Stories for November 2006

Thursday, November 30

Microsoft Launches New Windows Vista

Microsoft Corp. launched Windows Vista for businesses on Thursday and said that by the end of next year more than 200 million people would use the new version of its dominant operating system or new office software and server computer products.

H & R; Block Q2 Loss Grows

H & R; Block Inc. on Thursday said its second-quarter loss almost doubled, missing Wall Street expectations as the company's mortgage lending arm continued to hemorrhage cash.

Alcatel Completes Lucent Buy

France's Alcatel SA completed its $11.6 billion acquisition of Lucent Technologies Inc. Thursday, creating a new global telecom-equipment maker that can cash in on fast-growing "triple-play" services offering phone, TV and Internet on a single wire.

Netlist IPO Prices Low, Then Surges

Shares of Irvine memory products maker Netlist Inc. debuted Thursday at the low end of their range but climbed some 35% at their Thursday peak.

Intuit to Buy Digital Insight for $1.35B

Financial software maker Intuit Inc. said Thursday it agreed to acquire banking software company Digital Insight Corp. in a cash deal valued at about $1.35 billion.

Wet Seal November Sales Surge, PacSun Off

New month, same story: Sales at Anaheim-based Pacific Sunwear of California Inc. fell for the four weeks ended last Saturday, while they rose at Orange County's other mall retailer, Wet Seal Inc. of Foothill Ranch.

Kerkorian Sells 14 Million GM Shares

Dissident General Motors Corp. shareholder Kirk Kerkorian is selling another 14 million shares in the troubled automaker, dropping his stake by a third to 4.95% for a price of just over $400 million.

Microsoft launches new Vista version of Windows

Microsoft Corp. launched Windows Vista for businesses on Thursday and said that by the end of next year more than 200 million people would use the new version of its dominant operating system or new office software and server computer products.

HP Lawsuit Adds Insider Trading Claims

A shareholder lawsuit over Hewlett-Packard Co.'s ill-fated boardroom spying probe added claims of insider trading on Wednesday, alleging that executives sold millions of dollars in stock just before the scandal broke.

Yard House Coming to Fashion Island

Irvine-based Yard House Restaurants LLC, which runs restaurants built around hundreds of beer taps and a classic rock theme, plans to open at Fashion Island in Newport Beach next August.

Wednesday, November 29

Advanced Medical Expects to Lose Some Asian Business for Good

Santa Ana-based Advanced Medical Optics Inc.'s Chief Executive James Mazzo said Wednesday the company expects to lose Asian customers,some for good,from a contact lens solution recall.

Economy Expands by 2.2% in Q3

Business growth slowed to a 2.2% pace in the late summer, a much better performance than anticipated and an encouraging sign that the housing slump hasn't been too much of a drag on the economy.

San Diego Bans Wal-Mart Supercenters

The City Council here voted late Tuesday to ban certain giant retail stores, dealing a blow to Wal-Mart Stores Inc.'s potential to expand in the nation's eighth-largest city.

Ryanair Raises Stake in Rival Aer Lingus

Budget airline Ryanair Holdings PLC has raised its stake in Irish rival Aer Lingus Group PLC to 25.2% in a renewed push to take over the recently privatized carrier, Ryanair's broker confirmed Wednesday.

Broadcom Paying $62M for Software Maker

Irvine-based Broadcom Corp. is paying $62 million for a maker of software that works with the company's networking chips.

Pacific Life Names Morris CEO to Replace Retiring Sutton

Orange County's largest privately held company, Newport Beach-based Pacific Life Insurance Co., officially named Jim Morris as its next chief executive, starting next year.

Report: Nestle Considers $5B Gerber Buy

Nestle SA, the world's largest foodmaker, may buy baby-food company Gerber Products from Swiss drugmaker Novartis AG for as much as $5 billion, according to a published report.

Supreme Court Debates Bank Regulation

The Bush administration asked the Supreme Court on Wednesday to push aside Michigan regulators in a confrontation of state versus federal authority in the financial sector.

Pfizer to Slash Sales Force by 20%

Pfizer Inc. said Tuesday it will cut its U.S. sales force by 20%, or 2,200 people, as part of a cost-cutting program to transform the company into a more nimble organization as it struggles with sluggish sales.

Tuesday, November 28

Durables Dip; Home Sales Rise

New orders for U.S.-made durable goods registered their sharpest fall in six years last month and consumer confidence fell in November, reports showed on Tuesday, lending support to views the Federal Reserve will trim interest rates next year.

Orders for Manufactured Goods Plunge

Orders for big-ticket manufactured goods plunged in October by the largest amount in more than six years, in another sign of a slowing economy.

IBM Buys Software Maker Vallent

International Business Machines Corp. said on Tuesday that it agreed to buy privately held software maker Vallent Corp. to boost its line of software offerings.

Could US Air-Delta Merger Ignite Fare War?

A potential merger between US Airways Group and Delta Air Lines would force the combined airline to shed some overlapping services, but the sale of assets could open the door to low-cost competitors and spark a new fare war.

Office, School Supplies Maker Cutting 70 Jobs

Meadwestvaco Inc., a maker of packaging, office products and schools supplies, said it plans to cut about 70 jobs from its Garden Grove plant.

Greenspan: Worst is Over for Housing

Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said on Tuesday that the worst of the housing adjustment was over, and that he was preparing to publish an analysis of the "serious dispute" over the true effect of mortgage wealth on consumer spending.

Scottish Power Accepts $22.5B Bid

Scottish Power PLC said Tuesday it has agreed to a $22.5 billion buyout offer from the Spanish utility Iberdrola SA that would create one of Europe's biggest utilities.

October Home Prices Drop

Prices of an Orange County detached home dropped noticeably in October from September, and now are off 7% from the record highs of six months ago, the California Association of Realtors said Wednesday.

Chemical Company Makes Largest Deal Yet

American Vanguard Corp., a Newport Beach-based chemical company, said it bought a product line from Germany's BASF AG.

Monday, November 27

Home Affordability Rate at 22%

The percentage of first-time homebuyers in Orange County able to afford a median priced home stood at 22% in the third quarter, down from 24% a year earlier, the California Association of Realtors said Monday.

Wall Street Has Worst Day in 4 months

Wall Street had its worst day in more than four months Monday as the dollar weakened and concerns arose about the strength of the retail industry following a rare sales decline at Wal-Mart Stores Inc. The Dow Jones industrials fell 158 points.

Ford to Secure $18B in Financing

Ford Motor Co. said on Monday it plans to raise $18 billion in debt financing to fund its restructuring, the latest sign the automaker is struggling to turn around its money-losing North American operations.

Shea Properties Starts on Largest OC Project

Shea Properties starts work on its largest local project,the former Marine base in Tustin

Leases Drive Luxury Autos; Tax Break, Newness Factor

OC's luxury auto dealers say leasing makes up about 70% of car sales, in the Marketplace column

Break of Dawn Entices With Euro-Vietnamese Flavors

Break of Dawn entices with Euro-Vietnamese flavors, in the Executive Dining column

Mother Knows Best

The Business Journal and Cal State Fullerton named this year's Family Owned Business Award winners. Nature's Best won the large business award

Latest Ueberroth Hotel Venture Draws in Second Generation

Preferred Hotel Group won the up-and-coming award

REAL ESTATE DEALS

The real estate market is showing the first effects of the long anticipated slowdown. PLUS: CHART - Net Absorption; Vacancy Rates; Average Asking Lease Rates

Former Doc Runs Beauty School; Looking to Hispanics for Future

A former doctor left medicine to run his parents' beauty school in Garden Grove

GIVING

Fund-raisers and charitable donations from companies and people

MARKET WATCH

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

PEOPLE

Hirings, promotions and other moves at local businesses

Shea Properties Starts Redeveloping Big Chunk of Former Tustin Base

Aliso Viejo's Shea Properties, is starting work on the developer's biggest project yet in Orange County.

READER LETTERS

Letters to the Editors. Some views on the Election

OCBJ SUPPLEMENTS and GUIDES

BOMA - Building Owners and Managers Association of Orange County - Profiles of Award-winning companies and businessperso

Expanding Game Developer Plans Irvine Consolidation

Newport Beach's Foundation 9 Entertainment plans to consolidate its headquarters in Irvine next year, in the Technology column

Swift Rejects $2.2B Offer, Stock Rises

Trucking company Swift Transportation Co. Inc. said on Monday it rejected a $2.2 billion buyout proposal from former chief executive Jerry Moyes, but added it is willing to discuss higher bids.

Events Draw a Who's Who, But Who Goes Where?

Events Draw a Who's Who, But Who Goes Where?

Dana Point Ocean Lots Sell for $30M Per Acre

Lots for homes sold at The Strand at Headlands set a number of county land records

Equity's Big Deal, Local Head Dezzutti Out Beforehand

Big change is in the works for Equity Office Properties Trust, in the Real Estate column

Reckson Realty Gives Icahn More Time

Reckson Associates Realty Corp. said on Monday it would postpone a shareholder meeting until December 6 to give billionaire Carl Icahn and his partners more time to firm up financing for their $4.6 billion bid for the company.

REVIEW

Eddie Merrins' latest book intersperses pearls of golfing wisdom with reflections on an eventful career - "Playing a Round with the Little Pro; A Life in the Game"

ACS CEO, CFO Leaving Amid Options Probe

Affiliated Computer Services Inc. said on Monday its chief executive and chief financial officer had resigned because of their role in improper stock option grant practices.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

This past week's news from www.ocbj.com and other sources

CALENDAR

Hirings, promotions and other moves at local businesses

Life After Retirement

Developer Robert Mayer won the longevity award

ASR Complete With Debuts by OC Surf, Skate Brands

The upcoming Action Sports Retailer trade show is set to show off new garb from local brands, in the Media & Marketing column

Dollar Falls Versus Euro, Yen

The dollar weakened to a new 20-month low against the euro Monday, as traders bet the gap between European and U.S. interest rates will keep narrowing.

Real Estate Watch: Retail

The real estate market is showing the first effects of the long anticipated slowdown. PLUS: CHART - Net Absorption; Vacancy Rates; Average Asking Lease Rates

Glass Houses

Mission Viejo Glass won the small company award

PacSun Looks to Changes to Reverse Slump

Pacific Sunwear has wasted no time revamping as it looks to reverse a slump

Insurer Acquisitions Spur TriZetto Gains

TriZetto has pulled through a wave of consolidation with its growth intact

Hertz Shares Fall Below IPO Level

Hertz shares on Monday dipped below $15, the price for the initial public offering of the rental car company less than two weeks ago.

Dad's Venture Now Includes Three Sons, Sun Valley Office

Rohl kitchen and bath products company won the medium business award

Watson Wraps Up Key Buy Designed to Boost Profits

Corona's Watson Pharmaceuticals wraps up a key buy designed to boost profits, in the Healthcare column

Friday, November 24

SunCal Prevails in Bid for New Mexico Land

Irvine-based developer SunCal Cos. has prevailed in its bid to buy 57,000 acres of historical New Mexico land where it plans to build a masterplanned community.

Volvo Recalls 360,000 Cars for Speed Control Bug

Volvo, a unit of Ford Motor Co. with its U.S. headquarters in Irvine, is recalling about 360,000 cars because of a problem with vehicle speed controls that can cause engines to lose power without warning, Volvo said on Friday.

Carlyle Bids $5.5B for Taiwan's ASE

A private equity consortium led by The Carlyle Group plans a $5.5 billion bid for the world's top chip packaging firm, Advanced Semiconductor Engineering Inc., Taiwan-based ASE said on Friday.

Black Friday Poised To Be Best in Years

This year's Black Friday could be the strongest opening to the holiday shopping season in years, if the droves of American eager to exploit early-bird specials are any guide.

Dana Point Ocean Lots Sell for $30M Per Acre

Lots for homes at The Strand at Headlands, a 121-acre Dana Point project several years in the making, were sold with a bang this month.

Quest Exec Quits, Declines Options Probe Interview

Aliso Viejo-based Quest Software Inc.'s senior vice president of corporate development and former chief financial officer has resigned after declining to be interviewed in the company's probe of stock option grants, Quest said Friday.

Wednesday, November 22

GM Extends Losses as Kerkorian Sells

General Motors Corp. shares extended losses Wednesday, skidding to a double-digit decline this week after top individual shareholder Kirk Kerkorian disclosed that he's trimming his stake by 14 million shares.

Weekly Jobless Claims Climb by 12,000

Newly laid-off workers signed up for unemployment benefits at a faster pace last week, yet companies still seem wary of pruning too much as economic activity slows. New applications filed for the work week ending Nov. 18 rose by a seasonally adjusted 12,0

Alcoa to Cut 6,700 Jobs Worldwide

Aluminum producer Alcoa Inc. said Tuesday it will shed 6,700 jobs as part of a restructuring program designed to improve profits and efficiency.

Judge: No Federal Class in Vioxx Suits

Thousands of federal lawsuits claiming the drug Vioxx caused heart attacks and other conditions that killed or injured people cannot be pooled into one national class action, a judge ruled Wednesday.

Qantas Approached about a Takeover

Australia's Qantas Airways has been approached by Macquarie Bank and private equity firm Texas Pacific Group about a takeover that analysts said Wednesday could be worth almost 11 billion Australian dollars, or $8.5 billion.

Consumer Sentiment Down in Nov.

Consumer sentiment ended weaker in November than October, a private survey showed on Wednesday, as consumers pared their view of current and future financial conditions.

Healthcare Rise Smallest in Years

Orange County businesses will pay more to provide healthcare for their workers in 2007, but the rate of growth in premiums could be the smallest in years.

Oakley Buying Protective Goggle Maker for $110M

Foothill Ranch-based Oakley Inc. is paying $110 million for an Idaho maker of protective goggles for soldiers, police and firefighters.

Corinthian: Results, Costs of Options Probe

Santa Ana-based vocational colleges operator Corinthian Colleges Inc. has wrapped up its stock options probe and said it expects a $5.7 million charge in a restatement of its annual results through June 2005.

Tuesday, November 21

Dell Posts Gain in Delayed Q3 Results

Dell Inc. beat analysts' expectations in delayed earnings posted Tuesday, but the computer maker warned the results were preliminary and could change due to an intensifying federal investigation into the company's accounting and financial reporting.

Tech Data Reports Lower Profit

Tech Data Corp., the world's No. 2 computer distributor, reported lower quarterly profit on Tuesday as costs rose more quickly than sales, but forecast sales above expectations.

Anaheim Company Goes Public

Willdan Group Inc., an Anaheim company that handles engineering, security and financial consulting jobs for cities and counties, debuted Tuesday in a public offering worth about $29 million.

White House Lowers Economic Projections

The White House on Tuesday lowered its forecast for economic growth this year and next, reflecting the drag from the housing slump.

Advanced Medical Recalling Contact Lens Solution

Shares of Santa Ana's Advanced Medical Optics Inc. fell to a new 52-week low early Tuesday before rebounding after the company said it's recalling products due to a sterility risk and cut its financial outlook for this year and next.

Google Share Tops $500: First Time

Google Inc.'s stock price surpassed $500 for the first time Tuesday, marking another milestone in a rapid rise that has catapulted the Internet search leader into the corporate elite.

Office, Warehouse Planned Where Condos Once Sought

The Irvine office and warehouse that served as the headquarters for athletic shoemaker American Sporting Goods Corp. could wind up being redeveloped as office and industrial space instead of condominiums.

Korean Air Orders Boeing Planes: $5.5B

Boeing Co. scored one of its biggest orders so far this year on Tuesday as Korean Air Co. said it would buy 25 passenger and freighter aircraft worth $5.5 billion, sending the planemaker's shares to an all-time high.

Monday, November 20

Crystal Jade: L.A. Chef, Cooks Heat Up Chinese Dining

Crystal Jade Asian Fine Dining pleases in many ways, in the Executive Dining column

Home Sales Fall in 38 States, Data Shows

The feeble U.S. housing market showed more frailty in October when home sales plummeted in 38 states, hitting Nevada, Arizona, Florida and California particularly hard, government data showed on Monday.

Office Space Sees Subtle Shifts, But Up Trend Holding

Office Space Sees Subtle Shifts, But Up Trend Holding

WaMu Settles Commercial Capital Lawsuit

WaMu Settles Commercial Capital Lawsuit

Boeing Boss Plans Big Anaheim Move

Overseeing the move of 3,700 workers from Anaheim to Huntington Beach may be a Boeing boss' biggest challenge ye

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

This past week's news from www.ocbj.com and other sources

Office Outlook

Buildings Going Up, Others Planned; Vying for Tenants

Nature's Best, Other Family Businesses Honored

Nature's Best, Other Family Businesses Honored

Rutan, Courted by Big Names, Stays Put With Costa Mesa Lease Deal

Rutan & Tucker has signed a deal to stay at its Costa Mesa headquarters for at least another 15 years

Bank of America Buying U.S. Trust

Brokerage and financial services firm Charles Schwab Corp. said Monday it will sell its wealth-management subsidiary U.S. Trust to Bank of America Corp. for $3.3 billion in cash.

Trading Hands

Hotel sales in OC picked up pace in the first half of 2006, rebounding from falling sales a year earlier

Activist Shareholder Sells Autobytel Stake

A shareholder that built up a 9% stake in Irvine's Autobytel Inc. to spur changes at the online auto marketer has sold off most of its shares.

Nasdaq Makes $5.1B Bid for London Exchange

Nasdaq Stock Market Inc. made a $5.1 billion offer for the London Stock Exchange on Monday to create a trans-Atlantic market, but it was quickly rejected as inadequate.

Tower Test

Rush of High-Rises Stands to Test Landlords' Market

Irvine Company Reaches Deal for Silicon Valley Apartments

The Irvine Company's entry into the San Francisco office market may have been put on hold

Mobile TV Chip Designer Raises $30M

Lake Forest-based Newport Media Inc., a designer of chips for watching TV on phones and other handheld devices, has raised $30 million in a third round of funding.

REAL ESTATE DEALS

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

EDITORIAL

The passing of Milton Friedman comes after command-and-control Democrats have retaken Congress from spineless Republicans, in an Editorial by Rick Reiff

PEOPLE

Hirings, promotions and other moves at local businesses

Play N Trade Lures Potential Franchisees With Cruises

Play N Trade, a Newport Beach-based franchisor of video game stores, is planning seven in OC, in the Marketplace column

Rutan Staying at Costa Mesa HQ

Rutan & Tucker LLP, the county's largest law firm, has signed a deal to stay at its Costa Mesa headquarters for at least another 15 years.

Retailers Spice Up Garb, Offer Discounts for Holidays

OC retailers are looking to nab holiday shoppers through flashy marketing and cool garb, in the Media & Marketing column

Boom Fades to Flat; Market Still Strong, More Construction

Boom Fades to Flat; Market Still Strong, More Construction

Real Estate Watch: Low-Rise Office Space

There is softening in the lower price range of the investment office market, particularly buildings valued less than $20 million. PLUS: CHART - Net Absorption; Vacancy Rates; Average Asking Lease Rates

KUDOS

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

Newport Getting Ready For Duke's Birthday; Lawrence's Lawrence

Newport Getting Ready For Duke's Birthday; Lawrence's Lawrence

VIEWPOINT

Predictions on our first woman speaker of the House of Representatives, in Viewpoint by JUDY B. ROSENER

Device Makers Eye FDA's User-Fee Program

OC device makers are keeping an eye on closed door talks between the FDA and industry officials over user fees

CALIFORNIA OFFICE MARKET

Reports of activity in major regions around California

Tight as a Drum: Prices Going Up, Space in Works

Tight as a Drum: Prices Going Up, Space in Works

White House: Govt. Allows Lucent Merger

President George W. Bush has accepted the recommendation of an interagency panel that he allow the planned merger of French telecommunications company Alcatel SA and U.S. firm Lucent Technologies Inc.

Lazy Dog Cafe's Challenge: Keeping Charm While Going Chain

Lazy Dog Cafe aims to keep its charm while going chain

Beckman Chief Sees Rebound In Asia, Some Issues in China

Recovery in Asia helped drive Beckman Coulter's improved third-quarter results, in the Healthcare column

MARKET WATCH

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

Inter-Tel Opens Showroom, Ex-CEO Mihalyo Drops Bid

Arizona's Inter-Tel has upped its local operations with a Santa Ana showroom, in the Technology column

NATION OFFICE MARKET

Reports of activity in major regions across the United States

Phelps Going for $25.9B

Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. said it agreed to buy much larger Phelps Dodge Corp. for $25.9 billion in cash and stock to create the world's largest publicly traded copper company.

CALENDAR

A listing of events happening all around Orange County

Corinthian Slumps on Enrollment Slowdown

Corinthian Slumps on Enrollment Slowdown

Bacchus Starts Work on Fourth Office-For-Sale Project

Bacchus Development has started on the company's fourth small-buildings-for-sale project in the Irvine Spectrum, in the Real Estate column

Healthcare Rise Most Mild in Years

OC businesses will pay more to provide healthcare for their workers in 2007, but the rate of growth in premiums could be the smallest in years

Howrey Takes Part of Gibson, Dunn's Space

Law firm Howrey has signed on to lease some of the Irvine office space being left by another law firm

Friday, November 17

CA Sues Ex-CEO for Repayment of $14.9M

Business software maker CA Inc. is suing convicted former Chief Executive Sanjay Kumar, seeking repayment of $14.9 million it says it fronted for his legal defense, according to court documents.

Housing Starts Fall Sharply

The pace of home building fell sharply in October in a sign that the housing sector may still have a rocky road ahead, government data showed on Friday.

Engineering Company IPO Set for Next Week

Willdan Group Inc., an Anaheim company that handles engineering, security and financial consulting jobs for cities and counties, plans to go public next week in an offering worth about $30 million.

Sony Releases PlayStation 3 Amid Frenzy

Gamers lined up by the thousands early on Friday, aiming to be one of the first to buy Sony Corp.'s PlayStation 3, the multimedia and video game machine that is key to the future of the beleaguered electronics and media conglomerate.

Valeant Credit Rating Downgraded

Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, the Costa Mesa drug maker that's moving to Aliso Viejo, saw its credit rating downgraded Friday on profit concens.

Device Makers Weigh In On FDA Fees

Orange County medical device makers are awaiting the outcome of closed door talks between the Food and Drug Administration and industry officials about a user-fee program they contend hasn't worked.

Thursday, November 16

HCA Holders Approve $21.3B Buyout

HCA Inc. shareholders on Thursday overwhelmingly approved a $21.3 billion leveraged buyout,the second largest ever in the U.S.,to take the nation's No. 1 for-profit hospital chain private.

Economist Milton Friedman Dies at 94

Milton Friedman, the Nobel Prize-winning economist who advocated an unfettered free market and had the ear of three presidents, died Thursday at age 94.

Cisco OKs $7B Share Buyback

Networking equipment maker Cisco Systems Inc. said late Wednesday that its board has authorized the repurchase of an additional $7 billion in common stock, marking the latest expansion of a massive buyback program launched five years ago.

SEC Ends Probe of MSC.Software

Santa Ana-based MSC.Software Corp. said Thursday the Securities and Exchange Commission has ended an investigation that started in 2005 without recommending any enforcement against the company.

Clear Channel Agrees to $18.7B Sale

Clear Channel Communications Inc., the No. 1 radio station operator, said on Thursday it would be acquired by private equity firms Thomas H. Lee Partners, Bain Capital and the company's founding Mays family for nearly $19 billion.

Another Quarterly Profit for Wet Seal

Foothill Ranch-based clothing retailer Wet Seal Inc. reported its second straight quarterly net profit on strong sales and lower debt expense.

HP Q4 Earnings Surge, Beating Views

Hewlett-Packard Co. said Thursday its fiscal fourth-quarter earnings surged, beating Wall Street expectations, on higher sales of laptop computers and printers.

Wal-Mart: 17 More $4 Generic Drugs

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. said Thursday it is expanding its $4 generic prescription program to 11 additional states and adding 17 more prescriptions to the program.

UC Irvine Law School Approved

The University of California, Irvine, finally is getting a law school. The University of California's Board of Regents on Thursday approved UC Irvine's plans to start a law school that would be the state's first public one in more than 40 years.

Wednesday, November 15

Game Maker Foundation 9 Acquires Seattle-Area Company

Newport Beach-based video game developer Foundation 9 Entertainment Inc. is acquiring Amaze Entertainment, a Seattle-area maker of games based on movies and other subjects.

Enron's Causey Sentenced to 5 1/2 Years

Richard Causey, the last of the top Enron Corp. executives to learn his punishment, was sentenced Wednesday to five-and-a-half years in prison for his role in one of the biggest corporate scandals in U.S. history.

Cisco Banking on A's Ballpark Pact

Cisco Systems Inc.'s partnership with the Oakland Athletics baseball team to build a new ballpark is more than just a naming-rights deal.

Corinthian Slumps on Enrollment Slowdown

Santa Ana-based colleges operator Corinthian Colleges Inc. came out with delayed earnings for the September quarter, reporting lower net income and revising downward its profit outlook for the current quarter.

Irvine Co. Begins Work on Jamboree Business Complex

Add another office project to The Irvine Company's development pipeline. The Newport Beach-based developer recently started construction on Jamboree Business Center, a 231,000-square-foot, low-rise office complex on Michelle Drive and Jamboree Road.

Jury Clears Merck in Latest Vioxx Trial

A federal jury on Wednesday cleared Merck & Co. in the July 2003 heart attack suffered by a Utah bank credit manager who had taken the once-popular painkiller Vioxx for 10 1/2 months.

Wachovia to Shut 200 Branches

Wachovia Corp. on Wednesday said it plans to shut about 200 branches nationwide by the end of 2008 as it focuses on aggressive expansion in California, Texas and the southwest.

Citi and IBM: China Deal to be Announced

Citigroup Inc., was set to announce victory in a protracted $3 billion bid for a Chinese bank on Thursday, beating rival Societe Generale, two sources close to the deal said on Wednesday.

US Airways Makes $8B Bid for Delta

US Airways Group Inc. made a hostile $8 billion cash and stock bid for Delta Air Lines Inc. on Wednesday, a deal that would create one of the world's largest carriers. The move came despite Delta's repeated statements it isn't interested in a merger.

Tuesday, November 14

Cherokee Narrows Loss

Tustin-based Cherokee International Corp., a maker of power supplies for manufacturers, said it narrowed its loss in the third quarter.

Shea, Standard Pacific Nix Condo Plans

Standard Pacific Corp. and Shea Homes, two of Orange County's largest homebuilders, have backed out of separate plans to build a combined 615 condominiums in Irvine.

Two Bids Submitted for Clear Channel

Clear Channel Communications Inc., the No. 1 U.S. radio company, was evaluating takeover proposals on Tuesday after two bids were submitted by separate private equity consortiums, sources familiar with the situation said.

D.R. Horton Q4 Profit Drops

Home builder D.R. Horton Inc. on Tuesday said its fiscal fourth-quarter profit fell 51% as less homes closed in a sagging market, but results still came in ahead of Wall Street expectations.

Wal-Mart, Target Beat Estimates

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Target Corp.posted better-than-expected quarterly earnings on Tuesday, but the world's biggest retailer promised deep holiday discounts for consumers who are still feeling pinched,which could spell trouble for other retailers.

Countrywide: Housing Slump Through 2007

The slowdown of the U.S. housing market will last through 2007 as inventories are pared enough to prompt a change in consumer psychology, the chief executive of the nation's biggest mortgage lender said on Tuesday.

Oct. Home Prices, Sales Fall

The median price of an Orange County home fell for a fourth straight month in October to $625,000, while the number of houses sold here showed the biggest year-over-year decline of any Southland county.

Producer Prices, Retail Sales Down

Cheaper energy helped push producer prices down steeply during October but also contributed to a decline in retail sales, according to government reports on Tuesday showing a modest softening in economic activity last month.

Vodafone: Earnings Top Forecasts

Vodafone Group PLC topped forecasts for half-year earnings and raised some of its full-year expectations on Tuesday despite continuing tough European mobile markets, sending its shares to a 12-month peak.

Internet ad revenue rises in Q3to $4.2 bln

Internet advertising revenue rose 33 percent in the third quarter to a record $4.2 billion, but showed more minimal growth on a consecutive quarterly basis, according to data released on Tuesday.

Monday, November 13

Fletcher Jones Up; Thanks Newport Lexus?

Sales are up at Fletcher Jones Motorcars in Newport Beach, in the Marketplace column

Beckman Coulter's Shifts Take Hold; Now for Cash Flow

Beckman Coulter's changes of the past year are starting to show up in its financial results

AROUND THE COUNTY

Project developments and other activity in cities across OC

Standard Pacific, Shea Out of Condo Projects

Standard Pacific and Shea Homes, two of OC's largest homebuilders, have backed out of separate plans to build condominiums in Irvine

Pension Plan

County Retirement Fund Returns to Private Equity Investments

PEOPLE

Hirings, promotions and other moves at local businesses

Valeant Taking Former Fluor HQ

Drug maker Valeant Pharmaceuticals International is moving its headquarters and about 500 workers from its longtime home in Costa Mesa to Aliso Viejo.

Asset Accounting

ABOUT THE LIST - OC Banks See Assets Surge to Nearly $4B; No. 1 Pacific Mercantile Makes Up a Fourth

Billionaires Set to Fight Over L.A Times

Like a train wreck or a car accident, when rich people do battle, everybody stops to watch. Billionaires Ronald Burkle, Eli Broad and David Geffen haven't taken off the gloves but all signs point to them fighting for ownership of their troubled hometown n

Freescale Shareholders Approve Co. Sale

Chip maker Freescale Semiconductor Inc. said on Monday that its shareholders have approved the company's $17.6 billion sale to a group of private equity firms led by Blackstone Group.

REAL ESTATE DEALS

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

Inamed Loose End: Allergan Acquires Juv & #233;derm's Creator

Allergan has gone to France to tie up a loose end from its spring buy of Santa Barbara's Inamed, in the Healthcare column

First MTI Investment, Now EMC's Acquiring Avamar

EMC upped its stake in OC with the acquisition of Avamar Technologies earlier this month, in the Technology column

Irvine Company Starts 231,000-Square-Foot Irvine Office Complex

The Irvine Company started construction on Jamboree Business Center

WaMu Settles Commercial Capital Lawsuit

Washington Mutual Inc. said Monday it's wrapping up a $47 million loose end from its $1 billion buy of Irvine-based Commercial Capital Bancorp Inc. in October.

GeoLogistics Changes Name to Agility

Santa Ana-based GeoLogistics on Monday unveiled a new name, Agility, as part of a shift at parent company PWC Logistics of Kuwait.

Software Maker HQ Returns With Buyout

Vision Solutions is shifting its headquarters from South Africa back to Irvine, where the company got its start

Employers Brace for Possible Regulation of Inside Heat

Some California employers are bracing for possible regulations on indoor heat, in Regulation Watch

KB Home CEO Leaves after Errors Found

One of the nation's highest-paid executives has left his job after becoming ensnared in a stock options scandal that already has forced dozens of companies across the country to wipe out billions in combined profits.

MARKET WATCH

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

A Thumpin'

The election marks the end of the Bush administration as we've known it, an Editorial by Rick Reiff

LETTERS

Thoughts on last week's election and an idea for Irvine's Great Park, in Letters

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

This past week's news from ww.ocbj.com and other sources

Share Yourself at Share Our Selves Holiday Tree Event

The first Adopt a Family Festival of Trees is a display of special trees, food and family entertainment helping Share Our Selves provide food and holiday gifts for struggling families, in the Executive Dining column

GLOBAL COMING OUT

GeoLogistics is getting a new name and logo this week to reflect its life as part of one of the world's larger logistics companies

RUBBER EXPANSION

West American Rubber is buying a Mississippi plant in a move it says will turn the company into the biggest sheet rubber maker in North America

Johnny Rockets: MySpace, iPod to Court Young Crowd

Johnny Rockets is hoping free music downloads, an iPod giveaway and a MySpace page can help it lure some younger customers, in the Media & Marketing column

GIVING

Fund-raisers and charitable donations from companies and people

Interest Fallout

City National, With $580M in OC Deposits, Feels Pinch of Higher Rates

St. Joseph Leases Warehouse Near Hospital Campus in Orange

St. Joseph Hospital is adding warehouse space near its campus in Orange

Valeant Strikes Deal To Move HQ to Aliso Viejo

Valeant Pharmaceuticals is moving its headquarters and about 500 workers from its longtime home in Costa Mesa to Aliso Viejo

Bank Vault

Thoughts From Local Bankers on Rates, Mortgages, Economy

IMAGE BOOSTER

Ditech.com, the mortgage lender known for its TV commercials and billboards, is looking to boost its name another way

Measure M D & #233;j & #341; Vu; Flint Wins; Moorlach's Man

Measure M D & #233;j & #341; Vu; Flint Wins; Moorlach's Man

CALENDAR

A listing of events happening all around Orange County

Business Wins in Voting With Gov., Measures

Last week's elections gave businesses what they wanted,

Alliance Investors Selling Shares

Anaheim-based Alliance Imaging Inc., a provider of diagnostic tests to hospitals and doctors, said investors plan to sell 8 million shares of its stock.

Real Estate Watch: High-Rise Office Market

High-Rises Getting Past Mortgage Giveback; Six Under Construction. PLUS: CHART - Net Absorption; Vacancy Rates; Average Asking Lease Rates

Members Only

ABOUT THE LIST - Credit Unions' Assets Surge; OCTFCU Bigger Than All Local Banks Combined

CB Getting Even Bigger Here, Adds Development Arm

CB Richard Ellis Group, OC's largest commercial brokerage and property manager, is getting bigger, in the Real Estate column

Friday, November 10

Ditech: Web Sites to Boost Presence

Costa Mesa-based Ditech.com, known for its TV commercials and billboards, is looking to boost its name another way.

Vision Solutions Bought for $63M

Things have come full circle for Vision Solutions Inc., a maker of data management software, with a $63 million buyout by Chicago private equity firm Thoma Cressey Equity Partners Inc.

Russia WTO Deal Next Week

The U.S. and Russia have reached an agreement in principle on bilateral terms for Moscow's entry into the World Trade Organization and hope to sign the pact next week in Hanoi, the U.S. Trade Representative's office said on Friday.

Clear Channel Bids Due

Bids are due in the coming days for Clear Channel Communications Inc., the largest radio company, sources familiar with the situation told Reuters on Thursday.

Bausch & Lomb Dims forecast

Bausch & Lomb Inc. expects 2006 and 2007 results to be at the low end of its prior estimates due the recall of its ReNu with MoistureLoc contact-lens solution, the eye care company said late Thursday.

Thursday, November 9

IntraLase Sues German Rival

Irvine-based IntraLase Corp. said Thursday it filed a lawsuit against rival Carl Zeiss AG of Germany for allegedly breaching a contract that exposed Carl Zeiss to IntraLase patent's and other business information.

Goodyear Reports Q3 Loss

Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., dealing with a 4-week-old strike, reported a loss of $48 million for the third quarter Thursday due to restructuring charges and higher raw material costs. Its sales rose to a company record for any quarter, however, and its sh

PacSun Up on Outlook

Wall Street shrugged off a big third-quarter profit drop at Anaheim-based Pacific Sunwear of California Inc., focusing instead on the retailer's outlook for the current quarter and its moves to cut inventory and slow store openings.

Dana Closes 8 Plants in North America

Auto parts maker Dana Corp. plans to close eight North American plants and reduce operations at three others, the company said Thursday in a regulatory filing.

William Lyon Profits Sink

Newport Beach-based William Lyon Homes Inc. on Thursday reported a 72% decline in third-quarter profits, the latest local homebuilder to feel the effects of a cooling housing market.

Qualcomm: Japan Business, Possible Probe

Japan's antitrust watchdog has told Qualcomm Inc.'s Japanese subsidiary that it may investigate its licensing and chip business practices in Japan, Qualcomm said on Thursday, sending its shares down more than 3%.

Consumer Sentiment Down in Nov.

Consumer sentiment fell in November after hitting a 15-month high in October, according to media reports Thursday on the latest proprietary research conducted by the University of Michigan.

Viacom Earnings Fall; CFO to Leave

Entertainment conglomerate Viacom Inc. reported a 16% decline in net earnings for its third quarter Thursday on lower movie income and a compensation charge for dismissing its former chief executive, Tom Freston.

3M Sells Drug Unit for $2.1B

Diversified manufacturer 3M Co. said on Thursday it has agreed to sell its slow-growing global pharmaceuticals business for nearly $2.1 billion in a three-part transaction.

Disney Q4, Full-Year Earnings Climb

Profit at media conglomerate The Walt Disney Co. soared 89% in the fourth quarter, reflecting strong performance of its movies worldwide, increased attendance at its theme parks and higher revenue from its ESPN cable channel.

Wednesday, November 8

Schwarzenegger's 2nd Act

Voters on Tuesday did what pollsters had long predicted: They handed Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger a second term. Compared with his successes as bodybuilder and action star, Schwarzenegger triumphed without breaking a sweat in a year when other Republicans w

Dems. Win May Hurt Defense, Drugs

The stocks most vulnerable to the Democrats' congressional gains are crowded in the defense, pharmaceutical, oil and insurance sectors, while alternative energy providers are clear early winners from the change.

Business Prevails in Voting

California's business community won a sweeping victory in Tuesday's statewide elections, with the governor's race and virtually every measure on the ballot breaking its way.

DDi: Higher Sales, Narrowed Loss

Anaheim printed circuit board maker DDi Corp. reported higher third-quarter sales and a lessened loss on Wednesday.

Mortgage Apps. Jump in Latest Week

The volume of mortgage applications at major banks rose sharply last week to a five-week high, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported Wednesday.

Bush: Rumsfeld to Step Down

President Bush said Wednesday Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld is stepping down and former CIA Director Robert Gates will take over at the Pentagon and in prosecuting the war in Iraq.

L.A. Billionaires Bid to Acquire Tribune

Billionaire businessman Eli Broad and supermarket magnate Ron Burkle have teamed up to submit a bid for the Tribune Co., The Associated Press has learned.

Measure M Wins, No Greenlight II

Orange County voters on Tuesday slimly voted to extend half-cent sales tax Measure M for transportation projects, while Newport Beach voters resoundingly rejected tightening the city's slow-growth law.

Cisco Profit Up 28%, Sales Rise 25%

Cisco Systems Inc. reported late Wednesday a quarterly profit that climbed 28%, topping expectations, as sales rose on surging demand for Cisco's networking gear.

Tuesday, November 7

Toyota's Quarterly Profit Rises

Toyota said Tuesday its net profit surged 34% in the July-September quarter, boosted by strong sales in the North American and European markets at a time its U.S. rivals are struggling.

FedEx Drops Airbus A380

Boeing scored a victory in the airliner wars Tuesday when FedEx became the first customer to cancel an order for Airbus's much delayed A380 jumbo jets and said it will instead will buy Boeing 777s.

HP Shares Higher with Mercury Deal

Hewlett-Packard Co. shares rose 20 cents Tuesday, to $38.92, after the technology giant said it closed its acquisition of software company Mercury Interactive.

New Century's Loans Down in Oct.

Irvine-based mortgage lender New Century Financial Corp. said Tuesday that the number of loans it made in October was $5 billion, 5.7% lower than a year earlier.

Teva Pharma's Profit Spikes

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. reported dramatically higher third-quarter earnings early Tuesday, due largely to the acquisition of Ivax Corp. and the launch of several generic products.

Consumer Borrowing Down in Sept.

Consumer borrowing fell in September by the largest amount since the recession of the early 1990s, weakened by a huge drop in auto loans.

Toll: Rev. Down on Weak Home Buying

Toll Brothers Inc. on Tuesday said it expected to report a weaker-than-expected 10% drop in quarterly home-building revenue, and warned of a slowdown in some formerly hot regions, as the housing market continues to weaken.

Nationwide Selling Facilities for $149M

Nationwide Health Properties Inc., a Newport Beach-based owner of nursing homes and other healthcare facilities, said late Monday that it was selling 30 communities in eight states to Chicago-based Brookdale Senior Living Inc. for $148.6 million.

Monday, November 6

Businesses Get Last Chance to Weigh In on Port Rules

Business interests that have been critical of an air pollution reduction plan got one more chance to make their case at a recent hearing, in Regulation Watch

Big With Pros, Yamaha Sees Growth With Amateurs

Yamaha's executives harmonize as the company tunes in to growth with amateurs

First American Finds Backdated Options

First American Finds Backdated Options

South County Office Development Opens

A South County office development officially opens its doors this week in San Juan Capistrano

Rival Buys Line From Kingston's Shuttered StorCase

Washington's CRU-Dataport has bought a product line from its former competitor, StorCase Technology, in the Technology column

PacifiCare Exec Named Apria CFO

Apria Healthcare Group Inc., a Lake Forest-based home healthcare company, on Monday named Chris Karkenny as chief financial officer, effective Nov. 13.

Live Wire

Wells Fargo wants to add its name to the list of money transmitters to Vietnam

Standard Pacific Sees Big Surge in Home Cancellations

Standard Pacific is bearing the brunt of the housing slowdown, in the Real Estate column

Exit Interview

A Q & A; with California's insurance commissioner, John Garamendi

Y & R; Expands Work for Clients, Goes After Accounts

Young & Rubicam has expanded work with existing clients, picked up work and revamped its staff, in the Media & Marketing column

Law Firm Stradling Starts Consultancy

Stradling, Yocca, Carlson & Rauth is starting a unit to offer business consulting services to clients and potential clients

Former CEO Bids For Swift

Trucking company Swift Transportation Co. Inc. has received a $2.2 billion buyout bid from its largest shareholder, former Chief Executive Jerry Moyes, the company said on Monday.

PEOPLE

Hirings, promotions and other moves at local businesses

REAL ESTATE DEALS

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

Tourism Outlook

Slower economic growth is likely to mean slower going next year for OC tourism

KUDOS

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

Homegrown

Irvine's Jackson, DeMarco, Tidus, Peckenpaugh is the county's No. 4 homegrown law firm

Outback Parent to go Private

OSI Restaurant Partners Inc., owner of the Outback Steakhouse chain, on Monday said it planned to go private in a $3.04 billion buyout that includes its founders and private equity firms Bain Capital Partners and Catterton Partners.

Toll Bros. Inc.: Upscale Market Check

Investors are looking to home builder Toll Brothers Inc. to provide an update on the health of the luxury housing market later this week when it reports preliminary quarterly results.

Offices,Not Condos,Likely for St. John Site

The remaking of the area around John Wayne Airport could see more offices and a tad less condominium development with a recent deal,

Real Estate Watch: Construction

About 10 million square feet of space was under construction in the third quarter. PLUS: CHART - Net Absorption; Vacancy Rates; Average Asking Lease Rates

Earthquake, Healthcare, Executive Policies Drive Brokerages

Earthquake, Healthcare, Executive Policies Drive Brokerages

Lenovo's Q2 Slip on Global Woes

Lenovo Group Ltd., the world's third-largest computer maker, should post a second straight quarterly profit--albeit down on a year ago--as it rides a robust home market and makes headway in turning around a loss-making business inherited from IBM.

Newport Doctor Offices, Condos, Stores Planned

A medical and condominium project is planned near Hoag Memorial Hospital

Liquidator Tries Hand at Tower's OC Leases

Some choice retail space is up for grabs as Tower Records winds down its operations

Reader Letters

Deep thoughts on autumn in New York, in Letters

M-Flex: Quarterly Profit, Sales Dip

Anaheim-based circuit board maker Multi-Fineline Electronix Inc. saw a big drop in profit for the recently ended quarter with a slowdown in sales to key customer Motorola Inc.

Anaheim Coating Maker Big in Glasses, Eyes Electronics, Possible Acquisitions

SDC Technologies' chemical coatings are widespread but often unnoticed

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

This past week's news from www.ocbj.com and other sources

H & R; Block Weighs Option One Sale

H & R; Block Inc. said Monday it's considering a sale of its Irvine-based Option One Mortgage Corp. amid a slowdown in the mortgage business.

VIEWPOINT

Ray Watson reflects on the early days of UCI and Irvine, a Viewpoint

Saudi Prince, Gates Bid for Four Seasons

Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal and an investment firm owned by Microsoft Corp. Chairman Bill Gates have launched an offer for Four Seasons Hotels Inc. on Monday in a move aimed at privatizing the Canadian luxury hotelier.

Euro Wear

Snowboard clothing maker Westlife Distribution looks to expand with an Italian headquarters

Abbott to Buy Kos Pharm. for $3.7B

Abbott Laboratories said Monday that it will pay $3.7 billion for Kos Pharmaceuticals Inc., in a move that will add two major cholesterol drugs to its product lineup.

Leatherby's: Another Top-Notch Patina Restaurant

The opening of Leatherby's Cafe Rouge is the latest in Patina Group's expansion into Orange County, in the Executive Dining column

Xmas Trees: South Coast First, Fashion Island Biggest

This year's giant Christmas tree rolls into South Coast Plaza, in the Marketplace column

Advanced Medical Warns Again, Only to Get Upgraded

Shares of Advanced Medical Optics took a wild ride at the end of October, in the Healthcare column

New Supes Board Shaping Up as a Cost-Cutter

New Supes Board Shaping Up as a Cost-Cutter

CALENDAR

A listing of events happening all around Orange County

REVIEW

Belugas, polar bears and beer at San Diego's SeaWorld, a Review

OCBJ SUPPLEMENTS and GUIDES

BUCHANAN STREET PARTNERS

Friday, November 3

Job Market Booms

The unemployment rate dropped to a 5-1/2 year low in October as 92,000 jobs were added and hiring in the two prior months was revised up, the government said on Friday, leading financial markets to slash bets on interest-rate cuts.

St. John Knits Area: Offices Likely

The remaking of the area around John Wayne Airport in Irvine could see more offices and a little less condominium development with the recent sale of St. John Knits International Inc.'s building.

Debt Happy California

California will go deeper into debt if voters next week approve ballot measures proposing a combined $42 billion in bonds for public works, but the state's finances would not be burdened and investors are eager to buy the general obligation debt.

Tower Liquidator Seeking OC Tenants

Some choice Orange County retail space is up for grabs as music chain Tower Records winds down its operations.

Qualcomm: Weak Forecast

Qualcomm Inc. reported a 14% increase in fourth-quarter profit, but the wireless technology company also issued a weaker forecast than Wall Street expected and said a licensing dispute with Nokia Corp. could drag on.

Broadcom Nasdaq Listing Stays

Irvine-based Broadcom Corp.'s shares are set to stay on Nasdaq as the chipmaker works through a review of its stock option grants.

Thursday, November 2

Apparel Retailers Have Weak Oct. Sales

Specialty apparel retailers, including Gap Inc. and Chico's FAS Inc., posted surprisingly weak October sales on Thursday as a lack of fresh merchandise kept consumers from buying after they loaded up on fall fashions in September.

Kumar Sentenced, Fined in Fraud Scandal

The former chief executive of Computer Associates International Inc. was sentenced to 12 years in prison and fined $8 million on Thursday in an accounting fraud scandal estimated to have cost investors $400 million at one of the world's largest software c

Smith & Nephew and Biomet: Prelim Talks

Europe's biggest medical devices maker Smith & Nephew PLC has held "very preliminary talks" over a tie-up with U.S. rival Biomet Inc., Smith & Nephew said on Thursday as it met forecasts for third-quarter earnings.

Sorin Admits Guilt in Options Scam

The former general counsel of leading voicemail software maker Comverse Technology Inc. pleaded guilty Thursday to a scheme to pocket millions of dollars by backdating stock options.

First American: Backdated Options

Santa Ana-based title insurer First American Corp. said Thursday that a special board committee found some stock options granted by the company may have been backdated.

Ford Cutting White-Collar Benefits

Ford Motor Co. is cutting benefits for U.S. salaried employees as it struggles to conserve cash after a $7.2 billion loss so far this year.

Wal-Mart: Flat Nov. Same-Store Sales

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. on Thursday forecast flat November sales at stores open at least a year, sounding a sour note for the start of the vital holiday shopping season and sending its stock lower in early electronic trading.

Western Digital CEO Stepping Down

The chief executive of Western Digital Corp. said Thursday he's stepping down just a year after ascending to the top spot at the Lake Forest disk drive maker.

PacSun Sales Miss, Wet Seal Up

It was the same story for Orange County's two mall retailers in October: Anaheim-based Pacific Sunwear of California Inc. saw a drop in same-store sales while Foothill Ranch-based Wet Seal Inc. was up.

Wednesday, November 1

GM, Toyota, Ford: Big Sales Gains

General Motors posted a 17.3% sales surge in October as truck sales revived from a nearly yearlong slump. Toyota's U.S. sales increased 9.2% and Ford reported an 8% rise, but DaimlerChrysler's sales slipped 1.6%.

EMC Paying $165M for Irvine's Avamar

Irvine-based Avamar Technologies Inc., a maker of data storage software and devices and one of Orange County's better funded startups, is being bought for $165 million by EMC Corp.

Caremark Rx, CVS Confirm Combo Talks

Prescription benefits manager Caremark Rx Inc. and drugstore chain CVS Corp. said Wednesday they are in talks about a combination of the companies.

Samsung: Raided in EU Probe

Samsung Electronics, the world's biggest maker of memory chips, said its German offices were raided as part of a European Union probe into suspected price-fixing of SRAM chips.

Allergan's Q3 Profit Misses Views

Irvine-based Allergan Inc. said Wednesday that its third-quarter net income fell because of restructuring expenses and costs related to its $3.2 billion buy of Inamed Corp. But it was the drug maker's operating profit that sent Allergan's shares down 3% i

Beckman Profit Up on Investment Sale

Beckman Coulter Inc., a Fullerton-based maker of medical testing equipment and supplies, reported a higher third-quarter profit boosted by an investment sale that overcame a legal settlement charge.

Manufacturing Stalls with Housing Slump

Manufacturing growth came close to stagnating in October as a housing-led economic slowdown hurt demand across a wide variety of sectors, according to reports on Wednesday.

Halliburton Agrees to Extend SEC Probe

Halliburton Co. has said it will agree to the Securities and Exchange Commission's request for more time to investigate possible bribery and corruption in connection with the company's natural gas operations in Nigeria.

Time Warner Q3 Earnings Jump

Time Warner Inc. posted sharply higher third-quarter earnings on Wednesday, but less some special items its profit fell short of analysts' expectations.

Warnaco to Sell Op for $54M

Another shake-up has played out at Irvine-based Ocean Pacific Apparel Corp. The surfwear maker, hip in the 1970s during the surf craze, is expected to be sold to New York-based Iconix Brand Group Inc. for $54 million by parent Warnaco Group Inc.