Stories for September 2006

Friday, September 29

Holiday Sales Outlook Moderate

It's only September, but inflatable Santa decorations were already on display at a newly opened Wal-Mart store here this week as retailers try to jump-start what looks to be a decent but unspectacular holiday shopping season.

FDA Clears BioLase Plant

BioLase Technology Inc. said Friday that the Food and Drug Administration sent a letter saying that the dental laser maker adequately addressed concerns about its Irvine plant.

Corinthian Slumps on Warning

Santa Ana-based vocational school operator Corinthian Colleges Inc. filed initial results for the June quarter that met expectations but warned about the September quarter and the 12 months through next June.

Consumer Sentiment Improves

Consumers' mood brightened slightly more than expected in September, a report showed on Friday, and their inflation expectations slipped.

Powerwave Sells Unit

Santa Ana-based Powerwave Technologies Inc. has sold its contract manufacturing business for $27.1 million to a Swedish company, the company said Friday.

Fed's Poole Would Back Rate Cuts

St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank President William Poole said on Friday that inflation must be kept under wraps, but if both growth and price pressures were sufficiently weak he would back a reduction in U.S. interest rates.

Thursday, September 28

Delay Sought in BellSouth-AT & T; Merger

The chairman and the top Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee have asked the Justice Department to delay approval of the merger of AT & T; Inc. and BellSouth Corp.

Gateway Opens Nashville Plant

Irvine-based Gateway Inc. announced Thursday the opening of a manufacturing plant in Nashville as part of its bid to boost sales from direct buyers and businesses.

Ford Motor Credit to Cut 2,000 Jobs

Ford Motor Credit, the financial arm of Ford Motor Co. said on Thursday it would cut 2,000 jobs -- almost a quarter of its staff in North America -- and close branch offices in order to cut costs.

HP Counsel Steps Down

Hewlett-Packard Co. on Thursday said its general counsel, Ann Baskins, had resigned, effective immediately, ahead of a U.S. House of Representatives hearing on the company's methods in investigating boardroom leaks.

Nigeria to Trim Oil Supply

Nigeria, the world's eighth biggest oil exporter, is trimming supplies from October 1 after discussions with fellow OPEC members on how to stem a price fall, a senior Nigerian oil industry source said on Thursday.

Kaiser: $115M Stock Sale

A union trust plans to sell about $115 million of shares in Foothill Ranch-based Kaiser Aluminum Corp., which emerged from bankruptcy reorganization earlier this year.

Q2 GDP, Profits Growth Soften

The pace of U.S. economic growth softened more sharply than expected in the second quarter and corporate profits rose feebly, according to a Commerce Department report on Thursday that pointed to a significant easing in expansion.

China's Geely May Make U.S. Cars

Chinese car maker Geely is considering whether to make cars in the U.S. in order to begin selling there as soon as 2008, its chairman said on Thursday.

Condos, Shops Get Fullerton Nod

Fullerton's Planning Commission has approved a condominium and stores development that includes what would be the tallest building in the city's bustling downtown.

Wednesday, September 27

GM Reportedly Seeks Billions for Tie-Up

General Motors is reportedly demanding a "multibillion" dollar payment from Renault and Nissan as the price to join the French and Japanese companies' alliance, according to a published report on Wednesday.

Univision Shareholders OK $12.3B Sale

Univision Communications Inc. shareholders on Wednesday approved selling the Spanish-language broadcaster to a private investor group for $12.3 billion, the company said.

St. Joseph Moving Forward on Center

A 200,000-square-foot cancer treatment complex is set to break ground this week on the campus of St. Joseph Hospital-Orange.

Intel Looks To Take Lead Over AMD

It's been a tough year for Intel Corp. Chief Executive Paul Otellini. He's had to deal with faltering sales, stiffer competition, bloated inventories and skeptical investors. Otellini took center stage at Intel's biannual developers forum Tuesday in San F

Durable Goods Unexpectedly Fall 0.5%

Despite increased demand for autos, orders for U.S.-made durable goods fell 0.5% in August as orders for aircraft, electronics, machinery, metals and electrical goods crumbled, the Commerce Department reported Wednesday.

SEC Sues Former Lantronix CFO

The Securities and Exchange Commission filed suit against the former chief financial officer of Irvine-based Lantronix Inc.

Home Loan Demand Falls Despite Rate Plunge

Sales of new homes, after falling for three months, rose in August. But the gain was expected to be temporary as the battered housing industry struggles with a near-record level of unsold homes.

Aug. Home Sales Gains Seen as Temporary

Sales of new homes, after falling for three months, rose in August. But the gain was expected to be temporary as the battered housing industry struggles with a near-record level of unsold homes.

Conexant Up on Jazz Stake Sale

Shares of Conexant Systems Inc. closed 3.7% higher Wednesday after the Newport Beach chipmaker said it expects to get $100 million from the sale of its stake in Jazz Semiconductor Inc., its former chip plant in Newport Beach.

Tuesday, September 26

Lennar Profit, Outlook Lower

A steeper-then-expected drop in the housing market pushed Lennar Corp.'s quarterly profit down 39% and prompted the homebuilder on Tuesday to slash its fourth-quarter forecast.

J & J; sues Boston Scientific, Abbott

Johnson & Johnson has sued Boston Scientific Corp. and Abbott Laboratories Inc., seeking at least $5.5 billion in damages related to J & J;'s failed bid for medical device maker Guidant Corp.

Apple Alums Paying $260M for Jazz

A company setup by Gil Amelio and other former Apple Computer Inc. executives to acquire a technology company has found one, and a big one at that: Newport Beach chip plant operator Jazz Semiconductor Inc.

Allergan Debuting Anti-Wrinkle Drug

Allergan Inc. is taking the wraps off of Juv & #269;derm, its wrinkle reducing drug that it acquired through its $3.2 billion buy of Inamed Corp.

Health Insurance is Twice Inflation Rate

Workers won't find much comfort in the smallest increase in health insurance premiums since 1999. The 7.7 percent increase this year was still more than twice the rate of inflation.

Fastow Gets Six Years

Andrew Fastow, who helped engineer the financial trickery that sank Enron Corp. and then helped prosecutors convict others involved in the scandal, received a six-year sentence Tuesday, four years less than the deal he had made.

Oil Holds Near $61, Looks to OPEC for Direction

Oil held above $61 on Tuesday after rebounding from a six-month low as dealers focused on whether OPEC might trim output should prices fall further.

AMO Shares Hit on Forecast

Shares of Advanced Medical Optics Inc. closed down 16% Tuesday, after the Santa Ana-based eye device and contact lens care maker cut its outlook for this year.

Ex-Worldcom CEO Ebbers Reports to Prison

Former WorldCom Inc. Chief Executive Bernard Ebbers, who was convicted of orchestrating an $11 billion accounting fraud, is scheduled to report to federal prison on Tuesday to begin his 25-year sentence.

Monday, September 25

PacifiCare's Phanstiel: $5M to Alma Mater in Syracuse

PacifiCare's Howard Phanstiel administers a $5 million shot in the arm to his alma mater, in the Healthcare column

Regulators Take Aim at Ocean Discharge, Land Runoff

Regulators take aim at ocean discharge and land runoff, in Regulation Watch

UCI Medical School Trains More Doctors Amid Expected Shortage

UCI's medical school has been upping enrollment for the past two years in a bid to offset a looming shortage of doctors

Big Fight Over U.S. Rights to Europe's Little Smart Car

A big fight over a little car, in the Marketplace column

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 Monday.

Real Estate Watch: North/Central County

North and Central Orange County's vacancy rate dropped in the second quarter. PLUS: CHART - Net Absorption; Vacancy Rates; Average Asking Lease Rates

Cable Access

A Q & A; with Time Warner Cable's Fred Stefany on the company's plans in OC

Segerstrom Concert Hall: Jewel in County's Arts Scene

A dining-oriented review of the newest jewel in OC's art scene, in the Executive Dining column

Three-Way GM Talks Progress

Renault and Nissan are making progress in talks with General Motors Corp. about forming a three-way alliance but the outcome is still open, Carlos Ghosn said in a newspaper interview.

Brea Health Products Maker Doing Bankruptcy Reorganization

Brea's Naturade is doing bankruptcy reorganization, hoping to overcome unhealthy acquisitions

Y & R; Adds Creative Director to Help on Hilton, Others

Irvine's Young & Rubicam Brands is building its creative team, in the Media & Marketing column

PEOPLE

Hirings, promotions and other moves at local businesses

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

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

Viacom Cuts Redstone's Compensation

Media conglomerate Viacom Inc. on Monday said it will cut in half Executive Chairman Sumner Redstone's salary and cash bonus compensation to about $4.5 million annually amid criticism that he was among one of the most highly paid executives in the United

Spectrum Shares Soar on Drug Trial

Shares of Spectrum Pharmaceuticals Inc., an Irvine cancer drug developer, shot up more than 40% Monday on news that its lead drug, satraplatin, showed lowered progression rates in cancer patients.

Green Design Goes Mainstream

Today, developers increasingly are turning to the green standards for office buildings, convention centers, hotels and other types of structures.

Aug. Existing Home Sales Fall 0.5%

The pace of existing home sales fell for a fifth straight month in August, hitting a 6.3 million unit annual rate, according to a report from the National Association of Realtors on Monday that was not as bleak as economists had expected.

Building Billings

Engineering Firms Continue Last Year's Turnaround; Fluor's Departure Skews List

Realtors Survey: Home Prices Down

Prices of detached homes in Orange County fell nearly 2% in August from a month earlier, and now stand below the prices seen a year ago, the California Association of Realtors said Monday.

Microsemi Slumps, Broadcom Soars

Irvine-based Microsemi Corp.'s stock fell 14% Monday after a profit warning, while Irvine's Broadcom Corp. closed up 9% after bullish comments from an analyst.

MARKET WATCH

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

Brokerage Founders Tighten Reins in Shifting Market

The founders of Irvine's O'Donnell/Atkins have taken over the president's duties at the land brokerage, in the Real Estate column

KUDOS

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

Venture Capital Firms Go Global

Faced with mounting pressures of doing business in Silicon Valley, the venture capital industry is going global, albeit in stops and starts that reflect the risks of doing business in foreign lands.

CALENDAR

A listing of events happening all around Orange County

READER LETTERS

KOCE could face costs in a break from public broadcasting, in Letters to the Editors. PLUS: El Toro

SPEAK

Fred Stefany on Time Warner Cable taking over Adelphia's operations in OC and Henry Segerstrom on development around Costa Mesa's art complex, in Speak - Quotes from this week's Business Journal

REAL ESTATE DEALS

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

Chipmaker Teridian Forgoes Glamour for Profit in Niches

TDK's former chip unit rebuilt after a downturn

Bigger Storage Startups See Venture Investments

Bigger Storage Startups See Venture Investments

Sorting Out Western Digital

Western Digital can claim some victories with gains in market share and improving profits as the industry readies for more growth

Tustin Officials Glad to Be Under Way at Former Base

Tustin Mayor Doug Davert is happy to have a jump on Irvine when it comes to redeveloping his city's former Marine base

HAIL CESAR

With Plaza Tower, SCR, New Concert Hall, Pelli Rules OC Architecture

New Ingram Rival Boss Loves 'To Be in Midst of Fight'

Ingram Micro's main rival is getting some new blood that could create some tougher competition, in the Technology column

Downtown Fullerton Draws Fun Seekers, Next: Condos, Stores

Fullerton's downtown area is filled with new apartments, shops, restaurants and bars

GM, Nissan to Discuss Alliance

Carlos Ghosn, the head of Nissan and Renault, and General Motors Chief Executive Richard Wagoner plan to hold talks this week in Paris as they continue to assess the possibility of an alliance among the three automakers, Nissan said Monday.

HP execs Subpoenaed by House Panel

Two Hewlett-Packard Co. officials were subpoenaed to testify at a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee hearing Thursday on the company's probe into boardroom leaks, a source familiar with the investigation said on Monday.

Pension Shift

PENSION SHIFT - The Pension Protection Act sets new minimum funding standards for employer pension plans

Valeant Eyes Developing Drugs, Acquisitions

There is life after Viramidine for Valeant Pharmaceuticals

Donald No-Shows At Henry's Bash; Beach of Anaheim?

Donald No-Shows At Henry's Bash; Beach of Anaheim?

St. Joseph Breaking Ground on Cancer Center

A cancer treatment complex is set to break ground this week on the campus of St. Joseph Hospital-Orange. Plus: Allergan Renews Pact With French Biotech; Device Maker Raises $9M Second Round

Concert Hall, Condos Set to Complete Urban Arts Hub

Fireworks christened Henry Segerstrom's latest architectural icon in Costa Mesa

Friday, September 22

Garamendi: No Criminal Link to HP CEO

The California attorney general said on Friday there was no evidence yet linking Hewlett-Packard Co. Chief Executive Mark Hurd to any criminal wrongdoing, as scrutiny grew over his role in the PC maker's probe of a boardroom leak.

Emulex, QLogic Shake Off Downgrades

An analyst downgraded networking gear makers Emulex Corp. and QLogic Corp. Friday, though investors seemed to slough off the news.

Dell Building $30M India Plant

Dell Inc., the world's largest maker of personal computers, said on Friday it would set up manufacturing operations in India in the first half of 2007.

Clarient Buys Diagnostic Products

Irvine-based Trestle Holdings Inc., a maker of microscopes and other medical diagnostic devices, said Friday that its shareholders approved the sale of its assets to Clarient Inc., an Aliso Viejo-based company that does cancer and other diagnostic testing

Philips Shops Stake in LCD Maker

High-level executives from Japan's Sharp Corp. traveled to South Korea last week to visit LG.Philips LCD Co., as Royal Philips Electronics NV seeks a buyer for its 33%stake in the LCD screen maker.

Thursday, September 21

Forbes 400: Bren Up Big

Orange County's share of the Forbes 400 listing of the richest Americans got a lot bigger this year, thanks to surging real estate fortunes.

HP Chief Approved Journalist "Sting"

Hewlett-Packard Co.'s Chief Executive Mark Hurd had approved a "sting" operation on a reporter to investigate boardroom media leaks, The Washington Post reported, and embattled Chairman Patricia Dunn said she looked forward to "setting the record straight

Device Maker Raises $9M

Irvine medical device maker MiCardia Corp. said Thursday it raised $9 million in a second round of financing.

Web Ads Scrutinized After Yahoo

A surprise revenue warning by Yahoo Inc. has marketers, media buyers and Internet companies scrutinizing the health and future of online advertising, which has grown at the expense of newspapers.

Nike Quarterly Net Profit Falls 13%

Nike Inc., the world's No. 1 sport shoe and apparel maker, said on Thursday that quarterly net profit fell 13 percent, as stock-based compensation weighed on results.

AT & T; to Bring Back 2,000 Jobs

AT & T; Inc. on Thursday said it would add about 2,000 previously outsourced technical support jobs to its payroll by the end of 2008.

Germany's Merck Buying Serono for $13B

German drugmaker Merck KGAA on Thursday agreed to buy Europe's largest biotechnology company, Serono, for $13.3 billion, just five months after the Swiss company took down the for-sale sign.

Philly Fed Survey Darkens Economic View

A surprise drop in regional factory activity reported on Thursday suggested that the U.S. economy may be losing momentum faster than most economists anticipated, stunning financial markets on the view that the Federal Reserve may soon have to cut interest

Oakley COO Resigns

Link Newcomb has resigned as chief operating officer of Foothill Ranch-based Oakley Inc. and from the company's board, Oakley said Thursday.

Aristos Logic Raises $15M More

Foothill Ranch-based Aristos Logic Corp. has raised $15 million in yet another round of funding that brings the total to more than $80 million.

Wednesday, September 20

Report: HP Studied Newsroom Spying

Hewlett-Packard Co. did feasibility studies on placing spies in news bureaus of two publications as part of an investigation into leaks from its board, The New York Times reported on Wednesday.

Bausch & Lomb To Cut 400 Temps

Bausch & Lomb Inc., which earlier this year was hit with a massive worldwide recall of a popular contact lens solution, said on Wednesday it will cut about 400 contact lens manufacturing jobs, with the most of the cuts coming from plants in Europe and the

Fed Seen Holding Rates

Federal Reserve policy-makers started a meeting on Wednesday at which markets expect them to hold interest rates steady, while renewing inflation warnings and delivering an assessment of cooler economic growth.

KCET Launching OC Channel

Los Angeles public TV station KCET-TV said Wednesday it's working with California State University, Fullerton, to create a channel focused on Orange County.

Fed Holds Interest Rates Steady

The Federal Reserve on Wednesday held its benchmark interest rate steady for a second straight meeting, biding time to assess whether cooling economic growth will curb price pressures.

Datallegro: $22.5M Investment

Aliso Viejo-based Datallegro Inc. has landed $22.5 million in a third round of funding, bringing total investments to more than $42 million.

Tuesday, September 19

HP: Multi-Year Contract from Army

Hewlett-Packard Co. on Tuesday said it received a 10-year contract from the U.S. Army to provide personal computers and other computer peripherals. HP technology has been offered on eight of the nine awards of the $5 billion contract, based on HP's direct

Chrysler Cutting SUV, Truck Production

DaimlerChrysler AG's U.S. arm Chrysler is cutting production by 135,000 units in the second half of 2006 to reduce a glut of unsold trucks and sport utility vehicles after a failed summer sales effort, the company said on Tuesday.

Quality Systems Downgraded

Quality Systems Inc. was downgraded Tuesday, though the investment bank raised its target price for shares of the Irvine-based company.

August Housing Starts fall 6%

The pace of homebuilding fell more sharply than expected in August as builders broke ground on new homes at the slowest rate since April 2003, a government report showed on Tuesday.

Broadcom CFO Steps Down

Longtime Broadcom Corp. Chief Financial Officer Bill Ruehle is stepping down immediately amid a stock option backdating probe that could cost the company $1.5 billion.

Allergan Renews Biotech Pact

Irvine drug maker Allergan Inc. said Tuesday it extended a pact with France's ExonHit Therapeutics SA to work on treatments for diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.

Motorola Buying Symbol for $3.9B

Motorola Inc. on Tuesday said it agreed to buy Symbol Technologies Inc., a maker of bar code and inventory scanning technology, for about $3.9 billion to boost sales of wireless handheld devices to corporate customers.

Toshiba Replacing 340,000 Batteries

Toshiba Corp. said on Tuesday it would replace about 340,000 laptop computer batteries worldwide, the third recall of faulty batteries made by Sony Corp. in less than 40 days.

Oracle Profit Beats Estimates

Business software maker Oracle Corp. posted a quarterly profit on Tuesday that topped Wall Street forecasts as strong sales of new licenses for applications helped boost revenue, sending its shares up 5%.

Monday, September 18

PEOPLE

Hirings, promotions and other moves at local businesses

Selling Surf

Caveman, Bikini Marketing at ASR, Surfwear's Yearly Trade Show Party

Developer Lifts Ownership Cap

Irvine's California Coastal Communities Inc., which has faced shareholder calls to sell the company or its land at Bolsa Chica in Huntington Beach, lifted a 5% cap on ownership of its shares on Monday.

Current Account Gap Widens

The current account deficit widened more than expected in the second quarter to $218.4 billion, as surging oil prices pushed goods imports higher, the Commerce Department said on Monday.

READER LETTERS

Letters to the Editors: Deep Thoughts On Traffic, Sports; Airport Anyone?

Womack Returns to Find Big Broadcom Bill, Gateway Boss

Broadcom has been busy turning up bigger charges for its option grants, in the Technology column

LASER FOCUS

IntraLase cuts into the laser vision correction market, eyes growth

AROUND THE COUNTY

Projects, developments and other activity in cities across OC

CALENDAR

A listing of events happening all around Orange County

Anaheim Set to Have First Office Building in 3 Years

Silver Oak Development plans to build a three-story office building in its hometown of Anaheim

Yamaha Buys Drums,Strikes Cymbals Pact

Yamaha Corporation of America has been quietly building its musical empire in Buena Park

Rate Cut

A Q & A; with Automobile Club of Southern California's Thomas V. McKernan, on cutting its auto insurance premiums

Report: Ford, GM Talked Alliance

Senior executives at General Motors Corp. and Ford Motor Co. have discussed a merger or alliance, industry newspaper Automotive News reported on Monday, though such a deal now seems unlikely.

Medical Device Maker Plans Major Expansion

Applied Medical Resources in Rancho Santa Margarita is undertaking a big local expansion

CEOs See Slowing Economic Growth

High energy prices and interest rates have dimmed U.S. chief executive officers' view of the economy, according to a quarterly survey released by the Business Roundtable on Monday.

Home Depot to Hire 1,000 Workers

The Home Depot Inc., the nation's largest home improvement store chain, says it is hiring more than 1,000 new employees across the country as part of its latest effort to improve its stores.

Purse Seller Pinkmascara.com Readying First Store in Irvine

A mother and daughter team crack into the handbag market, in the Marketplace column

Quiksilver, PacSun Don't Dampen Annual ASR Party

ASR parties on, despite sobering news from Quiksilver and Pacific Sunwear, in the Media & Marketing column

MARKET WATCH

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

RSM EquiCo's Cuellar Named President of Investment Bank

RSM EquiCo has named Hector J. Cuellar as president, another step in the investment bank's evolution from its family roots

REAL ESTATE DEALS

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

Home Prices Fall for 2nd Month

The median price of an Orange County home fell for a second straight month in August to $633,000 while the number of houses sold continued its sharp decline from a year ago.

Surgery Shift

OC's outpatient surgery centers could see changes if federal regulators have their wayroots

Arbonne Subleases Mortgage Space in Irvine

COSMETICS: Direct marketer now has 240,000 square feet

Add to Botox Users List: Allergan's Own David Pyott

Allergan's David Pyott has a secret that's out of the bag, in the Healthcare column

Real Estate Watch: South County

South County's industrial market is tight, while retail is slowing. PLUS: CHART - Net Absorption; Vacancy Rates; Average Asking Lease Rates

Garrett Anderson Does PR, Too; Henry's Media Mob

Garrett Anderson Does PR, Too; Henry's Media Mob

GIVING

Fund-raisers and charitable donations from companies and people

One More Viramidine Trial, Then Decision Time for Valeant

Valeant Pharmaceuticals is willing to take one more stab at its disappointing hepatitis C drug

Medical Device Maker Expanding

Rancho Santa Margarita-based Applied Medical Resources Corp., the county's fourth-largest medical device maker by workers, is undertaking a big expansion.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

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

Anaheim Hills Office Building Planned

The office building boom has made its way to Anaheim Hills. Silver Oak Development LLC, an Anaheim Hills-based developer that has focused on the Inland Empire, plans to build a three-story, 62,500-square-foot office building in its hometown.

Ford Buying Rover Name From BMW

Ford Motor Co. will exercise its right to buy the Rover brand name from German premium carmaker BMW, a spokesman for Ford's Premier Automotive Group said on Monday.

Coto, Cars, Beach Life: OC's Reality TV Niche

Multimedia,OC as a backdrop for reality TV

Business Travelers Adjusting to New Rules; Backlash Brewing?

Business travelers adjust to new flight rules

San Juan Shopping Center Sells High at Low Cap Rate

Buying and selling of shopping centers in and around OC continues to be strong, in the Real Estate column

Dell to Add Jobs in U.S.

Dell Inc. plans to hire some 1,100 new staff in the U.S. and Slovakia as the world's largest PC maker expands its development and services operations, Chairman Michael Dell said on Monday.

Smaller Nortel Takes Down Irvine Tower Signs

It's a sign of the times for Nortel Networks

Charity Dinner: Three Times the Fun With Three Chefs

Charity Dinner Series featuring a trio of OC's best chefs kicks off Monday, in the Executive Dining column

Another Ueberroth Making Name in Hotel Business

Another Ueberroth makes a name in the hotel business as the head of Preferred Hotel Group's boutique arm

Friday, September 15

Schering-Plough eyeing Bristol-Myers?

Schering-Plough Corp. is seriously considering approaching Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. about a possible combination, according to a report in The Star-Ledger newspaper on Friday.

Cosmetics Maker: Big Lease

Irvine cosmetics company Arbonne International LLC has signed on to sublease office space being vacated by the parent of Ameriquest Mortgage Co. at Irvine's Jamboree Center.

Apria Slumps on Medicare Proposal

Shares of Lake Forest-based Apria Healthcare Group Inc. slumped nearly 10% on Friday after a government oversight agency said federal payments for home breathing equipment should be cut.

Irvine Unit Spared in Ford Cuts

Ford Motor Co. spared its luxury car headquarters in Irvine from job cuts in its announcement Friday to trim 10,000 jobs and close two plants in a bid to end losses and remake itself.

CPI, Core Prices Up as Expected

Consumer prices and costs excluding food and energy both rose a modest 0.2%last month, the government said on Friday in a report that could reassure the Federal Reserve that inflation pressures are easing.

Ford To Cut 45,000 Jobs

Ford Motor Co. on Friday said it will slash $5 billion in costs and cut nearly 45,000 jobs, about one-third of its work force, in a sweeping restructuring, and warned that its North American unit won't make a profit for another three years.

Thursday, September 14

GE to Sell Advanced Materials Unit

General Electric Co. said on Thursday it agreed to sell its advanced materials business for about $3.8 billion in a move aimed at boosting growth in its industrial division.

Grasso Wins Delay in Spitzer Trial Over Pay

Former New York Stock Exchange chairman Richard Grasso on Thursday won a delay of a trial over his $187.5 million pay package, which New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer has called excessive.

Retail Sales, Import Prices Stronger

Consumers spent at a stronger-than-expected pace in August and import prices rose steadily, according to government reports on Thursday that hinted the economy may not be slowing quickly enough to curb inflation pressures.

Gov. Vetoes Healthcare Bill

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed a bill that would have required large employers to spend up to 8% of their total payroll on healthcare.

Diedrich Selling Stores to Starbucks

Irvine-based Diedrich Coffee Inc. said Thursday it plans to close coffee houses run by the company and sell them to Starbucks Corp.

Ford May Lose up to $9B This Year

Ford Motor Co. could post a pretax loss of $8 billion to $9 billion this year because of losses at its automotive operations and charges for restructuring, the Detroit News reported on Thursday, citing unnamed Ford sources.

Bear Stearns Net Rises

Investment bank Bear Stearns Cos. Inc. on Thursday said bond activity and a boost from energy and commodity trading lifted third-quarter net income nearly 16 percent, easily beating Wall Street expectations, as demand for leveraged finance deals remained

Gov. Opens Segerstrom Concert Hall

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger joined Henry Segerstrom and others to cut the ribbon on the $200 million Segerstrom Concert Hall in Costa Mesa on Thursday.

Ford Offers Buyouts to Union Workers

Ford Motor Co. has offered buyouts to more than 75,000 union-represented factory workers in an attempt to cut costs in response to a declining share of the U.S. auto market, the United Auto Workers said in an e-mail to members on Thursday.

Wednesday, September 13

Top Drug Makers Eyeing Bristol

Several of the world's top drug makers may weigh acquiring Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. after it fired its chief executive, though suitors seem unlikely to bid before next summer, analysts said.

TC3 Health: $10M Funding Round

TC3 Health Inc., a Costa Mesa-based healthcare technology company, said Tuesday that it received a $10 million round of funding led by JMI Equity, an investment firm with offices in San Diego and Baltimore.

Ford to Detail Big Changes

Ford Motor Co. will announce on Wednesday a massive corporate restructuring that will lower white-collar costs by 30% and include cutting jobs and benefits, according to the online version of The Wall Street Journal.

Charges Coming in HP Case

California Attorney General Bill Lockyer may file criminal charges within a week in an investigation into the tactics employed by Hewlett-Packard Co. to probe boardroom leaks, a spokesman said on Wednesday.

Action Sports Apparel Goes Organic

Companies that outfit surfers are looking to environment-friendly materials as concern about polluted beaches and coastal damage crosses over into surfer fashion.

Lockyer Could Indict in HP Case

California Attorney General Bill Lockyer said he has enough evidence to indict people at Hewlett-Packard Co. in an investigation into whether the computer maker had illegally obtained the private phone records of directors and reporters.

Western Digital: Options Irregularities

Western Digital Corp. said Wednesday it may have discovered irregularities with its stock options grants and is delaying its annual filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Tuesday, September 12

Best Buy Profit Up, Outlook Unchanged

Best Buy Co. on Tuesday reported higher-than-expected quarterly profit, boosted by new store openings and sales of high-priced electronics, but it left its full-year financial outlook unchanged.

2nd Valeant Drug Comes Up Short

Costa Mesa drug maker Valeant Pharmaceuticals International said Tuesday its much-touted hepatitis C drug, Viramidine, failed to meet effectiveness goals in a second late-stage clinical trial.

HP's Dunn to Resign as Chairman

Hewlett-Packard Co. Chairman Patricia Dunn on Tuesday agreed to step down in a boardroom shake-up, as the No. 2 computer maker tried to defuse a scandal over its investigation into media leaks.

Verizon Holds Off on Data Center

Condominium development in the area around John Wayne Airport has led Verizon Wireless to put off a $19.5 million investment in a regional wireless service facility there.

Trade Gap at Record

Record oil import prices and strong demand for foreign goods ranging from cars to computers helped pushed the trade deficit to a record $68 billion in July, a government report showed on Tuesday.

Time to Put Magazines Up for Sale

Time Warner Inc.'s magazine division Time Inc. said on Tuesday it would sell 18 of its titles, including Parenting and Field & Stream and Outdoor Life, as part of a move to focus on its biggest brands.

Televisa Group Mulls Univision Bid

A consortium led by Mexican media giant Televisa is considering a $13 billion rival bid for U.S. Spanish-language broadcaster Univision Communications after losing an auction for the company this summer, The New York Times reported on Tuesday.

Bristol-Myers Outlook Still Rocky

Bristol-Myers Squibb's much-criticized chief executive is now out of the picture, but company earnings prospects remain bleak and the absence of a permanent new leader could make the drugmaker prey to a takeover, analysts said on Tuesday.

Monday, September 11

KUDOS

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

Sign or Veto? Bills Impacting Business on Governor's Desk

A number of bills await action by the governor, in Regulation Watch

More Mimi's

Mimi's Cafe is moving on expansion plans with its parent clearing the way

CALENDAR

A listing of events happening all around Orange County

Ford Shrinking Dealer Network

Ford Motor Co. is planning to shrink its dealer network in the next three years to align distribution better with its current market share, Cisco Codina, the company's North American sales chief, said on Monday.

Purse Designer Haleluya Skips Stores for Parties, Web

Purse designer Haleluya skips stores for parties and the Web, in the Marketplace column

REAL ESTATE DEALS

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

Dell Delays Filing Amid Probe

Computer maker Dell Inc. said on Monday it has suspended share repurchases and is delaying the filing of its latest quarterly report with regulators amid an expanded government accounting probe.

LOOKING BACK

Some excerpts from the Business Journal's coverage after the Sept. 11 attacks

Executive Change Playing Out at Pioneering First Vietnamese

First Vietnamese American Bank has made some changes in its executive ranks

Standard Pacific Slumps After Warning

Shares of Irvine-based homebuilder Standard Pacific Corp. closed lower Monday after the company warned late Friday about results for the current quarter.

Freescale Semi in Buyout Talks

Freescale Semiconductor Inc. said on Monday that it was in talks regarding a possible business transaction after the New York Times reported that a consortium of investment firms was near acquiring the company for more than $16 billion.

MARKET WATCH

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

Closing the Books

A Q & A; with Sage Software's George Riviere, the father of MAS 90

PEOPLE

Hirings, promotions and other moves at local businesses

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

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

Fed: Economy Strong, Inflation Concerns

The economy is growing robustly despite a slowing housing sector, although inflation remains above the central bank's comfort level, two top Federal Reserve officials said on Monday.

The Looming Proposition 90 Fight

The Looming Proposition 90 Fight

Rancho Cucamonga Plans Relocation Pitch for OC Companies

Rancho Cucamonga plans a relocation pitch to lure OC businesses

Eateries, Shops Revive Old Towne Orange With Condos on Way; Where to Park?

New restaurants, shops add life to Old Towne Orange

Lobbyists Swarm In KOCE Fight; Bye Bye deBoom

Lobbyists Swarm In KOCE Fight; Bye Bye deBoom

Survey Sees Small Ease in Health Plan Cost Increases

A survey sees a small ease in health plan cost increases, in the Healthcare column

The Good, Bad, Ugly of Back-To-School for Retailers

Back-to-school roundup for OC retailers, in the Media & Marketing column

Test Center, Possible Lab Set for Cypress

West Coast Clinical Trials is for a recently bought Cypress industrial building

Consolidation Reworks Telecom Ranks Locally

OC's telecommunications companies added employees in the past year amid consolidation

SunCal, Partner Buy Apartments Not Far from Big A

SunCal Cos. has bought a Santa Ana apartment building not far from Anaheim. What to do with it?, in the Real Estate column

U.S. Contacts HP Over Leak

Hewlett-Packard Co. said on Monday it has been contacted by federal prosecutors seeking information about the company's investigation into boardroom leaks to the press.

Quest Upgrade: Best News of Late

Shares of Aliso Viejo-based Quest Software Inc., which fell sharply in the spring on concerns about stock options, closed higher Monday on an analyst's upgrade.

Building Boom Has Landlords Courting Tenants

An office building boom has landlords trying new ways to attract and keep tenants

Powerwave Adding Cash to Acquisition

Santa Ana-based Powerwave Technologies Inc., a maker of amplifiers and other gear for wireless networks, revised terms of its buy of Britain's Filtronic PLC to include more cash.

Weight Training

Weight maker Iron Grip Barbell expands

Verizon Shelves $20M Data Center Spending Amid Condo Building

Condo development around John Wayne Airport has led Verizon Wireless to put off investing in a regional wireless service facility there

Emulex: First a Big Buy, Then a Big Executive Change

Emulex's executive shift and latest acquisition, in the Technology column

SPEAK

Quotes from this week's Business Journal; Restaurant owner Ed Patrick on Old Towne Orange and handbag designer Katie Koprinik on purse addiction, in Speak

Blue Coral: Chic Vodka, Seafood Cuisine Dazzle Diners

Fashion Island's new Blue Coral Seafood & Spirits dazzles diners, in the Executive Dining column

Real Estate Watch: Airport Area/Central Coast

Newport Beach voters are set to weigh in on eminent domain. PLUS: CHART - Net Absorption; Vacancy Rates; Average Asking Lease Rates

Friday, September 8

HP Tactics Violate State Laws

While state Attorney General Bill Lockyer has determined Hewlett-Packard Co.'s clandestine investigation of its own board members violated the law, he says it's still unclear whether anyone will be prosecuted.

Broadcom Options Costs to Double

Broadcom Corp.'s stocks options bill has doubled to at least $1.5 billion, the Irvine chipmaker said Friday.

Lennar Joins Warning Chorus

Lennar Corp., which has emerged as Orange County's most prominent housing developer, cut its outlook for the third quarter amid the slowing national housing market.

Subprime Slips at New Century

Irvine-based mortgage lender New Century Financial Corp. saw a 5% drop in loans last month vs. a year earlier with an even more pronounced dip in subprime lending.

McDonald's: Chipotle Exchange Offer

McDonald's Corp. said on Friday it had started an offer for its shareholders to exchange McDonald's stock for shares of Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc., which the hamburger chain spun off earlier this year.

Becton Dickinson to Buy Tripath

Becton, Dickinson and Co. said Friday that it has agreed to buy the 93.5% stake in Tripath Imaging that it doesn't already own for approximately $350 million.

Thursday, September 7

Shareholders OK Alcatel-Lucent Deal

Shareholders on both sides of the Atlantic voted Thursday to approve Alcatel's acquisition of Lucent Technologies in a deal valued at nearly $11 billion that will create a major global player in the telecommunications equipment industry.

Microsoft Hints Delay of Vista in Europe

Microsoft raised the possibility on Thursday that it might delay the introduction of its new Vista Windows operating system in Europe, saying it depended on the European Commission's antitrust requirements.

KB Warns, Hovnanian Profit Falls

A rapidly deteriorating housing market prompted KB Home to cut its forecast on Wednesday and luxury homebuilder Hovnanian Enterprises Inc. to report earnings and orders that fell for the second straight quarter.

$12M Enron Settlement Proposed

The Labor Department proposed a $12 million agreement on Thursday with the estate of Kenneth Lay, the deceased founder of Enron Corp., to settle claims involving mismanagement of workers' pension plans.

Quiksilver Profit Off, Forecast Down

Huntington Beach-based Quiksilver Inc. delivered a much lower quarterly profit on Thursday and cut its outlook for the current quarter.

Embattled Gateway Names CEO

Embattled Irvine computer maker Gateway Inc. named a longtime technology executive as its boss on Thursday, ending more than six months without a permanent chief executive.

Cooper Results Fall Short, Warns

Cooper Cos., an embattled Lake Forest maker of contact lenses and medical devices, reported disappointing quarterly sales and profits and warned about its results for the rest of this year and next.

Online Gaming Dives as U.S. Holds Exec

The U.S. detained a second Internet gaming executive on Thursday, adding to fears it is cracking down on the lucrative industry and sparking share price falls that wiped over $1.5 billion off the market value of the sector.

Wal-Mart Tweaks Stores Strategy

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. , the world's biggest retailer, is trying to boost sluggish sales gains by dropping its one-size-fits-all approach to retailing, The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday.

First American Buys Companies

Santa Ana-based First American Corp. said on Thursday that it bought two companies that do real estate appraisals and environmental and engineering work.

Wednesday, September 6

Ford Names Boeing Exec as CEO

When Bill Ford decided that his family's company needed more leadership than he could offer, he started looking for someone who had successfully fixed a large but troubled manufacturing company.

Sony Delays PS3 in Europe

Sony Corp. said on Wednesday it would delay the European launch of its PlayStation 3 game machine to March from November due to inadequate supply of a key component, missing the critical Christmas shopping season.

Western Digital Falls With Komag

Shares of Lake Forest-based disk drive maker Western Digital slumped more than 7% Wednesday on concerns about a maker of components for the company's drives.

Lenovo: Long March to Big Profits

Lenovo Group Ltd., the world's third-largest personal computer maker, said it would take at least three years to return to strong profitability as competition intensifies and corporate demand lags.

Cisco Expands on Linksys Acquisition

Cisco Systems Inc. on Wednesday said it has turned the corner on its routers business and saw growing opportunities to expand its consumer strategy with new video technologies.

Mulally Exit Seen Hurting Boeing

Boeing Co. suffered a blow with the exit of top executive Alan Mulally, and may face further management departures, industry-watchers said on Wednesday, but the planemaker is seen as staying on track as sales of its planes boom.

Labor Costs Revised Higher

Labor costs have risen more robustly this year than first thought, a government report showed on Wednesday, increasing concerns the Federal Reserve may start raising interest rates again to contain inflation.

Clean Energy Files for $287M IPO

Seal Beach-based Clean Energy Fuels Inc., backed by legendary oilman T. Boone Pickens, has filed plans to raise $287 million in an initial public offering.

Folino Passes Emulex CEO Reins

Paul Folino, who's grown Costa Mesa-based Emulex Corp. into a dominant supplier of electronics for data storage networks, is handing over the chief executive's title to become executive chairman.

Ad Plan Set for Macy's Relaunch

Federated Department Stores Inc. on Wednesday unveiled plans for the first national advertising and marketing campaign for the Macy's department store chain.

Vans Moving HQ Back to OC

Shoemaker Vans Inc. is moving its corporate headquarters back to Orange County, according to real estate brokers.

Tuesday, September 5

Viacom Ousts CEO Tom Freston

Viacom Inc. Chairman Sumner Redstone on Tuesday ousted Chief Executive Tom Freston, in a surprise move to exert more control over the company amid a lagging stock price and a perception it has fallen behind on the Internet.

Gateway Investor Hui Mulls Options

Rebuffed Gateway Inc. suitor Lap Shun "John" Hui on Tuesday said he was reviewing his options after the Irvine computer maker rejected his offer to buy the company's retail business.

Viacom Names New CEO

Viacom Inc. on Tuesday said Chief Executive and President Tom Freston resigned and will be replaced by Philippe Dauman, a longtime associate of the company's chairman Sumner Redstone.

Powerwave: More Cash for Filtronic

Santa Ana-based Powerwave Technologies Inc., a maker of amplifiers and other gear for wireless networks, revised terms of its buy of Britian's Filtronic PLC to include more cash.

Boeing: Carson to Replace Mulally

Boeing Co. named Scott Carson as president of its commercial airplanes unit on Tuesday, making the switch after the respected Alan Mulally left to become chief executive of Ford Motor Co.

Intel to Slash 10,500 Jobs

Chipmaker Intel Corp. said Tuesday a total of 10,500 jobs will be eliminated over the next year through layoffs, attrition and the sale of underperforming business groups as part of a massive restructuring.

Lake Forest Lender Part of Merrill Buy

Merrill Lynch & Co. said Tuesday it's buying National City Corp.'s subprime mortgage unit for $1.3 billion, including online lender NationPoint of Lake Forest.

Bill Ford Out as Ford CEO

Bill Ford is stepping down as chief executive at Ford Motor Co. and the troubled automaker said Tuesday he will be replaced by Alan Mulally, a top executive from the airplane maker Boeing Co.

Chevron: Record Oil Test

Chevron Corp. said on Tuesday it had successfully drilled for oil in the Gulf of Mexico's deep waters and analysts said the find suggested there may be more oil in the region that provides a quarter of U.S. output.

Ford Memo: New Business Model

Ford Motor Co. needs a new business model in order to turn the automaker around, according to a memo addressed to staff by its Chairman and Chief Executive Bill Ford and seen by Reuters.

Monday, September 4

Broadcom Vs. Qualcomm Thrown Out

A judge has dismissed Irvine-based Broadcom Corp.'s antitrust case against San Diego-based Qualcomm Inc., handing Broadcom a big loss in its fierce legal battles with the rival chipmaker.

European Expansion Could Be Key for Volcom

Volcom starts building a headquarters in France and hires workers as it readies to take over European distribution

J & J; Eyeing Medtronic? Executive Rejects Speculation

Medtronic dismisses speculation that it's a takeover target, in the Healthcare column

Could Chick-fil-A Replace Kripsy Kreme at Block Too?

Chick-fil-A is coming to the Block At Orange,where exactly is the question, in the Marketplace column

Behind FileNet Deal: Executive Payouts, Step-by-Step Account

FileNet's Lee Roberts will be rewarded when the software company becomes part of IBM

Newport Medical Offices Sell for $15M, $427 Per Square Foot

Michigan-based Universal Properties paid a premium for a Newport Beach medical building

Condo Projects Spread Elsewhere in Anaheim

Developers with ambitious plans for Anaheim's Platinum Triangle face mounting competition

Mimi's Taps Morgan Marketing to Promote Expansion

Mimi's Cafe picks a local PR firm to promote its expansion, in the Media & Marketing column

Flat TV Seller Vizio Hits +$600M in Sales, Growing

Vizio quickly has become one of OC's largest private companies by tapping into the country's insatiable thirst for big flat-panel TVs

CALENDAR

A listing of events happening all around Orange County

KDOC Canceling Gene Scott; Augie's Quest in Spotlight

KDOC Canceling Gene Scott; Augie's Quest in Spotlight

GIVING

Fund-raisers and charitable donations from companies and people

Emulex Buying Startup Sierra Logic for $180M

Emulex Buying Startup Sierra Logic for $180M; SimpleTech Building Malaysia Plant

Products, Revenue Growth Spur 550 New Device Jobs

Gains are widespread; Beckman retools

PEOPLE

Hirings, promotions and other moves at local businesses

REVIEW

Golden Smog's fourth album mixes alt-rock, pop, country, folk and classic rock, a Review by Michael Lyster

Youth Wing

Boost Mobile continues to add customers and grow local operations while maintaining its independence

READER LETTERS

Letters to the Editors

AROUND THE COUNTY

Projects, developments and other activity in cities across OC

Drug Makers Up Jobs, Driven by Teva Sicor

HEALTHCARE: Big three dominate drug sector here

Phase Two: Mold Company Targets Growth in Gulf After IPO

American Mold Guard aims to grow in the Gulf after going public

Real Estate Watch: Retail

The retail market still is hot, but normalizing. PLUS: CHART - Net Absorption; Vacancy Rates; Average Asking Lease Rates

REAL ESTATE DEALS

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

Limo Maker Krystal Expands With Brea Building Buy

Limo maker Krystal Enterprises stretches with Brea building buy, in the Real Estate column

QLogic May See Gains as Rivals Combine

A big acquisition in the data storage network market may create an opening for QLogic

Sumo Regulators

Japan's Approval Process: Long Waits, Extra Trials; Hanging on to Old Products

Forget Wall Street, Buyouts Dominate Med Device Makers

Big companies have snatched up at least 10 OC medical device makers since mid-2004

Fifi Treated Like Royalty By Princess Di's Private Chef

A musical dinner at the Anaheim White House, in the Executive Dining column

MARKET WATCH

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

Analyst Wonders if More Suitors in Store for Gateway

An analyst wonders if more suitors are in store for Gateway, in the Technology column

Urban Renewal

Costa Mesa's 19th Street evolves with the times

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

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

Sunday, September 3

PacSun Slumps, Wet Seal Up

Struggling retailer Pacific Sunwear of California Inc. of Anaheim saw a steep drop in same-store sales for August, while Foothill Ranch-based Wet Seal Inc. beat Wall Street's expectations.

Friday, September 1

Report: Intel Mulling 20,000 Job Cuts

Intel Corp. could between 10,000 and 20,000 jobs as early as next week in what would be one of the company's largest restructuring efforts.

Pimco's McCulley: Jobs Data Backs Fed

Figures showing job growth picked up slightly in August as the unemployment rate fell are "fully, unambiguously consistent" with the Federal Reserve's pause in raising interest rates, Paul McCulley, managing director at Newport Beach bond fund manager Pim

Alcatel Buying Nortel Unit for $320M

France's Alcatel has signed a preliminary agreement to buy Nortel Network's third generation UMTS cell phone network unit for $320 million, aiming to achieve greater scale amid cut-throat price competition.