Apple Nears China Mobile Deal, IBM Buys Trusteer, and 3 More Hot Stocks

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL): Talks with China Mobile are reportedly coming along nicely. The two companies are working on a partnership that would see China Mobile sell the iPhone and iPad — currently, China Mobile is the only operator in the country that doesn’t have a deal with Apple to sell its devices.

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International Business Machines (NYSE:IBM): IBM announced that it will acquire Trusteer, which provides software designed to prevent and identify financial fraud and advanced security threats. IBM also says it will open a cybersecurity lab in Israel, where Trusteer has offices. “Trusteer’s cybersecurity protection can scale to help protect tens of millions of endpoints including smartphones and tablets,” IBM said in a press release. “One of the primary targets of malware attacks are consumer endpoints.”

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Kohl’s Corp. (NYSE:KSS): Both earnings per share of $1.04 and revenue of $4.29 billion fell in line with analyst expectations, though the company’s outlook for full-year EPS — trimmed to $4.15-$4.35 from $4.15-$4.45 — is what investors are focusing on.

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Cisco Systems (NASDAQ:CSCO): Though EPS of 52 cents beat by 1 cent and revenue of $12.42 billion also beat by $0.02 billion, Cisco’s shares took a beating in after-hours trading Wednesday; they have continued their plunge in pre-market Thursdau morning. The company spent a substantial $1.2 billion on buybacks in the fourth quarter, up from the previous quarter’s $860 million. Product sales, making up 78 percent of revenue, gained 6 percent year over year as services growth fell to 6 percent over the third quarter’s 7 percent.

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Walt Disney Co. (NYSE:DIS): Shares of Disney are trading lower despite a report that ESPN could be more valuable than some projections have it pegged for, according to The Atlantic. A “pencil-on-napkin estimate” of ESPN’s $5 per month fee per cable subscriber, the pay-TV base, and advertising revenue levels leads to a $40 billion to $60 billion valuation, greatly overshadowing the valuation of incumbent media companies like The New York Times or CBS.

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