Apple’s Slide Benefits Icahn, Pandora’s New Chief, and 3 More Hot Stocks

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL): Activist investor Carl Icahn took advantage of Apple’s stock slide Wednesday and bought “quite a bit” more of the company’s shares to expand his position. Icahn applauded CEO Tim Cook, noting that he is doing “a very good job,” and stated he won’t presume to tell Apple “how to run their business.” In an interview on CNBC’s ”Closing Bell,” Icahn said he liked the stock but wouldn’t say how many shares he purchased.

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Pandora Media (NYSE:P): Brian McAndrews, formerly the CEO of online ad agency aQuantive (later acquired by Microsoft for $6 billion), has been named as Pandora’s new CEO and chairman, effective immediately. Pandora’s investors welcomed the news, sending the stock up nearly 10 percent. Current CEO Joe Kennedy, who has been chief for 9 years, announced he would be stepping down in March.

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Qualcomm Inc. (NASDAQ:QCOM): Qualcomm announced a $5 billion share buyback program, effectively replacing a similar plan announced in March. About $1.04 billion was spent on buybacks during the June quarter, and the company has now revealed that it spent another $2.7 billion to repurchase 40.1 million shares since July 24. CEO Paul Jacobs added that Qualcomm will “further discuss capital allocation” at its November analyst day, Seeking Alpha reports.

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Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT): Lockheed’s IT division is chasing down more technology acquisitions in Britain and Australia after buying U.K. technology firm Amor Group, Reuters reports. Sondra Barbour, executive vice president of Lockheed’s Information Systems and Global Solutions unit, said the company was looking at areas where there would be synergies. She declined to specify potential deals or company sizes; the price for the Amor deal was not disclosed, either.

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Staples Inc.  (NASDAQ:SPLS): Staples may be poised to buy locations that regulators could force Office Depot and OfficeMax to divest, according to dealReporter. “Previously, [CEO Ron] Sargent has indicated that he wouldn’t be too interested to lend a hand on this front if it meant picking up some 30,000 square foot boxes which are well in excess of the 12,000 foot rectangles that [Staples] now prefers,” dealReporter says.

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