Apple Loses Russian Assets, Visa and MasterCard’s Future in Europe, and 2 More Hot Stocks

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL): Russia’s three largest wireless carriers have decided to end their operations with the iPhone, due to Apple’s purchase, subsidy, and marketing requirements. The carriers — MTS (NYSE:MBT), VimpelCom (NYSE:VIP), and Megafon — boast hundreds of millions of subscribers combined, with MTS and VimpelCom clocking in at 300 million together in various emerging markets.


Visa (NYSE:V): The European Union has proposed a cap on credit and debit card processing fees of 0.2 percent, and is planning to implement the cap after a two-year “transition period” during which the ceiling will only apply to cross-border charges, according to the Financial Times. The decision was ”broadly based on proposed antitrust deals,” and is expected to result in a 4.5 billion euro reduction in fees, according to the European Commission. MasterCard’s (NYSE:MA) European operations will also be largely impacted by the decision.


Barclays (NYSE:BCS): The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has ordered Barclays (among others) to pay out $487.9 million in penalties and “unjust profits” for “manipulating electric energy prices in California and other western markets between November 2006 and December 2008.” The banks have been accused of manipulating energy indexes to benefit their swap positions.


Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT): Abbott has reported EPS of 46 cents for the second quarter, slightly beating projections by 2 cents. Revenue came in at $5.45 billion, missing the estimates just slightly by $0.08 billion. While addressing concerns about Chinese infant formula problems, CEO Miles White says the Chinese market remains strong, despite the investigation into the price-fixing of formula there. “We can manage this,” White noted. China “doesn’t represent a disproportionate part” of Abbott’s nutrition or even pediatrics businesses, and “doesn’t disproportionately affect our performance.”


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