Stories for October 2005

Monday, October 31

Pataki Returns to OC; Bates Hits Brakes on Tunnel

Pataki Returns to OC; Bates Hits Brakes on Tunnel

Chipmakers Report Steady Employment, Sales Pickup

Local chipmakers kept employment steady in the past year

Tri-Village's Modest Decor Cloaks Dreamy Dish List

Tri-Village in Irvine conjures memories of home cooking for Asian diners, in the Executive Dining column

Turnout Key for Vote; Vexing for Democrats

Democratic leaders and their union allies are in a furious effort to get voters to the polls for the special election

CALENDAR

Calendar of OC Business events and announcements - FREE Download

School Strong for PacSun, Wet Seal, Now for Holidays

Teens continue to drive results at Wet Seal and Pacific Sunwear, in the Media & Marketing column

LETTERS

Some lawsuits are really scary; Katrina's Destruction

Corinthian in China School Pact

Santa Ana-based Corinthian Colleges Inc. has agreed to license its name and class materials for automotive training schools in China, Taiwan and Hong Kong, the company said Monday.

Short Sellers Up Bets on Turn in Homebuilder Stocks

Short sellers have raised their bets against homebuilders, in the Real Estate column

STATE OF THE STATE

The special election is enriching broadcasters

Real Estate Watch: Los Angeles County

Office, Industrial Vacancy Declines; Rates Rise. PLUS: CHART - Net Absorption; Vacancy Rates; Average Asking Lease Rates

Investor Acquiring Nursing Home Operator for $630M

A Canadian investor is paying $600 million for Skilled Healthcare, in the Healthcare column

Part of the Deal: Device Maker Sued

Device maker Micro Therapeutics is caught up in a shareholder lawsuit over its proposed sale

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

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

Onetime Bowling Pro Picking Up Pins From Boeing Buying Binge

Boeing's executive overseeing its Orange County operations is a former pro bowler

Analysts Souring on QLogic Disk Drive Controller Sale

Investors don't like the sale of QLogic's disk drive controller business, in the Technology column

Barrick Makes $9.2B Bid for Placer

Barrick Gold Corp. bid $9.2 billion for rival Placer Dome Inc. on Monday, a deal that would create one of the world's biggest gold miners with annual output of 8.3 or 8.4 million ounces.

Tighter Visa Process Hits International Enrollment at U.S. Colleges

Tighter Visa Process Hits International Enrollment at U.S. Colleges

Novartis to Buy Rest of Chiron for $5.1B

Chiron Corp. said Monday its board of directors accepted a sweetened $5.1 billion takeover offer from the Swiss drug giant Novartis AG, which vowed to "turn around" the beleaguered flu-shot maker.

Local MBA Programs Post Slight Uptick in Students

Local MBA Programs Post Slight Uptick in Students

Italian Harp Maker Trades Chicago for Magic Kingdom

Italy's Salvi Harps has moved its only U.S. store and distributorship from Chicago to Anaheim, in the Marketplace column

Triangle Lure: Cities Follow Anaheim Cue

Three cities are looking to jump on Anaheim's Platinum Triangle coattails

Spending, Income Up; Factories Strong

Consumer spending rose moderately last month as Americans dug deep to fill gas tanks, while hurricane insurance payments led to the biggest jump in income in 10 months, a government report showed on Monday.

Atherton-Newport Picks Up Acquisition Pace

Atherton-Newport grows on its strategy of buying apartment buildings and land

Watson Shifting Drug Production to Corona

Watson Pharmaceuticals is closing a Puerto Rico plant and moving hundreds of jobs to its headquarters in Corona and to another plant in New York

PEOPLE

Hirings, promotions and other moves at local businesses

Fed Poised to Raise Rates Tuesday

The Federal Reserve is poised to raise official interest rates again on Tuesday in its ongoing campaign to head off inflation pressures, bringing the number of rate increases so far to an even dozen.

Kaiser Expanding Washington Plant

Foothill Ranch-based Kaiser Aluminum Corp. is spending $75 million to expand its mill in Trentwood, Wash., the company said Monday.

Dell Lowers Q3 Forecast

Dell Inc., the world's biggest personal computer maker, warned quarterly results would fall below expectations due to what it said were weaker U.S. consumer and U.K. personal computer sales.

MARKET WATCH

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

Rise of China and India Has Colleges Tweaking Programs

Rise of China and India Has Colleges Tweaking Programs

Real Estate Deals

This week's postings of Real Estate sales and leases

AOL Founder Out at Time Warner

AOL founder Steve Case on Monday said he has resigned from the board of Time Warner Inc., ending a storied chapter in the history of the world's largest media company.

Federal Law Allowing Electronic Check Scanning Speeds Deposits

DIRECT DEPOSIT - Sunstone has tapped a recent federal law that allows checks to be scanned and deposited via the Internet into its Wells Fargo account

Nationwide Loss, Revenue Up

Nationwide Health Properties Inc. on Monday said that its third-quarter profit slid 42% because of debt-related losses and other charges.

Friday, October 28

Cities Follow Anaheim's Triangle Cue

Three cities want to make it easier to replace commercial buildings with housing in key spots, inspired by the thousands of homes approved for Anaheim's Platinum Triangle earlier this week.

Lower Enrollment Impacts Corinthian

Lower enrollment and the effects of hurricane Katrina hit Corinthian Colleges Inc. in the past quarter, the company said on Friday.

Broadcom Takes Qualcomm Spat to EU

Irvine-based Broadcom Corp. was one of six companies that filed an antitrust suit in Europe against San Diego-based Qualcomm Inc., the company said Friday.

Economy Growth Beats Forecasts

The U.S. economy shook off headwinds from hurricanes Katrina and Rita to grow at a faster-than-expected 3.8% annual rate in the third quarter, a Commerce Department report showed on Friday.

Consumer Sentiment Dips in October

Consumer sentiment dropped in October, falling short of economists' expectations for only a slight decline, a report showed on Friday.

Chevron Profit Below Expectations

No. 2 U.S. oil company Chevron Corp. on Friday posted a 12% rise in quarterly profit on the back of record crude oil prices, but damage and production outages from recent hurricanes dragged results below Wall Street forecasts.

Thursday, October 27

Income Up at Western Dig, Emulex

Lake Forest-based disk drive maker Western Digital Corp. saw profits more than double for the recently ended quarter, while Costa Mesa networking gear maker Emulex Corp. posted 15% higher net income.

Exxon Mobil Posts Record Profit

Exxon Mobil Corp. on Thursday posted a quarterly profit of $9.9 billion, its biggest ever and one of the largest in U.S. corporate history, as it raked in a bonanza from soaring oil and gas prices.

Job Losses From Storms Top 500K

Job losses from hurricanes Katrina and Rita have passed the half-million mark with further increases still to come from Wilma as the Gulf Coast hurricanes continue to batter the economy.

Ceradyne Slumps, Despite Strong Results

Military demand for bulletproof ceramics drove higher third-quarter sales and profits at Costa Mesa-based Ceradyne Inc., but the company's shares slumped Thursday after an analyst downgraded the stock.

Profits for Conexant, Gateway

Newport Beach chipmaker Conexant Systems Inc. returned to profitability in the recently ended quarter, while Irvine's Gateway Inc. logged its second straight quarter back in the black.

Loss Lessens at Micro Therapeutics

Micro Therapeutics Inc. on Thursday said its third-quarter net loss narrowed from a year ago.

PacifiCare Tops Views, Ups Outlook

PacifiCare Health Systems Inc., boosted by membership growth and less money paid to doctors for treating enrollees, said Thursday its third-quarter profit was up 34% from a year ago, handily beating Wall Street's predictions.

$651M WorldCom Deal

A group of institutional investors that lost money in the collapse of telecommunications company WorldCom Inc. said on Thursday they had reached a settlement worth more than $651 million with numerous investment banks and other defendants.

Ingram Sales Edge Expectations

Santa Ana-based Ingram Micro Inc. topped estimates for sales in the third quarter.

Microsoft Q1 Earnings Rise 24%

Microsoft Corp. said Thursday that earnings for its first quarter rose 24%, helped by strong growth in the personal computer and server market.

Durable Goods Orders Plunge

New orders for U.S.-made durable goods sank an unexpectedly deep 2.1% last month as aircraft orders plunged, but even non-transportation orders dropped 1%, a government report showed on Thursday.

SBC to Adopt AT & T; name after Buy

SBC Communications Inc., nearing the completion of its AT & T; Corp. acquisition, on Thursday said it will adopt the AT & T; name, unveil a new logo and stock market symbol when the transaction is completed late this year.

Wednesday, October 26

Wal-Mart Proposes Worker Cost Cuts

An internal memo sent to the Wal-Mart Stores Inc. board proposes numerous ways to hold down health care and benefits costs with less harm to the retailer's reputation, including hiring more part-time workers and discouraging unhealthy people from seeking

Bausch & Lomb Discloses Probe

Bausch & Lomb on Wednesday disclosed an investigation into allegations of improper conduct by management at its Brazilian subsidiary and related charges that will result in sharply lower quarterly earnings.

Mortgages Drive First American

Santa Ana-based First American Corp. reported higher third-quarter revenue and profits Wednesday as mortgages continue to drive the title insurer.

Epicor Outlook Mixed

Irvine-based Epicor Software Corp. raised revenue expectations for the year and met earnings guidance during the third quarter, according to its financial report released Wednesday.

WorldCom Deal in Offing, Source Says

A group of institutional investors is set to soon announce a securities litigation settlement stemming from their losses in collapsed telecommunications company WorldCom Inc., a person familiar with the negotiations said on Wednesday.

Boeing Profit Up, Misses Forecast

Boeing Co.'s quarterly results missed Wall Street forecasts, sending shares of the top aerospace group and Dow component lower in premarket trade on Wednesday.

ConocoPhillips: Q3 Profit Up 89%

ConocoPhillips, the nation's third-largest integrated oil and gas company, said third-quarter profit surged 89%, reflecting high prices for crude oil and natural gas after one of the worst hurricane seasons in memory slammed the heart of the nation's oil

Volcom Surges on Results, Outlook

Shares of Volcom Inc. shot up more than 12% in afterhours trading on Wednesday after the Costa Mesa surfwear designer reported a big gain in third-quarter sales and operating profit and upped its outlook.

WellPoint Q3 Profit More Than Doubles

WellPoint Inc. on Wednesday said earnings for the third quarter more than doubled as the company continued to reap the benefits of last year's merger that created the nation's largest health insurer.

Tuesday, October 25

Amazon Posts Lower Quarterly Profit

Online retailer Amazon.com Inc. on Tuesday said that quarterly net profit fell, as a legal settlement hurt results.

Apria Drops Sale Effort

Lake Forest-based Apria Healthcare Group Inc. said Tuesday it's no longer seeking a buyer and instead plans to focus on reversing a slump in profits.

FileNet: Profit Up, Revenue Falls

Costa Mesa-based FileNet Corp. beat profit expectations in the third quarter but fell slightly short on revenue, the software maker said Tuesday.

Bernanke: Inflation Stable

Inflation pressures are likely to remain confined to the energy sector, and fiscal and monetary policy is accommodative, Federal Reserve chairman nominee Ben Bernanke said in a newspaper interview published on Tuesday.

Consumers Fret Over High Gas Prices

Consumer confidence fell in October, sagging under the weight of hurricanes, high gasoline prices and uncertainty over jobs, although the dip in sentiment did not stop Americans from buying houses last month, data showed on Tuesday.

Volcom Results On Tap Next Week

Costa Mesa-based Volcom Inc. has the momentum. But will worries about consumer spending show up in the company's third-quarter results and bring slower growth down the road?

DaimlerChrysler: Q3 Profit Drops 21%

DaimlerChrysler AG on Tuesday reported a 21% drop in net profit for the third quarter compared to the same period a year ago, when the U.S.-German automaker's earnings were boosted by tax-free income from the sale of a stake in Hyundai Motor Co.

TriZetto Ups Outlook on Results

Newport Beach-based healthcare software maker TriZetto Group Inc. beat expectations with its third-quarter results and upped its outlook for the rest of the year.

Lockheed Profit Up on Plane Sales

Lockheed Martin Corp. said on Tuesday third-quarter profit rose a better-than-expected 39% as the No. 1 U.S. defense contractor boosted sales of electronic systems, government satellites and deliveries of its C-130J transport planes.

Oil Near $60, Seeks Signals on Demand

Oil steadied near $60 a barrel on Tuesday as investors sought new proof of slower fuel use in the U.S. after Hurricane Wilma bypassed oil and gas fields in the Gulf of Mexico.

IntraLase Q3 Beats Expectations

IntraLase Corp.'s shares spiked Tuesday after the Irvine-based eye laser maker posted third-quarter earnings results that beat Wall Street expectations.

Mindspeed Narrows Loss

Mindspeed Technologies Inc.'s shares climbed more than 4% in afterhours trading after the Newport Beach chipmaker edged analysts' estimates during the quarter ended Sep. 30.

Edwards Operating Profits Beats Views

Edwards Lifesciences Corp. beat expectations for third-quarter operating profit but posted a net loss with one-time charges.

OC Foreclosures Up, Still Below Nation

Foreclosures on homes rose 22% in Orange County in September versus August, according to RealtyTrac in Irvine.

Monday, October 24

3. Impac Mortgage Holdings Inc.

The housing boom has been good to Newport Beach-based Impac Mortgage Holdings Inc. The company's dramatic run could be headed for a slowdown.

Real Estate Watch: Inland Empire

The Inland Empire saw industrial lease rates rise in the third quarter, while office rents held steady. PLUS: CHART - Net Absorption; Vacancy Rates; Average Asking Lease Rates

PEOPLE

Hirings, promotions and other moves at local businesses

Nationwide Buying Pricey Care Homes

Nursing home investor Nationwide Properties dropped $171 million on some facilities in New York and Massachusetts

7. Biolase Technology Inc.

BioLase Technology Inc. has stumbled a couple of times this year despite a surge in sales that has played out during the past three years

Data Push or Not, Title Still Drives First American

First American's diversification play needs more time to impress Wall Street

10. Corinthian Colleges Inc.

The Santa Ana-based operator of for-profit colleges has run into some roadblocks this past year with lower enrollment, regulatory inquires and some operations challenges.

MARKET WATCH

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

Jack's Surfboards Opening Sixth Store in Dana Point

Trend-setting Jack's Surfboards is opening its sixth store, in the Media & Marketing column,

Anaheim Eyeing Earthlink Pact for Wireless Network

Anaheim is considering a proposal from Earthlink to blanket the city with high-speed wireless Internet service

Ports Running Smoothly; China, Future Growth Are Variables

Southland ports are running smoothly

Road Rage: Mailer Pummels Tunnel; Celebs Visit UCI

Road Rage: Mailer Pummels Tunnel; Celebs Visit UCI

Buyouts Dominate as Wall Street, IPOs Slump

OC has seen some of its largest-ever private company buyouts this year

16. Pacific Mercantile Bancorp

Costa Mesa-based Pacific Mercantile Bancorp has posted strong growth since opening more than six years ago. The past three years have been good, too.

Websense's Turnaround Stems From OC

San Diego's Websense has an OC angle, in the Technology column

Standard: Familiar Risks in Newer Markets

Standard Pacific's strategy of diversifying to other states is being put to the test,

1. Ista Pharmaceuticals Inc.

Ista Pharmaceuticals Inc. has bragging rights as Orange County's fastest-growing public company by revenue.

Incentive Plans Aim to Keep Growth Companies, Big Employers From Moving

The tax incentive package that would keep Nissan Motor Co.'s regional headquarters and its 1,300 jobs in the Southland was the latest proposal aimed at retaining key businesses and industries.

CALENDAR

Calendar of OC Business events and announcements - FREE Download

Bernanke Named Fed Chief

President Bush has nominated Ben Bernanke, his top economic adviser and a leading member of the Federal Reserve fraternity, to succeed Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan.

Device Maker Viasys Expands in Yorba Linda

Viasys Healthcare has expanded in Yorba Linda

Nu & #324;ez on the Election,Before and After,Business Issues, Film Tax Credits

An interview with Fabian Nu & #324;ez

8. California Coastal Communities Inc.

Irvine's California Coastal Communities Inc., one of the county's smaller homebuilders, has ridden the housing cycle with the best of them

Santander: $2.4B for Sovereign Stake

Spain's Banco Santander Central Hispano SA on Monday said it will pay $2.4 billion for a 20% stake in Philadelphia-based Sovereign Bancorp Inc., which plans to use the proceeds to expand in New York City.

Companies Vesting Some Options Now

Some companies are accelerating stock-option vesting for underwater shares with a new accounting rule on the way

Healthcare, Real Estate Dominate Top of Speedy Sales Gain List

Technology companies made a comeback this year, accounting for 16 of the top 50 fastest-growing in the sector, compared to 11 last year

State High Court to Decide Liability for Contractor Injuries

The state Supreme Court is set to decide who is liable for accidents involving contractors

LETTERS

Hot Lanes; Propositions - Looking at the ballot measures

ICU Medical Swings to Quarterly Profit

ICU Medical Inc. reported sales and profits that beat Wall Street estimates last week

Bigger Giving, Fund-Raising Tweaks Drive Nonprofits

Local nonprofits saw revenue rise in the past year

37. Pro-Dex Inc.

A small manufacturing company that helps customers make products quickly has seen sales take off in the past few years..

5. Micro Therapeutics Inc.

Irvine-based medical device maker, which launched its Onyx system for treating blood vessel disorders in the brain this summer, just received a buyout offer from its majority shareholder.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

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

Sybron Dental Turns Five as Shares Surge

Sybron Dental's shares are surging as the company celebrates its fifth birthday

6. William Lyon Homes Inc.

Behind all the takeover drama and stock gyrations is a story of heady growth at Newport Beach's William Lyon Homes Inc.

37. Autobytel Inc.

The online auto marketing company hired a new slate of executives and pushed through a major accounting restatement that hit earnings.

Q3 Profits Rise at Merck

Merck & Co. said Monday its third-quarter profit rose 7% as lower costs offset a revenue dip stemming from the loss of sales from Vioxx, the pain reliever the company withdrew last year.

Sarbanes-Oxley: Headache for Small Companies

They didn't break out the champagne at some small public companies when the Securities and Exchange Commission OK'd a one-year extension on the deadline to comply with a set of Sarbanes-Oxley Act rules.

4. New Century Financial Corp.

Irvine's New Century Financial Corp. has been a hot company in a hot industry, subprime lending

Allergan Scientist Offers Update, Lighter Side of Botox

An Allergan scientist has a good sense of humor, in the Healthcare column

Lamborghini Siblings Have Sold to Kobe, Nicholas Cage

Road testing a Lamborghini, in the Marketplace column

Skilled Healthcare Sold to Onex

Skilled Healthcare Group Inc., a Foothill Ranch-based nursing home operator, said Monday that it's being bought for $630 million by Onex Corp., a Toronto-based buyout company.

OC Weekly Owner Sold

The parent of alternative weekly newspaper OC Weekly is being acquired by Phoenix-based New Times Media.

Johnson Controls Profit Up

Johnson Controls Inc. on Monday said quarterly earnings rose 4% with growth in building heating and cooling systems and batteries helping to offset operating declines in automotive interiors.

Anna's Linens May Pick Up Stores

Costa Mesa-based Anna's Linens, a bed and bath retailer targeting ethnic shoppers in urban areas, is said to be in talks to buy 26 stores from Ostrow Holdings Inc.

REAL ESTATE DEALS

This week's postings of Real Estate sales and leases

9. Advanced Medical Optics Inc.

Advanced Medical Optics Inc. has transformed itself in the past three years from a unit of Irvine-based drug maker Allergan Inc. to a major player in the eye device market.

Assembly Leader Stands Up to Governor, Bets Against Special Election

Assembly leader Fabian Nu & #324;ez has stood up to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger

2. Ceradyne Inc.

Its ceramic body armor is one of the must-haves for the military, and Ceradyne's biggest challenge has been trying to keep up with demand.

Southern Africa Meets Portugal at Exotic Mozambique

Southern Africa meets Portugal at exotic Mozambique in Laguna Beach, in the Executive Dining column

Hayes Goes From Affiliate to Running Cresa Partners

Kevin Hayes takes over at Cresa, in the Real Estate column

Report: Bernanke as Fed Chief

President George W. Bush was expected to announce on Monday that he has picked top economic adviser Ben Bernanke to succeed Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, a knowledgeable source said.

Retail Slows But Analysts Stay Hot on Volcom

Will Volcom's third-quarter sales keep pace with the buzz

KUDOS

A look at people, companies and institutions receiving awards, accolades, grants and other honors

OC Public Companies With Biggest Five-Year Revenue Growth

OC Public Companies With Biggest Five-Year Revenue Growth

Friday, October 21

New Century Opens Service Center

New Century Financial Corp. announced Friday the opening of a 100,000-square-foot mortgage servicing center in Santa Ana.

Oil Prices Off 3-Month Low

Oil prices got a boost on Friday, rising from three-month lows as powerful Hurricane Wilma showed signs of hindering the recovery of oil operations in the storm-battered Gulf of Mexico.

Anaheim Eyeing Wireless Network

Anaheim has joined a growing list of cities that are looking to get into high-speed wireless Internet access. The City Council is expected to consider a proposal this week by Atlanta-based EarthLink Inc. to build networks allowing Internet access via lapt

Key Economic Indicator Declines Sharply

An important gauge of future economic activity declined sharply in September as fallout from the Gulf Coast hurricanes continued to batter the U.S. The toll on jobs lost from the storms rose to nearly a half-million.

Google Shares fly on Profit Surge

Google Inc. shares rocketed up 14% to an all-time high on Friday as better-than-expected quarterly results proved a catalyst for the Web search company and its rivals.

Maytag Hurt by Energy Costs

Home appliance maker Maytag Corp. on Friday reported a bigger-than-expected third-quarter loss, hurt by higher energy and distribution costs and weakness at its Hoover vacuum division.

Thursday, October 20

Nokia Falls Short of Expectations

The top handset maker Nokia reported solid third-quarter results on Thursday, but its shares fell as investors had expected more after strong performances from its rivals.

Google Profit Up on Ad Sales

Web search leader Google Inc. on Thursday posted a sharp rise in quarterly profit that topped Wall Street profit and revenue expectations, sending shares of the stock higher.

Oakley Sales Up, Forecast Softens

Oakley Inc. said Thursday that sales of its new sunglass models helped the company post a 16% jump in revenue in the third quarter. But the company also said that its 2005 revenue could be at the low end of a prior forecast.

Dunn to Head Business Council

Lucy Dunn, a longtime local housing executive who left last year to become director of California's Department of Housing and Community Development, has been named to head the Orange County Business Council.

Ford Plans Plant Closures

Ford Motor Co. Chief Executive Bill Ford Jr. said on Thursday the automaker will announce a restructuring plan in January that will include "significant plant closings."

Apria Down on Analyst Outlook

Apria Healthcare Group Inc.'s stock slumped on Thursday morning on an analyst's downgrade and comments about a possible company sale.

Premier Auto Narrows Loss

Ford Motor Co.'s Irvine-based Premier Automotive Group narrowed its losses in the third-quarter but expects to miss its profit target for the year, the automaker said Thursday.

Broadcom Beats Estimates

Irvine-based Broadcom Corp.'s shares shot up in afterhours trading Thursday after reporting record third-quarter earnings and sales, both of which topped analysts' expectations.

Baxter Profit Down on Charges

Baxter International Inc. on Thursday reported lower third-quarter net earnings as special charges ate into profits.

Inflation Gauge at 25-Year High

Factories in the Mid-Atlantic region boomed in October after recovering from a post-Katrina slump as new orders jumped, but a key inflation measure hit its highest in 25 years, a survey showed on Thursday.

Wednesday, October 19

Housing Starts, Permits Surge

Housing starts jumped 3.4% in September and permits for future groundbreaking surged to a 32-year high, defying forecasts for a slowdown in construction following hurricanes Katrina and Rita, government data showed on Wednesday.

Quiksilver Shares Ski Downhill

Shares of Huntington Beach-based Quiksilver Inc. looked like a ski slope on Wednesday as its stock closed down more than 13% after warning about profits for next 12 months.

Fed: Not Time to Stop Rate Hikes

Federal Reserve Board Governor Donald Kohn said on Wednesday it was not yet time for the central bank to abandon its interest-rate raising campaign, even though rates were "considerably closer" to where they need to be.

Irvine Co. Buys San Diego Towers

The Irvine Company has wrapped up its buy of two downtown San Diego office towers for $265 million, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune.

GM: Market Share at 25-Year Low

Declining sales are likely to push the U.S. market share of General Motors Corp. for October to its lowest monthly level in 25 years, a leading Wall Street analyst said.

Bank of America Profit Rises

Bank of America Corp., the No. 2 U.S. bank, on Wednesday said third-quarter profit rose 10%, helped by surging credit card fees, investment gains and trading revenue.

Mixed QLogic Results

Aliso Viejo-based QLogic Corp. fell short of revenue estimates with results for the quarter ended Oct. 2 but slightly topped profit expectations for ongoing operations.

Honeywell Profit Up on Aerospace

Honeywell International on Wednesday reported a 26% surge in quarterly profit on strong demand for aircraft parts and services, while its building controls business got a lift from the acquisition of Novar's security arm.

Intel Misses Estimates

Intel Corp. reported that third-quarter profit rose 5% on surging sales of its chips used to run laptop computers, but the shares fell in pre-open trading Wednesday as the earnings lagged Wall Street estimates.

EBay Quarterly Profit Up

EBay Inc., the largest online auction site, on Wednesday posted a 40% rise in quarterly net profit fueled by solid growth in U.S. and German auctions and expansion of its payment business.

Tuesday, October 18

Unisys Posts Loss, Plans Cuts

Unisys Corp. on Tuesday posted a quarterly loss and the provider of consulting services such as systems integration said it would cut 10% of its work force and divest businesses to cut costs.

Inflation Soars on Surge in Energy Prices

Inflation at the wholesale level last month soared by the largest amount in more than 15 years, reflecting the surge in energy prices that occurred following the Gulf Coast hurricanes.

ICU Medical Swings to a Profit

ICU Medical Inc. reported sales and profits that beat Wall Street estimates on Tuesday, sending the device maker's shares higher in afterhours trading.

Greenspan: Oil Hurts, But Not Like '70s

Skyrocketing energy prices will weigh on global growth but will likely exact a much smaller toll than surging oil prices did in the 1970s, Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said on Tuesday.

Downey's Profit Soars

The mortgage boom hasn't busted yet at Downey Financial Corp. The Newport Beach-based operator of Downey Savings & Loan said Tuesday third-quarter profit more than doubled from a year earlier on fees from loans and deposits.

CSUF: Housing at or Near Peak

The outlook for Orange County's economy remains solid, despite a predicted easing in home prices and rising oil prices, according to California State University, Fullerton's 2006 economic forecast.

Motorola Posts Higher Profit

Motorola Inc. said on Tuesday that its third-quarter earnings rose on strong sales of its mobile phones, including the popular Razr phone.

Refco Finishes Collapse With Bankruptcy

It took just eight days for Refco Inc. to go from up-and-comer to down-and-out, with a midnight bankruptcy announcement capping off the commodities broker's stunning collapse.

Intel Profit Up on Broad-Based Demand

Intel Corp. on Tuesday posted a higher quarterly profit as the world's largest chipmaker saw strong demand across all of its microprocessor product lines.

ThalesRaytheon Wins $120M Swiss Deal

ThalesRaytheonSystems Co., a venture of Raytheon Co. and France's Thales Group with its U.S. base in Fullerton, said Tuesday it won $120 million in contracts from Switzerland's defense procurement agency.

Private Equity Firm Buys Baker Tanks

Seal Beach-based Baker Tanks Inc. is trading hands again. Private equity firm Lightyear Capital LLC said Tuesday it plans to buy Baker Tanks from Chicago-based Code Hennessy & Simmons for a reported $500 million.

Broadcom Opens U.K. R & D; Center

Irvine-based Broadcom Corp. continues to boost its presence in Europe, this time with an office in Cambridge, England.

J & J; Profit Up, Mulls Guidant Options

Johnson & Johnson on Tuesday said its third-quarter earnings rose on strong demand for its medical devices, including its Cypher stent, but sales of prescription drugs fell amid competition from cheaper generics. The company also said its considering alte

Monday, October 17

Pimco: Housing, Inflation Outlook

Paul McCulley, managing director and portfolio manager at Newport Beach-based bond fund operator Pacific Investment Management Co., leads the company's Cyclical Economic Forums. In this interview McCulley talks about Fed policy and a slowdown in the housi

Oil, Rates, and Housing: Where Are the Markets Going?

The hurricanes roiled the energy markets. Higher interest rates are threatening to put an end to the housing market's historic boom. Meanwhile, a surging federal deficit could put more pressure on rates and the U.S. dollar.

In Case You Didn't Notice, Mindspeed Shares Double

The popularity of voice over Internet protocol service is helping Mindspeed's shares, in the Technology column

Hal's Kin Make Sweet Music; Dick Bars Bad Buns

Hal's Kin Make Sweet Music; Dick Bars Bad Buns

Lowe Eyeing Anaheim Industrial Refugees

A real estate developer plans to redevelop an old battery factory in Fullerton

Alliance Cuts View, Makes Acquisition

Alliance Imaging has lowered its revenue outlook and bought a company

Century City Mall Makeover May Hail MainPlace Change

Westfield Century City Mall is getting a makeover and Santa Ana's MainPlace could be next

St. Jude Medical Profit Jumps

St. Jude Medical Inc. on Monday said third-quarter profit rose 84%, boosted by strong sales of implantable heart devices, a day after the company announced a $1.3 billion deal to expand into products to treat pain and nervous system disorders.

MARKET WATCH

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

Police, Others Watch Boeing Radio Project

Some hope a military radio by Boeing can be geared to civilians

Skateboard Shoe Maker Outgrows Home, Looks to Double in Expansion

Sole Technology is looking to double its shoe designing operation

Athens Outlines Aliso Creek Plans

The Athens Group plans to redesign an existing nine-hole golf course and build a Craftsman-style hotel and up to 50 condominiums on the site of the Aliso Creek Inn and Golf Course.

T. Boone Pickens Ups Bet on Local Natural Gas Play

Legendary T. Boone Pickens upped his investment in a Seal Beach natural gas company

September Home Prices Up 14%

The median price of a home sold in Orange County rose 14% in September to $610,000 versus a year earlier but was down slightly from August's peak.

Irvine Co. Preps Spectrum Land for Office Towers

The Irvine Company is set to start building office towers in the Spectrum

& #260;Ay, Car-amba!

Tricked-out vehicles were all the rage at an auto show in Anaheim

GM in Deal to Cut Healthcare Costs

General Motors Corp. on Monday announced a deal with the United Auto Workers union to slash its healthcare costs, sending its shares up as much as 13% even as it posted a fourth straight quarterly loss.

IBM Net Dips, Services Solid

IBM, the world's largest computer company, on Monday posted a dip in quarterly net profit, but topped Wall Street expectations as its consulting and services business rebounded for a second straight quarter.

REAL ESTATE DEALS

This week's postings of Real Estate sales and leases

Office Market Hitting Fever Pitch as Lenders Wobble

OC's vacancy rate is at its lowest while mortgage companies,the biggest occupiers of space,are feeling a crunch, in the Real Estate column

Oakley Making Noise for Launch of Thump 2 Glasses

Oakley is pushing its latest sunglasses with a built-in digital music player, in the Media & Marketing column

Wachovia Profit Up With SouthTrust

Wachovia Corp., which is buying Irvine-based Westcorp, on Monday said third-quarter profit rose 32% to a record, helped by increased fees, trading revenue and lending income, and the acquisition of SouthTrust Corp.

Refco in Talks Aimed at Buyout

Troubled commodities broker Refco Inc. could be essentially scrapped for its parts, with talks Monday aimed at selling the company's core futures brokerage business to a group of private investors.

PEOPLE

Hirings, promotions and other moves at local businesses

DataLabs Early Backer: Merck

An Irvine maker of software for drug trials got its start with a little help from a big backer

Real Estate Watch: Mid-Counties

Industrial Activity Soars in Mid-Counties Region. PLUS: CHART - Net Absorption; Vacancy Rates; Average Asking Lease Rates

Oilman Ups Investment in Gas Company

Legendary oilman T. Boone Pickens has invested another $30 million in his Seal Beach-based Clean Energy Fuels Inc., a provider of natural gas for buses, taxis and other alternative-fuel vehicles.

Financial Controls Software Developer Gets $14 Million

Logical Apps has raised $14 million in a first round of venture funding

Eyeing India Payoff

Newport Beach-based Conexant Systems is boosting its international presence

Cox: Rules Yield Benefits, But They 'Haven't Come Cheaply'

Talking with SEC Chairman Christopher Cox

SEC Chief Cox Seen Enforcing Rules; Sympathetic Ear for Small Companies

Christopher Cox's two months atop the Securities and Exchange Commission isn't long enough to tell how his tenure will play out.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Logical Apps has raised $14 million in a first round of venture funding. PLUS: Summaries of other business news and top stories by industry

Acquisitions Spur Experian Rise

Costa Mesa's Experian Group posted record revenue growth

Direct Mail Marketer Moving to La Mirada

A direct mailing company is moving its Fullerton operation to La Mirada

Advanced Medical Mixes Up Mix With More Surgical

Advanced Medical Optics tweaked its strategy and altered its sales guidance, in the Healthcare column

Manufacturing Index Moves Higher

Growth in Orange County's manufacturing sector continued to outpace California's in the third quarter, according to a survey of purchasing managers released Monday by Chapman University.

Stock Brokerages: Employment Steady as Markets Edge Higher

Stock brokerages reported a slim loss in workers in the past year as the major markets posted mediocre gains.

Yen Sushi & Roll: Japanese Dishes With a Clever Twist

Yen Sushi & Roll offers Japanese dishes with a familiar but modern twist, in the Executive Dining column

Caddie Customizer: Message Light Flashing After Show

The California International Auto Show was strong for Renick Cadillac, in the Marketplace column

Sweden's Telelogic Boosts Irvine Unit Profile

A Swedish software maker is moving key executives to Irvine

William Lyon Names Directors

Newport Beach's William Lyon Homes Inc. on Monday named three directors to its board, including former The Irvine Company executive Gary Hunt.

Friday, October 14

Spectrum Towers Set to Break Ground

The Irvine Company plans to start building twin 14-story office towers next month in the Irvine Spectrum.

UnitedHealth Quarterly Profit Rises

UnitedHealth Group Inc., which is buying Cyrpess-based PacifiCare Health Systems Inc., reported a 21% rise in third-quarter earnings on higher revenue from premiums and slightly lower costs.

Gardenburger Files for Reorganization

Irvine-based Gardenburger Inc., which only three months ago said it was up for sale, has filed for bankruptcy protection and plans to go private.

Pimco Manager Leaving for Harvard

Harvard University has tapped Mohamed El-Erian to head its $26 billion endowment. El-Erian has been managing director at Newport Beach-based Pacific Management Investment Co. since 1998.

Consumer Prices Surge

Consumer prices shot up an unexpectedly large 1.2% last month, the biggest gain in more than 25 years, as hurricanes Katrina and Rita led to the biggest energy-price surge on record, a government report showed on Friday.

Dramatic Slump Seen in Vehicle Sales

Sales of new cars and trucks at the retail level appear to have fallen off the cliff in October, led by steep declines at General Motors Corp. and Ford Motor Co., J.D. Power and Associates said on Friday.

Thursday, October 13

Google, Comcast Eye AOL Stake

Web search engine Google Inc. and cable company Comcast Corp. are in discussions to buy a stake in Time Warner Inc.'s America Online, two sources said, in a deal reportedly worth as much as $5 billion.

Refco Unit Freezes Customer Accounts

Refco Inc., the commodities broker mired in an accounting scandal which finds its chief executive accused of hiding bad debts from shareholders and regulators, said Thursday it will freeze customers' accounts in one of its unregulated subsidiaries for 15

Samsung to Pay $300M Fine

Samsung, the world's largest maker of memory chips for computers and other electronic gadgets, has agreed to plead guilty to price fixing and pay a $300 million fine, U.S. officials said Thursday.

U.S.-China Textile Talks Fail

China and the U.S. failed on Thursday to find a formula to regulate China's booming textile shipments, immediately prompting American manufacturers to seek curbs on imports of towels made in China.

J & J; Seeks to Protect Procrit

In a bid to protect its best-selling drug, Procrit, a Johnson & Johnson company has charged Amgen Inc. with antitrust violations, claiming that illegal sales practices force cancer doctors to choose its competing anti-anemia drug.

Westec Makes Acquisitions

Irvine-based security monitoring company Westec InterActive has acquired three companies in a move that's set to double its workforce to 300 people.

Report: Sept. Retail Sales Climb 0.9%

Retail sales rose in September on strong demand for clothes and building materials, suggesting that consumer spending rebounded after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, according to a report released on Thursday.

Impac Buying Back Shares

Impac Mortgage Holdings Inc., a mortgage investor that has seen its stock cut in half since June, said Thursday it plans to buy back 5 million of its shares, throwing a bone to dinged investors.

SM & A; Results Up on Diversification

Newport Beach-based SM & A; said its profit and revenue rose in the third quarter as the consulting company added new clients outside its traditional aerospace and defense concentration.

Wednesday, October 12

ECC Capital's Q3 Loans Up

Loan production by Irvine's ECC Capital Corp. shot up 62% in the third quarter to $4.4 billion versus a year earlier, the subprime lender said.

Microsoft, Yahoo in Messaging Deal

Microsoft Corp. and Yahoo Inc. said on Wednesday that they will link up their free instant messaging services to create a combined community of 275 million users.

Bridgestone Firestone to Pay Ford $240M

Bridgestone Firestone North American Tire has agreed to pay $240 million to Ford Motor Co. to settle claims related to the tiremaker's 2000 recall of defective tires, Bridgestone Firestone said Wednesday.

Kerkorian Raises Stake in GM

Billionaire investor Kirk Kerkorian has increased his stake in General Motors Corp. to nearly 10%, according to a company filing released Wednesday.

Mortgage Applications Down

Mortgage applications fell for a third consecutive week as interest rates on 30-year home loans climbed to their highest levels since late March, an industry trade group said on Wednesday.

American Vanguard Updates on Storms

Chemical company American Vanguard Corp. said Wednesday its Alabama plant was closed for two weeks after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita but didn't have a material impact on operations.

Acquisitions Fuel Experian

Costa Mesa-based Experian Group posted record 29% revenue growth for the six months ended Sept. 30, according to parent company Gus PLC of Britain.

Martha Stewart, KB to Design Homes

Fans of Martha Stewart who snapped up her towels and sheets will soon be able to live in a house designed by the domestic maven.

Alliance Lowers Outlook, Buys PET Scans

Alliance Imaging Inc., an Anaheim-based provider of medical imaging services, on Wednesday lowered its revenue outlook for the third quarter and announced an acquisition.

Greenspan: Flexibility Benefits Economy

Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan on Wednesday said the ability of the U.S. economy to weather shocks showed the benefits of flexibility, even if this performance also encouraged "speculative excess."

Google, Comcast May Invest in AOL

Google Inc. and Comcast Corp. are in "serious discussions" to buy a minority stake in Time Warner's America Online, a source familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.

Tuesday, October 11

Software Maker Raises $14M

Irvine software maker Logical Apps Inc. has raised $14 million in a first round of venture funding.

Q4 Executive Expectations Tempered by Hurricanes, Interest Rates, Oil Prices

Hurricanes, inflation, higher interest rates,they're starting to weigh on local executives' minds.

Microsoft, RealNetworks Settle Lawsuit

Digital media company RealNetworks Inc. announced a legal settlement Tuesday with longtime adversary Microsoft Corp., ending the last major antitrust case against the world's largest software maker.

Consumer Pessimism Falls Slightly

Consumers were slightly less pessimistic about the U.S. economy in October, with rising interest rates and high gasoline prices the main worries, according to a survey released on Tuesday.

Fed Raised Rates So As Not to Mislead

The Federal Reserve felt the need to keep boosting interest rates in September partly out of concern that a pause might mislead people into thinking it was too worried about the economic impact of Hurricane Katrina.

Another Developer for Platinum Triangle

Another developer has plans to remake a swath of Anaheim's Platinum Triangle into homes and shops: San Francisco-based AMB Property Corp.

Inco Buying Falconbridge

Inco Ltd., the world's No. 2 nickel miner, said on Tuesday it would buy rival Falconbridge Ltd. for more than C$12 billion, trumping an effort by Swiss-based Xstrata PLC to take over the Canadian nickel and copper producer.

Icahn Pressures Time Warner

Billionaire investor Carl Icahn on Tuesday laid out more reasons for new independent directors on the board at Time Warner Inc., stepping up his criticism of the strategy at the giant media conglomerate.

Monday, October 10

Concerns Register More Heavily, But Execs Still Upbeat

Executives see more growth, though their mood isn't as positive as it was a quarter ago

Advanced Medical Tweaks Strategy

Advanced Medical Optics Inc., a Santa Ana-based maker of contact lens and eye surgery products, cut its earnings estimates for the year on Monday but upped its 2007 sales guidance on plans to focus more on surgery products.

Ev3: Deal for Micro Therapeutics' Shares

Irvine-based Micro Therapeutics Inc. said Monday that ev3 Inc., its majority shareholder, offered to buy the rest of the company for about $110 million.

LETTERS

A bid to strengthen property rights died in a state committee, in Letters

Heart Patient Care at Hospitals Comes Under Spotlight

Healthcare groups and the federal government are tracking how hospitals are caring for patients, in the Healthcare column

New Freedom Boss Has Big Backers; Biz Chief Coming?

New Freedom Boss Has Big Backers; Biz Chief Coming?

Contract Electronics Makers Pare Jobs Amid Competition

Falling prices offset sales growth at contract electronics makers in the past year

Add AMB Property to the Platinum Triangle Mix

San Francisco's AMB Property has its eye on development in the Platinum Triangle

Fluor Wins $1B UAE Deal

The United Arab Emirates has awarded Fluor Corp. a $1 billion contract to build the first stage of a gas complex expansion.

Heart Attack: Report Criticizes Edwards Less-Invasive Valves

A Barron's report cast a skeptical eye toward one of Edwards Lifesciences' heart valves

Volcom IPO, Quiksilver Buy, St. John Revamp Highlight Activity

Acquisitions, public stock sales and leadership changes dominated the apparel sector in the past year

MARKET WATCH

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

Oxford Semiconductor Buys TransDimension

TransDimension Inc.,a well-funded maker of chips and software that link electronic devices,has been sold to Oxford Semiconductor Inc.,

PEOPLE

Hirings, promotions and other moves at local businesses

Delphi Plans Bonuses for Execs

Bankrupt auto parts supplier Delphi Corp. plans to offer executives cash and up to a 10 percent stake in a reorganized Delphi as an incentive to stay, while seeking massive concessions from hourly workers.

REAL ESTATE DEALS

This week's postings of Real Estate sales and leases

Analysts Pile On Ingram After Gains in Market Share

Ingram Micro is getting lots of attention from Wall Street, in the Technology column

Healthcare Costs Could Rise Faster in 2006 After Two Years of Easing

Prices for healthcare plans could rise at a faster pace next year

Tunnel Linking OC-Inland Empire Backed

The idea of building a six-lane tunnel though the mountains of the Cleveland National Forest to ease traffic is supported by nearly 70% of Riverside County voters, according to a recent poll.

Del Mar Racetrack Pondering Future in Era of Turf and Slots

Racetracks ponder their future in the era of slot machines

Beyond Botox: Allergan Working Pipeline

Allergan's been working its pipeline to good results on Wall Street

Unisys Sees Q3 Loss

Unisys Corp. on Monday said it expects to post a third-quarter operating loss instead of a profit, hurt by weak revenues in its computer technology and services businesses.

UCI Irvine, Toshiba Plan Imaging Center

University of California, Irvine's School of Medicine has teamed with Tustin-based Toshiba America Medical Systems on a medical imaging research center

Real Estate Watch: West Orange County

Industrial construction keeps pace in West County. PLUS: CHART - Net Absorption; Vacancy Rates; Average Asking Lease Rates

PR Spill Over: What Hill, Morgan, Euro Had to Say

PR insiders talk shop, in the Media & Marketing column

Macsteel Buys Chicago Steel Processor Alpha

Newport Beach-based Macsteel Service Centers USA Inc. said last week it plans to buy Chicago's Alpha Processing Inc. for an undisclosed price.

KUDOS

A look at people, companies and institutions receiving awards, accolades, grants and other honors

CALENDAR

Calendar of OC Business events and announcements - FREE Download

Insurance Software Maker Lands $20M Round of Funding

A maker of software for the insurance brokerage industry has landed $20 million in funding

Fullerton Battery Plant Closing

Johnson Controls Inc. plans to move its Fullerton auto battery plant to Arizona, cutting about 115 jobs, according to the Milwaukee-based company.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

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

FIFI'S BEST

Special Report: Fifi's Best,The Business Journal has compiled and condensed Fifi Chao's main reviews of the past 12 months.

State of the State

The Southland has more to do to get ready for a major quake, in State of the State

Company Battles California, China

China is the big challenge for a Huntington Beach-based nail file maker

Payday for the Few Shorting Homebuilders?

Short sellers have yet to take aggressive aim at homebuilders

Alcoa Profit Up Despite Energy Costs

Alcoa Inc., the world's biggest aluminum producer, said on Monday that third-quarter net income rose slightly, although its operations were hurt by declining aluminum prices and soaring energy and raw material costs

Frye Goes From Olen to Head of CB's Anaheim Office

CB Richard Ellis has tinkered with its top management here, in the Real Estate column

Lincoln National to Buy Jefferson-Pilot

Insurance provider Lincoln National Corp. agreed Monday to acquire Jefferson-Pilot Corp. for about $7.5 billion in cash and stock. Jefferson-Pilot's shares rose nearly 6% in trading.

Nordstrom Opening: Makeup Tailgate, 2,000 on Hand

A cosmetic tailgating party highlighted the Nordstrom opening at the Irvine Spectrum Center, in the Marketplace column

Fullerton Auto Battery Plant Set to Close

Johnson Controls Inc. plans to move its Fullerton auto battery plant to Arizona, cutting about 150 jobs, according to the city.

Friday, October 7

Jobs Drop in September

A smaller-than-expected 35,000 jobs were lost in the United States last month as hiring in some regions was offset by layoffs stemming from the damage caused by Hurricane Katrina, according to a Labor Department report on Friday.

General RE Ex-CEO: SEC Action

Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc. said on Friday the former chief executive of its General Re Corp. unit could face action from the U.S. securities watchdog as part of an investigation into non-traditional insurance products.

Apria Slumps on Outlook

Lake Forest-based Apria Healthcare Group Inc. warned Friday that its revenue in the third and fourth quarters would fall short of expectations.

Inflation Gauge: Highest in Over 5 Years

U.S. inflation pressures climbed in September to their highest in over five years, according to a report on Friday that suggested the Federal Reserve was right to remain vigilant over price increases.

Beckman Buying Texas Tester

Fullerton-based Beckman Coulter Inc. said Friday it plans to buy privately held Webster, Texas-based Diagnostic Systems Laboratories Corp.

Kia Replaces CEO, Taps Volkswagen Vet

Peter Butterfield, who's lead the U.S. arm of Kia Motors Corp. since 2001, has left the South Korean automaker as it enters a new phase of expansion.

Fluor Readies for Katrina Rebidding

Aliso Viejo-based Fluor Corp. said Friday it plans to join in the rebidding of federal contracts to clean up and rebuild the Gulf of Mexico region destroyed by Hurricane Katrina.

Thursday, October 6

AOL Buys Weblogs

America Online Inc. will inherit Engadget, Autoblog and other popular Web journals as part of a $25 million deal announced Thursday that expands AOL's presence in the blogging community and the company's potential to attract advertising dollars.

Retailers Slog Through Stormy Sept.

Chain stores slashed prices to drum up demand in September as Hurricanes Katrina and Rita drove up gasoline prices and pinched consumer spending, putting pressure on profits, retailers reported on Thursday.

GE Boosts Yearly Outlook

General Electric Co. said Thursday it expects earnings to meet the high end of earlier projections for the third quarter, and raised its outlook for full-year profit. Its shares rose more than 2%.

Oil at 2-Month Low as Cars Idle

Oil slid to its lowest level in two months on Thursday as U.S. drivers finally eased off the gas and the world's energy watchdog said there was no pressing need to dip further into emergency fuel reserves.

Argyros Back on First American Board

George Argyros is back on the board of Santa Ana's First American Corp., the title insurer said Thursday.

Survey: CEO Optimism Down

Hurricane Katrina and high energy prices have taken a toll on business optimism among the nation's chief executives, according to a survey by the Business Council and the Conference Board released on Thursday.

Timken Buys Local Bearings Inspector

Bearings maker Timken Co. has bought Los Alamitos-based Bearing Inspection Inc. for undisclosed terms, the company said Thursday.

PacSun Rebounds With Solid Sept.

Anaheim-based Pacific Sunwear of California Inc. posted same-store sales gains in September, beating Wall Street estimates and sending the surfwear retailers's shares higher.

MCI Shareholders OK Verizon Buy

MCI Inc. shareholders voted overwhelmingly Thursday to approve an $8.4 billion acquisition by Verizon Communications Inc., despite some lingering shareholder resentment over the company's rejection of a higher bid.

Broadcom Buying Athena for $21.6M

Broadcom Corp. said Thursday it's buying Fremont-based Athena Semiconductors Inc. for $21.6 million.

William Lyon Down on Order Data

Shares of Newport Beach's William Lyon Homes Inc. were down 6% in afternoon trading Thursday on the heels of a report showing it posted lower-than-expected new home orders in the quarter ended Sept. 30.

Wednesday, October 5

Economy: Another Inflation Warning

The economy received another inflation warning on Wednesday, when a survey of industry executives showed that energy costs drove prices higher in September while the services sector slowed.

Yum Profit Up Nearly 16%

Yum Brands Inc., parent of Irvine-based Taco Bell Corp., reported a nearly 16% rise in third-quarter profit on Wednesday, citing strong sales in the U.S. and growth overseas.

ADC Shares Tumble After Warning

Shares of ADC Telecommunications Inc. fell more than 15% in pre-market trading on Wednesday after the communications equipment maker warned that quarterly earnings would fall short of Wall Street expectations.

Macsteel Acquires Steel Processor

Newport Beach-based Macsteel Service Centers USA Inc. said Wednesday it plans to buy Chicago's Alpha Processing Inc. for an undisclosed price.

Motorola Cutting 1,900 Jobs

Motorola Inc. is cutting 1,900 jobs at 29 different U.S. and international locations in an effort to improve operating efficiency, the company said Wednesday.

Pacific Sunwear Downgraded

Anaheim-based Pacific Sunwear of California Inc. was one of several retailers downgraded Wednesday by Banc of America Securities.

TransDimension Sold to Oxford Semi

Irvine-based TransDimension Inc.,a well-funded maker of chips and software that link electronic devices,has been sold to Oxford Semiconductor Inc., the company said Wednesday.

Campbell Favored to Win Runoff

John Campbell easily emerged from Tuesday's election as the front-runner to replace Chris Cox's vacated House of Representatives seat.

Dissidents Take Quality Board Seats

Score a win for dissident shareholders of Irvine-based healthcare software maker Quality Systems Inc.

Viacom to Split in Two

Viacom Inc. on Wednesday filed its prospectus with federal regulators to divide the company in two, forming one company that would include the CBS network and another that would include MTV and other cable networks and Paramount Pictures.

Tuesday, October 4

Lexmark Slashes Outlook, Hit by HP

Lexmark International Inc. on Tuesday slashed its profit outlook and its shares plummeted 23%, as the computer printer maker took a hit from aggressive pricing by its larger rival Hewlett-Packard Co.

Bush Preparing for Greenspan Successor

Now that he's tackled the Supreme Court openings, President Bush is preparing for another high-profile nomination: a successor to Alan Greenspan, whose 18-year run at the Federal Reserve comes to an end in just over three months.

Sun, Google in Software Distribution Pact

Sun Microsystems Inc. and Google Inc. on Tuesday said they agreed to a multiyear pact for Google to promote Sun's software technologies in what amounts to a direct challenge of Microsoft Corp.'s dominance of business users' desktops.

Storms Destroyed 108 Offshore Platforms

A total of 108 low producing oil and natural gas offshore platforms were destroyed by hurricanes Rita and Katrina and likely will not be rebuilt, Interior Secretary Gale Norton said on Tuesday.

Factory Orders Rise in August

Orders at factories rose 2.5% in August as demand for a wide array of both long-lasting and non-durable goods increased, the government said on Tuesday in a report that suggested the U.S. economy had momentum before two hurricanes battered the Gulf Coast.

Valeant Gets Initial OK for Zelapar

Costa Mesa-based Valeant Pharmaceuticals International said Tuesday it got an "approvable letter" from the Food and Drug Administration for Zelapar, a drug to treat Parkinson's disease.

Fluor Settles Cayman Islands Suit

Fluor Corp. said Tuesday that it has agreed to settle a dispute with the developer of a resort hotel in the Cayman Islands.

Chain Store sales Up in Latest week

Chain store sales bounced higher in the latest week following softness in previous weeks related largely to economic fallout from Hurricane Katrina and higher gasoline prices, a report said on Tuesday.

Monday, October 3

Chronic Cantina Coming to Triangle; Nightlife Nod?

A casual Mexican restaurant is coming to the Triangle, in the Marketplace column

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

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

Aug. Construction Spending Up

Construction spending edged up 0.4% in August to a record high as both public and private outlays rose, a Commerce Department report showed on Monday.

Page From Housing: Office Flip in Works

Conexant's headquarters is on the market again

Google, Sun Micro Plan Announcement

Google Inc. and computer maker Sun Microsystems Inc. plan on Tuesday to announce a "collaborative effort" in Silicon Valley.

County's Real Estate Pioneers Aren't Finished, But Change Stirs; New Model: Towers, Lennar

A new kind of OC devloper is emerging, though the older guard still is going strong

Register Parent Names CEO

Irvine-based Freedom Communications Inc., publisher of the Orange County Register, on Monday named director Scott Flanders as its next chief executive.

Symantec Buying BindView for $209M

Software maker Symantec Corp. on Monday said it agreed to acquire information technology security company BindView Development Corp. for about $209 million in cash.

Glaxo Selling Botox in China, Japan

Allergan Inc. said Monday it granted exclusive rights to sell its Botox wrinkle-reducing drug in China and Japan to Britain's GlaxoSmithKline PLC.

Building Recognition, Service Key to Irvine Co. Resort Play

The Irvine Company's looking to run its hotels, golf courses, restaurants and a marina

MARKET WATCH

MARKET WATCH

Wireless Startup Lines Up Funds, Joins Miami Firm

A Foothill Ranch wireless services gear provider has combined with a Miami company

Cities Press Time Warner, Comcast on Cable Service Transfer

Some local cities aren't showing Comcast and Time Warner the welcome mat

IndyMac Sticks With Expansion as Wall Street Vexes

IndyMac's expanding as the housing boom appears to be peaking

Real Estate Watch: Research & Development

R & D; Sector Sees Q2 Vacancy Rise, Lease Rates Fall. PLUS: CHART - Net Absorption; Vacancy Rates; Average Asking Lease Rates

CALENDAR

Calendar of OC Business events and announcements - FREE Download

GM, Ford Post Lower Sales

General Motors Corp. and Ford Motor Co. on Monday posted big declines in U.S. vehicle sales in September as employee pricing discount programs lost their allure and sales of SUVs plunged on higher gasoline prices after hurricanes ravaged the Gulf Coast.

Goodbye to Scampi, Hello to Onotria in Costa Mesa

Former Scampi owner Massimo Navarretta is opening a restaurant, in the Executive Dining column

Buy.Com Takes Steps Toward IPO

Buy.com Inc. may yet be a "buy",or "sell",on Wall Street. The Aliso Viejo-based online retailer recently has made some moves that signal the company soon could go public again.

Edwards Gets European Nod for Latest in Valve Line

Edwards has launched its mitral replacement heart valve in Europe, in the Healthcare column

Online Retailer Buy.com Looks Primed for IPO

Buy.com has made some recent moves that signal it could go public,again

All in the Family Business

Thriving family businesses are a major part of the economy, a Viewpoint by Mike Trueblood, director of Cal State Fullerton's Family Business Council.

Hurricane Relief: Medicare Drug Plan Intact

PacifiCare and others have dodged a bullet as the Medicare prescription drug plan goes forward

Rebound in Economy Propelled PR Pickup

Orange County's biggest public relations firms are breathing a sigh of relief.

McGregor: Chip Trends Bright, Economy a Worry

Broadcom's chief executive is optimistic on chip trends, but concerned about the economy, in the Technology column

Old Western Dig Building Filling Up With Suite Tenant

The former Western Digital building is being leased by an executive suites company, in the Real Estate column

Sept. Auto Sales Wrapup

All but two Orange County automakers posted gains in September sales on Monday.

Factories Boom After Storms

Factories ran at their strongest pace in a year in September, registering large increases in orders despite a sharp rise in the price of raw materials, according to a survey published on Monday.

LETTERS

The president has yet to veto a single piece of legislation

PR Firms See Client Budgets Improving, Shift to Freelancers, Monthly Billing

Orange County's public relations firms continue to adjust to a new reality.

PEOPLE

Orange County Businesspeople in the news, on the move

GE Reaffirms Otlook

General Electric Co. on Monday reaffirmed its outlook for third quarter and full-year profits despite the impact of Hurricane Katrina on its insurance business.

Meet Roger Hobbs; Little Saigon Draws Gulf Coast Victims

Meet Roger Hobbs; Little Saigon Draws Gulf Coast Victims

Exit Interview: Apparel Maker Bolts California

A sportswear maker has fled California, citing the state's costly business climate