Apple shares hit 2014 highs, Asian stocks lag

Shares in tech heavyweights Apple and Facebook held hefty after-hours gains on Thursday as their results handily outpaced Wall Street expectations, though Asian markets managed only a mumbled cheer. The Nikkei slipped 0.97 percent with some investors apparently disappointed that a meeting between Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and U.S. President Barack Obama made no concrete progress on a trade deal. The gains come after Apple decided to buy back $30 billion of its shares through the end of 2015 and authorized a seven-for-one stock split. Apple reported sales of 43.7 million iPhones in the quarter ended March, far outpacing forecasts.


Apple expands buybacks by $30 billion, OKs 7-for-1 stock split

Apple Inc has approved another $30 billion in share buybacks till the end of 2015 and authorized a rarely seen seven-for-one stock split, addressing calls to share more of its cash hoard while broadening the stock's appeal to individual investors. Activist investor Carl Icahn, who had famously called on the iPhone maker to boost its buyback program, tweeted his approval of the move on Wednesday. On Wednesday, Apple reported sales of 43.7 million iPhones in the quarter ended March, far outpacing the roughly 38 million that Wall Street had predicted. But whether Apple can again produce a revolutionary new product remains the central question in investors' and Silicon Valley executives' minds.


Buffett: moving oil by rail safely major industry concern

Warren Buffett, chairman of conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway, said on Wednesday that safety is a major priority for the rail industry, after a recent spate of accidents raised concerns about how to transport oil safely. He added that the delay in the construction of the Keystone pipeline was unlikely to prompt additional purchases of tank cars at Berkshire railroad unit BNSF. Buffett also said, in an interview with CNBC the same day, that he thinks Coca-Cola's equity compensation plan was excessive, but that Berkshire Hathaway abstained in a shareholders vote. Earlier on Wednesday, Coca-Cola said 83 percent of shareholders approved the plan.


Ackman, Allergan and insider trading

Who knew what and when with respect to Bill Ackman's move to takeover Allergan?


Einhorn cries tech bubble, but the end may not be near

Hot-shot hedge fund manager David Einhorn claims "we are witnessing our second tech bubble in 15 years.” Mark Luschini of Janney urges investors not to paint the tech market with quite so broad a brush.


Apple spikes 8% on earnings beat, stock split

Apple surged on better-than-expected earnings and a 7:1 stock split. Activist investor Carl Icahn said the company remains "undervalued."


Facebook first revenue grows 72 percent on rising mobile ads

Facebook Inc's mobile advertising business continued to accelerate in the first three months of the year, helping the Internet social networking company top Wall Street's revenue target. Facebook said that mobile ads represented 59 percent of its ad revenue in the first quarter, up from 30 percent in the year-ago period.


GE Said in Talks to Buy France’s Alstom for About $13 Billion

General Electric Co. (GE) is in talks to buy Alstom SA (ALO), the French builder of trains and power plants, people with knowledge of the matter said, in what would be GE's biggest acquisition ever. The U.S. company may pay more than $13 billion for Alstom, one of the people said. That would be about 25 percent more than Alstom's current market value. The deal would give the U.S. maker of jet engines and locomotives control of Alstom's high-speed TGV trains and rail-signal technology as Europe's economy begins to revive.


Buffett criticizes controversial Coke equity plan

Buffett said he thinks Coca-Cola's controversial equity compensation plan was excessive, but Berkshire Hathaway abstained in the shareholder vote.


Amid a wall of pessimism, here's the bullish case for Apple

While almost everything you read about Apple is pessimistic at best, there’s a simple and straightforward bullish case for Apple, one that doesn’t rely on a bolt-from-the-blue acquisition or game-changing new product.

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