Stories for May 2006

Wednesday, May 31

Jazz Semi Posts Q1 Loss

Newport Beach-based Jazz Semiconductor Inc., which said in April it plans to go public, posted a loss in the first quarter amid falling prices, the company said in a regulatory filing Wednesday.

Stocks Climb as Oil Plunges

Plunging oil prices pushed stocks sharply higher Wednesday as the U.S.' latest move to settle the dispute over Iran's nuclear arms program eased the energy market's worries about a supply cutoff from the petroleum-rich nation.

Report: Vonage to Reimburse Bankers

Internet telephone service provider Vonage Holdings Corp., stung by the year's worst initial public share offer, plans to reimburse underwriters if customers who were allotted shares did not pay for them, according to media reports.

Cohen to Head Symphony Medical

Raymond W. Cohen has lined up his next day job. Laguna Hills-based Symphony Medical Inc. said Wednesday that it hired the former head of Cardiac Science in Irvine as its chief executive.

Google: Partnerships, Not Buys

Google Inc. believes that big-name partnerships instead of major merger deals remain the best way to expand its customer base, executives of the Web search leader reiterated on Wednesday.

ADC Paying $2B for Andrew Corp.

Network equipment maker ADC has agreed to buy smaller rival Andrew Corp. for about $2 billion in stock to meet rising customer demand for high-speed data and video services.

Garamendi: 16% Workers' Comp Cut

California Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi on Wednesday recommended a 16.4% cut in workers' compensation insurance rates for policies renewing after July 1.

Fed Unsure on More Rate Hikes

Federal Reserve policy-makers were unsure how much more they would need to raise interest rates, if at all, after a May 10 meeting, according to minutes of that gathering released on Wednesday.

Tuesday, May 30

Six Make BusinessWeek 'Hot' List

Several Orange County companies are "hot," according to BusinessWeek's Hot Growth Companies list.

Cooper Drops on Analyst Comments

Shares of Lake Forest-based contact lens and surgical device maker Cooper Cos. fell about 7% Friday after an analyst predicted the company's second-quarter results may fall short.

Beckman: Agencourt Deal Worth $50M

The $120 million sale of Beverly, Mass.-based Agencourt Personal Genomics Inc. is worth about $50 million for Fullerton's Beckman Coulter Inc.

Engelhard: $5B BASF Bid

Chemical company Engelhard Corp. abandoned months of resistance Tuesday and agreed to a $5 billion takeover from German rival BASF AG.

Shareholders Approve Albertsons Deal

Albertsons Inc. and Supervalu Inc. on Tuesday said their shareholders approved the plan for Albertsons to be acquired by a consortium led by Supervalu, a move that will split up Albertsons' operations and make Supervalu one of the biggest U.S. grocers.

Bush Picks Paulson for Treasury

President Bush said on Tuesday that Treasury Secretary John Snow was resigning and that he has nominated Goldman Sachs Chairman Henry Paulson to replace him.

Wal-Mart Shares Hit After Sales View

Retail stocks got off to a rough start early Tuesday, paced by losses in shares of Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Home Depot Inc.

M-Flex Shares Gain on Upgrade

Shares of Multi-Fineline Electronix Inc. were a bright spot in an otherwise brutal day on Wall Street.

Tribune Accused of Falsifying Figures

Federal regulators on Tuesday charged big media group Tribune Co. with reporting falsified circulation figures for two of its newspapers in New York as it settled the case without a fine.

Court Voids KOCE-TV Sale

An appeals court has clouded the future of KOCE-TV, voiding the sale of the PBS affiliate to its foundation, the Huntington Beach-based station said Friday.

Monday, May 29

Restaurant Chains Grow on Buys, Expansions

Local restaurant chains posted sales growth that beat the national average last year

MARKET WATCH

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

Options Talk Hits Broadcom, Others

Several Orange County companies have been mentioned in the options dating issue

Moorlach and Street

It's fiscal responsibility versus the unions in the upcoming election, an Editorial by Rick Reiff

Irvine Co. Looks to L.A. for Office Hire

The Irvine Company's expected hiring of a former Maguire Properties executive could mark subtle shifts for the landlord

Loggins Unplugged For Dana Point; Stem-Cell Stud

Loggins Unplugged For Dana Point; Stem-Cell Stud

REAL ESTATE DEALS

Sales and leases of offices, industrial buildings, retail space and apartments

Allergan Buys to Block Condo Neighbors

Allergan Inc. has quietly bought office buildings and land around its Irvine campus in what looks like a bid to create a buffer from condominiums and apartments that are set to envelop much of the area around John Wayne Airport in the next decade.

PANIC ATTACK

Guess who's back? Milan Panic is taking shots, including filing a lawsuit, against the company he founded

Clueless

The L.A. Times just doesn't get Anaheim, an Editorial by Rick Reiff

GOOD COPY: Printers Posted Solid Sales Growth In Past Year

Printers Posted Solid Sales Growth In Past Year

Leno Joke Aside, Payne & Fears All Business in Expansion

Payne & Fears has a catchy name and a new base in the Bay area after an acquisition

JWA Plans Plant to Supply Most Power

John Wayne Airport plans to build its own electricity generating plant

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Orange County's top news of the week

CALENDAR

Calendar of OC Business events and announcements

Wet Seal Tweaks Fixtures, Displays at Busiest Stores

Wet Seal is making some marketing tweaks at its busiest stores, in the Media & Marketing column

Printers Invest in Technology, Muting Materials Cost Increase

Commercial printing executives talk about technology and their outlook for the year

Golden West Buy: Close to Home for Downey

Wachovia's buy of Golden West has some speculating about interest in Newport Beach's Downey Savings

December to Remember, May to Forget for PacifiCare

It's been painful for former PacifiCare Health shareholders who held on to their stake in troubled acquirer UnitedHealth, in the Healthcare column

At the Ritz: Flaming Avocado Cocktail, Facials, Classes

The Ritz-Carlton is honoring the avocado with flaming drinks and chef specialties in June, in the Executive Dining column

Allergan Buys Up Buildings to Block Condo Neighbors

Allergan has quietly bought office buildings and land around its Irvine campus in what looks like a bid to create a buffer from condominiums and apartments going up in the area

Real Estate Watch: Retail

OC's retail market recorded falling vacancy and rising lease rates in the first quarter, though interest in investments showed some signs of slowing. PLUS: CHART - Net Absorption; Vacancy Rates; Average Asking Lease Rates

Saks Not Only Staying in Mission Viejo, But Expanding

Saks isn't just staying in Mission Viejo,it's expanding, in the Marketplace column

Anaheim Expecting Tax Boon From Platinum Triangle

Anaheim's counting on a tax boon from redevelopment in the Platinum Triangle, in the Real Estate column

Western Digital Moves On Familiar Takeover Chatter

Same story, different time: Western Digital is moving on takeover talk, in the Technology column

Friday, May 26

Pac Life Extends Tennis Sponsorship

Newport Beach-based Pacific Life Insurance Co. has signed a one-year deal to continue as sponsor of the Pacific Life Open tennis tournament in Indian Wells.

Sands to Build Casino in Singapore

Singapore picked U.S. casino operator Las Vegas Sands to build and run what will be the world's most expensive casino at a cost of more than $3.2 billion.

Times of London to Launch in U.S.

The Times, Rupert Murdoch's London-based newspaper, is launching a U.S. edition next month that will be printed at facilities owned by its News Corp. sibling the New York Post.

April Inflation Doesn't Cause Alarm

Core U.S. prices rose 0.2% in April, according to a government report on Friday that did little to clear up the question of whether the Federal Reserve would raise interest rates in June, Reuters reported.

Thursday, May 25

AMO Gives Mazzo More Control

Advanced Medical Optics Inc. Thursday named Chief Executive James Mazzo chairman of the contact lens and eye device maker.

Lay, Skilling Convicted

Former Enron Corp. chiefs Kenneth Lay and Jeffrey Skilling were convicted Thursday of conspiracy to commit securities and wire fraud in a case born from one of the biggest business scandals in U.S. history.

Yahoo, eBay Form Advertising Alliance

Yahoo Inc. and Web auctioneer eBay on Thursday announced a partnership designed to boost their position against Microsoft Corp. and Web search leader Google Inc., underscoring recent speculation the two companies could eventually combine.

Business Women Honored

Four women entrepreneurs and a real estate executive turned business promoter were honored Thursday at the Business Journal's 12th annual Women in Business Awards luncheon in Irvine.

Economy Zooms in Q1

The economy showed even more pep than initially thought in the first quarter, zipping ahead at a 5.3% pace. But a less energetic housing market and high energy prices are now taking out some of the oomph.

Home Sales Fall, Prices Hit Record

Orange County home prices hit a record in April, though the number of sales fell sharply, according to a report Thursday.

Regions Buying AmSouth for $10B

Regions Financial Corp said on Thursday it agreed to acquire rival Alabama-based bank AmSouth Bancorp for nearly $10 billion, pricing the deal at a discount to AmSouth's closing share price.

Intel: No Memory Spinoff

Intel Corp., the world's top computer chip maker, denied speculation on Thursday it might spin off and list its memory chip business.

McDonald's CEO: Fast Food 'Fiction'

McDonald's Corp. CEO Jim Skinner told shareholders Thursday not to believe the recent surge of "fiction" maligning fast food and pledged that the company will be more aggressive and creative in setting the record straight.

SenoRx Files for $86M IPO

SenoRx Inc., a medical device maker in Aliso Viejo, filed Thursday to raise up to $86.3 million in an initial public offering.

Wednesday, May 24

S & P; Cuts Valeant on Drug Setbacks

Costa Mesa-based Valeant Pharmaceuticals International was downgraded by Standard & Poor's Ratings Services on Wednesday, a result of recent setbacks in its drug development pipeline.

Hefty Property Taxes Hit Tenants

Big rent hikes aren't the only thing hitting office tenants these days. Hefty property tax increases are being passed on to hundreds of Orange County tenants in buildings that recently have changed hands in a hot market for office deals.

Bank of China Prices IPO

Bank of China Ltd. on Wednesday priced its Hong Kong initial public offering near the top of the expected range, raising $9.7 billion in the world's biggest stock offering since 2000, despite the recent turmoil in Asian stock markets.

Microsoft Testing Windows, Launch on Target

Microsoft Corp. launched its second major test version of the Windows Vista operating system on Tuesday as a senior executive said he was "confident" the company will meet its targeted release date.

Qualcomm Sues Nokia Over UK Patents

Wireless technology company Qualcomm Inc. on Wednesday said it had filed a suit against Finnish mobile phone maker Nokia, alleging the company had infringed on two Qualcomm patents in Britain.

April New Home Sales Up 4.9%

Defying forecasts of an imminent slowdown, sales of new homes shot up in April to the fastest sales pace this year. But prices were up only slightly, and the backlog of unsold homes hit a new record.

Goods Orders Fall, Home Sales Up

New orders for U.S.-made durable goods tumbled an unexpectedly large 4.8% in April but new home sales were surprisingly strong last month, government reports showed on Wednesday.

Vonage Shares Set to Trade at $17

Shares of Vonage Holdings Corp., the Internet telephone pioneer, were to make their trading debut Wednesday after pricing late Tuesday at $17 a share, the middle of the expected range.

Motorola Sees Market Share Gains

Motorola Inc. expects to gain market share and increase its cell-phone operating profit margin every quarter throughout 2006 and 2007, the head of its cell-phone division, Ron Garriques, said on Wednesday.

Experian Spinoff Set; CEO to London

Britain's GUS PLC said Wednesday it plans to spin off credit rating and financial services company Experian Group in October, the early end of a timetable set out in March.

Tuesday, May 23

Tech Data Climbs On Earnings

Tech Data Corp. shares surged as much as 10% Tuesday after the key rival of Santa Ana's Ingram Micro Inc. met Wall Street's earnings forecasts even as one-time charges caused its profit to slump from a year ago.

Fannie Mae Agrees to $400M Fine

Mortgage financier Fannie Mae agreed to pay a $400 million fine after a U.S. probe into its $11 billion accounting scandal blamed management and the board for an "arrogant and unethical" corporate culture that led to massive manipulation of earnings.

First American, Spitzer Settle

Santa Ana-based First American Corp. on Tuesday settled with New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, who led a probe into alleged improper business practices at the company and other title insurers.

Founder Blum Steps Back at Buy.com

Scott Blum has stepped down as chief executive of Aliso Viejo-based Buy.com Inc., the company he founded and tried to take public late last year.

Cox: SEC Looking at Options Issue

U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Christopher Cox said on Tuesday that possible stock option backdating is "a matter of ongoing interest to our enforcement division."

Google Looks to Placate Analysts

Web search leader Google Inc. said on Tuesday it plans to hold a special meeting with financial analysts and investors next week, in a bid to improve the company's rocky relations with Wall Street.

Toll Brothers Pares Profit Outlook

Toll Brothers Inc. early Tuesday said quarterly profit rose 3% from the year-earlier period but trimmed its 2006 outlook on slowing demand for new houses and rising labor and material costs.

Ritz Interactive Pulls IPO Plans

Irvine-based Ritz Interactive Inc. withdrew its plans to raise up to $34.5 million in an initial public offering, according to a regulatory filing on Tuesday.

Vonage IPO Seen risky; Buyout?

Vonage Holdings Corp. is set to go public even as the money-losing Internet phone service provider faces high costs and growing competition, leading analysts to call it a risky bet whose long-term fate may lie in a buyout.

Monday, May 22

LETTERS

Readers have their say on proposed road expansions in Orange County, in Letters

Beckman's Distribution Makeover

Beckman Coulter Chief Executive Scott Garrett has put his imprint on the device maker since taking over in early 2005

The Right Hire

Small Businesses Lean On Craigslist, Churches, Firefighting Acadamies to Find Good Workers

Lowe's Warns on Housing Market

Home improvement retailer Lowe's Cos. on Monday posted a 44% rise in first-quarter earnings, but its shares fell more than 4% as it pared its sales growth forecasts, saying a slower housing market could pose head winds.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

John Wayne Airport has landed an OC culinary icon

Wet Seal Posts Gains, Warns on May

Foothill Ranch-based Wet Seal Inc., a teen retailer in the midst of a multiyear turnaround, delivered a mix of good and bad with its quarterly results on Monday.

Linksys Post-Tsaos: More Foreign Sales, Acquisitions on Tap

Cisco Systems' Linksys unit has ambitious international growth plans under its new leader

Cedar Fair Buying Paramount Parks

Amusement park operator Cedar Fair LP, owner of Knott's Berry Farm, said on Monday it would buy Paramount Parks Inc., a subsidiary of CBS Corp., for $1.24 billion to help spread its reach and reduce dependence on some regions.

PEOPLE

Hirings, promotions and other moves at local businesses

Office Tower Sales Lure Tax Assessor

Big rent hikes aren't the only thing hitting office tenants these days,hefty property taxes also are taking a bite

SPEAK

Quotes from this week's Business Journal, in Speak

Another Robust Year for Shopping Centers: $6.6B in '05 Sales

The county's largest malls posted another year of gains in 2005 with a 7% rise to $6.6 billion in revenue

Platinum Triangle Caterer Finds a New Home

Okeh Caterers moved from the Platinum Triangle to an industrial space just a short distance away

Commodity Prices Continue to Fall

Oil prices fell toward $68 on Monday and hit a six-week low as concern that inflation may slow economic growth encouraged selling across commodities markets.

Big Change at UCI Med: First Cygan, Now Cesario

UC Irvine's medical school has seen some big changes this year among its executive ranks, in the Healthcare column

SMALL-BUSINESS LENDING

Santa Ana's SBA Loan Volume Up 26% to $490M in Past Six Months

Space Age Wilhelm Restaurant Landing at John Wayne Airport

John Wayne Airport has landed an OC culinary icon

Close, But That's Not Volcom Opening on 17th Street

Volcom does some guerilla marketing ahead of Surfside Sports' 17th Street opening, in the Marketplace column

Policymakers Address Market Tumbles

The International Monetary Fund and European policymakers sought to calm investor concerns over tumbles in global stock and commodity markets that continued on Monday.

Report: Broadcom Met With Infineon

Broadcom Corp. Chief Executive Scott McGregor met with his acquisition-minded counterpart at Germany's Infineon Technologies AG a few months back, according to reports in Forbes and a German newspaper.

INSIDE AMERIQUEST

ACC Capital's chief executive is re-engineering Ameriquest and the company's other units amid a falloff in subprime borrowing

Two Execs Leave Crevier; Another OC Reality Show

Two Execs Leave Crevier; Another OC Reality Show

Women Entrepreneurs May Get SBA-Backed Business Center

Women Entrepreneurs May Get SBA-Backed Business Center

Gateway CEO Looks to Rally Shareholders

Gateway's interim chief executive laid out a comeback strategy to shareholders last week

Ameriquest Re-Engineers as Rates Rise

ACC Capital Holdings Corp.'s chief executive has been busy with a big re-engineering project. The privately held subprime mortgage lender, parent of Ameriquest Mortgage Co., unveiled sweeping changes earlier this month, including branch closures and layof

Samsung Tries Again With Mobile PC

Samsung Electronics is re-entering the U.S. computer market from Irvine, the same place the company left it back in the 1990s

Lageder Mixes Up First Cabin Menu with Seasonal Fare

The Balboa Bay Club readies for the warm weather, in the Executive Dining column

MARKET WATCH

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

Real Estate Watch: Low-Rise Office Space

Low-Rise Rates Rise on Demand. PLUS: CHART - Net Absorption; Vacancy Rates; Average Asking Lease Rates

Gas Emission Rules Aimed at Deodorant, Hairspray

If state air regulators have their way, changes will soon be coming to deodorants, hairsprays, paint solvents and many other products, in Regulation Watch

REAL ESTATE DEALS

Sales and leases of offices, industrial buildings, retail space and apartments

KUDOS

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

After Selling to IBM, Entrepreneur Grabs UltraLink

Dot-com survivor UltraLink has combined with Secova of New Jersey, in the Technology column

Triple Net Bucks Trend With Santa Ana Building Buy

An acquisition by Triple Net in OC is a rare one for the Santa Ana investor, in the Real Estate column

Irvine Co. to Fill Top Office Position

The Irvine Company is expected to tap former Maguire Properties Inc. co-chief executive and president Richard Gilchrist as the new head of its office division.

CALENDAR

Calendar of OC Business events and announcements

Wal-Mart Sells South Korean Stores

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is selling its loss-making South Korean stores to Shinsegae Co. for $882 million, making it the second global retailer to exit the country after Carrefour.

Home Prices: Mixed Bag in April

Home prices in Orange County hit another record high in April, but sales volumes continued to show a decline.

NYSE Makes $10B Bid for Euronext

The New York Stock Exchange unveiled a $10.2 billion share and cash bid for Euronext, opening the way to a possible bid battle with Deutsche Boerse.

St. John Cofounder Marie Gray: You Can't Go Back

St. John Knits' cofounder Marie Gray said the company's comeback plans are best left in the hands of the people running the clothing maker, in the Media & Marketing column

Friday, May 19

Mittal Ups Arcelor Offer to $31B

Mittal Steel, seeking to win back eroding investor support for its bid for Arcelor, raised its offer by a third to $31 billion and dropped a key demand for family control over the combined global steel giant.

U.S. Dollar Rallies, Breaking Trend

The dollar posted sharp gains on Friday, as investors trimmed overextended positions in other currencies, and rallied against the yen on easing fears of a near-term rate hike by the Bank of Japan.

Bankrupt Calpine Expects Bigger Claims

Bankrupt power producer Calpine Corp. said on Friday it expects claims in bankruptcy court to be "significantly greater" than the total debt of $17.4 billion reported at the end of last year.

OC Unemployment Falls Again

Orange County's unemployment rate fell to 3.2% in April, down from 3.6% a year ago. The unemployment rate was 3.4% in March.

Danaher Step Closer to Sybron Buy

Washington, D.C.-based Danaher Corp. said Friday that it's all but wrapped up its $2 billion buy of Newport Beach-based Sybron Dental Specialties Inc.

Western Digital Shares Shoot Up

Shares of disk drive maker Western Digital Corp. soared about 12% Friday, sparked by a familiar theme: takeover speculation.

Thursday, May 18

Politicians Pledge Help for Automakers

Congressional leaders pledged to work with beleaguered Detroit-based auto companies on Thursday to help the industry produce more fuel efficient vehicles and compete better with foreign rivals.

Jury Deliberates; New Lay Trial Starts

Former Enron Chief Executive Ken Lay's second criminal trial began on Thursday while jurors deliberated in a separate trial to determine if he was guilty of conspiracy and fraud linked to the collapse of the energy company.

Cervical Cancer Vaccine Faces Review

A new vaccine to protect women and girls from a sexually transmitted virus that causes cervical cancer comes under scrutiny on Thursday when a U.S. advisory panel considers whether to back approval.

Enron jury Resumes Deliberations

Jurors at the trial of former Enron CEOs Ken Lay and Jeffrey Skilling began their second day of deliberations on Thursday to decide whether the two men are guilty of lying to hide the financial rot at the defunct energy company.

Valeant Sells Poland Plant

Costa Mesa-based Valeant Pharmaceuticals International said Thursday it's sold its plant in Warsaw, Poland, to Strides Polska SP.

Report: Kia May Hold U.S. Plant

South Korea's Kia Motors Corp. said on Thursday it was indefinitely postponing the start of construction of its $1.2 billion U.S. car plant amid an ongoing probe into the firm and its parent Hyundai Motor Co. .

Milberg, Partners Indictment Due

Weiss Bershad & Schulman LLP, one of the best-known class-action securities law firms, and two of its partners could face indictment on Thursday in connection with a kickback probe but a settlement is still possible, two people familiar with the matter sa

Lyon Has Enough Shares to Go Private

The chairman and chief executive of Newport Beach-based William Lyon Homes Inc. appears ready to take his company private, saying Thursday that he owns more than 90% of the homebuilder's shares.

Omnicare Sues UnitedHealth

Omnicare Inc., which supplies pharmaceuticals to nursing homes, on Thursday said it had sued UnitedHealth Group Inc., claiming the insurer violated antitrust laws in contract negotiations involving the Medicare health insurance program.

Kingston Hot on Flash Market

Kingston Technology Co.'s charge into memory for consumer electronics is paying off, even if it wasn't a popular idea at first.

Dell Profit Falls; Will Buy AMD Chips

Dell Inc., the world's biggest personal computer maker, said on Thursday it would start using chips from Advanced Micro Devices Inc., sending shares of both companies higher, but Dell also said its quarterly profit fell 18% as growth slowed.

Wednesday, May 17

Honda Maps Growth, U.S., Japan Plants

Honda Motor Co. outlined an aggressive expansion plan on Wednesday that will see new car plants in the U.S. and Japan to power it to a fresh global sales forecast of at least 4.5 million cars in 2010.

Bausch & Lomb Defends Actions

Bausch & Lomb Inc. said Wednesday it began discussions with U.S. health regulators within days of receiving reports in February of an unusual incidence of severe fungal infections among contact lens wearers in Singapore.

Gateway Plans Nashville Plant

Irvine-based Gateway Inc. said Wednesday it plans to build a manufacturing plant in Nashville, Tenn. The computer maker expects to employ 300 workers with a payroll of $8 million within the first year.

Deutsche Bank Buying Mortgage Lender

Deutsche Bank AG said Wednesday it is buying Lake Forest-based mortgage company Chapel Funding LLC.

Vivendi Rejects Break-Up Call

Vivendi rejected what it said was a demand from shareholder Sebastian Holdings to break itself up, while denying the fund had made a bid approach worth $51 billion.

Broadcom Rises on Patent Suit Hopes

On a day when the markets fell sharply, shares of Broadcom Corp. gained after an analyst said a recent International Trade Commission staff attorney's brief appeared favorable to the chipmaker.

Boeing Keeps Profit, Revenue Views

Boeing Co. on Wednesday kept its profit and revenue forecasts unchanged for this year and next, despite the boom in deliveries for its commercial jets.

UPS Unveils $1B Expansion

UPS Inc. announced plans Wednesday for a second $1 billion expansion at its main air hub in recent years, this time adding 5,000 jobs as the world's largest shipping carrier anticipates strong growth in global commerce.

Tuesday, May 16

Home Depot: Profit Up, Sales Soft

Home Depot Inc., the largest home improvement retailer, on Tuesday reported a 19% rise in first-quarter earnings as sales to professional builders expanded, but sales at retail stores were soft and its shares fell almost 2%.

Euronext, NYSE Talk Combo

European share markets operator Euronext and New York rival NYSE Group Inc. are looking at merger options as industry players rush to team up, said a source familiar with the matter on Tuesday.

Wal-Mart Profit Up; Energy a Worry

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. on Tuesday posted a better-than-expected 6% rise in quarterly profit as new merchandise such as its Metro 7 clothing line boosted spring sales, but cautioned that steep energy prices may hurt results in the current quarter.

Valeant Drug Gets FDA OK

Valeant Pharmaceuticals International on Tuesday said regulators have approved its synthetic version of Cannabis to treat nausea associated with chemotherapy.

HP Profit Up

Hewlett-Packard Co. on Tuesday reported a 51% rise in its second-quarter profit as the technology giant saw strong sales at its personal-computer and printing and imaging divisions.

Hansen Shares: Over Energized?

Shares of Corona-based Hansen Natural Corp., maker of the Monster energy drink, have surpassed several lifetime highs this year. But even as Wall Street analysts see the stock climbing further as sales and market share grow, some investors are questioning

Producer Prices Tame, Housing Off

Producer prices, outside of energy costs, barely budged last month while housing starts dropped, according to government reports on Tuesday that helped soothe worries over inflation.

UCI to Develop Stem Cell Lines

The University of California, Irvine, said Tuesday that researchers plan to develop up to five new embryonic stem cell lines for researching potential treatments for spinal cord injury, diabetes and Parkinson's disease.

Enron History Rewritten: Lawyer

Prosecutors rewrote the history of Enron Corp. and intimidated witnesses to wrongly charge former CEO Jeffrey Skilling for crimes he never committed, his lawyer told the jury at his criminal trial on Tuesday.

Monday, May 15

SAN DIEGO SCENE

Job, Income Growth Spur Gains in Commercial Real Estate Markets

Western Digital Names COO President

Western Digital Corp.'s chief executive, Arif Shakeel, has handed over the title of president.

Towers in the Works Aren't Seen Slowing Office Rent Gains

Towers in the Works Aren't Seen Slowing Office Rent Gains

Bausch Extends Solution Recall

Bausch & Lomb Inc. on Monday said it has extended a recall of its ReNu with MoistureLoc contact lens solution to all markets worldwide, saying the product may increase the risk of acquiring a rare but potentially blinding eye infection.

GIVING

Fund-raisers and charitable donations from companies and people

Vacancy Declines, Lease Rates Gain, Construction Rises

Vacancy Declines, Lease Rates Gain, Construction Rises

Ray's Tapped for Wetsuit Maker Body Glove's Surfwear Push

Ray's Apparel, which makes surf and skate clothes under license, is looking to turn wetsuits into surfwear for Body Glove

Mike's Media Blitz; No Dope: Professor Calls Bonds 'Genius'

Mike's Media Blitz; No Dope: Professor Calls Bonds 'Genius'

Circuit Board Makers See Revival on Speed

Speedy circuit board makers are seeing a revival

Crevier: Classics Wanted

Crevier Classic Car is set to open for auto buffs, in the Marketplace column

Boeing to Settle Federal Suits for $615M

Boeing Co. plans to pay $615 million to settle a Justice Department suit over procurement violations, according to a report on the Wall Street Journal's Web site on Monday.

Stem Cell Startup Lands $20M, CEO

Stem cell startup Novocell has landed $20 million in venture funding and hired a chief executive

CALENDAR

Calendar of OC Business events and announcements

Maguire Gets OK for Takeoff on Airport Office Tower

Maguire Properties finally got approval to start building its office tower at Park Place, in the Real Estate column

NATIONAL OFFICE MARKETS

Analysis of National office markets - including Chicago, New York, Washington...

Largest Private Cos.: $41 Billion in 2005 Revenue

The county's largest private companies saw a big revenue gain during the past year

Art Institute Gets Art Types Business Ready; Recruiting by Disney, Electronic Arts

TAME AND TRAIN - The Art Institute is putting business in curriculum

Real Estate Watch: High-Rise Office Market

Lease rates continued to rise in the first quarter for space in high-rise office buildings. PLUS: CHART - Net Absorption; Vacancy Rates; Average Asking Lease Rates

Vacancy Declines, Absorption Gains, Lease Rates Drop

Vacancy Declines, Absorption Gains, Lease Rates Drop

Pyott's Play for Inamed: Snuck in With Swiss Stealth

A look at how David Pyott nabbed Inamed for Allergan, in the Healthcare column

The Leo Fender Gallery and "Rhinestones and Twangin' Tones"

The Leo Fender Gallery and "Rhinestones and Twangin' Tones"

Vacancy Declines, Lease Rates Rise, Absorption Gains

Vacancy Declines, Lease Rates Rise, Absorption Gains

Lyon: Buyout Nearly Done at 90%

The chairman and chief executive of Newport Beach-based William Lyon Homes Inc. said on Monday he's acquired nearly 91% of the homebuilder's shares in his bid to take the company private.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Orange County's top news of the week

REGIONAL OFFICE MARKET

Analysis of Southern California office markets

Food and Wine Blowout Heads to the Balboa Bay Club

The Balboa Bay Club & Resort is hosting a fine wine and food affair, in the Executive Dining column

REAL ESTATE DEALS

Sales and leases of offices, industrial buildings, retail space and apartments

Another Sale for Tight Medical Office Market

There was another sale in the tight market for medical office buildings

LETTERS

More on the immigration rallies, in Letters

Arrowhead Pond Sprouts Million-Dollar Freeway Sign

The Arrowhead Pond sprouts a million-dollar freeway sign, in the Media & Marketing column

Samueli on Apple, Qualcomm, His Favorite All-In-One Phone

Henry Samueli talks about Apple and Broadcom's battle with Qualcomm, in the Technology column

After Reluctant Entry, Kingston Gets Big in Flash

Kingston Technology's charge into memory for consumer electronics is paying off

Closing Arguments Start in Enron Trial

Two former chief executives of Enron Corp. "lied over and over and over again" to investors and employees in a widespread fraud that cost victims millions of dollars, a federal prosecutor said Monday.

Poll: About Half Support Tunnel

The idea of building a tunnel though the mountains of the Cleveland National Forest to ease traffic is supported by 52% of voters polled in the northern coastal part of Orange County, according to a recent poll.

HealthSouth Widens Q1 Loss to $435.1M

Rehabilitation chain HealthSouth Corp. on Monday reported its first regular quarterly earnings statement since a $2.7 billion accounting fraud was uncovered three years ago, revealing that its first-quarter loss widened and revenue fell.

PEOPLE

Martin Named Wachovia Auto Finance COO

Ingram Pushes Services in Search of Profits

Ingram's search for profits has the company focusing on a new services unit

WHAT'S AVAILABLE?

A Look at National Office Market Availability Rates in First Quarter

Survey Shows Cooling of Home Prices

Although the increase in prices for single-family cooled in the first quarter, many metropolitan regions are still showing double-digit annual gains.

WESTERN STATES OFFICE MARKET

Analysis of Western States office markets

Target Profit Misses Forecasts

Target Corp. on Monday posted a 12% increase in quarterly profit, but the earnings fell short of Wall Street expectations as margins eroded, sending the stock down 7.7% to a year low.

Friday, May 12

Stem Cell Startup Lands Funding, CEO

Irvine-based Novocell Inc., one of Orange County's few stem cell startups, has landed $20 million in venture funding and hired a chief executive.

Best Buy to Buy China retailer

Consumer electronics retailer Best Buy Co. Inc. said on Friday it would acquire a majority stake in a Chinese appliance retailer for $180 million, giving it a foothold in a market dominated by local players.

Ingram Outsourcing Jobs; 45 From OC

Ingram Micro Inc. is outsourcing about 80 people in its technology department, including around 45 workers locally, a company spokesman said Friday.

Microsoft: Takes Time to Catch Google

Microsoft Corp. Chief Executive Steve Ballmer said on Thursday he has a five-year target to gain a bigger slice of the lucrative online advertising market dominated by Google Inc. and Yahoo Inc.

OC's Top Private Cos.: $42B in Sales

Orange County's 75 largest private companies posted a 13% revenue gain to $42 billion last year while holding local employment steady and growing some jobs elsewhere, according to the Business Journal annual list.

Costly Oil Slows Demand Growth

Record oil prices are braking growth in fuel use in the U.S., the world's biggest consumer, and easing OPEC's supply task this year, the International Energy Agency said on Friday.

Thursday, May 11

PacSun Q1 Profit Off; Sales Picking Up

Retailer Pacific Sunwear of California Inc. recorded a dip in income and same-store sales in its first quarter, the company said Thursday. The good news: sales were solid in April.

Viacom Quarterly Profit Drops

Cable network and movie studio owner Viacom Inc. on Thursday reported lower first-quarter earnings due to higher interest rate expense.

RemedyTemp Selling for $169M

RemedyTemp Inc., an Aliso Viejo employment services company, is being acquired for $169 million by Select Personnel Services of Santa Barbara.

U.S. Still Most Competitive, Asia Gaining

The U.S. will be the world's most competitive nation for the coming years, but Hong Kong and Singapore are catching up, a Swiss business school said in a survey published on Thursday.

UCI Medical Dean Stepping Down

Dr. Thomas Cesario, dean of the University of California, Irvine, School of Medicine and College of Health Sciences, said Thursday that he plans to leave his post as of Nov. 1.

April Retail Sales Below Forecast

Weaker-than-expected April retail sales signaled slower U.S. growth as gasoline prices bit, data showed on Thursday, bolstering views that the Federal Reserve will pause its interest-rate hike campaign next month.

30-Year Mortgage Rates Down Slightly

Rates on 30-year mortgages edged down this week, the first decline after six straight increases, according to a nationwide survey.

Wednesday, May 10

Cable Business Journal VideoCast

Emile Haddad, President of the Western Region of Lennar Corp. visits with Richard Reisman publisher of the OCBJ in this video edition of the Cable Business Journal.

Fed Raises Rates to 5%

The Federal Reserve raised interest rates on Wednesday to the highest level in five years. Meeting for only the second time under Chairman Ben Bernanke, the central bank's policy-setting Federal Open Market Committee raised the overnight federal funds rat

Yahoo, Telemundo: Hispanic Web Venture

Yahoo Inc. and NBC Universal Television's Telemundo said on Wednesday that they will merge their Web properties targeted at the U.S. Hispanic market into a joint Internet business, Yahoo! Telemundo.

UnitedHealth May Restate Earnings

UnitedHealth Group Inc. said on Thursday it may have to restate past earnings by as much as $286 million as it reviews stock option practices that led to a $1.6 billion windfall for its chief executive.

Disney Profit Rises

Strong television ratings and increased theme park attendance helped profit at The Walt Disney Co. rise 12% in the second quarter, although the media conglomerate did report a drop in earnings at its film studio.

Whirlpool: Close Maytag Units, Cut Jobs

Whirlpool Corp. on Wednesday said it would cut 4,500 jobs, or nearly 6% of its work force, as it closes three laundry appliance plants and various offices including the Iowa headquarters of recently acquired Maytag.

REIT to Buy Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel

The 393-room Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel has found a new owner,sort of.

Fed To Raise Rates; Language Eyed

The Federal Reserve is set to raise interest rates on Wednesday to the highest level in five years and may use a post-meeting statement to open the door to a pause after 16 straight, well-telegraphed hikes.

Tsaos Changing Roles at Cisco

Victor and Janie Tsao,founders of Irvine-based Cisco-Linksys LLC,are stepping down from running the networking gear company they sold to Cisco Systems Inc. three years ago.

Broadcom Goes Donkey Kong

Irvine-based Broadcom Corp. Wednesday announced a contract win in an industry not usually associated with the chipmaker: video games.

Impac Profit Falls, Dividend Rises

Newport Beach-based Impac Mortgage Holdings Inc. on Wednesday reported lower earnings for the first quarter, but raised its dividend and was cautiously optimistic that its results would improve this year.

News Corp.: Share Buyback at $6B

Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. on Wednesday said it would raise its current share buyback program to a total of $6 billion from a previous $3 billion.

Fed Raises Rate, May Hike Again

The Federal Reserve lifted interest rates for a 16th straight time on Wednesday and said it would keep raising them if necessary to check inflation, though it opened the door to a possible rate pause.

Tuesday, May 9

What Will Fed Do After Next Rate Hike?

After a widely expected interest rate increase Wednesday, the Federal Reserve may opt to take a pause in its two-year rate-raising campaign.

EU Quandary Over Microsoft Action

Microsoft Corp.'s new Vista operating system has put the European Commission in a quandary on whether to open a new front against the software giant before a court clarifies the EU antitrust watchdog's authority.

AOL to Cut 1,300 Jobs

Time Warner Inc.'s Internet company AOL on Tuesday said it would cut 1,300 jobs, or 7% of its work force, largely at call centers where customer queries have dropped dramatically.

Acquisitions Boost Sage, Another in Works

Britain's Sage Group PLC, parent of Orange County's largest software company Sage Software Inc. in Irvine, on Tuesday reported higher earnings and revenue growth from acquisitions.

Games the Game at E3

While much of the attention at this year's Electronic Entertainment Expo is focused on new hardware such as Sony Corp.'s PlayStation 3 and Nintendo Co. Ltd's Wii, the success of the next generation of video game consoles will likely be determined by their

Watson Pharma Earnings, Shares Slide

Corona-based Watson Pharmaceuticals Inc. on Tuesday posted a 35% drop in first-quarter profit, hurt by declining prescriptions in its non-promoted brands and pricing pressure in its generics business.

Movie Deal for 'World of Warcraft'

Blizzard Entertainment, Orange County's top video game developer, is moving from the computer screen to the big screen.

Multi-Fineline Falls Short, Warns

Anaheim circuit board maker Multi-Fineline Electronix Inc. saw its stock crumble nearly 30% on Wednesday after it fell short of Wall Street expectations and warned for the current quarter.

Monday, May 8

Times Sends OC Ad Work to India

The Los Angeles Times is sending OC ad work to India

REAL ESTATE DEALS

This week's postings of Real Estate sales and leases

Water World: Body Glove Snorkel, Goggles Maker Expands

The maker of snorkels, goggles and other water gear for Body Glove is looking to expand to Asia

Luxury Row's Latest: Ferrari & Maserati of Newport

Ferrari & Maserati of Newport Beach opened on Pacific Coast Highway, in the Marketplace column

BUSINESS DOC

Talbert Medical's chief executive says the company is thriving under its independence

SLIM GROWTH

ABOUT THE LIST The list of OC's biggest hotels saw just one newcomer during the past year

Beckman Coulter Settles With Applera in DNA Standoff

Beckman Coulter has settled a genetic research dispute with Applera, in the Healthcare column

LETTERS

The Insider's view of Costa Mesa as Orange County's downtown gets some support, in Letters

Housing Shift Has Standard Pacific Thinking Smaller

The shift in the housing market has Standard Pacific making plans to build smaller homes, in the Real Estate column

El Pollo Loco Plans $135M IPO

Irvine-based El Pollo Loco Holdings Inc. is looking to bring its "Crazy Chicken" to Wall Street. The fast-food Mexican chain filed on Monday to raise up to $135 million in an initial public offering.

Allergan: $2M to UCI

The Allergan Foundation on Monday gave $2 million to the University of California, Irvine, to advance eye research and treatment.

Capita Technologies Grows on Web Marketing Pushes

Online marketing firm Capita Technologies is boosting its staff, in the Media & Marketing column

Philosophical Divide: Tourism Board Budget Funding Debated

Philosophical Divide: Tourism Board Budget Funding Debated

Lawmaker Sees Way Around Indexed Wage Stalemate

A Republican lawmaker wants to grow state bureaucracy to save Gov. Schwarzenegger's minimum wage proposal, in Regulation Watch

Irvine Co. Eyes 6,000 Homes Near Spectrum

The Irvine Co. is a step closer to developing about 6,000 homes over time in the southeastern part of Irvine

Wachovia Paying $25B for World Savings

Wachovia Corp., the nation's fourth largest bank, is muscling into the West with a $25.5 billion deal to buy Golden West Financial Corp., a mom-and-pop shop that blossomed into a prized savings and loan.

GOOD VIBRATIONS

Tourism Set to Hit Another High Mark

Thermo Electron Paying $11B for Fisher

Thermo Electron Corp. and Fisher Scientific International Inc. said Monday they agreed to combine in a deal valued at about $10.6 billion, in a move to create a leading provider of laboratory products and scientific equipment.

Broadcom Hoard Raises Acquisition, Buyback Queries

Broadcom's enormous cash hoard has raised some questions about its acquisition and stock buyback plans, in the Technology column

STRIP MALL CHIC

Costa Mesa's 17th Street draws crowds to its funky stores and eateries

Emmis Shares Up on CEO's Buy Bid

A week after losing a bid to buy the Washington Nationals baseball team, the chief executive of Emmis Communications Corp. said Monday he will try to purchase the media group in a deal valued at $567 million.

Behind on Mother's Day Plans? Fifi Has Some Options

Mother's Day is on Fifi's mind, in the Executive Dining column

Analysts Weighing Mindspeed Shortfall

Analysts are weighing the impact of Mindspeed's quarterly shortfall

Irvine Mayor: Pushing Inland Empire Jobs

Economic development boosters in the Inland Empire have an unlikely ally: Irvine Mayor Beth Krom.

Real Estate Watch: Construction

Office development picked up in the first quarter. PLUS: CHART - Net Absorption; Vacancy Rates; Average Asking Lease Rates

Beyond Disney: Tourism Marketers Eye Arts, Sports Visitors

Tourism marketers are looking to the arts and sports to lure more visitors to the county

Yahoo Ups Web Ad Search Battle

Yahoo Inc. is set to introduce on Monday a long-delayed upgrade to its Web search advertising system, setting the stage for a face off with Web search leader Google Inc. later this year.

Sarbanes-Oxley Costs High for Cos.

A new report by congressional auditors finds that the costs for public companies to comply with a 2002 anti-fraud law have been higher than anticipated, providing ammunition to business interests that have been complaining about the law's impact.

MARKET WATCH

Week's Best, Worst Performers; Roth OC50, Billion Dollar Club, OC Tech;

Irvine Mayor: Build Jobs, Not Tunnel

Economic development boosters in the Inland Empire have an unlikely ally in Irvine Mayor Beth Krom

CALENDAR

Calendar of OC Business events and announcements

CEO Eyes Payday, Possible Exit With Sybron Acquisition

Sybron's chief executive eyes a nice payday from the company's sale to Danaher

Lincoln Club Gives Guv Ovation, Jab; the 'Judas' Prof

Lincoln Club Gives Guv Ovation, Jab; the 'Judas' Prof

Dell Lowers Forecast, Cuts Prices

Dell Inc., the world's leading personal computer maker, said on Monday first-quarter earnings would fall short of its earlier forecast after it cut prices aimed at boosting future revenue growth.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Orange County's top news of the week

PEOPLE

Hirings, promotions and other moves at local businesses

IPO Activity Picking Up on Spate of Deals, Plans

2006 is shaping up to be a pretty busy one for IPOs

Friday, May 5

Toll Brothers: Q2 Contracts Fall

Toll Brothers Inc., a leading builder of luxury homes, said Friday its signed contracts fell 29% in its second fiscal quarter, and cut its full-year home deliveries forecast.

Irvine Co. Planning More Irvine Homes

The Irvine Company is a step closer to developing about 6,000 homes over time in the southeastern part of Irvine.

Powerwave in Talks to Buy Unit

Santa Ana-based Powerwave Technologies Inc. said Friday it is in talks to buy a wireless gear division from Britain's Filtronic PLC.

April Jobs Growth Weak

Employers added 138,000 jobs in April, far fewer than had been anticipated, while annual wages rose at the strongest rate in more than 4.5 years, a Labor Department report on Friday showed.

Conexant Settles TI Patent Spat

Newport Beach-based Conexant Systems Inc. said Friday it will pay Texas Instruments Inc. $70 million to settle a long-running patent dispute.

Legislators Pass Public Works Plan

State lawmakers early Friday approved a series of bills that would place a record public works spending plan before voters in November, reviving a proposal that had broad public support but failed to pass the Legislature earlier this year.

Thursday, May 4

Bausch: Eye Infection Cases in Europe

Eye care company Bausch & Lomb Inc. confirmed for the first time its ReNu contact-lens solution has been linked to a "handful" of eye infection cases in Europe, the Wall Street Journal reported on its Web site on Thursday.

FedEx Indiana Hub: 800 Jobs

A $214 million expansion of FedEx's Indianapolis hub will add 800 mostly part-time jobs, officials from the shipping company said Thursday.

DA Pulls Support of Street

Chriss Street's campaign for Orange County treasurer-tax collector has lost the support of District Attorney Tony Rackauckas.

Jobless Claims Up, Labor Costs Too

Jobless claims unexpectedly rose 5,000 last week while unit labor costs increased at almost twice the expected pace in the first quarter of the year, government data showed on Thursday.

Tyco Q2 Earnings Soar to $1.02B

Tyco International Ltd. on Thursday reported second-quarter earnings shot up fivefold from year-ago results that included a hefty charge. The manufacturing conglomerate also lowered its full-year forecast.

PacSun Surges, Wet Seal Slows

Anaheim-based teen clothes retailer Pacific Sunwear of California Inc. reversed a slump with a better-than-expected 14% rise in April sales at stores open at least a year. Foothill Ranch-based Wet Seal Inc., the county's other major retailer, reported a 1

Dell CEO Shrugs Off Stock Tumbles

Dell Inc. founder and chairman Michael Dell, responding to concerns about his company's recent stock declines, said Thursday he remains confident in the direct-sales model that helped create the world's largest PC maker.

Retailers Post Strong Sales

Retailers reported their biggest monthly sales gain in two years on Thursday, as consumers shrugged off soaring gasoline prices and bought spring clothing, Easter candy and other goods in an unseasonably warm April.

New Century: Strong Q1

Irvine-based New Century Financial Corp. again defied the slowing mortgage business with strong first-quarter results and an upbeat outlook.

Wednesday, May 3

Beckman Beats Views, Ups Outlook

Beckman Coulter Inc. reported lower first-quarter profits and sales but beat Wall Street's expectations and upped its 2006 outlook, sending its shares about 5% higher in early Wednesday trading.

Wal-Mart to Sell Custom PCs

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. will start selling build-your-own-computer components in more than one-third of its U.S. discount stores this month as it looks for ways to tempt shoppers to buy more than just low-margin food.

Electronic Arts Posts Loss, Shares Fall

Electronic Arts Inc., the world's biggest video game publisher, on Wednesday said it swung to a quarterly loss and shares fell 4% after its full-year forecast missed Wall Street targets.

Qualcomm Ups Outlook

Qualcomm Inc. on Wednesday raised its earnings forecast for the fiscal third quarter, citing rising demand for its cheapest cell phone chips, as well as for its most advanced wireless technology.

QLogic Net Off After Unit Sale

Aliso Viejo-based QLogic Corp., a supplier of components for data storage networks, on Wednesday said quarterly profit fell after the company sold its disk drive controller business.

Allergan Lowers Q2 Outlook

Allergan Inc. on Wednesday reported first-quarter results that were weighed down by charges from its buy of Inamed Corp. and lowered its outlook for the current quarter, the first full one with Inamed in the fold.

Powerwave Rebounds on Q2 Outlook

A day after Powerwave Technologies Inc. reported lower-than-expected sales and profits in the first quarter, its shares soared more than 10% on a better outlook for the current quarter.

Warner Rejects $4.2B EMI Takeover

Warner Music , the fourth-largest music company, has rejected a $4.2 billion takeover approach from its larger rival EMI Group , the latest in a long-running quest to combine the two companies.

Tuesday, May 2

Triangle Square Loses Broker

Another leasing agent has been dropped after taking its shot at turning around Triangle Square in Costa Mesa.

Chain Store Sales Up in Latest Week

Chain stores reported a rise in sales during the fourth and final week of April, helped by warmer weather, a report said on Tuesday.

Verizon Profit Off; Wireless Boosts Sales

Verizon Communications Inc., the biggest U.S. telephone company by revenue, said on Tuesday quarterly profit fell on merger-related costs, but sales rose on strong growth in its wireless business.

Ameriquest Cutting 3,800 Jobs

ACC Capital Holdings, the parent of subprime mortgage lender Ameriquest Mortgage, plans to cut about 3,800 jobs, including some local positions at its Orange headquarters.

April Auto Sales Hurt by Gas Prices

Higher gasoline prices rippled through U.S. auto sales in April, hurting demand for sport-utility vehicles and boosting sales of fuel-efficient models in an otherwise slack market, according to data released on Tuesday.

Bolivia Takeover Hits Energy Stocks

Bolivia's decision to nationalize its gas fields weighed on shares in companies active in the country on Tuesday, but analysts said the long-term impact on foreign companies would be small.

UnitedHealth: 4 Directors Re-Elected

The shareholders of UnitedHealth Group Inc. overwhelmingly re-elected four members of the board of directors on Tuesday despite the opposition of a few large shareholders.

Burger King IPO: $425M in Shares

Hamburger chain Burger King Holdings Inc. on Tuesday said it expects to raise as much as $425 million through the sale of up to 25 million shares in an initial public offering later this year.

Monday, May 1

Wedbush Morgan Hires OC Banker to Launch Startup

A local banking executive has been tapped by Wedbush Morgan to help the brokerage set up a bank

CALENDAR

Calendar of OC Business events and announcements

OC 50 - TECHNOLOGY

Profiles of Orange County's Most Influential Businesspeople in Technology

OC 50 - INDUSTRY & SERVICES

Profiles of Orange County's Most Influential Businesspeople in Industry and Services

KUDOS

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

Boeing Paying $1.7B for Parts Maker

Boeing Co. said on Monday it agreed to buy aerospace parts supplier Aviall Inc. for $1.7 billion, as the planemaker looks to expand its services operations in the wake of a boom in new plane orders.

Investors: Broadcom's Huge Q1 Not Enough

Broadcom surprised many with its solid first-quarter results, then surprised again with a hefty share price decline

Consumer Spending Up

Consumer spending rose a larger-than-expected 0.6% in March as incomes jumped, but much of that gain was eroded by a pickup in inflation, a government report showed on Monday.

OC 50 - GOVERNMENT & INSTITUTIONS

Profiles of Orange County's Most Influential Businesspeople in Government & Institutions

Chef Summit Sets Agenda at the Anaheim White House

Influential chefs are getting together for a feast and a summit, in the Executive Dining column

Broker's Out at Struggling Triangle Square

There's more turnover on the leasing front at the struggling Triangle Square mall in Costa Mesa

OC 50 - REAL ESTATE

Profiles of Orange County's Most Influential Businesspeople in Real Estate

PEOPLE

Hirings, promotions and other moves at local businesses

Assurant Buying Safeco Unit

New York-based Assurant Inc. said Monday it bought Safeco Financial Institution Solutions Inc., a Santa Ana-based unit of Safeco Corp.

BioLase Shares Soar After Tough '05; Laser Gets Makeover

BioLase Shares Soar After Tough '05; Laser Gets Makeover

AutoNation Exec: Web Business Going Beyond Just Leads

AutoNation's president sees big shift to online sales, in the Marketplace column

IndyMac Eyes Reverse Mortgage IPO

IndyMac Bancorp Inc., which has its mortgage arm in Irvine, on Monday said it may sell through an initial public offering a 20% stake in a unit that provides mortgages for older Americans.

ALL IN THE FIT

The shake-up at St. John Knits has plenty to do with sales, sizes and strategy

OC 50 - HEALTHCARE

Profiles of Orange County's Most Influential Businesspeople in Healthcare

Chipmaker Jazz Again Files for IPO

Newport Beach-based Jazz Semiconduc-tor Inc. is making its second run at the public markets

REAL ESTATE DEALS

Sales and leases of offices, industrial buildings, retail space and apartments

OC 50 - APPAREL

Profiles of Orange County's Most Influential Businesspeople in Apparel

Real Estate Watch: Los Angeles County

Los Angeles County saw office and industrial vacancy rates fall in the first quarter. PLUS: CHART - Net Absorption; Vacancy Rates; Average Asking Lease Rates

LETTERS

Wireless towers, OC transportation funding and the National Football League, in Letters

Japan Barriers Anger Edwards, Other Device Makers

Japanese trade barriers prove frustrating to medical device makers, in the Healthcare column

OC Scores Points With NFL; Krom, Bush 'Hook Horns'

OC Scores Points With NFL; Krom, Bush 'Hook Horns'

PALACE COUP

Some former Disney executives have taken over Palace Entertainment with plans to expand

Irvine Co. Planning for 12-Story Tower at Jamboree Center

The Irvine Co. has plans to build a 12-story office tower at Jamboree Center in Irvine,

Cal State Fullerton to Take On County 5-Year Forecasting

Cal State Fullerton is set to assume a key OC budget forecasting job from Chapman University

GIVING

Fund-raisers and charitable donations from companies and people

Lyon Ups Offer for Homebuilder

The chairman and chief executive of Newport Beach-based William Lyon Homes Inc. on Monday increased his offer to buy all the shares of the company that he doesn't already own by 9%.

SURVEY SAYS; THEY SAY

Annual survey conducted by Small Business California, a statewide, nonpartisan group of nearly 500 small business owners and executivesp Hollywood Gets Hoisted

Irvine Co.: Tower at Jamboree Center

The Irvine Company is dusting off plans to build a sixth high-rise office building at its Jamboree Center in Irvine.

Device Maker Alsius Plans $40 Million IPO

Irvine medical device maker Alsius filed to raise up to $40 million in an initial public offering

Aliso Viejo: Squeezed for Space Once Projects Complete

Aliso Viejo will be just about tapped out for space to develop office buildings once a couple of projects are finished, in the Real Estate column

Comverse CEO, Two Others Resign

Comverse Technology Inc.'s CEO and two other top executives resigned on Monday, about six weeks after the software maker said it was reviewing its stock options grants, the latest executives to be felled by greater scrutiny over the timing of options gran

Fed Could End Hikes

The Federal Reserve has virtually completed its long campaign of raising interest rates but should be ready to tighten again if inflation climbs higher, one of its top policy-makers said on Monday.

CEO, Group to Buy Out Aramark

Food and facilities service provider Aramark Corp. said on Monday a group led by its chief executive has offered $32 a share to take the company private, sparking the stock to an all-time high.

Immigration-Rights Activists Rally in OC

Orange County saw several immigrant-rights rallies on Monday. As expected, the rallies drew several thousand people, though they were much smaller than others in neighboring Los Angeles.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Orange County's top news of the week

MARKET WATCH

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

Exits, Buyouts, Other Moves Roil OC 50

There was plenty of turnover on the normally static list of OC's 50 most prominent businesspersons

Telelogic's Sales, Profit Gains Don't Impress Investors

Telelogic's first-quarter results didn't bowl over investors, in the Technology column,

Oakley Marketing Push for Women's Shades Pays Off

Oakley's stepping up advertising for its women's sunglasses, in the Media & Marketing column

After Many Struggles, MSC Could Soon Have House in Order

MSC.Software shares are on the rise as investors bet the company could soon have its house in order