Stories for July 2005

Friday, July 29

Standard Pacific Shares Take Breather

Shares of Irvine-based homebuilder Standard Pacific Corp. took a breather Friday, dipping 2% the day after its solid second-quarter earnings release.

Refining Costs Hit Chevron

No. 2 U.S. oil company Chevron Corp. posted a 10% decline in quarterly profit on Friday as a hit from refinery outages and an absence of one-time gains outweighed a boost from soaring oil and gas prices.

Sunstone Sued Over Sutton Name

The Canadian owner of the Sutton Place Hotel name has filed suit against San Clemente-based Sunstone Hotel Investors Inc. over one of its hotels.

Printronix Feels Order Slowdown

Irvine's Printronix Inc., a maker of industrial printers, said a slowdown in orders led to a decline in revenue for its most recent quarter, the company said Friday.

Solid Q2 Growth for U.S. Economy

The U.S. economy grew solidly at a 3.4% annual rate in the second quarter, the government reported on Friday, just slightly below the first quarter's pace and with room to grow as stocks of unsold goods fell for the first time in two years.

Murdoch Heir-Apparent Quits

Lachlan Murdoch, considered a frontrunner to succeed his 74-year-old father Rupert as chairman and chief executive of News Corp., on Friday resigned as an executive at the media conglomerate.

Thursday, July 28

Central American Trade Pact Passes

The U.S. House of Representatives narrowly approved a free-trade agreement with Central America on Thursday, handing President Bush a hard-fought victory in difficult times for efforts to expand global trade.

Ceradyne Beats Q2 Forecast

Shares of Costa Mesa-based Ceradyne Inc. rose nearly 13% Thursday after the maker of body armor reported record results during the second quarter that beat Wall Street estimates.

IntraLase Swings to Q2 Profit

Shares of Irvine-based eye device maker IntraLase Corp. were down after the company's profit in the second quarter fell a bit short of expectations.

DaimlerChrysler CEO Leaving

DaimlerChrysler's embattled Chief Executive Juergen Schrempp will leave at the end of the year, the carmaker said in a shock announcement on Thursday that eclipsed good earnings and sent its shares soaring.

Ingram Profit, Sales Rise in Q2

Santa Ana-based Ingram Micro Inc., a distributor of technology products, posted double-digit gains in sales and profits for the second quarter, the company said Thursday.

PacifiCare Beats Earnings Forecast

PacifiCare Health Systems Inc. said Thursday that more members in its plans and fewer medical costs helped revenue and profit in the second quarter.

Aetna Profit Up on Membership Gains

Aetna Inc., the No. 3 U.S. health insurer, on Thursday reported a 43% increase in second-quarter profit on higher premiums and a boost in health insurance clients.

Senate Panel OKs Cox

The nomination of Rep. Christopher Cox to be U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission chairman was approved by a Senate committee on Thursday and will go to the full Senate for final consideration.

Jobless Claims Less Than Expected

The number of Americans filing new claims for jobless benefits rose 5,000 last week, slightly less than expected, the government said on Thursday in a report suggesting continued improvement in the job market.

Wednesday, July 27

First American Posts Record Results

The refinancing boom may be fading, but Santa Ana title insurer First American Corp. reported record profits and revenue on strong sales of homes and commercial buildings.

WellPoint Gains on Anthem Deal

No. 1 health insurer WellPoint Inc. on Wednesday said quarterly earnings more than doubled on higher premiums for its medical coverage plans and a boost in membership resulting from an merger.

Conexant Reports Mixed Earnings

Shares of Newport Beach-based Conexant Systems Inc. rose after the company reported some sales and profit improvement in the quarter ended July 1, the chipmaker said Wednesday.

Allergan Profit Up, Bumps Outlook

Irvine's Allergan Inc. on Wednesday reported second-quarter earnings that beat expectations after charges and raised its profit forecast for the year.

Epicor CEO Staying Through '07

Epicor Software Corp. said the company's Chairman and Chief Executive George Klaus plans to remain with the company through 2007.

GMAC to Top '05 Profit Targets

General Motors Acceptance Corp., one day after announcing a $55 billion, multiyear auto loan sale to Bank of America, said Wednesday it's on track to surpass its prior profit target of $2.5 billion for this year.

Boeing Beat Estimates; Forecast Raised

Boeing Co. on Wednesday reported better-than-expected second-quarter profit and raised its outlook for earnings and plane deliveries on healthy global demand for its jetliners.

Mortgage Applications Down on Refis

Applications for home mortgages decreased last week, pulled lower by a sharp decline in refinancing activity, despite steady long-term interest rates, an industry group said on Wednesday.

Business Investment, Home Sales Strong

The U.S. economy is on a path of steady growth, data showed on Wednesday, with business investment strong and the housing market showing few signs of slowing.

Citigroup's Weill to Remain Chairman

Sanford "Sandy" Weill on Wednesday said he will stay on as chairman of Citigroup Inc. until next April, ending speculation that he would leave early and start a private equity fund.

Tuesday, July 26

Quiksilver Calls Rossignol Done Deal

Quiksilver Inc. is calling its buy of France's Skis Rossignol SA complete. The task for the Huntington Beach-based surfwear maker now is integrating the snow gear maker and stemming losses.

Lockheed Up On Electronics, Services

Lockheed Martin Corp., the No. 1 U.S. defense contractor, on Tuesday reported higher second-quarter profit, helped by strong sales of electronic missile systems and information technology services.

Mindspeed Shares Up Following Earnings

Shares of Newport Beach-based Mindspeed Technologies Inc. jumped 36.3% Tuesday after the company reported a narrower loss in its quarter ended June 30.

Consumer Confidence Eases in July

U.S. consumer confidence eased in July as gasoline prices surged and concern over job prospects increased, although economists noted confidence remains relatively strong.

Ventura Foods Buying Dean Units

Brea-based Ventura Foods LLC said it plans to buy two businesses from Dallas-based Dean Foods Co.

Cox Backs Implementing Options Rule

A controversial new accounting rule requiring companies to treat stock options as a business expense got strong support on Tuesday from Rep. Christopher Cox, the White House choice to become chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Countrywide Profit Falls

Countrywide Financial Corp., the largest U.S. mortgage lender, on Tuesday said quarterly earnings fell 28% after it sold fewer loans to investors and mortgage banking profit fell by nearly half.

Lawmakers Delay CNOOC Unocal Bid

A Senate-House conference committee finalizing a broad energy bill voted late on Monday to a 141-day delay in a Bush administration review of Chinese government-run CNOOC Ltd.'s bid for Unocal Corp.

L-3 Profit Rises on Sales

Defense contractor L-3 Communications Holdings Inc. on Tuesday said quarterly profit rose 36% on growing military demand for its secure communications equipment.

Monday, July 25

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

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

Wal-Mart Ratchets Up China Battle

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. hopes to post double-digit sales growth in China this year and to double outlets by the end of 2006 as it aims to narrow a gap with Carrefour and others that dominate the $240 billion market.

Drug Makers Ante Up for Ballot Showdown

Drug makers are anteing up to kill a prescription discount proposition

Gray Duo Leaving St. John Knits

The Grays are taking another step back from St. John Knits International Inc., the high-end clothing company the family founded four decades ago.

SURVEY SAYS

CEOs ECONOMIC FORECAST

GeoLogistics Sells for $454 million

GeoLogistics Sells for $454 million; Troubled Gardenburger Testing Water for a Sale

Citigroup Profit Misses Views

Citigroup Inc. on Monday reported second-quarter profit that missed analyst forecasts, as fixed-income trading revenue plunged and higher U.S. bankruptcies hurt credit cards.

Roy's Latest Cookbook: Fifi's New Kitchen Companion

Roy's new cookbook is Fifi's latest kitchen guide, in the Executive Dining column

TherOx Nabs $30M in Funding for Trial, FDA Approval Bid

Privately held TherOx nabbed $30 million in funding

Business Is Booming for Forensic Accountants

Business Is Booming for Forensic Accountants

CALENDAR

Calendar of OC Business events and announcements - FREE Download

Sarbanes-Oxley Legislation Spurred Accounting Firm Employee Gains

ABOUT THE LIST - Sarbanes-Oxley Legislation Spurred Accounting Firm Employee Gains

EXECUTIVE BRIEFCASE

Hitting the links at Oak Creek Golf Club, an Executive Briefcase

MARKET WATCH

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

Maytag Weighs New Whirlpool Deal

Appliance maker Maytag Corp. said rival Whirlpool's raised offer of $18 a share "may reasonably be expected" to lead to a better deal than its $14 a share bid from a private equity group.

Discounts Boost Automakers' Sales

U.S. sales of new cars and trucks from Detroit's traditional Big Three automakers surged in July as bargain-basement prices and popular employee pricing discounts lured customers into showrooms, analysts said.

Snowboard Boot, Binding Maker Moves South

A maker of snowboard boots and bindings has moved to San Clemente from San Francisco

Companies Highlight Strategies to Business Growth; Avoiding Reports

Companies Highlight Strategies to Business Growth; Avoiding Reports

Wet Seal Taking $15.3M Charge

Teen retailer Wet Seal Inc. said Monday it plans to take a $15.3 million charge in the second quarter for turnaround consultant Barry Gold's compensation.

Patience Yields Prime South Coast Spot for Valentino

Patience paid off for Valentino in bagging a prime South Coast Plaza space, in the Marketplace column

REAL ESTATE DEALS

This week's postings of Real Estate sales and leases

Rockwell Collins Back After 2002 Relocation

Rockwell Collins is moving hundreds of workers back to OC after a shift to Pomona a few years ago

ICU: Q2 Earnings Beat Views

ICU Medical Inc.'s shares soared 13% in afterhours trading Monday to $36 on news that the company's second quarter earnings beat Wall Street expectations.

POINTS OF LIGHT

People and businesses in Orange County doing extraordinary deeds

Teva Buying Ivax for $7.4B

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., which bought Irvine's Sicor Inc. in early 2004, has agreed to buy rival Ivax Corp. for $7.4 billion in a deal that vaults the Israeli company back as the biggest maker of generic drugs.

PEOPLE

Orange County Businesspeople in the news, on the move

Northgate Gonzalez: Big Anaheim Lease

The county's largest Hispanic market has leased an Anaheim facility to consolidate its distribution operations

TherOx Raises $30M in Funding

TherOx Inc., an Irvine-based medical device maker, has raised $30 million in financing.

Mind the GAAP: Private Companies Want Accounting Fixes

Private companies are calling for their own accounting playbook

Iranians Thrive in Business, Embrace Philanthropy, Politics

Iranians are thriving in business as they embrace philanthropy and eye politics

Bayview Sells For Tad Less Than Thought, Still a Record

100 Bayview sold for a little less than previously thought, in the Real Estate column

Charities Brace for Fallout from Fluor Move, PacifiCare Sale

Fluor's departure from OC will affect the nonprofit fund-raising landscape

BearingPoint Tops Management Consulting List, Which Saw a Solid Gain in Workers

ABOUT THE LIST - BearingPoint Tops Management Consulting List, Which Saw a Solid Gain in Workers

Critics Say Sarbanes-Oxley Reform Has Gone Too Far; Cox Effect Could Be Subtle

Critics Say Sarbanes-Oxley Reform Has Gone Too Far; Cox Effect Could Be Subtle

OC Home Prices Dip Slightly

It looks like Orange County home prices hit a bump,albeit a tiny one.

Valeant Targeting Japan With Drug

Valeant Pharmaceuticals International said Monday that it plans to pursue approval of its Viramidine drug for hepatitis C in Japan.

Software Maker Raises $6M

Irvine-based RiverOne Inc., a maker of supply chain management software, raised $6 million in venture funds, the company said Monday.

I-Flow Feels Pain of Downgrade Over Sales Concerns

I-Flow is feeling the pain of a downgrade on sales concerns, in the Healthcare column

William Lyon Ends Bid to Buy Shares

The controlling shareholder of Newport Beach-based William Lyon Homes on Monday said he was ending his efforts at this time to take the homebuilder private.

Two Unions Break From AFL-CIO

Two major unions representing 3.2 million workers broke away from the AFL-CIO labor group on Monday in a dispute over declining U.S. union membership and the future direction of organized labor.

Rating Agencies Watching Pension Fallout

Bond rating agencies are looking closely at OC's pension woes

Regulators Figure Big in PacifiCare, UnitedHealth Deal

UnitedHealth faces regulatory scrutiny over its planned buy of PacifiCare

Investor Steel Partners May Seek Changes at Cherokee

There could be changes in store for struggling Cherokee International, in the Technology column

Gateway Gains Market Share; Now for Profits

Gateway is showing some improvement in its strategy to boost sales at retailers

LETTERS

Letters to the Editors: In defense of KOCE-TV; Fed Up

Pringle No-Shows At Big A; Kranser Endorses High-Rises

Pringle No-Shows At Big A; Kranser Endorses High-Rises

EE AS

Rick Reiff comments on Gov. Arnold's second job

IBM Q2 Operating Income Rises

IBM, the world's largest computer company, on Monday posted a rise in operating income, excluding the effects of a job cut plan, the sale of its PC business and a legal settlement with Microsoft Corp.

Real Estate Watch: Inland Empire

Inland Empire lease rates eased in the second quarter. PLUS: CHART - Net Absorption; Vacancy Rates; Average Asking Lease Rates

Existing Home Sales Hit Record High

Sales of previously owned U.S. houses hit a record pace in June, climbing 2.7% as home prices soared 14.7% from a year ago, the biggest jump in nearly 25 years, the National Association Realtors said on Monday.

Friday, July 22

Beckman Disappoints, Cutting Jobs

Shares of Beckman Coulter Inc. fell about 15% early Friday after the maker of medical testing and research gear reported disappointing results.

Higher Profit for United PanAm

Newport Beach-based auto financier United PanAm Financial Corp.'s second-quarter profit rose by 6% on a 30% jump in auto loans bought in the first half of the year, the company said Friday.

Oil Rallies, Mood Nervous After Blasts

Oil prices bounced on Friday after a two-week slide, though dealers remained nervous after Thursday's explosions in London.

Kia Plans $17M Design Center

Irvine-based Kia Motors America Inc. is adding a $17 million design center to a headquarters complex the automaker is building in Irvine.

Quiksilver Has Nearly All of Rossignol

Huntington Beach-based Quiksilver Inc. said Friday it has acquired nearly all of the remaining shares in France's Skis Rossignol SA.

Techs Dip on Microsoft, Google

Technology stocks fell on Friday after Microsoft Corp. and Google Inc. gave quarterly revenue outlooks that fell short of Wall Street expectations.

Google Profit Up on Advertising Growth

Web search leader Google Inc. on Thursday said its profit jumped was fueled by growth in online search advertising.

Starwood Buys Champagne to Get Hotels

Firm Starwood Capital is buying majority stakes in the French companies behind Taittinger champagne and the palatial Paris hotel Le Crillon in a deal valued at around $3 billion.

OC Continues Worker Gain

Orange County added workers for a fifth month in a row, according to a report from the state Employment Development Department on Friday.

Bush Nominates Dems to SEC Board

President Bush has decided to nominate Roel Campos and Annette Nazareth as members of the Securities and Exchange Commission, the White House said on Friday, agreeing to a request from Democrats.

Linksys Growing on Cisco Buy

Linksys parent Cisco Systems Inc. said Friday it plans to buy Denmark's Kiss Technology in a stock and cash deal valued at $61 million. Cisco said it plans to fold Kiss into Linksys.

Microsoft's Latest: 'Windows Vista'

Microsoft Corp. said on Friday it named the next version of its operating system "Windows Vista" as it prepares to release a trial version of the flagship software that already runs on nine out of 10 personal computers worldwide.

Thursday, July 21

Edwards Q2 Rises on Strong Valve Sales

Irvine-based Edwards Lifesciences Corp. posted better-than-expected results Thursday as sales of its heart valve devices were strong.

Merck Profit Falls, Hurt by Vioxx

Merck & Co. on Thursday reported a drop in second-quarter profit, hurt by a tax charge and the withdrawal last year of its Vioxx arthritis drug.

Microsoft Reports Higher Q4 Profit

Microsoft Corp.'s fourth-quarter profit rose on strong demand for laptops, personal computers and servers, the world's largest software maker said on Thursday.

Tourism on a Tear

2005 is shaping up to be a strong year for tourism.

China Scraps Yuan Peg, Ties to Basket

China scrapped the yuan's peg to the dollar on Thursday and tied it to a basket of currencies, the central bank said, the first steps in highly anticipated reforms aimed at letting the currency float freely.

Micro Therapeutics Soars on FDA OK

Shares of Micro Therapeutics Inc., an Irvine medical device maker, shot up 43% to $6 in after-hours trading after the Food and Drug Administration approved its application to commercialize its Onyx system for treating disorders of the brain's blood vessel

Broadcom Jumps on Q2 Results

Shares of Broadcom Corp. soared in after-hours trading Thursday after the company posted second-quarter earnings results that beat Wall Street expectations.

Medicare Cuts Hit Apria Again

Cuts in Medicare payments took their toll on Lake Forest-based Apria Healthcare Group Inc.'s second-quarter earnings.

Oil Lower After New London Explosions

Oil prices eased on Thursday after explosions were reported on London's public transport system.

Westec InterActive Raises $20M

Irvine-based Westec InterActive, which offers video and other monitoring services to businesses, has raised $20 million in funding.

Carona, Rackauckas Address Initiatives

Orange County Sheriff Michael Carona and District Attorney Tony Rackauckas could be getting embroiled in another political controversy,this one involving the paycheck protection initiative and the Orange County Fire Authority's county ballot measure.

Wednesday, July 20

Epicor Soars on Earnings Jump

Shares of Irvine-based Epicor Software Corp. jumped 20% Tuesday after the company reported second-quarter results that beat expectations and raised its 2005 forecast.

QLogic Q1 Sales, Profits Increase

Aliso Viejo-based QLogic Corp. posted double-digit increases in sales and profits for the company's quarter ended June 30, the company said Wednesday after the close of trading.

Unocal Backs $17B Chevron Bid

Unocal Corp. endorsed a sweetened $17 billion takeover offer from Chevron Corp., preferring it to a higher yet potentially problematic bid from China's state-run CNOOC Ltd.

Bush Likes Prospects for Roberts

President Bush held a breakfast meeting with his Supreme Court nominee, John Roberts, on Wednesday and said he thought the confirmation process was off to a good start.

Buys Boost Advanced Medical's Sales

Santa Ana-based Advanced Medical Optics Inc., a maker of eye surgery products and contact lens cleaners, posted higher second-quarter sales as acquisition and research costs hit operating and net income.

Commercial Capital Forms Business Unit

Irvine-based Commercial Capital Bancorp Inc. formed a unit focused on banking services for businesses on Wednesday.

AT & T; Profit Nearly Triples on Cost Cuts

AT & T; Corp., which has agreed to be acquired by SBC Communications for $16 billion, said on Wednesday its second-quarter earnings nearly tripled due to cost cutting.

Oakley Q2 Profit Up on New Styles

Oakley Inc., a maker of sunglasses, on Wednesday posted a higher quarterly profit, helped by strong sales of new styles such as its Crosshair, Whisker and Gascan sunglasses and Thump line.

Qualcomm Profit, Revenue Up

Wireless technology company Qualcomm Inc. said on Wednesday its fiscal third quarter profit and revenue rose on improving demand for chips for high-speed wireless telephones.

Mortgage Applications Up

Applications for home mortgages edged higher last week, with a rise in refinancing activity offsetting a modest decline in home purchasing as interest rates increased, an industry group said on Wednesday.

First American Settles Charges

Santa Ana's First American Corp. was among three title insurers that settled charges over alleged kickbacks to homebuilders in exchange for business, California Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi said Wednesday.

Tuesday, July 19

Housing Starts Flat

Housing starts were flat in June as a drop in groundbreaking on single-family homes was offset by higher multifamily housing construction, a Commerce Department report showed on Tuesday.

HP to Slash Workforce by 10%

Hewlett-Packard Co.said on Tuesday it will slash its workforce by 14,500 jobs, or about 10%, in a sweeping move by new Chief Executive Mark Hurd to cut costs and compete in cutthroat computer and printer markets.

Broadcom Buying Siliquent for $76M

Irvine-based chipmaker Broadcom Corp. said Tuesday it plans to buy Siliquent Technologies Inc. for $76 million in cash.

J & J; Profit Up, Devices Outshine Drugs

Johnson & Johnsonon Tuesday said quarterly profit rose 9% as surging demand for medical devices and consumer products upstaged prescription medicines facing competition from cheaper generics.

HP Cutting Jobs

Hewlett-Packard Co. on Tuesday said it will slash 14,500 jobs, or about 10 percent of its work force, in a sweeping move by new Chief Executive Mark Hurd to cut costs by $1.9 billion a year and compete better in cutthroat computer and printer markets.

Intel Profit Up, Shares Sag

Intel Corp., the world's largest maker of computer chips, on Tuesday posted a higher net profit helped by notebook computer demand, but shares dipped more than 3% on what one analyst said could be profit-taking.

Downey Sees Big Profits

Second-quarter profit more than doubled at Newport Beach-based Downey Financial Corp., thanks to mortgages.

Manufacturing Index Stays Positive

California's manufacturing sector continued to grow in the second quarter, according to a survey of purchasing managers released Tuesday by Chapman University's A. Gary Anderson Center for Economic Research.

FileNet Posts Big Jump in Sales, Profits

Profits at Costa Mesa-based FileNet Corp. nearly quadrupled in the second quarter, thanks to an 11% jump in revenue, the company said Tuesday.

Yahoo Profit Rises, Revenue Disappoints

Yahoo Inc. posted higher quarterly profits on Tuesday, boosted by investment gains and demand for online advertising, but revenue fell short of analysts' average target, pushing the company's shares down almost 9%.

Valeant Reports Positive Test Results

Valeant Pharmaceuticals International of Costa Mesa said Tuesday a drug to treat hepatitis B showed positive results in the second-phase trials.

Monday, July 18

PEOPLE

Orange County Businesspeople in the news, on the move

OC Median Hits Record

The pace of home price appreciation may have slowed in OC but it's still breaking records.

Defense, Aerospace Contractors Post More Gains

Defense and aerospace contractors had another solid year

The 2005-2006 California Budget

Three GOP views on the state budget. Excerpted from comments by three conservative state lawmakers.

Scant Building, Falling Vacancy Make for Frothy Rents

Office rents are on fire, in the Real Estate column

Big Hotels Draw from Boutiques; Cookie-Cutter Mold is Out

A report on hotel design trends.

Aerospace Rebound Spurs Alcoa Hiring

The aerospace rebound has Alcoa's Fullerton operations in hiring mode

The New Suburbanism

New Suburbanism has revived Fullerton and other cities it's touched, a Viewpoint by Joel Kotkin

Valeant Looks to End Key Drug Sales Drop

Valeant Pharmaceuticals has high hopes for a new hepatitis C drug that's had mixed results in early testing

Commercial Capital Massages Growth in Deposits

Wall Street's looking to see how fast-growing Commercial Capital will keep up the pace

Deal Sidelines Hospital Suitor

Sovereign Healthcare's bid to save Brea Community Hospital looks dead, in the Healthcare column

Economy, Commercial Real Estate Gain Spurs Surge in Tenant Improvement Work

Tenant improvement contractors benefited from the commercial real estate rebound

99 Ranch Brings Chinese Branches to Irvine Center; EverTrust on Pioneer Trail

Irvine is the center of Chinese American banking in OC, though the scene is starting to branch out

Retail's Odd Couple: Nordstrom, Target

Retail's odd couple,Nordstrom and Target,could be a good fit at the Irvine Spectrum Center, in the Marketplace column

Gardenburger Up for Sale

Irvine-based Gardenburger Inc., a maker of meat-substitute patties and other products, has hired Piper Jaffray & Co. to find a buyer for the struggling company.

REAL ESTATE DEALS

This week's postings of Real Estate sales and leases

Bank of America Profit Up, Beats Views

Bank of America Corp., the No. 2 U.S. bank, on Monday said second-quarter profit rose 12%, helped by growth in credit card fees, retail deposits and commercial lending.

Siemens Shifts OC Operations to New Facility in Cypress

Siemens has consolidated some OC operations in Cypress

Maytag to Weigh Whirlpool Bid

Household appliance maker Maytag Corp., which had agreed to be acquired by a buyout group led by Ripplewood Holdings LLC, said it would weigh an unsolicited takeover offer from Whirlpool Corp.

Great Park Could Get Great Condos; 'Religious Left'

Great Park Could Get Great Condos; 'Religious Left'

Oil Climbs as Emily Shuts Mexico Output

Oil prices leapt more than 1% on Monday after the world's No. 5 oil producer Mexico shut down its biggest oilfields as Hurricane Emily roared toward the southern Gulf of Mexico.

Salt Creek Grille in Dana Point Does Some Tweaking

Salt Creek Grille's new chef has tweaked the menu, in the Executive Dining column

Real Estate Watch: Mid-Counties

Mid-Counties: Activity Levels Off in First Quarter. PLUS: CHART - Net Absorption; Vacancy Rates; Average Asking Lease Rates

XsunX Raises $10.9M

Aliso Viejo-based XsunX Inc. said Monday it raised $10.9 million in venture funds. The company, which is developing a film that lets glass windows produce electricity, said Cornell Capital Partners LP led the round of funding.

CALENDAR

Calendar of OC Business events and announcements - FREE Download

Hawaii: Velcro Valley's Natural Westward Expansion

A columnist sees the power of OC surf brands first-hand in Hawaii, in the Media & Marketing column

Discount Distributor Arbitech Calls Arbitrage Model 'Legit'

A Laguna Beach computer products distributor is undercutting bigger competitors, in the Technology column

MARKET WATCH

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

Friday, July 15

G.I. Trucking Acquired by Estes

Brea-based G.I Trucking has been acquired by Estes Express Lines of Richmond, Va., the companies said Friday.

Producer Prices Steady in June

U.S. producer prices held steady last month despite a big rise in energy costs, as food and vehicle prices plunged, according to a government report on Friday showing an unexpected absence of inflation pressure.

Collectors Universe Buys Coin Site

Collectors Universe Inc. said Friday it wrapped up its buy of parts of CoinFacts.com Inc.

GeoLogistics Selling for $454 million

Santa Ana's GeoLogistics Corp. is setting aside its plans to go public and instead is being sold for $454 million.

Siemens Consolidates in Cypress

German electronics maker Siemens AG has consolidated its local operations by shifting 190 workers to a Cypress office building.

Retailers Sue Visa

A group of supermarket and drugstore chains has sued Visa International and its Visa USA unit, accusing the credit card association of fixing transaction fees and restricting competition in an effort to keep companies from negotiating lower rates.

GE Profit Up on Energy Rebound

General Electric Co. on Friday posted a 24% rise in quarterly profit on a return to profit growth at its energy business and steady growth at its financial units.

Unocal Still Talking With CNOOC

Unocal Corp. is still in talks with a Chinese suitor following a board meeting to discuss rival bids and is not expected to make a decision on the offer immediately, a person close to the situation said.

Thursday, July 14

Disney Set to Detail New Ride

Walt Disney Co. is set to unveil a revamped Space Mountain at Disneyland Park on Friday and detail plans for a new ride, likely based on "Finding Nemo."

Southwest Air Profit Jumps

Southwest Airlines Co., the top U.S. carrier by market value, on Thursday said quarterly earnings rose 41% as fare hikes boosted revenue and hedges eased the impact of record oil prices.

Peregrine's Loss Grows, Sales Rise

Higher research and manufacturing costs offset improved sales for Tustin-based Peregrine Pharmaceuticals Inc. during the 12 months ended April 30.

GOP: Social Security Reform on Hold

Congress is unlikely to take any significant action on President Bush's top domestic agenda item,the overhaul of Social Security,until lawmakers return from the month-long August recess, Republican leaders said Thursday.

NHL Braces for Fallout

Fans have waited more than a year for NHL hockey. The NHL might have to wait that long, or longer, for some of them to return to the game after the lockout.

Retail Sales Up, Prices Steady

U.S. consumer prices held steady in June and retail sales jumped, according to government reports on Thursday that showed the economy on solid ground with little evidence of inflationary pressure.

UnitedHealth Q2 Earnings Up

Minneapolis-based UnitedHealth chalked up 36% growth in net earnings for the second quarter, marked by what it called "strong and accelerating growth across multiple business segments."

Sunstone Wraps Up DC Hotel Buy

San Clemente-based Sunstone Hotel Investors Inc. has wrapped up the last piece of a six-hotel buy designed to expand the company to the East.

Unocal Bidding War Seen

Expectations of a bidding war between Chevron Corp. and a Chinese oil company jockeyeing to scoop up Unocal Corp. grew on Thursday as the U.S. oil producer's board meets to discuss the competing bids.

Y & R; Nabs Hilton Account

Young & Rubicam Brands has picked up a big advertising deal from Hilton Hotels Corp.

Summer Start for Pelican Hill Resort

The Irvine Company plans to begin construction this summer on a 204-room hotel and 128 villas at its Pelican Hill at Newport Coast resort, the company said Thursday.

NetGuru Narrows Loss, Shares Spike

Yorba Linda-based NetGuru Inc. on Thursday said its loss during the past year narrowed despite a decline in revenue.

Wednesday, July 13

Ex-WorldCom CEO Ebbers: 25 Years

Bernard Ebbers, the folksy entrepreneur who built WorldCom Inc. into a telecommunications giant before his fall from grace, was sentenced on Wednesday to 25 years in prison for his role in the business fraud that led to the largest U.S. corporate bankrupt

Superwire Set to Acquire FTTH

Newport Beach-based Superwire Inc. said Wednesday it plans to buy FTTH Communications Inc. of Roseville, Minn., for an undisclosed amount.

Western Digital Settles With Papst

Lake Forest-based Western Digital Corp. said Wednesday that it will make a one-time payment of $24 million to settle a patent-infringement lawsuit with Germany's Papst Licensing GmbH & Co.

Trade Gap unexpectedly Falls 2.7%

The trade deficit narrowed unexpectedly in May to $55.3 billion as exports rose slightly to a record and imports retreated a bit from the record set in April, a government report showed on Wednesday.

Airline Picks Up Cardiac Defibrillators

Irvine-based medical device maker Cardiac Science Inc. said Wednesday that it signed a pact to provide its Powerheart defibrillators to America West Airlines.

Boeing in 3-way Race for Spacecraft

The Boeing Co. is one of three aerospace firms with plants in Southern California that on Tuesday were awarded $28 million contracts to develop engineering systems as part of a competition to see who gets to build the next-generation spaceship.

Gateway Expanding Retail in Japan

Irvine-based Gateway Inc. said Wednesday it will expand its distribution of personal computers through retail outlets in Japan starting this month.

Sprint to Buy Nextel

Shareholders of Nextel Communications Inc. and Sprint on Wednesday approved Sprint's plan to buy Nextel for about $36.9 billion, creating a company with about a quarter of U.S. cellphone customers.

White House Slashes Deficit Forecast

The Bush administration slashed this year's budget deficit forecast by nearly $100 billion and credited its tax cuts for a surprise surge in revenue, but private analysts warned of long-term risks.

CommerceWest Bank Up in Q2

Irvine-based CommerceWest Bank posted record earnings growth in the second quarter, the bank said Wednesday.

Abbott Profit Lifted by Arthritis Drugs

Abbott Laboratories Inc. on Wednesday said second-quarter earnings jumped 38 percent, helped by strong sales of two arthritis treatments and the company's line of diagnostic products.

Tuesday, July 12

P & G;'s Gillette Buy OK'd

Procter & Gamble Co. shareholders on Tuesday overwhelmingly approved its plan to buy Gillette Co. in a $52.6 billion deal that would add razors, Duracell batteries and other products to its lineup.

Pepsi Gains on Overseas Sales

PepsiCo Inc. on Tuesday said its quarterly profit rose a better-than-expected 13% on strong growth in its international business.

Sunstone Completes Sutton Place Buy

San Clemente-based Sunstone Hotel Investors Inc. wrapped up its buy of Sutton Place Hotel in Newport Beach for $72 million, the company said Tuesday.

EU Raids Intel, Others

Chipmaker Intel Corp., computer makers and distributors were raided by European Commission and local authorities on Tuesday.

TD Banknorth to Buy Hudson for $1.9B

TD Banknorth Inc., a New England banking company, on Tuesday said it agreed to buy Hudson United Bancorp Inc. for $1.9 billion in cash and stock to expand in the affluent U.S. Northeast.

Lennar Takes Control of El Toro

Lennar Corp. and its partners took possession of the former El Toro Marine base Tuesday afternoon in a major step toward its redevelopment as homes, offices and a series of parks.

Allergan Strikes Development Pact

Allergan Inc. said Tuesday that it signed a deal with Pharmacopeia Drug Discovery Inc., a Princeton, N.J. company, to research drug compounds to treat age-related loss of vision.

Wet Seal: Big Charge for Consultant

Teen retailer Wet Seal Inc. said Tuesday it plans to pay a consultant helping with its turnaround $2.8 million this year.

Colgate Selling U.S. Laundry Soap Unit

Colgate-Palmolive Co. on Tuesday said it agreed to sell its North American laundry detergent business, including Fab and Dynamo, to focus on more profitable products like toothpaste and toothbrushes, pet food and body wash.

EU Officials Raid Intel, Others

U.S. computer chip maker Intel Corp., computer makers and distributors were raided by European Commission and local authorities on Tuesday as part of an investigation into possible antitrust violations, a spokesman for the European Union executive sai

Ingram Picks Up Electronics Business

Santa Ana-based Ingram Micro Inc. said it plans to buy parts of Avad LLC in a bid to tap the home electronics market.

Monday, July 11

Alcon Sales Growth Sustainable

Standard & Poor's Equity Research raised the price target on Alcon to $131 from $106 and said the ophthalmic medical technology company remains set for continued sales growth on the strength of new products.

KUDOS

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

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Standard & Poor's Equity Research raised the price target on Alcon to $131 from $106 and said the ophthalmic medical technology company remains set for continued sales growth on the strength of new products.

Broadband Burnout: High-Speed Signups Seen Slowing

Predicting how fast broadband subscribers are being signed up used to be easier, in the Technology column

Morgan Stanley Exec Quits, Gets $32M

Morgan Stanley co-President Stephen Crawford has quit with a $32 million golden handshake agreed upon before a leadership shift at the investment bank whose shares have underperformed peers.

REAL ESTATE DEALS

This week's postings of Real Estate sales and leases

Executives Remain Optimistic Though Sentiment Slipping

Business sentiment fell in the latest quarter, though it's still quite healthy in OC

Agilent Unit May Fetch $2.5B

Private equity firms Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. and Silver Lake Partners have emerged as the leading bidders for Agilent Technologies Inc.'s

William Lyon Jumps on Analyst Rating

Gen. William Lyon may have dropped his bid to buy the rest of Newport Beach-based homebuilder William Lyon Homes Inc., but shares of the company showed they're still prone to spikes on Monday.

Early Thoughts, Formulating Plan for Troubled Triangle

Triangle Square has become the Bermuda Triangle of OC shopping malls, in the Marketplace column

ICU Update: At Least 2 Jobs Staying in OC

ICU decided to move its manufacturing operations to Salt Lake City after all

Memo from EE RR to E ML:

Thanks for the "Save KOCE" comments in last week's editors notebook. By Rick Reiff

MARKET WATCH

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

VNU Buying IMS Health for $6.9B

VNU agreed on Monday to buy healthcare data provider IMS Health Inc. for $6.9 billion in cash and shares, expanding into a new, more profitable market after the Dutch media group struggled to meet targets for its core market research unit.

Sprint to Buy US Unwired for $1.3B

Sprint Corp. said on Monday it has agreed to buy wireless affiliate US Unwired Inc. for about $1.3 billion, ending a series of legal disputes between the two companies.

Ev3 Goes Public, Sees Risk, Lure of Irvine Investment

Newly public ev3 has a close link to Irvine's Micro Therapeutics,

More Development Set for Former Boeing Land

There's more development set for a former Boeing site in Huntington Beach

Recovering Kaiser Aluminum Wraps Up Move to OC

Big, bankrupt Kaiser Aluminum has settled in at its new Foothill Ranch home

Fluor Wins Alabama Power Plant Work

Aliso Viejo-based Fluor Corp. has landed a multiyear maintenance pact with the nation's largest power supplier, the company said Monday.

Investor Buys 11% Stake in Cherokee

A New York-based investment fund has taken an 11.3% stake in Tustin-based Cherokee International Corp., saying it believes the electronics company is undervalued.

CALENDAR

Calendar of OC Business events and announcements - FREE Download

Emulex, QLogic Switch Roles; Focus Pays Off for Emulex

Rivals Emulex and QLogic are going in different directions

Qualcomm Sues Broadcom

Qualcomm Inc. fired back at Irvine-based Broadcom Corp. Monday, filing a patent infringement lawsuit against the chipmaker in federal court in San Diego.

Chatter: Mozambique, French 75 Brasserie Opening

A look at what's gone, new and coming in OC dining, in the Executive Dining column

Retail Development at Tustin Base Precedes Deal Close

Retail development at the former Tustin Marine base already was under way when the deal closed, in the Real Estate column

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

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

Del Taco Takes on Taco Bell With Chicago Franchises

Del Taco is taking on Taco Bell with a push into Chicago, in the Media & Marketing column

State Officials Targeting Companies for Unemployment Tax Fraud

State officials are going after companies for unemployment tax fraud,

EXECUTIVE BRIEFCASE

REVIEW: TUTANKHAMUN AND THE GOLDEN AGE OF THE PHARAOHS

Pimco Touts Gains in European Push

Pimco Touts Gains in European Push

Stradling Lawyer Wins for Generics; Appeal Pending

A patent fight led by Stradling, Yocca could add up to a windfall for a generic drug maker, in the Healthcare column

Real Estate Watch: West Orange County

Vacancy Plummets in West County's Cypress. PLUS: CHART - Net Absorption; Vacancy Rates; Average Asking Lease Rates

Emulex Supplying Gear to Sun Micro

Costa Mesa-based Emulex Corp. inked a deal with Palo Alto-based Sun Microsystems Inc. to make host bus adapters for Sun's servers, Emulex said Monday.

Court rules for Toshiba in Lexar Case

Lexar Media shares fell almost 3% Monday after the flash memory developer lost a bid for a court injunction in an ongoing case against Japan's Toshiba.

KOCE Pledge

How to save KOCE-TV and its unifying impact on Orange County, a Viewpoint

Lost in Park Place Tower Hype: Gibson's Move

New Century may have earned a lot of coverage for its big Park Place lease deal, but another company took a big chunk, too

Taxes, Spending Up With Housing Boom

The housing boom is swelling tax revenues, but for many municipal officials it is creating new headaches: higher spending on infrastructure, growing demand for property tax relief and worries about a real estate slowdown.

Corinthian Wins Arbitration Suit

An arbitrator has ruled in favor of Santa Ana-based Corinthian Colleges Inc. in a case that pitted students against the school, the company said Monday.

Basket Case to Billion-Dollar Buy

The $8.1 billion buyout offer from UnitedHealth caps a long, impressive come back for PacifiCare

Laguna Mayor Seeks Help from ABC; Weir's Hot Streak

Laguna Mayor Seeks Help from ABC; Weir's Hot Streak

With Post-Sept. 11 Systems in Place, Companies Fine-Tune Security Effort

A decorated veteran and former FBI agent says that while corporate spending on security issues may be flattening, they aren't growing complacent

Friday, July 8

London Toll at 50; Hunt for Survivors

Desperate Londoners hunted for missing relatives on Friday after suspected al Qaeda bombers killed more than 50 people in rush-hour blasts, while rescue workers struggled to retrieve bodies trapped deep underground.

Law Firm Makes Mark at Park Place

New Century Financial Corp.'s signing of a hefty lease last month at Park Place in Irvine overshadowed another big deal at the same site: Los Angeles-based law firm Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP took 80,000 square feet.

Quiksilver Knocked on Rossignol Buy

Prudential Equity Group said Friday that Huntington Beach-based surfwear maker Quiksilver Inc.'s pending acquisition of France's Skis Rossignol SA is likely to negatively impact its growth rate and operating margin.

Alcoa, Jobs Drives Wall Street

U.S. stocks rose sharply on Friday, with sharply better-than-expected earnings from blue-chip Alcoa Inc. and moderate job-growth data assuring investors the economy remains on solid footing.

Hyundai Motor CEO: Q2 Earnings Up

Hyundai Motor Co., the South Korean parent of Fountain Valley's Hyundai Motor America, said second-quarter earnings will top those in the first three months despite a stronger South Korean currency and high steel prices.

New Century June Loan Volume Down

Irvine-based New Century Financial Corp. originated and bought $4.5 billion in mortgage loans in June, down 8% from a year earlier.

Job growth Tepid, jobless Rate Drops

Employers added 146,000 jobs in June, below Wall Street forecasts, but the unemployment rate fell to its lowest point since September 2001 as few joined the labor force, a government report showed on Friday.

Quality Rises on Upgrade

Shares of Quality Systems Inc., an Irvine medical management software company, were up 9% Friday after an analyst upgraded his rating on the stock.

Google Wins Copycat Suit

The National Arbitration Forum said on Friday that Google Inc. has rights to the Internet domain names googkle.com, ghoogle.com, gfoogle.com and gooigle.com, which are similar to its own google.com domain.

Thursday, July 7

Quiksilver Names Global Execs

Huntington Beach-based Quiksilver Inc. named two executives Thursday to head its business in Europe and the Americas.

Google Invests in Internet Firm

A company that provides high-speed Internet access over electrical power lines on Thursday said it has received a major investment from Google Inc., the Hearst Corp. and Goldman Sachs.

Heat Bakes China, Power Demand Up

Searing tempEratures across booming China have driven up energy demand, exposed an over-reliance on coal and are taking a toll on industry, Xinhua news agency said.

William Lyon Home Orders Up

Newport Beach-based William Lyon Homes Inc. said it recorded a 17% rise in new home orders in California during the past three months.

Retailers post strong June sales

Soppers snapped up summer clothing and air conditioners in June as a heat wave drove better-than-expected sales, retailers said on Thursday, calming concerns that steep energy prices slowed consumer spending.

London Toll Rises to 37

Nearly 40 are dead after Thursday's series of bomb attacks on London's transport network while 700 others were injured.

Sales Up for PacSun, Wet Seal

The county's two teen retailers posted June sales growth that bested what Wall Street was expecting.

OC Affordability Index Holds in May

Orange County's affordability index in May remained at 11%, the California Association of Realtors said Thursday.

Omnicare Buys NeighborCare for $1.55B

Nursing home drug provider Omnicare Inc. on Thursday said it will buy rival NeighborCare Inc. for a sweetened price of $1.55 billion in cash, creating an institutional pharmacy giant.

Wednesday, July 6

Qualcomm Vows Own Legal Action

Irvine-based Broadcom Corp.'s move to take legal action against Qualcomm Inc. in a technology dispute has the San Diego chip designer weighing litigation of its own, the company said Wednesday.

Worker Dies in 80-Foot Fall at Orange County Performing Arts Center Construction Site

One construction worker fell about 80 feet to his death and another dangled from a safety line Wednesday after a scaffolding for an addition to the Orange County Performing Arts Center gave way, authorities said.

PacifiCare Being Sold for $8B

Cypress-based PacifiCare Health Systems Inc. is being bought by rival UnitedHealth Group Inc. in what stands to be the biggest deal in Orange County this year and possibly the largest acquisition yet of a local company.

Hospital Operator Looks to Buy

With an eye to boosting its hospital holdings, Costa Mesa-based Integrated Healthcare Holdings Inc. named James T. Ligon to the new position of executive vice president of mergers and acquisitions, the company said Wednesday.

Chrysler Starts Employee Discount

The Chrysler arm of DaimlerChrysle, following in the footsteps of its Detroit rivals, said on Wednesday that it too will now offer big employee discounts to the general public.

Mortgage Applications Up Last Week

Applications for home mortgages rose for the first time in three weeks despite higher loan rates, an industry group said on Wednesday.

Zions Buying Amegy for $1.7B

Western bank chain Zions Bancorp. said on Wednesday it would buy Amegy Bancorp. for $1.7 billion in cash and stock to expand into the fast-growing Texas market, but the deal was coolly received.

Tuesday, July 5

Smith Micro Buying Allume Systems

Aliso Viejo-based Smith Micro Software Inc. said Tuesday it's buying Watsonville-based Allume Systems Inc. for $12.75 million.

Prescription Demand Drives Walgreen

Walgreen Co. on Tuesday reported a 7.8% rise in June sales from stores open at least a year due to higher prescription demand and increased purchases of general merchandise.

El Pollo Loco Could be for Sale

Irvine-based El Pollo Loco Inc. is said to be on the auction block. New York-based owner American Securities Capital Partners LLC took bids on the Mexican fast-food chain last week, according to TheDeal.com, an investment banking Web site.

May Factory Orders In Line

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.

Morgan Stanley to Pay Mack $25M

John Mack, who returned last week from a four-year exile to become chief executive of Morgan Stanley, will earn a minimum of $25 million a year in total compensation, according to a regulatory filing made late Tuesday.

Fluor Picks Texas HQ Site

Aliso Viejo-based Fluor Corp. said Tuesday that Irving, Texas, will be home to its new headquarters.

Ford Matches GM Discounts

Ford Motor Co., bowing to pressure from General Motors Corp. (GM.N: Quote, Profile, said on Tuesday that it was matching the big consumer incentives program that delivered blockbuster sales for GM last month.

Omnicare Raises Bid for NeighborCare

Nursing home pharmaceutical-provider NeighborCare Inc. on Tuesday said it had opened merger negotiations with Omnicare Inc. after its suitor hiked the takeover offer by 8.6 percent to $1.55 billion.

Monday, July 4

Quiksilver's McKnight: Analysts Don't Surf

Quiksilver's "Buzz" McKnight talked board shorts and how to break down an analyst at a recent forum, in the Media & Marketing column

Kingston Founders Buy Out Chinese Partner

Kingston Technology bought out its partner in a China chip testing and packing operation

After Telemundo, Bron Builds Auto Financier

Guillermo "Bill" Bron has built United PanAm into a formidable auto financier

Real Estate Watch: Research & Development

Research and development first-quarter gains were led by the airport area and South County. PLUS: CHART - Net Absorption; Vacancy Rates; Average Asking Lease Rates

Parent Sends Executive to Right Troubled Pet Insurer

Veterinary Pet Insurance has a new chief executive to clean up its mess, in the Healthcare column

REAL ESTATE DEALS

This week's postings of Real Estate sales and leases

CALENDAR

Calendar of OC Business events and announcements - FREE Download

Anaheim Triangle Plan Displaces, and Enriches

Anaheim's plans for the Platinum Triangle have displaced some companies and enriched others

Mexico's Bimbo Shutters La Mirada Bakery

Mexico's Grupo Bimbo closed a bakery at the county line in La Mirada amid a consolidation of its California production operations

LETTERS

The unions' support of "chief's disease" is outrageous. PLUS: Triple Dipping; Housing; Third Party

Investor Aims to Lure Startups to 'Latino Cluster'

John Garcia aims to lure startups to this "Latino cluster,"

Rutan: 7 New Partners, Marketing Exec Named

Rutan & Tucker named seven new partners and a marketing executive

MARKET WATCH

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

LEGENDARY HAUNTS

Fifi Chao's list of Orange County's legendary restaurants

High Ad Count Seen Ahead of Contentious Nov. Election

TV and other media are expecting an advertising windfall from the November election

Broadcom's Qualcomm Salvo Part of Aggressive Defense

Broadcom hasn't lost the litigious bug entirely, in the Technology column

Spicy Chocolatier Coming to Irvine Spectrum Center

A spicy chocolatier is coming to the Irvine Spectrum, in the Marketplace column

El Pollo Loco Sale May Be in Works

El Pollo Loco's owner reportedly wants to sell the Mexican fast-food chain

PEOPLE

Orange County Businesspeople in the news, on the move

Baugh Jumping In? Love-Hate Judge; Argyros Funds Vets

Baugh Jumping In? Love-Hate Judge; Argyros Funds Vets

Aerospace Group Leans on Suppliers to Boost Efficiency

The Supplier Excellence Alliance is trying to get its lean aerospace manufacturing campaign under way

At 73, Hahn Sets Out on Own With Consulting Business

OC real estate guru Walter Hahn has started a consulting business, in the Real Estate column

Sunday, July 3

Apria Buys Air Liquide Group Unit

Lake Forest-based Apria Healthcare Group Inc. said Friday that it bought VitalAire, a home healthcare business, from France's Air Liquide Group.

Auto Winners, Losers In June

Orange County-based automakers reported mixed June auto sales on Friday.

Volcom Holds Gains, and Then Some

Costa Mesa apparel company Volcom Inc. rose another 8% in trading Friday, adding to a 41% gain in its stock debut Thursday.

Water Pik Does $24M Unit Sale

Newport Beach-based Water Pik Technologies Inc. said Friday it completed the sale of its Laars Heating Systems business to Ambler, Pa.-based Bradford White Corp. for $24.3 million.

Friday, July 1

Pfizer Drops Work on 2 Key Drugs

Pfizer Inc. is dropping development of two drugs, one to treat HIV and one to treat smoker's lung and asthma.

Consumer Sentiment Up

Consumer sentiment rose in June as gasoline prices were not as problematic as some had feared and job prospects improved.

Microsoft, IBM Settle Antitrust Claims

Microsoft Corp. settled antitrust claims made by IBM Corp., agreeing to pay IBM $775 million.

Rallying Dollar Hits Currencies

Currencies are tumbling against the dollar as a Federal Reserve interest rate hike and signals for more tightening bolster the greenback's yield appeal.