Heavy Hitters: Carl Icahn Buys More Apple, Facebook Hits New All-Time High

Shares of Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) sank almost 3 percent on Wednesday, but rebounded 1 percent in late afternoon hours. The company announced a new $5 billion stock repurchase program, effective immediately with no expiration date. “In recognition of our strong financial position and business model, we are pleased to have recently completed significant stock repurchases and to introduce a new $5.0 billion stock repurchase program,” said Dr. Paul E. Jacobs, chairman and chief executive officer. “This reflects our commitment to returning capital to stockholders while continuing to make substantial investments in new technologies and future growth opportunities.”

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Vera Bradley (NASDAQ:VRA) shares plunged 9 percent in late afternoon trading. The retailer reported better-than-expected quarterly results, but its outlook disappointed. For the third quarter, Vera Bradley expects revenue of $128 million to $130 million, below Wall Street’s estimate of $147 million. “While we are encouraged by our strategic progress and remain optimistic about our long-term prospects, we continue to have a cautious outlook for the remainder of the year,” said Michael C. Ray, chief executive officer.

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Shares of Pandora Media (NYSE:P) jumped 5.4 percent in late afternoon hours. The company’s Board of Directors appointed Brian McAndrews to succeed Joe Kennedy as chief executive officer, president, and chairman. “We had very specific criteria for our new CEO, and we were very strategic about finding the right person – Brian is that person,” said Tim Westergren, Pandora’s founder and chief strategy officer.”

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Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) surged 3.3 percent on Wednesday and continued to trade higher in late afternoon trading. The momentum in the social-media giant has now driven its stock price to new all-time highs. In fact, shares hit as high as $45.09. It was the first time above $45 since its initial debut on the Nasdaq over a year ago. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is also set to sit down for a a 30-minute “Fireside Chat” at TechCrunch’s annual Disrupt conference; investors were pleased with his performance at the event last year. Separately, chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg is visiting Chinese Internet regulators and fueling speculation that Facebook is making a fresh effort to enter that market, where its services remain blocked.

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Shares of Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) plunged 5.4 percent on Wednesday to post its worst single-day performance in about five months. Investors did not appear to be impressed with the tech giant’s latest iPhone 5 models. However, billionaire investor Carl Icahn admitted to CNBC that he purchased “quite a bit” of Apple stock during the recent pullback.

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