Stories for April 2005

Friday, April 29

Johnson Sells to AmerisourceBergen

Orange County medical entrepreneur and philanthropist Mark Chapin Johnson has sold his Chapin Medical Co. to AmerisourceBergen Corp.

More Suits in Lyon Buyout

The stakes are rising in Gen. William Lyon's bid to take Newport Beach-based William Lyon Homes Inc. private.

Inflation Picks Up as Expected

U.S. consumer spending rose 0.6% in March but inflation ate up most of the gain, while first-quarter worker compensation posted the smallest increase in six years, the government said on Friday.

Clear Channel: IPO,Spinoff

Clear Channel Communications Inc., the largest U.S. radio station chain which has been battling falling audiences, on Friday said it will spin off its unit that produces live entertainment and sell about 10% of its outdoor advertising business in an IPO.

Followers Flock to Buffet

Berkshire Hathaway shareholders said Warren Buffett's reputation is not blemished by recent investigations that have touched the company he leads, and that they will turn out in droves at this weekend's annual meeting to show support.

Standard: U.S. Orders Up, Local Down

Nationwide, Irvine's Standard Pacific Corp. boomed in the first quarter, with a 94% rise in profits versus a year ago, the company said late Thursday. In Southern California, the company experienced a decline in orders for new homes.

Thursday, April 28

Defense Contractors: Strong Earnings

U.S. defense contractors reported strong quarterly earnings on Thursday as the Pentagon put billions into high tech military equipment and services. Earnings soared 76% at Northrop Grumman Corp., 30% at Raytheon Co. and 22% at Goodrich .

Sunstone Buying 6 Hotels for $420M

San Clemente-based Sunstone Hotel Investors Inc. is buying five hotels and a joint venture stake from Marriott International Inc. for $419 million.

Microsoft Profit Rises on Software Sales

Microsoft Corp. posted a higher quarterly profit and sales on better-than-expected demand for personal computers as well as strong sales of its server software and Xbox game consoles, the world's largest software maker said on Thursday.

Ingram: Higher Q1 Sales, Profits

Santa Ana's Ingram Micro Inc. on Thursday reported higher sales and profits for the first quarter.

Vishay's SI Buy: Done Deal

It's official: Tustin-based SI Technologies Inc. on Thursday was bought by Vishay Intertechnology Inc.

Economy: Softest Pace in 2 Years

The economy grew at its softest pace in two years during the first quarter this year, slowing to a 3.1% annual rate of expansion as consumers and businesses curbed spending in the face of rising prices, the Commerce Department said on Thursday.

IntraLase Posts First Profitable Quarter

Shares of IntraLase Corp. jumped 10.4% to $17 Thursday after it recorded a profitable first quarter, the first since its inception in 1997.

PacifiCare Profit Jumps in Q1

PacifiCare Health Systems Inc. said Thursday that its profit rose 25% in the first quarter. The catalysts: an increase in senior health plan membership, a big acquisition and growth in its mail-order drug delivery business.

Stocks Tumble on Economic Worries

Stocks ended lower Thursday, with the Nasdaq putting in its worst performance in more than six months on data pointing to a slowdown in the economy and a pick-up in inflation. Worries over the economy eclipsed a round of solid earnings reports led by Proc

Gateway Narrows Loss, Sales Fall

Irvine-based Gateway Inc. on Thursday nearly erased its loss for the first quarter, but it saw a slight drop in revenue as the personal-computer company continued with ongoing restructuring efforts.

Wednesday, April 27

March Durable Goods Orders Sink

New orders for long-lasting U.S.-made goods plunged unexpectedly by 2.8% in March, the biggest drop since September 2002, as orders for aircraft fell sharply, the government said on Wednesday.

Autobytel Has New CEO After Shuffle

An accounting review, management shift and potential stock delisting. It's not surprising that Autobytel Inc. named a new chief executive Wednesday.

Tyco Chief Appears In Second Trial

Former Tyco International Ltd. Chief Executive Dennis Kozlowski, who declined to testify at his first trial, finally took the witness stand on Wednesday to deny charges he stole millions of dollars from the company.

Mortgage Applications Up Last Week

Applications for home mortgages increased last week, as refinancing and purchasing activity rose amid lower interest rates on loans, an industry group said on Wednesday.

Lyon: Stage Two of Buyback Plan

The general has entered stage two of his plan to buyback the homebuilding company that bears his name: Newport Beach-based William Lyon Homes Inc. But the price is going up.

China's Growth Seen Slowing

China's economy is heading for a soft landing though there is a good deal of uncertainty about the next stage of its economic cycle, the World Bank said on Wednesday.

Beckman Making $140M Buy

Beckman Coulter Inc. has made its first deal under new Chief Executive Scott Garrett.

Allergan's Botox Sales Fall Short

Investors hit shares of Irvine-based Allergan Inc. Wednesday after sales of the drug maker's flagship Botox wrinkle-reducing drug missed analysts' forecasts and the company warned its second-quarter earnings might fall a bit below estimates.

Oil Prices Slide Almost 5%

Oil prices slid almost 5% on Wednesday as U.S. crude oil supplies grew on the third-highest weekly import level on record. U.S. light crude dropped $2.59, to $51.61 a barrel, about 11 percent below the all-time high of $58.28 struck earlier this month.

Corinthian Tumbles on Outlook

Investors soured on Corinthian Colleges Inc.'s earnings outlook Wednesday, sending shares down 17% to $14.

Boeing Earnings Fall 14%

Boeing Co. on Wednesday said quarterly earnings fell 14% as pension and compensation costs rose, but operating results improved at its core commercial jet and defense units.

Tuesday, April 26

GMAC: Possible 'Junk' Rating

General Motors Acceptance Corp, the funding arm of General Motors Corp., is prepared for a possible downgrade to below investment grade but does not deserve it, the company's chief financial officer said on Tuesday.

Ex-BofA Broker's Trial Begins

The trial of former Bank of America Corp. broker Theodore Sihpol started Tuesday, marking the first time the New York Attorney General's office has taken a case before a jury in Eliot Spitzer's crusade to change Wall Street and the U.S. mutual fund indust

IBM Top Execs Forego Pay Raise

IBM's top 50 executives have agreed to forego any salary increase until business at the world's largest computer company recovers, its chief executive told IBM shareholders on Tuesday.

Boeing Wins Air India Order

India's international carrier, Air-India, approved on Tuesday the purchase of up to 50 long-range and medium-range Boeing planes at a cost of about 300 billion rupees ($6.9 billion).

Homebuilders Mixed on U.S. Sales

Local homebuilder stocks were mixed Tuesday after some positive national sales data was released.

Tech Earnings Disappoint

U.S. stocks fell on Tuesday as a string of disappointing earnings at home and abroad weighed on the major indexes.

DPAC's QuaTech Buy Step Closer

Garden Grove-based DPAC Technologies Corp. said Tuesday it's inked a formal deal to buy Hudson, Ohio-based QuaTech Inc.

Quest to Buy Imceda for $61M

Irvine-based Quest Software Inc. said Tuesday it plans to buy privately held Imceda Software Inc. for $61 million.

Sybron Raises Sales Guidance

Sybron Dental Specialties Inc. raised expectations for 2005, but didn't get a big bump on Wall Street on Tuesday.

New-Home Sales Smash Record

U.S. new home sales jumped 12% in March to a record 1.431 million seasonally adjusted annual rate, the Commerce Department estimated Tuesday.

Cisco Buying Sipura for Linksys

Cisco Systems Inc. said it is buying privately held Sipura Technology Inc. with plans to fold it under its Irvine-based Linksys unit.

Monday, April 25

Cal State Fullerton, Lennar Talk New El Toro Lease; Land Sale?

Cal State Fullerton and Lennar are talking about a new El Toro lease for the university

Morpho Technologies Gets New CEO, $10M

Morpho Technologies has raised $10 million in venture funding and has a new chief executive

Si! Dunn, Campbell Co-Authoring Bill; Pastor Rick, Superstar

Si! Dunn, Campbell Co-Authoring Bill; Pastor Rick, Superstar

Marblehead Land Sale in the Works

A Marblehead land sale is in the works

First-Quarter Data Points to Improving Office Picture

The first-quarter office numbers look very good, in the Real Estate column

Chapman U's Adult Education Arm Set for Riverside Move

Chapman's adult education operation is moving to Riverside from Moreno Valley

In Praise of Unocal

In praise of Unocal, a Viewpoint, by Eldon Griffiths, author, journalist, former member of the House of Commons and under secretary of state in the U.K.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

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

San Diego Mayor to Step Down

San Diego Mayor Dick Murphy announced today that he plans to resign July 15.

Real Estate Watch: Inland Empire

Vacancy: Industrial Down, Office Up;

Golden State: Distribution Center Planned

Construction is under way on what will be Irvine-based Golden State Foods Corp.'s largest distribution center for the Golden Arches.

Arthur Andersen Settles Fraud Suit

Arthur Andersen LLP agreed to settle a class-action lawsuit brought by investors who claimed they were cheated in the collapse of WorldCom, according to court papers released on Monday.

Hawk's Landing at Active's Village at Orange Opening

Tony Hawk is coming to the Village at Orange for the opening of Active Ride Shop, in the Marketplace column

Golden State Planning Biggest McD's Center

Golden State Foods is opening its largest distribution center yet for the Golden Arches

STATE OF THE STATE

A special election could be risky and expensive. By Howard Fine, Los Angeles Business Journal

CALENDAR

Calendar of OC Business events and announcements - FREE Download

Jackson, DeMarco Adds New Name

An Irvine law firm added a new name partner

REAL ESTATE DEALS

This week's postings of Real Estate sales and leases

Rich Less Confident in Economy

Wealthy Americans felt less secure in the economy's strength in the latest quarter, but their fears are unlikely to thwart spending and investment plans, a survey published on Monday found.

High Valuation Driving Western Digital Shares Lower

Valuation concerns take a small bite out of Western Digital, in the Technology column,

Commercial Capital Profit Triples

Irvine-based Commercial Capital Bancorp's profit more than tripled in the first quarter, the company said Monday. The thrift also said it plans to sell about $600 million worth of low-returning home loans.

PEOPLE

Orange County Businesspeople in the news, on the move

Allergan, AMO Have Hand in India Drug Development

India's growing (legal) drug industry could help local drug makers, in the Healthcare column

Surging Subprime Lender ResMae Ups HQ Size

Subprime lender ResMae is almost doubling the size of its planned headquarters

Plants Post Employment Gain After Years of Decline, Shift to China

Mexico's border plants are showing signs of a rebound

Wet Seal to Restate Results

Foothill Ranch retailer Wet Seal Inc. said Monday that its method of accounting for tenant improvement allowances and rent holidays doesn't agree with Securities and Exchange Commission guidelines.

Valero to Buy Premcor for $6.9B

Valero Energy Corp. said on Monday it has agreed to buy rival Premcor Inc. for $6.9 billion in cash and stock, vaulting it ahead of Exxon Mobil as the largest refiner of crude oil in North America.

Pacific Regrouping After a Tough Stretch

Pacific Communications has rebuilt after a tough stretch last year, in the Media & Marketing column

Mike Grgich Brings Heady Wines to Fullerton Summit

The connoisseurs were out for the Summit House's Grgich wine dinner, in the Executive Dining column

Canadian Spierkel Set to Take Over Ingram

Ingram Micro's new chief executive reflects its growing international look

KUDOS

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

Hospitals Must Mop Up Potential Dangers to Earn Accreditation

Hospitals are moving to prevent patient falls as part of a new accreditation requirement

Mid-Tier Pubcos Mix Revenue Gain With Profit Decline in '04

It was a mixed bag for mid-tier public companies in 2004: sales were up but profits fell

MARKET WATCH

Week's Best, Worst Performers; Roth OC50, Billion Dollar Club, OC Tech; Index Watch, 52-week Performance

Visibility: AMO's Mazzo Adjusts as Public CEO

Jim Mazzo's taken on a more public face as head of a public company, Advanced Medical Optics

Air Canada Orders $6 Bln of Boeing Jets

Air Canada on Monday announced firm orders for 32 Boeing Co. wide-bodied jets in a deal worth $6 billion, adding to the top U.S. aircraft maker's recent winning streak against archrival Airbus.

Importers Face Uncertainty Over Port Logjams

An influx of textiles and other goods from China is jamming the ports

SBC Reports Lower Q1 Earnings

SBC Communications Inc., the No. 2 telecommunications company, reported lower first-quarter earnings on Monday due to higher costs from the purchase of AT & T; Wireless by its Cingular Wireless joint venture and a large gain a year earlier.

Friday, April 22

Refinery Problems Hit Oil Sector

Oil jumped back above $55 a barrel on Friday as traders said sustained demand and refinery outages could strain U.S. gasoline supplies ahead of peak summer motoring demand.

Commerce Energy Settles With Ex-CEO

Costa Mesa-based Commerce Energy Group Inc. said Friday it settled a dispute with Ian Carter, a director and the company's former chief executive.

Costco Warns on Gas Sales

Costco Wholesale Corp. on Friday said earnings for the rest of its fiscal year would likely miss Wall Street forecasts because of weaker profits from gasoline sales.

ResMae Ups HQ Size

Even before moving into its new headquarters in Brea, a startup subprime lender nearly has doubled its lease to 130,000 square feet.

Allergan Cutting Euro Workers

Irvine-based drug maker Allergan Inc. said it plans to cut some 160 jobs from its operations at Mougins, France, and other European locations.

Qwest Makes Last-Ditch Bid for MCI

Shares of MCI Inc. rose Friday after Qwest Communications International Inc. raised its takeover offer to $9.7 billion, or $30 a share, in a last-ditch effort to snatch the long-distance phone company away from rival Verizon Communications Inc.

Nasdaq Makes Instinet Offer

The Nasdaq Stock Market Inc. and a consortium of investors announced on Friday an agreement to purchase Instinet Group Inc. from its majority owner, Reuters Group PLC, for $1.88 billion in cash.

Medtronic Settles Patent Suit

Medtronic Inc. said on Friday it agreed to buy out patents for spinal implant technology for $1.35 billion in a move that settles a long-running legal battle.

Thursday, April 21

SEC Requests MSC Documents

Santa Ana software maker MSC.Software Corp. said the Securities & Exchange Commission has subpoenaed "certain documents" related to the company's yearlong internal investigation of its past financial accounting.

Broadcom: Inventory Issue Waning

Sales at Irvine-based Broadcom Corp. fell in the March quarter, but the chipmaker still managed to boost profits and said it expects the inventory problems in the past few quarters to largely be over.

Adelphia Takes $12.7B Offer

Bankrupt cable operator Adelphia Communications Corp. on Thursday accepted a buyout offer from joint bidders Time Warner Inc. and Comcast Corp. for $12.7 billion in cash and a stake in a new cable company.

Greenspan Warns on Deficits

Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan warned on Thursday that unless lawmakers come to grips with spiraling U.S. deficits, the economy was at risk of stagnation "or worse."

Greenspan: China to Move on Currency

Growing economic pressure will compel China to alter its policy of pegging its currency to the U.S. dollar at some point, and the sooner it happens the better, Federal Reserve chief Alan Greenspan said on Thursday.

Medicare Cuts Into Apria Profit

Medicare reimbursement cuts ate into Apria Healthcare Group Inc.'s profits in the first quarter, the company said early Thursday.

Toshiba, Sony Talk DVD Standard

Japan's Sony Corp. and Toshiba Corp. are in talks to develop a common standard for next-generation DVDs and end a fierce battle over formats that has been threatening to stifle the industry's growth, Reuters reported Thursday.

Treasuries Dive as Slowdown Doubted

Treasury debt prices fell sharply on Thursday after regional factory data and jobless claims figures cast doubt on predictions for slower economic growth ahead.

$2M Given to UCI for Persian Studies

Fariborz Maseeh, an Iranian immigrant who sold his technology company to Corning Inc. in 2000 for $750 million, has pledged $2 million to the University of California, Irvine.

Angels: No Luxury Tax for '05

Initial projections by the commissioner's office based on opening-day rosters have the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim owing no luxury tax this year, according to the Associated Press.

Wednesday, April 20

Morgan Stanley Loses 8 Traders

Deutsche Bank Securities on Wednesday said it has hired Morgan Stanley's head of U.S. cash equity trading and seven other traders, the first group departure of executives since some dissident shareholders sparked a management shake-up at Morgan Stanley.

Conexant: Phase 1 of Comeback Done

Conexant Systems Inc. said Wednesday it pushed enough inventory out the door in the past quarter that phase 1 of its revamp is done.

Consumer Prices Up in March

Surging energy costs helped push up U.S. consumer prices in March, and with food and energy stripped out inflation rose at the sharpest rate in 2 1/2 years, drawing a warning from the Federal Reserve on Wednesday that it was closely watching price pressur

Merrill Lynch Eyes OC Bond Offering, Decade After County's Bankruptcy

Merrill Lynch & Co. is vying to arrange a bond offering for Orange County, for the first time since the world's largest securities firm sold the county customized bonds that led to the biggest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history.

Oakley Raises 2005 Guidance

Sunglasses maker Oakley Inc. raised 2005 expectations after reporting sales and profit gains in the first quarter Wednesday afternoon.

Ford Posts Profit Drop, Cuts Production

Ford Motor Co. on Wednesday posted a 38% drop in first-quarter earnings, pressured by falling U.S. sales and rising costs, and further cut its North American production to reduce bloated inventories of unsold vehicles.

Corinthian Says SEC Is Done

Corinthian Colleges Inc. said the Securities and Exchange Commission had completed its review of the company's 2004 financial report.

Mortgage Applications Down Last Week

Applications for home mortgages decreased last week, as purchasing and refinancing activity fell despite lower interest rates on loans, an industry group said on Wednesday.

PacifiCare Looking to Open Rx Unit

PacifiCare Health Systems Inc. on Wednesday said it's considering Kansas as a spot for a mail order distribution center that could employ as many as 850 people.

St. Jude Net Income Rises

St. Jude Medical Inc., a key rival to Irvine-based Edwards Lifesciences Corp., on Wednesday said quarterly earnings rose, buoyed by a 72% increase in sales of implantable devices that manage rapid heart rhythms.

Tuesday, April 19

Global Sales Push J & J; Profit

Johnson & Johnson on Tuesday said first-quarter earnings rose 17%, topping analysts' expectations, driven by double-digit growth in international sales of medical devices and drugs.

Sales Boost Profit at Bausch & Lomb

Bausch & Lomb Inc. on Tuesday reported higher first-quarter profit as strong sales of contact lenses and vitamins for the eye offset costs associated with the upcoming launch of new products.

Irvine Sensors Gets Contract Boost

Costa Mesa-based Irvine Sensors Corp. said Tuesday its contract to develop a handheld night viewer grew by $1.2 million.

ICU Shares Jump on Strong Q1

Shares of ICU Medical Inc. jumped 11% on Tuesday, a day after the company reported first-quarter earnings that easily beat Wall Street expectations.

March Home Sales Down 17.6%

Sales of new homes and apartments fell by 17.6% in March to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.84 million units, the Commerce Department said Tuesday.

Acacia Unit Sues Intel, TI

Newport Beach-based Acacia Research Corp. said Tuesday that a unit has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Intel Corp. and Texas Instruments Corp.

GM Posts $1.1B Loss

General Motors Corp. on Tuesday posted a first-quarter net loss of $1.1 billion, its worst result since the industrial icon skirted bankruptcy in 1992, due to weaker U.S. sales and growing costs for employee healthcare and raw materials to build cars.

Housing Starts Down, Producer Prices Up

Housing starts posted their steepest drop in more than 14 years in March, suggesting some cooling in the long-hot housing market, while producer prices rose steeply on surging energy costs.

Intel Profit Rises in Q1

Intel Corp. on Tuesday reported a rise in quarterly profit as revenue reached the second-highest level in the chipmaker's history, helped by strong demand for its Centrino notebook computer chips.

Monday, April 18

Visitor Spending

Visitor spending is a part of why OC is as rich as it is - by Michael Lyster

Confab Contest: St. Regis, Ritz

The St. Regis has made its mark as a conference spot

Tsaos Recommit to Cisco, Expect More Growth for Linksys

The Tsaos have recommitted to Cisco with plans to grow their Linksys unit

Hotel Buying Seen Keeping Pace With 2004's Record

The hotel sales market had some sizzle last year

Ultra Wheel Moves; Old Site Being Redone

Ultra Wheel has downsized its local facilities after moving production to China

Tickets.Com Rebuffed in Ticketmaster Fight

Ticketmaster won a court victory in its ongoing dispute with Costa Mesa's Tickets.com

OC's Tourism Share Disproportionate to Size

Breaking down the region's tourism market

MARKET WATCH

Week's Best, Worst Performers; Roth OC50, Billion Dollar Club, OC Tech; Index Watch, 52-week Performance

Northern County Distribution Center Biggest Industrial Filled

Fully leased buildings ranked by rentable building area

STATE OF THE STATE

State Democrats and Republicans still could make a deal on redistricting - by Howard Fine, Los Angeles Business Journal

Tenant Improvement Allowances Pinched by Stronger Market, Higher Construction Costs

A look at the changing dynamics between landlords and tenants, property managers' workload and the spike in commercial broker transactions.

Newport Technology Center Top Open Space at 384,267 Sq. Ft.

Largest Blocks of Contiguous Office Space Available

More Salt in Y & R;'s Wounds: Euro RSCG/Fuel Wins Jaguar

Ford's Jaguar unit has named its new ad shop: Euro RSCG/Fuel, in the Media & Marketing column

Harrah's Sales: Hedge Against Tower's Drawing Power?

Michael Harrah's office building sales may have been a hedge against his Santa Ana tower's drawing power

News Corp. Unit Adds Space, Hiring

NDS Group PLC has consolidated its U.S. headquarters in Costa Mesa. The unit, NDS Americas Inc., makes smart cards, software and other devices that go in set-top boxes to control access to digital satellite, pay-TV and Internet programming. Cable and sate

Irvine Co.: No. 34 Among National Apartment Owners

The Irvine Company is moving up a national apartment ranking, in the Real Estate column

CALENDAR

Calendar of OC Business events and announcements - FREE Download

Ceradyne Cites Delay for Armor Sales Cut

Ceradyne Cites Delay for Armor Sales Cut

1100 Executive Tower Tops List of Fully Leased Office Buildings in OC

Fully leased buildings ranked by rentable building area

Venture-Funded Cogent Names Chief Executive

Venture-backed Cogent Healthcare has a new chief executive

Broadcom Shares Get Upgraded, But It's All Relative

Broadcom got an upgrade, though semiconductor stocks look "range-bound" to one analyst, in the Technology column

First American Tops Office, Tustin Gateway Biggest Industrial

Projects under construction

News Corp. Unit Adds Space, Looks to Hire

A News Corp. unit has consolidated in Costa Mesa with an eye to hire more workers

Savi Tech Center Top Flex Space Available With 119,966 Sq. Ft.

Largest Blocks of Contiguous Flex Space Available

Real Estate Deals

This week's postings of Real Estate sales and leases

Chip Designer Raises $10M, Gets CEO

Morpho Technologies Inc. got more funding and a new chief executive in the latest shift at the Irvine chip designer.

OC Rolling Dice On Vegas Express; Chicagoan Gets Clock

OC Rolling Dice On Vegas Express; Chicagoan Gets Clock

Low Rates Spurred a Banner Year of Growth for Brokers

ABOUT THE LIST - Low Rates Spurred a Banner Year of Growth for Brokers

Allergan to Start New Phase of Botox Migraine Testing

Allergan is set to begin a new phase in its Botox migraine testing, in the Healthcare column

1225 W. Imperial Highway Top Industrial Complex Available

Largest Blocks of Contiguous Industrial Space Available

Golf Links, Vineyards Converge for Dinner at Fleming's

Golf and wine are paired at a special Fleming's dinner this week, in the Executive Dining column

LETTERS

The Annual Deep Thoughts on Matzoh

Forbes: Angels Worth $294M, Rank No. 17

Arte Moreno's investment is paying off, according to Forbes magazine's latest ranking of Major League Baseball clubs by value

Real Estate Watch: Mid-Counties

The Mid-Counties region posted record absorption in the fourth quarter

Commercial Property Managers Take Non-Glitzy Path to Gain

There weren't any gleaming office towers built during the past year, but Orange County's top commercial property managers still found less glamorous routes to growth.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

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

Longtime Cox Leader to Vegas; Hello Duffy

A longtime Cox Communications leader in OC has left for Vegas

PEOPLE

Orange County Businesspeople in the news, on the move

Sunday, April 17

Earnings, Inflation Reports Eyed

Earnings from big companies such as Intel Corp. and Pfizer Inc., as well as key inflation reports, will help determine whether stocks will continue to skid lower or bounce back this week.

IBM's Options Guidance Upsets Analysts

IBM Corp. may have looked like it fessed up to bad news when it recently reported a big profit shortfall. But closer scrutiny makes it appear the company was less than straightforward over how bad the earnings miss was.

Politics Not Yet Hitting Mexico Economy

Political unease in Mexico over the impeachment of Mexico City's mayor and leading opposition politician hasn't yet hit Mexican asset markets or the economy, Finance Minister Francisco Gil said.

Friday, April 15

Consumer Confidence Sinking

U.S. consumers felt less confident about economic conditions in April than in March as gasoline prices soared, reinforcing nascent concerns that growth in the United States may be on the brink of a slowdown.

Ultra Wheel Relocates to Fullerton, Old Buena Park Site Set for Revamp

Ultra Wheel Co., a seller of fancy chrome-plated auto rims, has moved from Buena Park to smaller digs in Fullerton after shifting production to China last year.

Bush Expected to Sign Bankruptcy Bill

Bankruptcy legislation making it tougher for heavily indebted Americans to wipe out their obligations won final congressional approval yesterday and President Bush said he looked forward to signing it into law.

OC Employment Picture Stays Bright

The county's March employment results continued a string of positive numbers, according to a Friday report from the state Employment Development Department.

California Coastal Soars on Project OK

Shares of Irvine-based California Coastal Communities Inc. rose 8% Friday after the California Coastal Commission on Thursday approved its plans to build homes on a mesa overlooking the Bolsa Chica wetlands in Huntington Beach.

Dollar Dips on Weak Data

The dollar fell against the euro and the yen Friday, as investors mulled a surprisingly weak New York regional manufacturing survey and a gloomy U.S. consumer sentiment report.

Jorgensen IPO Hurt by Metals Outlook

It didn't turn out to be the blockbuster IPO that metal distributor Earle M. Jorgensen Co. was hoping for.

Avery Shares Fall After Warning

Shares of Avery Dennison Corp. fell 10% on Friday, a day after the maker of office products and adhesive labels warned its first-quarter earnings would fall well short of expectations due to higher inventory reserves.

Sony Ericsson Shocks: Q1 Profit Falls

Sony Ericsson, the world's number six mobile phone maker, shocked the market on Friday with a fall in first-quarter pretax profit, adding to tech sector earnings jitters sparked by IBM and Samsung.

Thursday, April 14

AMD: IPO for Lagging Memory Unit

Advanced Micro Devices Inc. said its struggling flash memory chip business had filed for a $600 million initial public offering, a move cheered by investors who saw the unit as distracting from the company's focus on PC processors.

First American Buys Experian Unit

Santa Ana-based First American Corp. didn't have to go far for its latest buy,about a quarter mile up the Costa Mesa (55) Freeway.

Unisys Posts Quarterly Loss

Unisys Corp., a computer services provider, on Thursday posted a quarterly loss due to some problem outsourcing contracts and slower hardware sales, a trend that it sees continuing in the current quarter.

Dollar Holds Gains After Jobless Claims

The dollar held earlier gains on Thursday after weekly jobless claims showed labor market conditions broadly as expected and supporting the dollar.

Earle M. Jorgensen Cuts IPO Price

Metal products distributor Earle M. Jorgensen Co. filed with regulators on Thursday to cut the estimated price of its planned initial public offering to $11 to $13 per share, from its previous estimate range of $14 to $16 per share.

OC Home Prices Up in March

Orange County's housing market is back. The market has recovered from summer's downturn, with the median price of homes sold in March reaching a new record of $565,000, according to La Jolla-based market tracker DataQuick Information Systems.

Canada's Stantec Buying Keith Cos.

Canada's Stantec said Thursday it plans to buy Irvine engineering consultant The Keith Cos. for about $175 million.

Ceradyne Cites Delay for Sales Cut

Defense supplier Ceradyne Inc. warned Thursday that its first-quarter sales would be about 22% lower than a prior forecast because of delays in shipping armor to the military.

Cisco to Buy Switching Co.

Cisco Systems Inc., the largest maker of gear for directing traffic over the Internet, on Thursday said it would acquire privately held Topspin Communications, a maker of server networking equipment, for $250 million in cash and options.

Wednesday, April 13

Mortgage Applications Up Last Week

Applications for home mortgages increased last week as purchasing and refinancing activity rose despite higher interest rates on fixed loans, an industry group said on Wednesday.

Interchange Shares Below Debut Price

Laguna Hills-based Interchange Corp. saw its shares take another dive on Wednesday,below where they debuted in the company's public offering last fall.

Saddleback Memorial Gets $50M Gift

Saddleback Memorial Medical Center said Wednesday it's received nearly $50 million from a pair of local philanthropists.

Quiksilver Moves on Rossignol Buy

Huntington Beach-based Quiksilver Inc. said Wednesday it acquired nearly half the shares of France's Skis Rossignol SA from the company's controlling family.

Merck Outlook Exceeds Forecasts

Merck & Co. Inc. on Wednesday projected first-quarter earnings above Wall Street expectations, but stuck to its earlier forecast that full-year 2005 earnings will decline up to 7% following the recall of its Vioxx arthritis drug.

Top Morgan Stanley Bankers Resign

Morgan Stanley's two top investment bankers resigned on Wednesday, increasing the pressure on Chief Executive Philip Purcell and raising questions about whether the securities firm can remain independent.

San Diego: No. 3 For Stem Cell HQ

Some members of the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine may question Tuesday's announced short list of sites for permanent headquarters of the $3 billion stem cell research program during a public hearing Wednesday.

SM & A; Posts Sales, Profit Gain

Aerospace and defense keyed gains at SM & A; Corp. in the first quarter. The Newport Beach-based consultant said Wednesday that its sales rose 10% in the period to $20.2 million.

Japan Keeps View of Moderate Recovery

Japan's economy is recovering but only at a moderate pace, the government said in its monthly economic report on Wednesday, reiterating its previous assessment.

Tuesday, April 12

Trade Gap Higher Than Expected

The U.S. trade deficit grew more than expected in February to a record $61.0 billion, as the U.S. economy sucked in record imports, the government said on Tuesday.

Ex-AIG Boss Takes the Fifth

The former head of American International Group Inc., Maurice "Hank" Greenberg, on Tuesday refused to answer questions from regulators looking into improper accounting by the insurance powerhouse, officials present at the meeting said.

Chalk One Up for Arizona

If you're keeping score in the battle of the business climates, chalk up a small one for Arizona.

Wet Seal Delays Q4 Filing,Again

Wet Seal Inc. again has delayed the release of its fourth quarter and 2004 results. The Foothill Ranch-based teen retailer didn't give a reason for the delay. The results were expected after the close of trading Tuesday.

RV Dealer Looking For New Site

For Traveland U.S.A., a seller of motor homes in Irvine for the past 33 years, the only way to go is up. Upscale that is.

Mossimo Makes Offer to Go Private

Mossimo Giannulli, founder and majority shareholder of clothing maker Mossimo Inc., made an offer Tuesday to take the company private. Mossimo was based in Irvine until it moved to Santa Monica in 2000.

Stocks Rally on Fed Minutes

U.S. stocks rallied sharply on Tuesday, after minutes from the Federal Reserve alleviated worries about aggressive interest-rate hikes, while crude oil tumbled to below $52 a barrel.

U.S. March Budget Deficit: $71.2B

The U.S. government spent $71.2 billion more in March than it collected, the Treasury Department said Tuesday. A year ago, the budget gap was $72.9 billion for March.

Top Ford Executive Out

Ford Motor Co. said Monday that its top U.S. sales executive has resigned, ending a tumultuous six-month stint that culminated in a steep profit warning from the troubled auto giant.

Feds Indict 15 Wall Street Traders

The U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York on Tuesday said it has indicted 15 former and current New York Stock Exchange floor traders for improper trading over a period of four years.

Western Digital Slumps on Downgrade

Lake Forest-based disk drive maker Western Digital Corp., which saw its stock soar late last month after upping guidance, felt gravity's pull on Tuesday.

Monday, April 11

Main Graphic Expands After Last Year's Acquisitions

Main Graphic Imaging has expanded after making a couple of acquisitions last year, in the Media & Marketing column

Forbes: Angels Worth $294M, Up 22%

Arte Moreno's investment is paying off, according to Forbes magazine's latest ranking of Major League Baseball clubs by value.

Autobytel Gets Temporary Reprieve

Autobytel Inc., which is undergoing a major review of its books, said it won't be bumped off the Nasdaq exchange before May 15.

C & D; Aerospace: Biggest in Wave of Recent Deals

French aerospace company Zodiac SA's move to buy Huntington Beach-based C & D; Aerospace Group for $600 million is the latest,and biggest,in a series of buys in the sector.

Laying Tracks, Printing Tees at GirlyChic

At GirlyChic, shoppers can get an updo, personal tee or make a CD, in the Marketplace column

2004: Banner Year for Public Cos.

ABOUT THE LIST: 2004 was a banner year for public companies

PEOPLE

Orange County Businesspeople in the news, on the move

Earle M. Jorgensen Going Public

Metal distributor Earle M. Jorgensen Co., one of Orange County's largest private companies before shifting its headquarters to Lynwood in late 2003, is set to go public this week.

CFO TURNOVER

At Public Companies, Rash of Upheaval Sweeps CFO Ranks

UCI Not In Mix for Stem Cell HQ

Ten areas are bidding to become the headquarters for the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine, the state agency funding $3 billion in stem cell research grants in the next 10 years.

Real Estate Watch: West Orange County

West County lease rates swung higher in the first quarter;

Taco Bell Loses Chihuahua Fight

Taco Bell lost a court battle to its former advertising agency over the fast-food chain's "Yo quiero Taco Bell" commercials

Pain Drug Hopeful Kadmus Looks to What's Next as Trial Progresses

Kadmus Pharmaceuticals is looking for a corporate partner or a new round of financing

RV Dealer Up for Grabs; 'Resort' Headed to El Toro?

Traveland U.S.A. is looking for a monster site for its motor home dealership,

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

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

Ingram Cutting Jobs

Santa Ana's Ingram Micro Inc. said Monday it plans to cut 550 jobs in North America, half in Orange County.

MARKET WATCH

Week's Best, Worst Performers; Roth OC50, Billion Dollar Club, OC Tech; Index Watch, 52-week Performance

Survey: Executives Like State Reforms; Iraq Less of a Fear

The county's top executives are cautiously optimistic, according to Cal State Fullerton's latest expectations index

Correa Strikes Out Against Angels; Twyla's Big Gift

Correa Strikes Out Against Angels; Twyla's Big Gift

Boeing Jet Could Harm Paris Airport

Boeing Co.'s B777-300ER airplane could damage the runways of Paris's Orly airport by exerting too much pressure, especially at take-off, Paris airports operator Aeroports de Paris said on Monday.

Trade Lawyer: Now's the Time for Companies to Raise Issues

Interview: How to lobby the government on trade issues

Alliance Imaging Focuses on Hospitals, PET Scanning

Alliance Imaging has seen a pickup by focusing on hospitals and cancer screening, in the Healthcare column

Distributor With a Twist Arbitech Signs On Kingston

Kingston Technology tapped Arbitech for some distribution help, in the Technology column

UCI Skips HQ for Stem Cell Work

Orange County's not a player in the race to nab the state's stem cell headquarters

Real Estate Deals

This week's postings of Real Estate sales and leases

Shopper Alert: Retail Mall Under Way at Tustin Base

Vestar Development has started construction on the county's next big shopping center, in the Real Estate column

Big Moves: Charting the Top Public Company Stocks

A look at the Billion-Dollar Club during the tech peak, the downturn and today

Fitch: Ford Outlook to Negative

Fitch Ratings on Monday became the third ratings agency in a week to indicate it may cut the debt ratings of Ford Motor Co., which is the second-biggest U.S. corporate bond issuer.

Funding the Innovation Economy

Big UC Irvine benefactor Paul Merage is set on funding the innovation economy, a Viewpoint

Gateway Getting $150M From Microsoft

Irvine-based PC maker Gateway Inc. is settling a legal dispute with Microsoft Corp.,and getting $150 million from the software maker.

Points of Light

People and businesses in Orange County doing extraordinary deeds

Fluor Reportedly Eyeing Panama, Chile Projects

Fluor reportedly is eyeing work in Panama and Chile

Medicare: Calm Before Storm for PacifiCare?

PacifiCare is riding high on Medicare, but there could be danger ahead

Lazard Expects $730M From IPO

Global investment banking partnership Lazard Ltd. on Monday set its planned initial public offering at 30.46 million shares at an estimated price range of $25 to $27 per share.

LETTER

Clarifications; Disney Effect

CALENDAR

Calendar of OC Business events and announcements - FREE Download

Elan Faces SEC Inquiry Into Trading

Elan Corp. on Monday said the Securities and Exchange Commission is probing securities trading around the Feb. 28 announcement of the suspension of sales of the multiple sclerosis drug Tysabri.

FORTUNE SIX

Ingram Micro Top Local Entry on Fortune 500's Annual List

LifeMasters Moves Headquarters North

LifeMasters has moved its headquarters from Irvine to south San Francisco

Oil Ends Losing Streak

Oil prices ended a week-long losing streak on Monday, as expectations for high gasoline demand during the summer season countered swelling U.S. crude stockpiles and the specter of OPEC hiking supplies again.

Standard Pacific Sees Orders Fall

Irvine-based Standard Pacific Corp. took 2% less orders for new homes in the first quarter, versus a year earlier, the homebuilder said last week.

Bristol Palms: International Dishes With a Gentle Jolt

International dishes are given a gentle jolt at the Hilton's Bristol Palms, in the Executive Dining column

Friday, April 8

Stocks Hit on Profit Warnings

Blue chips remained on track to log their first positive week in five but a four-day winning streak appeared headed for an end late Friday, as U.S. stocks fell in the wake of a series of profit warnings.

Emulex Sees Earnings Boost

Emulex Corp. raised its financial guidance late Thursday, but didn't get a boost on Wall Street Friday as sellers pushed the markets down.

Survey: Executives Like State Reforms

Cautious optimism is the mood of top local executives, according to the Orange County Business Expectations Index done by California State University Fullerton with the Business Journal.

Spitzer Subpoenas Drug Sellers

New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer has subpoenaed drug wholesalers Cardinal Health Inc. and AmerisourceBergen Corp., and other unidentified parties, as part of a broad probe into a segment of the industry.

Angels Payroll: Fifth Highest

The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim have baseball's fifth-highest payroll for the 2005 season at $95 million.

Suitors Make Bid for Adelphia

Media group Time Warner Inc. and top U.S. cable TV operator Comcast Corp. are set to pay $18 billion for bankrupt cable operator Adelphia Communications Corp., Reuters reported Friday.

Dollar Down After Fed Speech

The dollar continued lower in late afternoon trade Friday, after a third speech this week by Federal Reserve chief Alan Greenspan failed to give market players the clues they had hoped for about the direction of U.S. interest rate policy.

Oil Down for Fifth Straight Day

Oil prices slithered further from record peaks on Friday, extending a week-long stretch of losses fueled by rising crude stockpiles in the United States and a strengthening dollar.

Thursday, April 7

Jobless Claims Fall as Expected

The number of Americans making new claims for jobless aid dropped 19,000 last week, the government said on Thursday, largely erasing an unexpected spike the previous week.

Morgan Stanley Row Bruising Firm

Whether Chief Executive Philip Purcell or dissident shareholders win the battle to control Morgan Stanley, analysts say a protracted battle will bruise the elite investment banking firm, according to Reuters.

Gov. Delays Pension Overhaul

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger backed off from one of his top priorities on Thursday, saying he would not push for a statewide vote this year on partial privatization of the state's massive public pension funds.

Mortgages Take One-Week Dip

Mortgage rates fell in the week ending Thursday with the benchmark 30-year loan dropping below 6%, Freddie Mac said in its weekly survey.

Retailers' Sales Surge; Wal-Mart Warns

The early Easter holiday drove U.S. shoppers to malls and shopping centers last month, helping retailers report strong March same-store sales, but a profit warning from Wal-Mart foreshadowed more difficult times ahead.

Snow: Lenders Threat to Economy

U.S. Treasury Secretary John Snow on Thursday told Congress the investment activities of mortgage finance giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac could threaten the economy if unchecked.

Newport Corp. Selling Robotic Unit

Irvine-based Newport Corp. said it plans to sell its robotic systems operations, the largest part of its advanced packaging and automation systems unit in Northern California.

PacSun Misses Sales Estimate

Pacific Sunwear of California Inc.'s new chief executive got a lesson on Wall Street Thursday: Don't miss sales projections.

Wet Seal: Sales Up 36%

Foothill Ranch-based retailer Wet Seal Inc. gave hope for a turnaround Thursday by reporting a 36% jump in March sales from stores open at least a year.

New Century Loan Volume Rises

New Century Financial Corp. said Thursday its mortgage loan volume rose 30% to $4.3 billion in March, versus a year earlier.

Wednesday, April 6

MCI Spurns Qwest Again

Long-distance telephone company MCI Inc. rejected a $9.1 billion takeover offer from Qwest Communications International Inc. Wednesday, leaving the spurned suitor to gauge shareholder reaction as it weighs its next move in the two-month takeover battle.

Ingram's Foster Retiring as CEO

Kent Foster, a tall Texan with a bent for military discipline, is passing the reins at Orange County's largest company.

Greenspan Urges Mortgage Curbs

Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan on Wednesday urged Congress to curb the rapid growth of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, saying this was vital to cut the risks the mortgage finance giants pose to the U.S. financial system.

SEC Adopts New Stock Trade Rules

The Securities and Exchange Commission voted Wednesday to require stock traders to accept the best bid or offer available for a stock trade, regardless of which exchange or market posts them.

World Bank Warns U.S. to Cut Deficits

Accumulation of dollar reserves by some Asian countries could spark a systemic foreign exchange crisis, the chief economist of the World Bank said in an interview to be published on Thursday.

Regulators Ask Munich Re About AIG

U.S. investigators examining improper accounting at American International Group Inc. on Wednesday questioned executives from Germany's Munich Re, one of about a dozen reinsurance companies recently drawn into the probe, sources said.

Tower Passes; Now the Hard Part

Santa Ana voters signed off on Michael Harrah's plans for a massive office tower between downtown and the Civic Center on Tuesday. Now comes the hard part.

Interchange Loses Operations Chief

Laguna Hills-based Interchange Corp. said Wednesday that its president and chief operating officer, Michael Sawtell, has left the company.

ECC Capital Loans Up 43%

Irvine-based ECC Capital Corp. said Wednesday that it did $2.3 billion in mortgage loans in the first quarter. That's up 43% from a year earlier, but down 12% from the third quarter.

Tuesday, April 5

Markets May Cool Oil Frenzy

Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said on Tuesday market forces could lead to a big enough increase in crude oil inventories to cool the recent "frenzy" that has sent prices to record highs.

Standard Pacific Sees Orders Fall

Standard Pacific Corp. took 2% less orders for new homes in the first quarter, the homebuilder said Tuesday. Cooler demand in Southern California, less communities open for sale in some markets and a decision by the company to slow sales in Florida accoun

Ford to Cut 1,000 White-Collar Jobs

Ford Motor Co. told employees this week that it will offer buyout packages to white-collar employees, with the aim of cutting an estimated 1,000 jobs, the Detroit News reported on Tuesday.

Moody's Cuts GM Rating

Moody's Investors Service on Tuesday cut General Motors Corp.'s debt rating to a step above junk status, citing the world's largest automaker's profit warning last month, and cautioned that it may downgrade rival Ford Motor Co.

Pfizer Sees Weak 2005 Results

Pfizer Inc., the world's biggest drugmaker, on Tuesday forecast 2005 earnings at the low end of Wall Street expectations and targeted $4 billion in cost savings through 2008 as it struggles with generic competition and waning demand for its arthritis drug

Tower's Fate Lies With Voters

Santa Ana's showdown over what would be the county's tallest building comes to a head on Tuesday. But the real question is whether voters will come to the polls.

Factory Orders Up 2.9% in May

New orders at U.S. factories rose 2.9% in May, exactly in line with analyst expectations, on an aircraft-led jump in durable goods, a government report showed on Tuesday.

Medicare Forecast Boosts PacifiCare

Cypress-based health plan provider PacifiCare Health Systems Inc. raised its 2006 revenue expectations on Tuesday after upping its estimate for Medicare reimbursement from the federal government.

Quiksilver Buying Australian Chain

Huntington Beach-based surfwear maker Quiksilver Inc. on Tuesday said it plans to buy Australian retail chain Surfection.

Qwest: MCI Deadline Extended

Shortly after U.S. markets closed Tuesday, Qwest extended its prior deadline by 12 hours. The company had originally sought an answer by midnight.

C & D; Aerospace Being Bought for $600M

French aerospace company Zodiac SA has agreed to buy Huntington Beach-based C & D; Aerospace Group for $600 million.

Monday, April 4

South Coast Plaza Tapped for Wedding March Expo

Brides are big business at South Coast Plaza, in the Marketplace column

Hitachi Claims Leap in Drive Density

Hitachi Global Storage will come out with hard drives containing 230 gigabits of data per square inch, the company is expected to announce Monday, and that means 20 gigabyte iPod Minis.

Colleges Face Familiar Issue: Getting Paid for Health Service

Colleges are requiring students to carry healthcare insurance

Tal & #233;o's Debut: Not Just Another Mexican-Style Grill

Tal & #233;o Mexican Grill isn't a typical Mexican-food eatery, in the Executive Dining column,

New Deal Aims to End Blackouts

Gov. Schwarzenegger and the governors of Nevada, Utah and Wyoming on Monday announced an agreement to build a new multi-billion dollar electric transmission line to relieve bottlenecks in the current Western U.S. power grid.

EXECUTIVE BRIEFCASE

REVIEW - "Guero," CD by Beck Hansen, Interscope Records

Conexant Sells HQ

Conexant Systems Inc. sold its Newport Beach headquarters, two glass office towers on MacArthur Boulevard, to Newport Beach-based KBS Realty Advisors LLC last month. The towers are 10 stories each and total 370,000 square feet.

Visitor Guide Playing Off Lure of 'The O.C'

An OC visitor guide is benefiting from "The O.C.," in the Media & Marketing column

Activity Was Steady, Though Top Deal Volume Spiked

The number of mergers and acquisitions in the past year held steady, with the size of top deals spiking.

Tech Companies Bracing for Options Expensing

Tech companies are bracing for a rule that requires them to account for stock options on their income statements

Real Estate Watch: Research and Development

Research and Development Shows Signs of Improvement

Botox Challenger Being Bought in $2.8B Cosmetic Deal

A rival to Allergan's Botox treatment is being bought in a big cosmetic surgery deal, in the Healthcare column

New Ventura Foods Chief Aims to Double Size

Ventura Foods has ambitious growth plans under its new chief executive

Verizon Threatens Pull Out of MCI

Verizon Communications Inc. on Monday said it would pull out of its $7.6 billion deal to buy MCI Inc. if MCI's board deemed a rival $9.07 billion bid by Qwest Communications International Inc. "superior."

Kia Motors Plans $70M 'Standout' HQ in Irvine

Kia Motors America is investing $70 million in a new Irvine headquarters

Fortune 500: Six OC Companies

Six Orange County companies made Fortune magazine's 2005 ranking of the 500 largest publicly traded U.S. companies released on Monday.

REAL ESTATE DEALS

This week's postings of Real Estate sales and leases

Kia: New HQ Planned for Irvine

Irvine-based Kia Motors America Inc. plans to spend $70 million to build a landmark headquarters for 500 local workers plus room to grow.

LETTERS

Letters to the Editors: State Politics; London Trip; Auctions

Real Estate Owner's Estate Fights IRS Demand for More Taxes

The estate of a local real estate owner is fighting the IRS over a tax bill

EMC Upgrades Acquired Software; Challenge to FileNet

FileNet could have a new rival with the rollout of EMC software, in the Technology column

MARKET WATCH

Week's Best, Worst Performers; Roth OC50, Billion Dollar Club, OC Tech; Index Watch, 52-week Performance

CALENDAR

Calendar of OC Business events and announcements - FREE Download

Paul Frank Eyes Retail, Fashion Expansion Bid

Paul Frank Industries is at a pivotal point after a huge growth run

Office Boom: Crescent Plans 12-Story High-Rise

Crescent's plan for a 12-story office tower is the latest in high-rise construction brewing near John Wayne Airport

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

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

ChevronTexaco in $16B Unocal Deal

ChevronTexaco Corp. on Monday said it agreed to acquire Unocal Corp. for about $16.4 billion, bulking up its oil and natural gas reserves in the Asia Pacific region at a time when energy prices hit record levels.

Spitzer Sees Civil Resolution with AIG

New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer said on Monday he expects to reach a "civil resolution" with American International Group Inc., calming fears that his investigation could lead to criminal charges against the insurance company.

FROM STARTUP TO SELLOUT

A look at McAfee's buy of Foundstone

PEOPLE

Orange County Businesspeople in the news, on the move

Microsemi to Close Two Plants

Irvine-based Microsemi Corp. is into phase three of its consolidation plan. The chipmaker, which already has cut some 1,200 workers in its first two cost-cutting phases, said Monday that it plans to shutter plants in Colorado and Ireland as part of its fo

Cicerone Opens, Policano Closes Big Merage Deal

Cicerone Opens, Policano Closes Big Merage Deal

Dollar Near High

The dollar sat just below a five-and-a-half month high against the yen on Monday as the market shrugged off a surprisingly weak U.S. jobs report and focused on data suggesting inflation could rise.

Flush With Cash, Private Equity Firms Boost M & A; Deals

Freedom's Orange County Register: private equity firms bought big stake in media company

Conexant Sells HQ for $110M to KBS

Conexant Systems has sold and leased back its Newport Beach office towers

Friday, April 1

Hyundai, Kia Post March Sales Gains

Orange County's South Korean automakers, Fountain Valley-based Hyundai Motor America Inc. and Irvine-based Kia Motors America Inc., notched another month of higher sales in March.

ECC Capital: Q4 Up

The parent of Irvine-based subprime mortgage lender Encore Credit Corp. has come out with its first quarterly results since going public in February.

Fed Eyes Subprime Loans

When Jeweline Simmons needed a home-improvement loan in 1999, she went to Shelter Mortgage in East St. Louis, Ill., thinking the broker would get her the lowest interest rate possible.

Best Buy View Misses Some Estimates

Best Buy Co., the top U.S. electronics retailer, on Friday forecast current year profit below many analysts estimates as it speeds up a costly overhaul of its stores, sending its shares down 6%

Consumer Sentiment Eases in March

U.S. consumers were not as upbeat in March as weakness in the stock market dragged on their views of both present and future economic conditions, a report said on Friday.

MCI to Reopen Merger Talks

MCI Inc. said on Friday it would reopen merger talks with Qwest Communications International Inc., which has raised its bid for the long-distance telephone company to $9 billion.

Retailer Software Maker Bought

Israel's Retalix Ltd. is buying Irvine-based TCI Solutions Inc., a maker of software and systems for grocery chains, for $34 million in cash and stock.

Closure of Brea Hospital Put Off

Embattled Brea Community Hospital lives another day. U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge John Ryan put a hearing to close the troubled hospital into recess Friday afternoon.

March Jobs: Weakest in Eight Months

U.S. employers created only 110,000 new jobs in March, the smallest gain in eight months, as manufacturers and retailers shed workers, the Labor Department said on Friday.

Mitsubishi: March Better Than February

Struggling Mitsubishi Motors North America Inc. posted a gain in March auto sales versus a dismal February. But the March figure is almost half of the automaker's sales figure of a year earlier.

New Boss, Big Plans at Ventura Foods

Richard Mazer took over Friday as chief executive of Brea-based Ventura Foods LLC with a goal of making one of Orange County's biggest private companies bigger.