year-over-year earnings for Apple, the first time in over a decade. Elmer-Dewitt also points out that there are four key aspects that CEO Tim Cook will be pressed on: future products, gross margins, guidance, and stock buybacks.

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Telefonica S.A. (NYSE:TEF): Telefonica Deutschland has agreed to acquire KPN’s German E-Plus unit, putting an end to months of speculation. The deal is expected to run 8.1 billion euros, and KPN will receive 5 billion euros in cash, with a 17.6 percent stake in Telefonica Deutschland. The combined unit will become the largest wireless operator in Germany, with annual revenues in excess of 8 billion euros.

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GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE:GSK): An audit conducted in 2011 shed some light on serious issues with how drug testing was carried out in China, and although the company had corrected the faults in time for its audit last year, the difficulties highlight the risks of exporting the development of drugs to emerging economies. Auditors found that researchers did not report the results of animal studies in a drug that was already being tested in humans, a breach that one medical ethicist described as a “mortal sin” in the world of drug research.

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Prudential Financial, Inc. (NYSE:PRU): Prudential is set to appear before the Financial Stability Oversight Council on Tuesday, in an effort to urge it to refrain from labeling the insurer a “systemically important financial institution.” If Prudential is awarded that status (as other firms have been), the firm would be subject to increased federal oversight, as a risk-mitigation initiative following the financial collapse.

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DuPont (NYSE:DD): Second quarter EPS of $1.28 beat estimates by a cent, though revenues of $9.9 billion fell $0.11 billion short of projections. A 9 percent drop in Performance Chemicals was partially offset by a 7 percent increase in Agriculture, as DuPont maintains its expectations for 2013 EPS of about $3.85, even amid “currency headwinds and…a sluggish global economy.”

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