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Hot Stock Minute: Cyprus Solution, Dell Drama, Apple’s Acquisition

Hot Stock Minute

Cyprus has sealed a deal. The tiny island nation has reached a bailout bargain that allows it to remain in the euro zone. Under the plan the country's second largest bank will close. Many deposits will be moved to the Bank Of Cyprus, the largest bank, which will be stabilized. The plan scraps that controversial idea of a tax on bank deposits, but many account holders will still lose money.

There's now a 3-way fight for control of the third-largest PC maker. Both Carl Icahn and the Blackstone Group submitted takeover proposals for Dell (DELL) ahead of a Friday deadline. Icahn is reportedly offering $15 a share for a 58% stake in the company. Meanwhile, word is Blackstone has proposed paying more than $14.25 per share. Michael Dell's original proposal alongside Silver Lake was for $13.65 per share. Should either of the newer offers for the company prevail, Michael Dell could be out on his ear, in which case he would have precipitated his own downfall.

Apple (APPL) is taking its map fight with Google (GOOG) indoors. Apple has purchased a startup called WiFiSLAM which can pinpoint a person's indoor location using wifi. The acquisition could help Apple catch up with Google which already offers indoor maps of things like shopping malls. Sources say Apple paid around $20 million for WiFiSLAM.

STOCKS TO WATCH

Dollar General (DG) has just reported quarterly earnings. The company earned 97-cents a share, beating estimates by 7-cents. This time last year the company made 85-cents a share. Dollar General also upped its outlook, saying sales growth this year could surpass last year's as the company sells more food and other basics. The stock hit its 52-week high of about $56 back in June. Prior to this morning it has been trading a little bit more than 10% below that. But it jumped more than 4.5% in premarket trading on the earnings news.

The Apollo Group (APOL) is also up sharply after reporting earnings this morning. The company says its quarterly profit fell to 34-cents a share, but that was still nearly twice the estimates of 18-cents. Apollo is the parent company of the University of Phoenix. Enrollment has dropped by nearly 1/3 over the past 3-years, and it's reflected in the share price. Prior to today, the stock is down 19% since the start of the year, and has lost an astounding 68% of its value since the beginning of 2012. Apollo says its business is currently getting a boost from workers who want to acquire new skills.

We're keeping a close watch on Dish Network (DISH). Over the weekend, Dish announced that it sold the British arm of Blockbuster video. The overseas chain has been in a form of bankruptcy since January. Dish hit its 52-week high about a month ago, but climbed within pennies of that price again on Friday when it rose more than 2.5% percent.

Sonic (SONC) will be reporting earnings after today's closing bell. The company hit its 52-week high last week, but could retreat from those prices. On Friday Sterne Agee downgraded the company to neutral from buy saying Sonic had reached its price target. The company is expected to post earnings of 5-cents a share.

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