Stories for December 2004

Thursday, December 30

Broadcom Vet Joins San Diego Startup

San Diego-based chip startup Staccato Communications Inc. named former Broadcom Corp. executive Marty Colombatto as chairman.

Oil on Investors' Radar for 2005

New Year's resolution for U.S. equity investors: get crude back in your sights.

Newport Cuts Profit Outlook

Irvine-based Newport Corp., which makes equipment used to produce semiconductors, said a goodwill write-down at one of its units will spur a deeper than expected fourth-quarter loss.

Economic Impact of Tsunami Emerges

The tsunami that has devastated coastlines around the Indian Ocean could cost as much as $14 billion and economists have begun to revise down some growth estimates.

Wednesday, December 29

Kyocera Moving Work to Mexico

The U.S. arm of Japan's Kyocera is laying off 160 workers in San Diego and moving more of its manufacturing to a maquiladora it operates in Tijuana.

Disney Launches Marketing Push

Walt Disney Co. is launching an anticipated global advertising campaign for its theme parks for the 50th anniversary of Disneyland Park, which opened in Anaheim in 1955.

Micro Therapeutics to Close Plant

Medical device maker set to shutter German plant, move operations to Irvine headquarters.

St. John Makes Home Loan to CEO

Irvine-based women's clothier St. John Knits International Inc. said it loaned Chief Executive Richard Cohen and his wife $2 million to buy a home in California.

Supplement Maker Sues Eagles' Owens

Laguna Hills-based Formulated Sciences Inc. has sued Philadelphia Eagles receiver Terrell Owens for $35 million. The suit charges that Owens failed to follow the terms of an endorsement deal he signed when he was playing for the San Francisco 49ers in 199

National Existing Home Sales Hit Record, Prices Surge

Sales of existing U.S. homes rose unexpectedly to a record high in November and prices surged as low mortgage rates fueled home-buying, a trade association report showed on Wednesday.

Tuesday, December 28

Angels Face Luxury Tax

The Anaheim Angels were hit with a luxury tax for the first time, after owner Arte Moreno boosted player spending.

Samsung to Expand Investment to $20B

Samsung Group, South Korea's largest conglomerate, said Tuesday it will increase its investment to 21.2 trillion won (US$20.3 billion) next year, up 15.2% from this year.

Executive Shifts at Mazda

Mazda North Amercian hopes change will boost design and development locally.

U.S. Consumer Confidence Surges

The Conference Board's consumer confidence index rose to 102.3 in December, the highest level since July and up from November's revised reading of 92.6. Improved employment opportunities and cheaper energy were cited for the gain.

Monday, December 27

Apartments Sell for $42 Million

Local investors acquire South Coast Plaza-area apartments.

Ameriquest Gives $1M to Bush Ceremony

Mortgage lender Ameriquest continues giving to GOP With latest donations.

Conexant Hit With Lawsuits

Lawyers sue chipmaker in New Jersey, where it was based before moving back to Newport Beach in December.

Ingram Promotes Executive

Ingram Micro names president of North America region for computer products distributor.

Monday, December 20

PEOPLE

Orange County Businesspeople in the news, on the move

Retail Roll Seen Slowing in '05

Sales growth is expected to slow next year; PacSun's Seth Johnson is the person to watch; Village at Orange and Buena Park Downtown are the malls to watch

PREVIEW 2005

A comeback year, with some caveats.

Companies Set to Integrate Buys, Usher in New Leaders

Big healthcare companies have a lot on their plates going into next year;

Banks Managing Interest Rate Hikes, Deposit Slowdown

Banks could benefit in the near term from higher interest rates; First Vietnamese American Bank's Hieu Nguyen is the person to watch; Sunwest is the bank to watch.

Roy's Sushi Takes Hawaiian Eatery on Asian Journey

Roy's sushi gives Hawaiian eatery another Asian influence. Executive Dining by Fifi Chao

Bush Part II Policy Talk on Tap for UC Irvine Forecast

Healthcare policy in President Bush's second term is the focus of a UCI conference, in the Healthcare column by Vita Reed

Rebound Gains Steam, But Big Problems Linger

The county's manufacturers should see growth next year, but staffs won't expand too much; Raj Manufacturing is the company to watch.

Real Estate Deals

The manufacturing and warehouse sector builds on past gains

As Market Slows, Home Incentives Get National Play

Incentives offered by homebuilders get some national play, in the Real Estate column by Mathew Padilla

Cars Selling as Gifts,Sometimes to Buyers Themselves

Happy holidays,here's your new BMW, in the Marketplace Column by Sherri Cruz

Christmas Poem; Joe Dunn; CalPERS

Letters to the Editors

Apparel Veteran Expands Business With Big Lease

Industry veteran Ivan Spiers has signed an Irvine lease for his n'Zania operation

Heil-Brice Marks Holiday Season in Hispanic Markets

Heil-Brice did marketing work for Ralphs' Hispanic vendor thank-you, in the Media & Marketing column by Sandi Cain

Housing, Transportation to Dominate Politics in 2005

Housing issues will be central for local governments next year; Anaheim Mayor Curt Pringle is the politician to watch; Santa Ana is the city to watch

Judge Guts Case Against Broadcom; Anaheim Plays Nice

OC Insider by Rick Reiff

Hotels, Tourism Sector Eye Record-Breaking Year Ahead

It could be a record-breaking year for the travel industry; Montage's Alan Fuerstman is the person to watch; Newport Beach is the city to watch.

Real Estate Watch: Manufacturing and Warehouse

CHARTS: Net Absorption; Vacancy Rates; Average Asking Lease Rates

Mixed Bag for Chipmakers, PCs, Software

It's going to be a mixed bag for chip, PC and software makers; Broadcom's Scott McGregor is the person to watch; Jazz Semiconductor is the company to watch

Housing Outlook Dimmer on Rate Fears; Office to Rally

The prospect of higher interest rates looms large for next year; Opus West's Paul Marshall is the person to watch; Centra Realty is the company to watch

America, Heal Thyself

It's time for the U.S. to make a serious effort at a congressional cleanup, a Viewpoint by Eldon Griffiths

SYSTEMATICALLY

St. Joseph Health System's new boss stresses scale

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Summaries of other business news and top stories by industry; Economic Indicators

Tech Positive: Ingram Micro Affirms Earnings Outlook

Tech bellwether Ingram Micro affirmed its earnings outlook, in the Technology column by Andrew Simons

EXECUTIVE BRIEFCASE

REVIEW of the Album by U2. Universal Music Group's Interscope Records.

Rebounding Asia Seen Spurring Export Gains Next Year

A rebounding Asia is seen boosting exports next year; China is the market to watch

US Labs Selling in $155 Million Deal

US Labs agreed to a $155 million buyout offer

Wednesday, December 15

Wilson Plans $60M Lexus Dealership

Move over, Fletcher Jones. Here comes David Wilson.

Monday, December 13

Wilson Plans $60M Lexus Dealership

David Wilson Automotive has plans for a Lexus dealership just a stone's throw from Fletcher Jones Motorcars

Edwards: No Redesign Needed on New Heart Valve

Edwards Lifesciences pushed back the timeline on a key heart valve trial

Fidelity Rumored Takeover Target; Kathy Raps Irving

OC Insider by Rick Reiff

State of the State

Interest groups and politicians are starting to battle over what government reforms make it onto a ballot expected late next year,

Workers' Comp War: Arrests, New Twists

A long-anticipated crackdown on workers' compensation insurance fraud is yielding some results as more employers, contractors, insurance agents and medical providers have been targeted for investigation and prosecution.

Al Punto Ad's Coming Attraction: Hispanic Art Gallery

Al Punto Advertising is planning an Hispanic art museum at its headquarters.

Windstar's Platinum Triangle Bet Pays Off in Anaheim

Windstar was first to build in the Platinum Triangle after all. Real Estate by Mathew Padilla

MSC Puts Off One Suitor; Others in Wings?

MSC.Software put off one suitor, but others could be in the wings

PEOPLE

Orange County Businesspeople in the news, on the move

Planet Beauty Eyes Expansion, Rivals

Selling beauty products is getting more competitive.

Scion Dealers Have a Hit; Mercedes Feels BMW's Tug

Toyota's Scion launch was a hit in OC. Marketplace by Sherri Cruz

Six-Decade-Old Motor Maker Closing

A venerable motor maker is closing up shop in Anaheim

WATCH LIST

A look back at the Business Journal's people and companies that made news in 2004

Real Estate Deals

This week's postings of Real Estate sales and leases

LETTERS

Letters to the Editors

Analysts Cut Back on '05 PC Maker Growth Forecasts

The outlook for PC sales looks a little weaker than previously expected. Technology by Andrew Simons

Lessons

Looking back at the Orange County bankruptcy, an Editorial by Rick Reiff

Allergan Has New Supplier for Anti-Glaucoma Drugs

Allergan has a new supplier for its anti-glaucoma drugs. Healthcare by Vita Reed

Lennar Boss: Low-Key Style Belies Aggressive Expansion

Lennar's Jon Jaffe has big responsibilities as the homebuilder's new operations chief

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Summaries of other business news and top stories by industry; Economic Indicators

KUDOS

Awards, Honors, Recognition, Announcements in O.C. Business

Tabu Grill Is Tiny Tropical Charmer in Laguna Beach

Tabu Grill is a tiny tropical charmer. Executive Dining by Fifi Chao

Monday, December 6

PEOPLE

Orange County Businesspeople in the news, on the move

Miramar's Latest Venture: Incubation

Miramar Venture Partners has hired an entrepreneur-in-residence to build companies from the ground up

OpVista CEO Steps Down: Georgia Was On His Mind

OpVista has a new chief executive, in the Technology column by Andrew Simons

Argus Realty Gets Price Break in Arizona

Argus Realty picked up an Arizona office building despite higher bids from others, in the Real Estate column by Mathew Padilla

Four Years After Crisis Power Rates Still High

Power rates still are high four years after the energy crisis

Sellout: Woodbury Builders Notch Brisk Sales

Homebuilders recorded speedy sales at Woodbury in Irvine

Court: Valeant Owed for Serbia Plant Seizure

Eastern European intrigue cost Valeant Pharmaceuticals plenty in the late 1990s,now it could recoup some of its losses

Anaheim's Lineup Gets PR Pop; Busch in Napa

OC INSIDER by Rick Reiff

Bursting a Boondoggle

Selling off the National Helium Reserve will be a boon to taxpayers. VIEWPOINT by Christopher Cox

Analyst: PacifiCare a 'Defensive' Play During Probes

Analyst: PacifiCare could escape the scrutiny of New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer's investigation into the insurance industry, in the Healthcare column by Vita Reed

Builders Lure Buyers With Freebies

Some homebuilders are tossing in extras that buyers normally have to pay for,

TOMATO SQUEEZE

Tam Produce has closed its Fullerton repacking plant after union contract talks broke down

Costa Mesa's Ferrari & Maserati Expanding to PCH

Ferrari & Maserati of Orange County is opening a dealership on Pacific Coast Highway in Newport Beach, in the Marketplace column by Sherri Cruz

LETTERS

Letters to the Editors

Too Faced Offers Glamour, Dash of Rebellion in a Tube

Jerrod Blandino has come a long way for someone whose idea of beauty is Marcia Brady

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Summaries of other business news and top stories by industry; Economic Indicators

K-Comm Taps Political Vet for New Unit

Kanatsiz Communications hired a political veteran to head up a new public affairs unit, in the Media & Marketing column by Sandi Cain

Real Estate Deals

This week's postings of Real Estate sales and leases

Panera Bakery-Cafe Expands Homey Concept to Irvine

Smell the fresh bread? Panera opened in Irvine, in the Executive Dining column by Fifi Chao

Real Estate Watch: South County

Landlords to Gain With Little Construction Coming

Netlist Seeks Funding, Says Dell Ties Strong

Netlist is looking for funding