Stories for October 2006

Tuesday, October 31

IBM Setting Up Centers in India, China

IBM, the world's largest computer services company, said on Tuesday it would set up two new IT solutions centers in India and China, underscoring the Asian countries' growing importance as a hub for outsourcing.

Carlyle, Unison Buys Toshiba Unit

Private equity firms Carlyle Group and Unison Capital led a $774 million management buyout of chip wafer maker Toshiba Ceramics Co., making it Japan's second largest buyout this year.

Merck to Buy Biotech Firm for $1.1B

Pharmaceutical company Merck & Co. said Monday it agreed to pay an eye-popping $1.1 billion to buy Sirna Therapeutics Inc., a tiny biotechnology firm developing drugs based on new technology at the heart of last month's Nobel Prize for medicine award.

CB Paying $1.8B for Trammell Crow

CB Richard Ellis Group Inc., the world's largest commercial real estate broker, agreed to buy rival Trammell Crow Co. for $1.8 billion in cash to more than double its property management business.

Edwards Looking to Jump-Start Sales

Edwards Lifesciences Corp.'s core heart valve business has skipped a slight beat, prompting the Irvine-based device maker to look for a sales shock.

Visteon: $177M Q3 Loss, Jobs Cuts

Stung by production cuts at Ford Motor Co. and other big customers, auto parts maker Visteon Corp. reported a narrower loss of $177 million Tuesday for the third quarter and said it expects to cut its white-collar work force by 900 in North America and Eu

Netlist Details $57M IPO Plans

Irvine-based memory products maker Netlist Inc. on Tuesday filed details about its plans to raise as much as $57 million in an initial public offering.

Justice Dept. Probing Sony Unit

Sony said Tuesday the Department of Justice is probing its electronics unit as part of an industrywide investigation into sales of a particular type of memory chip. The news could spell more trouble for a company already stung by sinking profits, a global

Hansen Expanding With Corona Lease

Hansen Natural Corp.'s Monster needs a bigger cage. The beverage company, best known for its Monster energy drinks, just signed a $20 million deal for a big expansion and corporate relocation just over the county line in Corona.

Wages, Benefits Up at 2-year Pace

Wages and benefits paid to American workers rose in the July-September period at the fastest pace in more than two years. The Labor Department reported that its Employment Cost Index was up 1% in the third quarter, compared to a 0.9% rise in the April-Jun

Monday, October 30

Cooper Backs Sales Via Doctors, Snubs Online Retailers

The contact lens arm of Cooper shot back at online retailers during a debate before Congress last month, in the Healthcare column

READER LETTERS

Letters to the Editors; Ballot Bonds

Schneider to Buy APC for $6.1B

French electrical equipment group Schneider Electric said on Monday it had agreed to buy American Power Conversion (APC) for about $6.1 billion in cash at $31 a share to grow in uninterrupted power supply.

Skyworks Cuts Outweigh Broadcom's Hiring Spurt

Local chipmakers saw a slight decline in OC employment in the past year

Mindspeed: Deeper Loss, More Offshore

Newport Beach chipmaker Mindspeed Technologies Inc. reported an operating loss for the recently ended quarter and said it plans to send more work offshore to cut costs.

Wells Fargo Offers Money Transfers to Vietnam, China

Wells Fargo Offers Money Transfers to Vietnam, China

AROUND THE COUNTY

Projects, developments and other activities around OC

Survey: Rising Rates Worry Homeowners

Homeowners with adjustable-rate mortgages worry about rising interest rates, but many believe they will be able to refinance their loans if necessary, according to a study released Monday.

DIVINE MBA

Religious Schools Play Up Ethics Amid Corporate Misdoings

Sares-Regis Group Auctions Off 30 Condos For $12M

Sares-Regis Group auctioned off 30 condominiums in Aliso Viejo, in the Real Estate column

SimpleTech Shares Rise on Flash Focus

Shares of SimpleTech have risen more than 140% in the past three months

REAL ESTATE DEALS

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

Anaheim Eyes BrewTown, Sacramento; Tiger, Move Over

Anaheim Eyes BrewTown, Sacramento; Tiger, Move Over

Hansen Does Big Corona Lease, Plans Building

Hansen Natural's Monster energy drink drives expansion in Corona

Wet Seal Looks to Holidays to Boost Its Arden B. Chain

Wet Seal is starting promotions to lure shoppers for the critical holiday shopping season, in the Media & Marketing column

Mitsubishi Motors: Narrower Loss

Japan's troubled Mitsubishi Motors on Monday reported a narrower net loss of $137 million for fiscal first-half compared to the same period last year, helped by favorable foreign exchange rates and reduced costs.

PEOPLE

Hirings, promotions and other moves at local businesses

Microsemi Paying $245M for Israeli Chipmaker

Irvine-based chipmaker Microsemi Corp. is paying $245 million to buy Israel's PowerDsine Ltd., a maker of chips to send electricity over computer networks.

Real Estate Watch: Los Angeles County

The Los Angeles County commercial real estate market saw another strong quarter. PLUS: CHART - Net Absorption; Vacancy Rates; Average Asking Lease Rates

Sole Pushes Expansion Beyond Skate Shoes

Sole Technology is looking more like a big apparel company these days,

Womack Bids Farewell to Business Journal, But Not OC

Vangard Voice Systems has landed $3 million in an initial round of funding, in the Technology Column

Monster Founder Resigns From Board

Monster Worldwide Inc., parent company of the leading jobs Web site, said on Monday its founder, Andrew McKelvey, had resigned from its board of directors after refusing to be interviewed for the company's internal stock option investigation.

Bookstore First Page Opens Second Store, Eyes Franchises

First Page children's bookstore opened in Newport Beach, in the Marketplace column

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

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

Startup Bank Targets South County Doctors

A group of investors is forming a bank in San Juan Capistrano with a focus on South County doctors

From D.C. to OC, Sam & Harry's Offers Classy Dining

From D.C. to OC, Sam & Harry's offers classy dining, in the Executive Dining column

Edwards: Slower Valve Sales, Product in Works to Jump-Start

Edwards Lifesciences' core heart valve business has skipped a slight beat,

GIVING

Fund-raisers and charitable donations from companies and people

CALENDAR

A listing of events happening all around Orange County

MetLife Q3 Profit Increases 34.6%

MetLife Inc., one of the nation's biggest insurance companies, said Monday third-quarter profit rose 34.6% as it earned higher revenue from premiums and fees.

Qualcomm Claims Broadcom Injunction

Qualcomm Inc. said Monday a federal court in San Diego is set to issue an injunction against Irvine-based Broadcom Corp., barring the chipmaker from using what it called confidential trade secrets, including source code.

Placentia Again Trying to Remake City Center

Old town Placentia hopes to breathe life into some 110 acres in and around its historic area

Go2 Raises $13M

Irvine-based go2 Systems Inc., a maker of software that lets users order and locate food and services via their wireless phones, said Monday it's raised $13 million, including from Canada's Geosign Corp.

Income, Spending Up in Sept.

Consumers, helped by bigger paychecks and lower gasoline prices, boosted their spending last month, according to a government report that may counter fears of a sharp economic slowdown.

Friday, October 27

GDP Growth Weakest in 3 Years

A slumping housing sector helped slow economic growth in the third quarter to its weakest pace in more than three years, the Commerce Department reported on Friday, leading financial markets to raise bets on interest-rate cuts next year.

Chevron's Big Profit Beats Expectations

Chevron Corp., the No. 2 U.S. oil company, on Friday posted better-than-expected third-quarter earnings on improved refined-product margins and high oil prices.

Another TriZetto Acquisition

TriZetto Group Inc., a Newport Beach healthcare technology company, said Wednesday it's buying Phoenix-based Quality Care Solutions Inc. for $133 million cash and $1.2 million in debt.

AMO Rises on Upgrade

Shares of Advanced Medical Optics Inc. bounced back 4% in afternoon trading Friday after an analyst upgraded the Santa Ana-based eye device and contact lens care maker.

Cemex: $12.8B for Aussie Company

Mexico's Cemex, the world's No. 3 cement giant, bid $12.8 billion for Australia's Rinker Group Ltd. on Friday to create one of the largest global building-materials firms with a larger U.S. presence.

Standard Pacific Slumps

Irvine-based homebuilder Standard Pacific Corp. saw its shares drop more than 6% on Friday, after reporting worse-than-expected third quarter results.

Thursday, October 26

Bristol-Myers Q3 Profit Plunges

Bristol-Myers Squibb Co., one of the nation's biggest drugmakers, said Thursday that its third-quarter earnings plunged 65% because two key drugs struggled with generic competition and results a year ago were swelled by a one-time gain. It also raised ear

Exxon Posts $10.49B Profit in Q3

Oil industry behemoth Exxon Mobil's earnings rose to $10.49 billion in the third quarter, the second-largest quarterly profit ever recorded by a publicly traded company. Its shares briefly rose to a 52-week high.

Housing to Set Economic Pace

The slowing housing market stands to set the pace for Orange County's economy next year, according to California State University, Fullerton's 2007 economic forecast.

Shareholders Push for Gateway Change

Irvine-based computer maker Gateway Inc. said Thursday it plans to consider a proposal from activist shareholders pushing for an expansion of its board.

St. John Sells Factory Building

Irvine-based women's clothier St. John Knits International Inc., the county's biggest apparel maker by workers, has sold its Irvine plant with an eye toward moving within five years.

Tech News: Conexant, Emulex, Quest

A handful of Orange County technology companies weighed in with earnings and news about an options dating probe on Thursday.

Sun Micro Has Smaller Q1 Loss

Server and software maker Sun Microsystems Inc. reported a narrower-than-expected loss for the first quarter because of strong sales growth in its services segment and contributions from acquisitions.

Greenspan: Move is to Euro from Dollar

Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said on Thursday that both private investors and central banks were shifting away from the dollar and toward the euro.

Microsoft's Earnings Beat Views

Microsoft Corp. said Thursday that quarterly earnings rose by 11%, exceeding Wall Street estimates. For the three months ended Sept. 30, Microsoft said it earned $3.48 billion, or 35 cents per share. That compares with earnings of $3.14 billion, or 29 cen

Home Price Drop Largest in 35 Years

The median price of a new home plunged in September by the largest amount in more than 35 years, even as the pace of sales rebounded for a second month.

Wednesday, October 25

Boeing Q3 Earnings Fall 31%

Boeing Co., the No. 2 commercial airplane maker behind Airbus SAS, said Wednesday its third-quarter earnings fell 31%, hurt by a hefty charge for pulling the plug on in-flight Internet service Connexion.

QLogic Up on Outlook

Shares of Aliso Viejo-based QLogic Corp. surged more than 8% early Wednesday after the data storage networking products company upped its guidance for the current quarter.

Fed Keeps Rates Steady

The Federal Reserve on Wednesday kept its benchmark interest rate steady for a third straight meeting, saying the economy was likely to expand at a moderate pace but that it still sees some inflation risks.

Countrywide Financial Cuts 2,500 Jobs

Countrywide Financial Corp., the largest mortgage lender, said Tuesday it will cut its work force by more than 2,500, or about 5%, even as growth in its loan servicing portfolio pushed its third-quarter profit up 2%.

Home Prices Holding, Sales Fall

September prices of a detached home in Orange County ticked up from August and were a hair below last year's figure, while sales continued to slow, the California Association of Realtors said Wednesday.

Tuesday, October 24

O'Neill's Gibson to Head Rip Curl

There is a pair of new chiefs at two of Orange County's bigger surfwear makers. Kelly Gibson, former chief executive of O'Neill Clothing in Irvine, resigned his post to take the top spot at Costa Mesa-based Rip Curl USA.

Sony Apologizes for Battery Recall

Sony executives apologized Tuesday for inconvenience caused by a massive global recall in laptop batteries, but said the problems were now fixed and that none of the company's top leaders would resign over the incident.

Lockheed Q3 Earnings Up 47%

Lockheed Martin Corp., the world's largest defense contractor, said Tuesday that third-quarter earnings soared 47% on higher sales in its space and information-technology divisions. The company also raised its outlook for 2006.

BP: Q3 Profit Slumps 3.6%

BP PLC reported a 3.6% drop in third-quarter profit on Tuesday because of lost production in Alaska, higher taxes in Britain and a slump in refining margins.

Lucent Q4 Profit Flat

Telecom equipment company Lucent Technologies Inc., which is being acquired by France's Alcatel SA, said Tuesday its fiscal fourth-quarter net income was just about flat as sales grew slightly.

Fed Expected to Hold Rates

Federal Reserve policy-makers started a two-day meeting on Tuesday that was widely expected to conclude with a decision to hold interest rates steady along with a renewed warning on the risk of inflation.

Microsemi Paying $245M for Chipmaker

Irvine-based chipmaker Microsemi Corp. is paying $245 million to buy Israel's PowerDsine Ltd., a maker of chips to send electricity over computer networks.

Ingram Micro: Strong Q3

Santa Ana-based Ingram Micro Inc., the largest distributor of technology products, reported strong third-quarter results that beat expectations and confirmed its outlook for the current quarter.

Ex-Comverse Exec Pleads Guilty

A former executive with leading voicemail software maker Comverse Technology Inc. pleaded guilty to conspiracy and securities fraud Tuesday after agreeing to cooperate in the investigation of a scheme to make millions of dollars by manipulating stock opti

Monday, October 23

Broadcom Claims Qualcomm Victory, Wall Street Wary

Broadcom sees a mixed victory in its legal battle with Qualcomm, in the Technology column

Chapman Plans Riverside Site

Chapman University is planning a Riverside satellite campus for adult students that could open as early as next fall

Health Companies Strike Leases for 71,000 Square Feet

Three healthcare companies have taken a combined 71,000 square feet of office space in separate deals in Orange and Santa Ana

Wal-Mart Slows Expansion

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. will sharply reduce the growth in its capital spending next year and expand its retail space at a slightly lower pace than in previous years as the world's largest retailer works to bring costs into line with a slowdown in its sales a

Real Estate Slips, Acacia Tops Fast-Growing

Technology, real estate and healthcare companies helped fuel growth among publicly traded companies in OC

PEOPLE

Hirings, promotions and other moves at local businesses

Valeant Restating for Options

Valeant Pharmaceuticals International of Costa Mesa said Monday that it plans to restate financial results dating back to 1997 after it found errors in its stock options accounting.

Newport Makes Laser Acquisition

Irvine-based Newport Corp., a maker of lasers and related gear, said Monday it's buying the Canadian laser products arm of Sunnyvale's Picarro Inc.

REAL ESTATE DEALS

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

Epicor Ups Guidance

Irvine-based business software maker Epicor Software Corp. upped its outlook Monday for third-quarter results due Wednesday.

Circuit Board Maker M-Flex Sues Parent Over Acquisition

Circuit Board Maker M-Flex Sues Parent Over Acquisition

Real Estate Watch: Inland Empire

Economists agree that the Inland Empire is one of the most active markets in Southern California for commercial real estate. PLUS: CHART - Net Absorption; Vacancy Rates; Average Asking Lease Rates

Campus Going Up, Capital Group Starts Move

Los Angeles-based mutual fund manager Capital Group is in the early stages of moving a major part of its operations from Brea to Irvine

Nick's Donation, Impending Divorce; Jim Carrey's Gift

Nick's Donation, Impending Divorce; Jim Carrey's Gift

KUDOS

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

Cosmetic Change: Buy Brings New Allergan Unit

Allergan debuts its new division, Allergan Medical, which takes in its growing medical cosmetic offerings. PLUS: Heart Valve Maker Edwards Profitable, Outlook Narrowed

Skilling Faces Decades in Prison

Former Enron Corp. chief executive Jeffrey Skilling was to learn Monday how long he will have to spend behind bars for orchestrating one of the nation's biggest financial scandals.

Reader Letters

Letters to the Editors: Greenlight II; Proposition 1C

Ford Reports $5.8B Q3 Loss

Ford Motor Co. said Monday its loss widened to $5.8 billion in the third quarter, weighed down by the costs of its massive restructuring plan aimed at reshaping the company and cutting expenses so it can compete better against lower-cost rivals from overs

Wireless Chip Designer WiSpry Raises $13.5M

WiSpry, a startup designer of chips for wireless phones, has raised $13.5 million in a second round of venture financing

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

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

MARKET WATCH

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

OCBJ SUPPLEMENTS and GUIDES

MERGERS & ACQUISITIONS

Local Office of Euro RSCG Weathers New York Storm

The Anaheim office of New York's Euro RSCG Magnet plans to stick around despite big changes at its parent, in the Media & Marketing column

Wildfish: Warm Ambiance Tangos With Great Food

Wildfish Seafood Grille serves up fresh seafood and specially aged steaks, in the Executive Dining column

Southwest Adds Flights at John Wayne Airport

Southwest adds flights and broadens its foothold at John Wayne Airport

Home Furnishing Center Progresses, About 75% Full

South Coast Home Furnishings Centre in Costa Mesa is well on its way to a planned July opening, in the Marketplace column

FASTEST GROWING COMPANIES

Ceradyne Inc.; Impac Mortgage Holdings Inc.; Smith Micro Software Inc.; California Coastal Communities Inc.;

CALENDAR

A listing of events happening all around Orange County

Anemia Drugs, Lower Costs Lift Amgen

Amgen Inc., the world's largest biotechnology company, said on Monday third-quarter profit rose 14%, fueled by a double-digit increase in anemia drug sales.

Wrigley Taps CEO Outside of Family

Chewing gum maker Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co. on Monday went outside the Wrigley family for the first time to name a president and chief executive, surprising investors and helping send its shares up as much as 16%.

Nonprofits See Softening Growth as Expenses Rise Faster

Local nonprofits saw revenue and expenses rise in the past year

UCI's Drake Elected Chair of Academic Medical Group

UCI Chancellor Michael Drake was elected chairman of the Association of Academic Medical Centers' board, in the Healthcare column

Medical Offices Planned in Irvine

More medical offices are in store for the Irvine Spectrum

Report Confirms Office Market Surge; Rent Dip in '08?

OC's office market continues to look strong, in the Real Estate column

Samsung Suing Ingram in India Over 2004 Deal

Samsung is pressing a legal fight in India against distributor Ingram Micro of Santa Ana

Skilling: 24 Years in Prison

Former Enron Corp. chief executive Jeff Skilling was sentenced on Monday to more than 24 years in prison for his part in the financial scandal that brought down the company and came to symbolize a dark era in business.

Friday, October 20

Traders Doubt OPEC Cut Plan

Oil prices fell Friday in a sign of traders' skepticism that OPEC will follow through on a 1.2 million barrels a day production cut, even as some cartel members said further reductions were possible.

Targus Names CEO

Anaheim-based Targus Corp., a computer bag and accessories company, has named the chief executive of Newport Beach's Water Pik Technologies Inc. as its new leader.

Western Digital: Thai Investment

Lake Forest-based Western Digital Corp. is seeking government incentives in Thailand to invest $940 million in the country in the next eight years, the state Board of Investment said, according to Reuters.

Checkmate Founder Arrested

The former head of Orange's Checkmate Staffing Inc., which state and police investigators raided in 2003, has been arrested on suspicion of workers' compensation premium fraud, according to industry publication Insurance Journal.

Caterpillar Profit Misses

Caterpillar Inc. on Friday reported disappointing quarterly earnings and cut its 2006 and 2007 forecast on slowing demand for its earth-moving equipment and rising raw material prices that are eroding margins.

Analysts Rush to Up Google Targets

Shares of Google Inc. on Friday rose 7% as a better-than-expected quarter had analysts rushing to raise their stock price targets, suggesting a new all-time high may be around the corner.

Thursday, October 19

Growth Slowing in Oct., Data Show

Mid-Atlantic region manufacturing slipped for a second month in October and a gauge of future economic activity rose in September for the first time in three months, offering a mixed outlook for the economy.

NBC to Cut 700 Jobs in Overhaul

NBC Universal said Thursday it would cut 700 jobs and streamline its news operations as part an overhaul aimed at exploiting new forms of electronic distribution. NBC, a unit of General Electric Co., said it expects the revamp to save $750 million in oper

Google's Q3 Profit Nearly Doubles

Google Inc.'s third-quarter profit nearly doubled in the latest demonstration of the Internet search leader's phenomenal financial firepower.

EMachines Founders Raise Money for New 'Shared' Computer Venture

An Orange-based computer company led by former eMachines Inc. executives has landed $8 million in funding and plans to move its headquarters to Silicon Valley.

Coca-Cola Q3 Profit Up 14%

The Coca-Cola Co. reported a 14% jump in third-quarter profit Thursday, aided by sales gains in Europe tied to World Cup soccer promotions and growth in emerging markets, but the company said it was not satisfied with its efforts in Japan and North Americ

Cingular Profit Soars

Cingular Wireless, the biggest wireless provider, on Thursday said third-quarter profit nearly quadrupled and revenue rose 9% on stronger-than-expected subscriber growth.

Edwards Profitable; Sales, Outlook Weigh on Shares in Afterhours Trading

Edwards Lifesciences Corp. of Irvine said Thursday it swung to a third-quarter profit in line with Wall Street's expectations.

Profit Up at Pfizer, Other Drugmakers

A quartet of drugmakers posted higher quarterly earnings on sales increases of major products on Thursday, with world's largest Pfizer Inc. heading the charge past Wall Street expectations.

Broadcom Sales Up; No Profit Word

Irvine Chipmaker Broadcom Corp. gave investors something to chew on,a 30% rise in third-quarter sales to $903 million,but didn't release profits or other numbers amid the company's ongoing look into stock options.

Wednesday, October 18

Boston Scientific Swings to $76M Profit

Boston Scientific Corp. on Wednesday said it swung to a $76 million third-quarter profit, a result that narrowly beat Wall Street estimates and follows a string of recent disappointments for the medical device maker after its $27 billion acquisition of Gu

Accounting Board Issues Options Guide

The independent board that oversees the accounting industry has issued guidelines for auditing the value of stock options given to executives and employees, now that companies are required to count the options against profits.

Blue Chips at Record Close on Dow

The blue-chip Dow Jones industrial average on Wednesday sailed past 12,000 for the first time in its 110-year history and the S & P; 500 hit its highest in nearly six years as U.S. stocks rallied on strong profits from bellwethers such as IBM.

LSI to Buy StoreAge for $55M

LSI Logic Corp. plans to buy Irvine-based StoreAge Networking Technologies Ltd. for $55 million, according to an Israeli news source.

ICU Beats Profit Guidance

ICU Medical Inc., a San Clemente medical device maker, met third-quarter profit expectations and exceeded sales targets.

Home Loan Applications Off

Applications for home mortgages fell last week, pulled down by a drop in refinancings as interest rates rose for the third straight week, an industry group's data showed on Wednesday.

Time Warner Cable: $100M IPO

Time Warner Cable Inc., a subsidiary of Time Warner Inc. on Wednesday filed with regulators for an initial public offering of $100 million in class A common stock, all of which is being sold by bankrupt cable operator Adelphia Communications Corp.

Sept. Consumer Prices Drop

A big drop in energy prices helped pull overall consumer prices down steeply in September and construction on new homes unexpectedly rebounded, the government reported on Wednesday, sparking hopes the economy might not be slowing as rapidly as thought.

Tuesday, October 17

Motorola Revenue Misses Estimates

Motorola Inc., the world's second-biggest mobile phone maker, on Tuesday posted lower-than-expected quarterly revenue and missed some analyst estimates on phone sales, sending shares down about 8%.

Intel Q3 Profit Falls 35%

Intel Corp. on Tuesday posted a third-quarter profit that fell by more than a third from a year earlier, as the world's biggest chipmaker felt the impact of price cuts and an inventory write-off.

M-Flex Sues Parent Over Deal

Maybe M-Flex should have filed in family court this time. Anaheim-based Multi-Fineline Electronix Inc., known as M-Flex, is suing its Singapore parent company so it doesn't have to acquire a sister company.

IBM Profit Up On Acquisitions

IBM, the world's largest technology services company, on Tuesday reported a higher quarterly profit after boosting software sales through acquisitions.

J & J; Profit Rises on Drug, Device Sales

Johnson & Johnson on Tuesday said its third-quarter profit rose almost 9 percent on better-than-expected sales growth for its array of drugs, medical devices and consumer products.

Mindspeed Opening India Center

Mindspeed Technologies Inc. joined just about every other local chipmaker Tuesday by announcing a design center in India.

Sept. Core Prices Climb, Gas Record Drop

Producer prices fell more than twice as much as expected last month on a record drop in gasoline prices, but core prices jumped amid a rebound in autos that may vex the Federal Reserve as it weighs inflation risks.

Downey Q3 Profit, Loans Off

Downey Financial Corp., the Newport Beach-based parent of Downey Savings, reported a slight decline in third-quarter profits on Tuesday, due in part to increased hedging against loans that could go bad.

Chicago Mercantile Buys Rival for $8B

Chicago Mercantile Exchange Holdings Inc. said on Tuesday it agreed to acquire rival exchange CBOT Holdings Inc. for $8 billion in cash and stock in a deal that combines the two largest futures exchanges in the U.S.

Monday, October 16

Y & R; Enlists VP in Bid to Get Additional Digital Work

Young & Rubicam Brands is looking to grow its digital advertising work with a new hire, in the Media & Marketing column

Skyworks Ax Falling Hard on Chipmaker's Irvine Unit

Skyworks Solutions has shuttered a struggling wireless unit, cutting workers at its Irvine site

Nursing Home Operator Planning IPO to Finish Off Last Bit of Restructuring: Debt

SHG Holding Solutions is planning to test the waters of Wall Street with an IPO

Reader Letters

North Korea detonated a nuclear weapon and snubbed its nose at our president, in Letters. Plus: Foley Probe

Debating the Economic Slowdown

Debating the Economic Slowdown

Oshkosh Truck to Buy JLG for $3B

Oshkosh Truck Corp. said on Monday it would buy JLG Industries Inc., a maker of scissor lifts and other aerial work platforms, for about $3 billion.

GIVING

Fund-raisers and charitable donations from companies and people

Broadcom, Western Dig Downgraded on Market Fears

Broadcom and Western Digital are getting a bit of a cold shoulder, in the Technology column

Real Estate Watch: Mid-County Apartment Market

Low vacancies, a stable economy, limited construction and rising rents make now a great time for landlords. PLUS: CHART - Net Absorption; Vacancy Rates; Average Asking Lease Rates

Alternative Fuel Parts Maker Moves to OC

Fuel Systems Solutions has left Cerritos for a new headquarters in Santa Ana

Hui Buys Packard Bell's Europe Unit

Lap Shun Hui, former owner of eMachines Inc., bought the Packard Bell European operations of Japanese computer maker NEC Corp., the company said Monday.

Uncertainty Hangs Over UnitedHealth

UnitedHealth Group Inc. named its second-in-command to replace its longtime chief executive as it tries to win back Wall Street confidence after an independent review found backdated stock options, but government probes into the issue continue to pose hur

Pimco's Take

Gross Offers Rules for Changing Market; Eyeing Fed, Housing; Empty Nesting, Successful Investing

Newport Voters Weighing More Development Limits

Bel Mar & #233; could be the last sizable project for Newport Beach if a ballot measure passes

Safi's New DigitalPlay; Measure M In Irvine Feud

Safi's New DigitalPlay; Measure M In Irvine Feud

Oakley's Jannard Recovers Stolen Gear

Oakley's Jannard Recovers Stolen Gear

New Faces Changing Mix at KDOC; Reruns, Then Some

"Matlock" may still be there, but change is playing out at KDOC-TV with new ownership

AROUND THE COUNTY

Projects, developments and other activity in cities across OC

OCBJ SUPPLEMENTS and GUIDES

SENIOR LIVING

Gov. Joins Bren at Landmark Event

A large chunk of the Irvine Ranch received federal designation as a national landmark.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

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

Homebuilder Buys Impac Mortgage's Old Headquarters

The Newport Beach office building with Impac Mortgage's headquarters in it is undergoing some changes, in the Real Estate column

REAL ESTATE DEALS

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

INSIDE ALLERGAN

Allergan's David Pyott has a lean executive team, in Corner Offices

Allergan Puts Botox, Inamed Into Medical Cosmetic Unit

Allergan has completed integration of Inamed units, in the Healthcare column

GAS MONEY

The Orange County Auto Show kicked off car show season with all sorts of rides

SimpleTech Buys Flash Drive Maker

Santa Ana-based memory products maker SimpleTech Inc. said Monday it's bought a British maker of computer storage drives that use flash memory instead of disks.

Going Public

Los Angeles-based B. Riley & Co. has started a mergers and acquisitions practice in Newport Beach

Kingston's Storage Unit Winds Down

StorCase Technology, a Kingston Technology business, is unexpectedly closing

Wal-Mart: Chinese Chain for $1B

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has agreed to acquire a Chinese supercenter chain for about $1 billion in a move that would give the world's largest retailer the biggest food and department store network in China, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday.

PEOPLE

Hirings, promotions and other moves at local businesses

Kingston Business Unexpectedly Closing

Fountain Valley-based StorCase Technology Inc., a Kingston Technology Co. business, plans to close down next week, according to its Web site.

Air Rules Could Hit Developers, Yachts

A draft clean air plan has developers, manufacturers and others concerned, in Regulation Watch

Carlyle Buys Open Solutions for $1.3B

Carlyle Group and Providence Equity Partners Inc. agreed to purchase Open Solutions Inc. for about $1.3 billion including debt as buyout firms take over technology companies at a record pace this year.

Damage Control

Options Scandal is Big, But No Enron; Some Arrests, Lawsuits Fly.

Wachovia Profit Rises

Wachovia Corp., the No. 4 bank, said on Monday that third-quarter profit rose 13 percent as loan demand increased, but revenue fell short of forecasts as lending margins declined.

Elusive But Essential: Discerning Gen Y, Luxury Buyers

Gen Yers are a tough sell to marketers, in the Marketplace column

Shake-up at Top of UnitedHealth Group

Faced with an independent report that found widespread problems with the way UnitedHealth Group Inc. issued stock options, the nation's second-largest health insurer said its chairman and CEO will leave the company.

Comerica Expanding Here as Part of Shift Away From Michigan

Comerica is shifting a big chunk of its Midwest operation to California with an eye on OC

Big Banks Drive Jobs Rebound Among Local Stock Brokerages

Big Banks Drive Jobs Rebound Among Local Stock Brokerages

Aerospace Mold Maker Strikes Expansion Deal

Coast Composite is more than doubling its space with a second lease,

First Cabin's Oktoberfest Menu Full of Notable Dishes

First Cabin's doing up Oktoberfest in high style with a menu of impressive dishes, in the Executive Dining column

REVIEW

The Anaheim Ducks hockey team and its arena have undergone some changes, a Review

Crystal Ball Gazing

Finance Types Discount '07 Recession, See Fed Holding Steady

Friday, October 13

Oct. Consumer sentiment Up

Cnsumer sentiment rose for the second straight month in October, reaching its highest level since July 2005, according to fresh data Friday from researchers at the University of Michigan.

Tsao Invests In Silicon Valley Startup

A venture fund of Linksys founder Victor Tsao has invested in Sunnyvale based Tzero Technologies with Tsao becoming an adviser to the company.

St. Jude Warns of Pacemaker Glitch

St. Jude Medical Inc. said on Friday it has alerted doctors and regulators about a potential computer glitch with certain implantable heart devices, and has developed a software remedy that is awaiting regulatory approval.

Masimo, Nihon Kohden Strike Deal

Irvine-based Masimo Corp. and Japan's Nihon Kohden Corp., which has its U.S. arm in Irvine, said Friday they've signed a deal that allows Nihon Kohden to use Masimo's signal extraction technology in its bedside and patient monitoring devices.

GE Profit Up; Margin Concerns

General Electric Co. said Friday third-quarter net income rose 6%, matching forecasts, and sales increased 12% as the diversified manufacturer credited the growth to stronger industrial sales and financial-services revenue.

Coast Composites Expanding With Lease

Coast Composites Inc., an Irvine-based maker of molds for airplane parts, is more than doubling its space with a big Santa Ana lease and plans to add more than a hundred workers in the next few years.

Thursday, October 12

Gold Kist Rejects Pilgrim's Pride Bid

Chicken producer Gold Kist Inc. on Thursday said it had rejected a $1 billion takeover offer by bigger rival Pilgrim's Pride Inc., saying the bid was less than the company was worth.

Delta CEO to Retire after Bankruptcy

Delta Air Lines Inc. Chief Executive Gerald Grinstein said on Thursday he plans to retire after the airline emerges from bankruptcy protection, but he declined to say who would succeed him.

Fed Finds Cooling in Housing Market

The economy continued to grow in the early fall despite a "widespread cooling" in the once-hot housing market, the Federal Reserve reported Thursday.

August Trade Gap Widens

The trade deficit widened more sharply than expected in August to a record $69.9 billion as higher oil prices pushed the tab for imported petroleum products to a fresh record, a Commerce Department report on Thursday showed.

McDonald's Ups Q3 Outlook

McDonald's Corp. on Thursday said third-quarter earnings would be better than analysts expected as the company posted a 7.7% increase in September sales at hamburger restaurants open at least 13 months.

Memory Revival Seen Going Into '07

A revival in demand for DRAM memory chips used in personal computers is boosting the fortunes of semiconductor makers, and the launch of Microsoft's latest operating system could extend the winning streak.

U.S. August Trade Gap Record High

The trade deficit widened more sharply than expected in August to a record $69.9 billion as higher oil prices pushed the tab for imported petroleum products to a fresh record, a Commerce Department report on Thursday showed.

VitalStream Being Bought for $217M

Irvine's VitalStream Holdings Inc., a maker of software for online video and audio, is being bought for $217 million by Atlanta-based Internap Network Services Corp.

OC Home Price, Sales Drop Again

The median price of an Orange County home fell for a third straight month in September to $626,000, while the number of houses sold here showed the biggest year-over-year decline of any Southland county outside San Diego.

El Pollo Loco Pulls IPO

Irvine-based Mexican fast food chain El Pollo Loco Inc. on Thursday pulled its $135 million initial public offering, citing tough market conditions for restaurants.

Wednesday, October 11

Ford Looking to Sell Service Unit

Ford Motor Co. said on Wednesday it will try to sell a subsidiary that sells vehicle service contracts it bought for $180 million in 1999 as part of a now-abandoned diversification effort away from making autos.

M-Flex Sues Hedge Funds

Multi-Fineline Electronix Inc. has sued hedge fund managers Michael Roth and Brian Stark and several of their funds after they recently took large stakes in the Anaheim company.

AT & T; Gets DOJ OK on BellSouth Buyout

AT & T;'s $78.5 billion buyout of BellSouth Corp. won Justice Department approval Wednesday, a decision that sets the stage for further reuniting modernized parts of the old Ma Bell phone monopoly broken up by the government in 1984.

McAfee, CNet CEOs Out over Options

The chief executives of McAfee Inc. and CNet Networks Inc. stepped aside Wednesday to atone for stock-option chicanery that occurred on their watch, expanding the list of business leaders swept up in a messy scandal that is erasing profits and spurring go

Visa Plans Move Toward IPO

Visa, the world's largest credit card payment system, said on Wednesday that it plans a series of restructuring moves that will ultimately result in the sale of shares through an initial public offering.

Investors Like ECC Exit Plan

Investors like what appears to be a going-out-of-business sale by Irvine mortgage lender ECC Capital Corp.

U.S. Group To Buy London City Airport

A U.S. financial consortium, including insurer American International Group Inc, has agreed to buy London City Airport, serving the Canary Wharf financial hub, for an undisclosed sum, the group said on Wednesday.

Fed's Bies Sees Orderly Housing Market

The housing market is going through a "fairly orderly" adjustment process, with the strength of the banking system helping to cushion any potential effects from the slowdown, Federal Reserve Governor Susan Bies said on Wednesday.

Tuesday, October 10

New Airbus Chief: "Painful" Job Cuts

The new head of European plane maker Airbus said on Tuesday the group's structure needed to be simplified and decisions would be made in the next few months that could lead to job losses among its 55,000 staff.

Gov. Joins Bren at Landmark Event

An ample amount of star power was on display Tuesday at a ceremony at Crystal Cove State Park as a large chunk of the Irvine Ranch received federal designation as a national landmark.

Qualcomm Infringed Broadcom Patent

A judge with the U.S. International Trade Commission said Tuesday Qualcomm Inc. infringed on a Broadcom Corp. patent, handing the Irvine chipmaker a victory in its ongoing patent battle against the San Diego rival.

Lucentis Helps Genentech's Q3 Profit

Genentech Inc. on Tuesday reported better-than-expected third-quarter profit as demand for its cancer drugs remained strong and sales of its new drug to treat the leading cause of blindness in the elderly far exceeded predictions.

Beckman Adds Former Watson CFO

Fullerton-based Beckman Coulter Inc. on Tuesday named Charles Slacik senior vice president and chief financial officer, effective Oct. 23.

Nursing Home Co. Files $175M IPO

Foothill Ranch-based nursing home operator SHG Holding Solutions Inc. has filed plans to go public, looking to raise $175 million.

Toshiba Invests in LG.Philips

Japan's Toshiba Corp. will invest $46 million in LG.Philips LCD Co. Ltd.'s flatscreen plant in Poland to meet booming TV demand in Europe, the two companies said on Tuesday.

Ford to Begin Buyout Offer Next Week

Ford Motor Co. will begin offering its previously disclosed buyout or early retirement packages to all 75,000 of its U.S. hourly employees starting next week.

New Century's Q3 Loans Slip

Irvine-based mortgage lender New Century Financial Corp. said Tuesday loans for the third quarter came in at $15.8 billion, 2% lower from the second quarter and 5% lower than a year earlier.

Sprint Nextel Chair to Step Down

Tim Donahue, executive chairman of the Sprint Nextel Corp.'s board of directors, will step down on Dec. 31, the company announced Tuesday without naming a replacement.

OCBJ SUPPLEMENTS and GUIDES

Select a Supplement or Guide and click to download

Harrah Shareholders Sue Over Buyout

Two shareholders of Harrah's Entertainment Inc. have sued the company, its board and its proposed buyers, alleging that a $15.1 billion takeover offer is an "apparent camouflaged management buyout."

Monday, October 9

REVIEW - SURPRISE

Paul Simon's latest effort, "Surprise," anchors his place as a master stylist and collaborator, a Review

Airbus CEO Said to Resign

Airbus parent EADS has accepted the resignation of the European airplane maker's chief executive, Christian Streiff, and agreed to name one of its own co-CEOs to replace him, people familiar with the decision said Monday.

Bren Avoids Condo Crunch; Praise for UCI Word Wizard

Bren Avoids Condo Crunch; Praise for UCI Word Wizard

Irell & Manella Hires Key Enron Prosecutor

The lawyer who helped lead the government's case against Enron's Kenneth Lay and Jeffrey Skilling has joined Irvine's Irell & Manella

Powerwave Warns of Sales Shortfall

Santa Ana-based Powerwave Technologies Inc. warned Monday that it would fall short of previous sales guidance by a wide margin.

Google Snaps Up YouTube for $1.65B

Google Inc. snapped up YouTube Inc. for $1.65 billion Monday in deal that catapults the Internet search leader to a leading role in the online video revolution.

FIFI'S BEST

The Business Journal has compiled and condensed Fifi Chao's main reviews of the past months for your reading and dining enjoyment.

Condos Face Test With Slowing Homes Market

Condominium tower developers face a test with a slowing housing market

Will Apple Download Broadcom for Next iPod, Router?

Broadcom is getting more of its chips into Apple Computer products, in the Technology column

Apparel Makers Back With Job Growth

OC's largest apparel makers bounced back from job losses a year ago to add nearly 400 workers in the past 12 months

Minimum Wage Spike: Not a Wealth Increaser

Legislation to increase the minimum wage is not a wealth increaser

PacifiCare Offers Plan Covering Mexico Doctor Visits

PacifiCare is getting into the healthcare coverage across the border, in the Healthcare column

Bel Mar & #233; Plans Luxury Boutiques in Walking Distance

What's being billed as an Italian village by the sea is coming to Mariner's Mile in Newport Beach, in the Marketplace column

CALENDAR

A listing of events happening all around Orange County

Al Punto Sells Sizzle With Farmer John Commercials

Al Punto sells sizzle with Farmer John commercials, in the Media & Marketing column

PEOPLE

Hirings, promotions and other moves at local businesses

REAL ESTATE DEALS

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

Acquisition Pays Off for Newport Corp.; 'Wal-Mart' of Laser Gear

Newport Corp. has put together a lineup of laser products that's starting to pay off

Irvine Startup Targets Police With Vehicle

T3 Motion is looking to take on Segway

YouTube Strikes Content Deals

YouTube Inc. struck deals with CBS and two major music labels Monday as the popular video-sharing Web site races to befriend content providers and avoid copyright-infringement lawsuits.

KUDOS

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

BKM Cashes Out in Cypress; Eyes Airport Offices

BKM Development, best known for smaller industrial buildings, is thinking bigger

Device Maker Adds Workers; $100M in Sales

Applied Medical Resources has seen sales and employment shoot up in the past few years

Oakley's Jannard Recovers Stolen Gear

Lake Forest-based Red Digital Cinema Corp., a digital camera startup headed by Oakley Inc. founder Jim Jannard, has recovered a prototype camera, lenses and other gear stolen from the company late last month.

FDA Lifts Cortex Trial Suspension

Irvine drug hopeful Cortex Pharmaceuticals Inc. said Monday that the Food and Drug Administration lifted a seven-month hold it placed on clinical trials for its Ampakine CX717 drug for possible memory enhancement.

MARKET WATCH

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

Housing Market Entering First Slowdown in Decade

What could be ahead for OC's slowing housing market

Mueller Has New Landlord With $87.5M Seacrest Sale

A personal take on Real Estate Partners' buy of the Seacrest Apartment Homes in San Clemente, in the Real Estate column

Airbus CEO Resigns

Airbus chief executive Christian Streiff resigned Monday after a little more than three months as head of the troubled European plane maker and parent company EADS named one of its own co-CEOs to replace him.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

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

Real Estate Watch: West Orange County

The West OC industrial market continues to see strong activity from tenants and business owners buying buildings for their companies. PLUS: CHART - Net Absorption; Vacancy Rates; Average Asking Lease Rates

Dolans Offer to Take Cablevision Private

The family that controls Cablevision Systems Corp. offered to take the company private Monday in a deal that values the cable television operator at $7.9 billion. It was the second time in less than two years that the mercurial Dolan family has tried to b

Glaxo Buying CNS For $566M

GlaxoSmithKline Plc has agreed to buy U.S. consumer healthcare firm CNS Inc. for $566 million in cash, Europe's biggest drug maker said on Monday.

Disney Turns to Halloween After 50th Marketing Surge

Disneyland turns to Halloween after its 50th anniversary marketing surge

Friday, October 6

OPEC Head Eyes Cut Consensus

OPEC President Edmund Daukoru said on Friday he was hopeful the producer group would reach a consensus by Monday on supply cuts that may amount to 1 million barrels per day.

Acquisition Pays Off for Newport Corp.

A key acquisition has helped make Irvine's Newport Corp. the "Wal-Mart" of industrial lasers and related gear, an analyst says.

Sept. Job Growth Below Expectations

Employers added a scant 51,000 jobs in September, far below market expectations, according to a government report on Friday that showed broad weakness in the manufacturing and retail sectors.

Pringle Meeting With New NFL Head

Anaheim Mayor Curt Pringle is meeting today with the NFL's new commissioner, who inherits a plan to bring a football team back to Southern California.

Slowing Market to Test Condo Projects

Condominium tower developers have a long-term trend on their side. High-rise living is inevitable in a county running out of space for new homes. But pardon them for having some near-term concerns.

Airbus parent Vows Talks Before Cuts

Airbus parent EADS has pledged to consult workers before selling plants or cutting jobs as part of a plan to rescue the planemaker, the works council at EADS said on Friday.

Thursday, October 5

CEOs See Economy Slowing

More top U.S. chief executive officers believe the economy is going to deteriorate over the next six months than expect improvement, according to a study of 70 top CEOs released on Thursday.

Wet Seal Surges, PacSun Down

Foothill Ranch-based Wet Seal Inc. beat Wall Street expectations for September same-stores, the latest monthly gain for the resurgent retailer.

Goodyear Union Workers Strike

Workers at 16 Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. plants in 10 states and Canada went on strike Thursday after the world's third largest tire maker and the steelworkers union failed to agree on a new labor contract.

Economist: Homebuilders Slow to React

Local homebuilders have been slow to respond to the county's shifting housing marketing, an economist for Wells Fargo & Co. told an Orange County audience on Thursday.

Jobless Claims Fell by 17,000

New claims for jobless aid fell by a more-than-expected 17,000 last week to the lowest level since mid-July, Labor Department data showed on Thursday, but the four-week average of claims changed little.

Dunn Ordered to Court

Hewlett-Packard Co.'s ousted chairwoman agreed to surrender to authorities Thursday and was ordered to appear in court on felony charges tied to the company's ill-fated attempt to uncover the source of boardroom leaks to the media.

Allergan Integrates Inamed Into New Unit

Irvine drug maker Allergan Inc. said Thursday that it integrated the commercial and research and development operations of Inamed Corp. into a new unit called Allergan Medical.

OPEC: First Oil Output Cut Since '04

OPEC will take one million barrels of oil a day off oversupplied world markets as soon as possible with its first output cut in more than two years, OPEC officials said on Thursday, sending oil prices $1.50 higher.

Clothing Stores Post Strong September

Department stores and clothing retailers posted surprisingly strong September sales on Thursday as falling gasoline prices and cool weather spurred spending on fall fashions such as skinny-leg pants and long tops.

Wednesday, October 4

Housing Correction "Substantial"

The Federal Reserve remains worried inflation is too high, but is also watching to see how much a "substantial correction" in housing markets will slow economic growth, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke said on Wednesday.

Kingston Backed Startup Seeks Funding

A Fountain Valley company backed by Kingston Technology Co.'s David Sun is looking to go long in wireless networking.

Alsius Being Bought by Ithaka

Irvine medical device maker Alsius Corp. on Wednesday said it is being bought by Ithaka New York's Ithaka Acquisition Corp.

Indictment Sought in HP Case

California's attorney general sought felony indictments Wednesday against former Hewlett-Packard Co. Chairwoman Patricia Dunn and four others involved in the corporate spying scandal at the computer and printer company.

Trial Ordered for Ex-Kmart Execs

A federal judge has ordered former Kmart chief executive Charles Conaway and former financial chief John McDonald to stand trial on accusations they misled investors about the retailer's financial problems before its 2002 bankruptcy filing.

Factory Orders Weak in August

Orders to factories for manufactured goods were weak for a second consecutive month as the manufacturing sector sent signals it was shifting into a lower gear.

Boeing OK'd for Rocket Move

Federal regulators have given the OK for Boeing Co. to move its satellite launch operations from Huntington Beach to Colorado as part of a venture with Lockheed Martin Corp.

GM-Renault/Nissan Alliance Talks Off

General Motors, Renault and Nissan said Wednesday that they have cut off discussions about forming a three-continent automotive alliance after GM sought compensation for its participation.

Shaw Group to Buy Part of Westinghouse

Shaw Group Inc., a provider of engineering and construction services for the energy, chemical and construction industries, announced Wednesday that it plans to pay $1.08 billion for a 20% stake in the group acquiring Westinghouse Electric Co., a producer

Tuesday, October 3

Broadcom Shares Fall on Downgrade

Broadcom Corp.'s stock sagged 3% Tuesday on an analyst's downgrade,but the chipmaker said it received better news on its court battle with rival Qualcomm Inc. over intellectual property.

Quest Loses UnitedHealth Contract

Quest Diagnostics Inc., the top U.S. provider of diagnostic testing services, said Tuesday it has lost its contract with UnitedHealthcare, which accounts for about 7% of Quest revenues.

Whirlpool to Cut 700 More Jobs

Appliance maker Whirlpool Corp. announced Tuesday it would cut 700 jobs at Fort Smith in the first half of 2008, on top of 940 voluntary layoffs already made as it transfers work to a refrigerator plant in Mexico.

Bixby Pays $70M for San Jose Center

Newport Beach-based real estate company Bixby Land Co. has paid $70 million for an industrial park in San Jose, the company's first acquisition in Silicon Valley.

Home Values Up 32% 2000 to 2005

Home values across the U.S. soared 32% during the first half of this decade, according to new data released on Tuesday by the Census Bureau.

Fluor to Add 300 OC Workers

Fluor Corp., the engineering and construction company that traded its Aliso Viejo headquarters earlier this year for a Texas home, plans to hire roughly 300 engineers in Orange County in coming months, according to company officials.

Toy Industry Showing Revitalizing Signs

The holiday season may come with a little extra cheer for toy makers this year. After years of watching sales decline, market research firm NPD Group said it is seeing signs of revitalization for the $22 billion toy industry.

Toyota Leads Sept. Sales

Toyota Motor Corp. trounced the domestic automakers in the U.S. marketplace last month, posting a 25% year-over-year sales increase. General Motors Corp. and DaimlerChrysler AG each saw their sales slip by a few percentage points, while Ford Motor Co.'s s

Microsoft Appeals $356M Fine

Software giant Microsoft filed an appeal against a 280.5 million euro ($356.4 million) fine the European Commission imposed in July, holding it defied a 2004 antitrust ruling.

Monday, October 2

Fluor Adding Jobs Here After HQ's Texas Move

Fluor plans to hire about 300 engineers in OC in the coming months

Real Estate, Strong Economy Add to Public Relations Ranks

Times are good for OC's public relations firms

Beckman Paying $185M for Supplier

Beckman Coulter Inc., the Fullerton-based maker of medical testing and diagnostic equipment and supplies, is paying $185 million for Lumigen Inc., a supplier of chemicals used to run tests on Beckman machines.

Discount Fashion Comes to South Coast With 2 H

Discount fashion is coming to South Coast Plaza with two H & M; stores, in the Marketplace column

Jazz Semi Going Public After All With Buyout

Jazz Semiconductor is going public, just not as originally planned

Gilead Buying Myogen for $2.5B

Gilead Sciences Inc. , the world's third-biggest biotechnology company, said on Monday it agreed to acquire Myogen Inc. for $2.5 billion in a surprise transaction that gives Gilead access to Myogen's experimental hypertension drugs.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Past week's news briefs from the Business Journal

Harrah's Gets $15B Offer

Harrah's Entertainment Inc., the world's biggest casino operator, on Monday said it received a $15 billion buyout offer from private equity firms Apollo Management and Texas Pacific Group.

Funky Retail Developer Doing San Clemente 'SpanishVillage'

The developer of The Lab mall tries his hand at a bigger San Clemente project

Aristos Reaches $95M Funding Mark; What's Next?

Aristos Logic may have reached the end of its fund-raising phase, in the Technology column

Valeant Looks to Ride Cash Cows, Promote Big Sellers

Company promotes select products with cash generated by scores of others.

REAL ESTATE DEALS

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

MARKET WATCH

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

SURVEY

California's economic forecast, in Survey

READER LETTERS

For America, it was one insult after another at the U.N., in Letters. Plus: American Hospital

Tuesdays With Bluewater Grill: Tasting Extraordinaire

Tuesday tastings at Bluewater Grill, in the Executive Dining column

Inside Golden State

Corner Offices: Profiles of the management group of Orange County's top companies.

Sept. Manufacturing Growth Slows

Growth in factory activity slowed more than expected in September to its lowest since May, 2005, with dips in measurements of employment and prices paid, according to a survey published on Monday.

Local Sentiment Index Slips

Signs of slowing in the local housing market and in the national economy are registering with Orange County chief executives, business owners and managers.

Pulido to Developers: Mitigate Controversy Up Front

Santa Ana Mayor Miguel Pulido offers advice to developers looking to build in his city, in the Real Estate column

I-Flow Selling Unit for $140M

Lake Forest-based medical device maker I-Flow Corp. said Monday it's selling its InfuSystem Inc. unit for $140 million to HAPC Inc., a New York-based company that was set up to buy another business.

PEOPLE

Hirings, promotions and other moves at local businesses

Professional Image Grows With Plastic Surgery Sector

Professional Image grows with plastic surgery sector, in the Media & Marketing column

Housing, Economic Slowing Impact Expectations for Q4

Signs of slowing in the local housing market and in the national economy are registering with OC businesspeople

Morton's GM Out; Wanted: Lutheran Biz School Leader

Morton's GM Out; Wanted: Lutheran Biz School Leader

PacSun Chief Stepping Down

Seth Johnson, who was hand-picked to lead Pacific Sunwear of California Inc. two years ago, resigned on Monday amid a slump for the operator of mall stores for teens.

BofA Exec Leaves for First Bank Unit

A senior Bank of America Corp. official in Orange County has left to head up the local arm of a Missouri bank that wants to build its Southern California business.

Wireless Startup Gets Hand From Kingston

A wireless startup backed by Kingston Technology's David Sun is looking to go long

Real Estate Watch: Research & Development

Research and development space still is in high demand by OC businesses. PLUS: CHART - Net Absorption; Vacancy Rates; Average Asking Lease Rates

GIVING

Fund-raisers and charitable donations from companies and people

AROUND THE COUNTY

Project developments and other activity in cities across OC

Mortgage Software Co. Raises $10M

Irvine-based Mavent Inc., a software developer for the mortgage industry, has raised $10 million in venture capital financing, the company said last week.

Housing Drop's Flawed Logic

The flawed logic of falling home prices, in TheySay

Medical Office Sales Trend Making Way to Older Buildings

A husband and wife team pays $7.5 million for a Santa Ana medical office building