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Stocks to Watch: Regions, Google, RIM

Tickers in this article: ALXA GOOG HLF RF RIMM

NEW YORK -- Federal agencies are examining allegations that Regions Financial(RF) improperly classified loans that went bad during the financial crisis, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing depositions filed as part of a civil lawsuit against the bank.

The depositions were unsealed by a federal judge in Birmingham, Ala., Regions' headquarters, earlier in December. The depositions emerged as part of a lawsuit brought in 2010 by two pension funds that own Regions stock. The funds allege that Regions hid problems by moving loans out of nonaccrual status, which means interest payments were overdue and collection of the principal unlikely, according to the Journal.

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Google's(GOOG) newly acquired Motorola Mobility unit is working on a handset -- known internally as the "X phone" -- in an effort to provide more competition for Apple, the Journal said, citing people familiar with the matter.

Motorola is designing the handset with cutting-edge features to stand apart from existing phones when it is released in 2013, the people said. But Google's new hardware unit has run into certain hurdles that have caused the company to rethink some initial plans for the X phone like using a bendable screen, the people told the newspaper.

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Research In Motion (RIMM) shares fell 23% to $10.91 on Friday after the BlackBerry maker said in an earnings conference call it would change the way it charges customers service fees, putting a key source of revenue at risk.


Herbalife (HLF) shares fell 19% on Friday to $27.27 after William Ackman, the head of Pershing Square Capital Management, unveiled a 334-page presentation on why he feels the supplements maker is a pyramid scheme worth $0.

Ackman has caused a drop of more than 35% in Herbalife's share price after disclosing last week that he is short the company's shares and feels its multi-level marketing arrangement is more of a fraudulent pyramid scheme than a multi-billion dollar retail business.

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Alexza Pharmaceuticals (ALXA) received approval Friday from the Food and Drug Administration for Adasuve, a treatment for schizophrenia and bipolar disorder that can be inhaled.


-- Written by Joseph Woelfel

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