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MSC buys Massachusetts firms

In a bid to expand its New England sales, Melville-based MSC Industrial Direct Co. has bought two Massachusetts companies. MSC did not say how much it will pay for American Tool Supply and its affiliate, American Specialty Grinding Co., both of Chicopee, Mass. The two acquired companies together generate about $50 million in annual revenue, and once MSC takes possession of them, it expects them to add about two to three cents to MSC's earnings per share in 2012. "As New England is an important market for MSC, this acquisition is a strategic effort to expand their presence in the region," the Melville company said. "The partnership will expand MSC's national footprint, while simultaneously growing the local expertise and relationships that have successfully built over the years in the area," MSC said.

Applied DNA's stock rises

Shares of Stony Brook-based Applied DNA Sciences Inc., a maker of genetic anti-counterfeiting devices, rose 7 percent Tuesday morning on news that it has made a private sale of $5 million of its own shares in an institutional round of financing. The news sent Applied DNA's stock -- a penny stock that trades over the counter -- from 6 cents to 7 cents a share, with volume of 1.4 million shares; its average volume over the past few months has been just over 500,000. The stock, which had a high point of $3.55 in 2004, has mostly traded below a dime a share in recent years. "The company's revenues have grown, while its contracts have diversified," the company said in a news release. "In order to support this growing demand, the management at Applied DNA Sciences believed this was an opportune time to secure additional capital." The company will use the money to expand on its recent acquisitions of new employees, new customers and new partners, Applied DNA said. NATION

New records at Apple Inc. Apple Inc.'s results trumped expectations for yet another quarter, with iPhone and iPad sales setting new records. Its stock, already at record highs, surged $19.85, or 5.3 percent, to $396.70 in extended trading after the results came out Tuesday, closing at $376.85 and at $393.99 in after-hours trading. The strong results show Apple can deliver even with CEO Steve Jobs on indefinite medical leave. It was Apple's first full quarter since Jobs turned over daily operations in January to chief operating officer Tim Cook. Jobs remains involved in major decisions, including announcements of new products. Net income in the fiscal third quarter, ended in June, was $7.31 billion, or $7.79 per share, more than double the $3.25 billion, or $3.51 per share, of a year ago. Analysts polled by FactSet were expecting earnings of $5.82 per share. -- AP

Probing more robo-signing

Lawmakers and enforcement agencies called for hearings and further investigation Tuesday after learning that the illegal practice known as robo-signing has continued in the mortgage industry. The Associated Press reported on Monday that county officials in at least three states -- Massachusetts, North Carolina and Michigan -- say they have received thousands of mortgage documents with questionable signatures since last fall. That's when forged signatures and false affidavits -- also called robo-signing -- led to a temporary halt to foreclosures. Banks and mortgage processors promised to stop the practice. But the findings of the county officials indicate that robo-signing is still a widespread problem. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), chair of the Financial Institutions and Consumer Protection Subcommittee, said the subcommittee will hold a hearing on the robo-signing issue. "The same risky practices that put our economy on the brink of collapse continue to infect the housing market," Brown said. -- AP

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