Facebook Shares Unlock and 3 Hot Stocks in Focus

Merck & Co. Inc. (NYSE:MRK): Strong sales growth for Gardisil, Januvia, Victrelis, Zostavax, Isentress, and Janumet offset the expected declines in sales of Singulair, Cozaar and Hyzavaar. Worldwide sales of the combined diabetes franchise of Januvia/Janumet grew 15% to $1.4 billion in the third quarter of 2012, primarily driven by growth in the United States and Japan. Sales of Zetia and Vytorin declined by 1% to $1.1 billion in the third quarter, driven by lower sales of Vytorin, partially offset by growth of Zetia in the United States. Worldwide sales of Singulair declined by $734 million, or 55%, to $602 million in the third quarter of 2012. Sales recorded by Merck for Gardisil increased by 31% to $581 million for the quarter, driven by greater uptake in males in the United States and favorable performance in the emerging markets. Combined sales of Remicade and Simponi declined by 9% to $576 million.

Facebook, Inc. (NASDAQ:FB): On Monday, more than 270 million shares of Facebook, Inc. will be eligible for sale, the majority coming from restricted stock and other options held by Facebook staffers. Those shares are part of a larger block of more than 1 billion shares being “unlocked” by Facebook in the coming weeks and available for sale on the public market. For a company whose public trading float stands at roughly 630 million shares, according to Reuters,  there is a sizeable glut of supply that some analysts and investors worry could drag down the stock.

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AT&T, Inc. (NYSE:T): AT&T, Inc. and the Pittsburgh Steelers have added equipment to Heinz Field that will let the company’s smartphone users get better service. The equipment, known as a Distributed Antenna System, is meant to prevent slowdowns that AT&T customers can receive when thousands of fans use their phones to make calls at games and send emails, text messages or photos. AT&T’s upgrades come a month after the company began offering 4G service in the Pittsburgh market. Verizon Wireless has been offering the high speed data service since December 2010.

Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK): The Nokia Lumina 510 India release date has been set for November and the smartphone is all set to hit store shelves by December. The cost of this handset falls within the same range as the Samsung Galaxy Y and the Galaxy Pop S5570, but unlike the latter two, it will come with the Windows 7.5 OS and will sport a Snapdragon S1 processor.

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