Stories for February 2007

Wednesday, February 28

Eye Device Maker Raises $24M

Visiogen Inc., an Irvine-based eye device maker, said Wednesday that it raised $24 million from its new and current investors.

January New Home Sales Fall 16.6%

Sales of new U.S. homes fell 16.6% in January and prices were little changed as the number of new homes on the market decreased slightly, according to a government report on Wednesday showing some weakness in the unsteady housing sector.

Valeant Narrows Loss in Q4

Valeant Pharmaceuticals International on Wednesday said its fourth-quarter loss was cut nearly in half, thanks to cutting costs and new product sales growth.

Kingston Posts Record Sales

Memory products maker Kingston Technology Co. reported Wednesday record sales of $3.4 billion for 2006, a 13% jump from the previous year.

GDP Revised Lower to 2.2%

The U.S. economy grew at a weaker-than-expected rate in the final three months of last year, the government's latest estimate on Wednesday showed, as businesses built fewer inventories and consumers spent less.

Memorial Selling Anaheim Hospital

Long Beach-based Memorial Health Services said Wednesday it's agreed to sell Anaheim Memorial Medical Center to Prime Healthcare Services Inc. of Riverside.

Citigroup Could Buy ACC Capital Units

Orange-based ACC Capital Holdings said Wednesday it had struck a deal with Citigroup that could result in the New York-based financial company buying ACC units Argent Mortgage Co. and AMC Mortgage Services.

Edison International Profit Rises

Power company Edison International said on Wednesday its quarterly earnings rose, helped by higher revenue from its utility arm and higher income from its Edison Capital unit.

Wall Street Rebounds

Stocks moved higher Wednesday after the previous session's 416-point plunge in the Dow industrials, as investors digested a barrage of economic data including a satisfactory gross domestic product report.

Tuesday, February 27

Local Stocks Drop in Larger Market Selloff

Every major Orange County stock and nearly all others closed lower Tuesday along with the global market downturn.

Ignite Health Being Bought for $20M

Irvine-based healthcare advertising agency Ignite Health Inc. on Tuesday said it's being bought by inVentiv Health Inc. for $20 million in cash and stock.

OC Home Prices Dip in Jan., Sales Continue to Decline

The price of an Orange County detached home in January slightly fell from December, and now stands 1.5% below the median price seen a year ago, the California Association of Realtors said Tuesday.

Consumer Confidence Gains in February

Consumer confidence rose to its highest level in five-and-a-half years amid optimism that the nation's economy is creating enough jobs, a private research group said Tuesday.

Tenet Quarterly Loss Widens

Tenet Healthcare Corp., the biggest publicly traded U.S. hospital chain, posted a wider quarterly loss on Tuesday and trimmed long-term expectations, leading analysts to say the company's turnaround had stalled.

Monday, February 26

TXU Agrees To Be Acquired For $31.8 Billion

Texas power company TXU Corp. said on Monday it agreed to be acquired by a group led by private equity firms Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. and Texas Pacific Group for $31.8 billion in the largest leveraged buyout in history.

Housing Prices

What's the word on OC's housing market?,confusing, an Editorial by Rick Reiff

Karcher Family Plans CKE Offices, Shopping Center on Anaheim Land

Carls Jr.'s former landmark site in Anaheim could see redevelopment as early as May

UC Irvine Lands $3.5M in Stem Cell Research Grants

University of California, Irvine, landed $3.5 million in stem cell research grants, in the Healthcare column

Big Billings

County's Economy, Redevelopment Projects Behind Environmental Consultants' Growth

Software Maker Buys Product Line

Irvine-based business software maker LogicalApps Inc. has acquired a product line from Applimation Inc. of New York, adding 30 workers to its base of 100 and doubling its number of customers, according to the company.

REAL ESTATE DEALS

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

Appliance Maker Being Acquired

Brea-based Jade Products Co., a maker of luxury kitchen appliances, is changing hands.

Up to Code

Environmental Consultants Busy With Cleanup; Eyeing More Prevention

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

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

OC Tech Guy Helps Matt Damon; Stem Cell Recap

OC Tech Guy Helps Matt Damon; Stem Cell Recap

Oakley Tweaks Marketing, Hits Road With Promo Bus

Oakley's taking its marketing push to the road, in the Media & Marketing column

RBC Opening Office for Real Estate Loans

Royal Bank of Canada wants to get in on OC's growing commercial real estate market

READER LETTERS

The French and Their Dogs - in Letters to the Editors

Data Center Consultant Lands Homeland Security, Iraq Work

An Irvine data center consultant is getting a boost in work from Iraq and the Department of Homeland Security

Entertainment Venture

Can you really run an entertainment business from OC? Lou Volpano thinks so

SimpleTech Sells Consumer Business, Name for $43M

SimpleTech sold off its consumer unit and its name to a software maker for $43 million, in the Technology column

MARKET WATCH

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

Lyon Names New President, Son Elevated

The General's taken William Lyon Homes private, and now he's lined up a new No. 2

CEO Spierkel Putting Mark on Ingram Micro; Deals, Outsourcing, Chilly Morning Meetings

Ingram Micro's chief executive is putting his mark on the company

Fullerton Coin Shop: Decidedly Old School in eBay Era

A Fullerton coin business owner plays it old school when it comes to technology, in the Marketplace column

Biomet Names Binder CEO

Orthopedic device maker Biomet Inc. , which plans to be acquired by a group of private equity firms for about $10.9 billion, on Monday said it named Jeffrey Binder, 43, president and chief executive.

Insurers Press Commissioner to Reverse Expanded Fees

Insurers are up in arms over the prospect of paying more fees, in Regulation Watch

GIVING

Fund-raisers and charitable donations from companies and people

Gateway Gets Income Boost From Tax Settlement

Gateway Inc. reported Monday that 2006 income was more than $2.5 million better than previously stated thanks to a tax settlement.

WellPoint: CEO to Retire, Successor Named

Health insurer WellPoint Inc. stands to become the largest company in the United States with a woman at the helm, naming Executive Vice President Angela Braly to be its next chief executive.

Advanced Medical Making Headway in Solution Recall

Advanced Medical is about halfway through its effort to overcome last year's lens solution recall

Cheesecake Factory: New Salads, Entrees, Cheesecake

Two Cheesecake Factory restaurants have some new menu items, in the Executive Dining column

AROUND THE COUNTY

Economic development and other activity in cities in and around OC

Linksys, Cisco Plan Security Push for Home Networking Gear

Cisco and Linksys are looking to beef up security in its home networking devices

Orange County Retail Market

The county's retail market is showing strong signs with vacancy rates averaging below 4%. PLUS: CHART - Net Absorption; Vacancy Rates; Average Asking Lease Rates

Bonfire of the Vanities: Rivals Pitch Products in Allergan Land

A pair of medical cosmetic companies pitched their products on Allergan's turf

UPRIGHTEOUS BASS

Upright basses are King Doublebass' staple

Biggest Difference With Nat Bosa's Third Tower: Price

The biggest difference with Nat Bosa's third tower here,price, in the Real Estate column

CALENDAR

A listing of events happening all around Orange County

Done Deal: Maguire Plans To Up Rents

Maguire Properties is making no secret about its latest plan: ramping up rents and development at OC offices and land formerly owned by Equity

Friday, February 23

Local.com Gets $8M Funding

Irvine-based search engine Local.com Corp. found itself with an $8 million investment from a unit of media company Hearst Corp.

Universal Remote Results Click With Wall Street

Universal Electronics, the Cypress-based maker of universal remote controls for home entertainment, saw shares soar nearly 13% Friday, a day after posting strong results that beat Wall Street expectations.

Lowe's Quarterly Profit Falls

Lowe's Cos., the nation's second biggest home improvement store chain, said Friday that its fourth-quarter profit fell 11.5% as the market slowed amid a continued slump in the housing sector. But the results topped expectations and the company's shares ro

Jury Orders Microsoft to Pay $1.52B

Microsoft Corp. must pay $1.52 billion in damages to telecommunications equipment maker Alcatel-Lucent SA for violating two patents related to digital music, a federal jury ruled.

Parent Plans Select Sharing on Chrysler

DaimlerChrysler AG, which is examining options for its struggling American arm, will offer detailed financial information on the Chrysler Group on a selective basis to potential buyers, a senior company official close to the situation said Friday.

Broadcom, Qualcomm Make Nice on Some Patents

Chipmakers Broadcom Corp. and Qualcomm Inc. have put to rest one of their many legal battles.

Thursday, February 22

Cisco, Apple End iPhone Name Game

Cisco Systems Inc.'s Linksys and Apple Inc. will share custody of the iPhone name in a settlement announced late Wednesday.

Allergan Buys Stomach Device Maker

Irvine-based Allergan Inc. has paid $97 million in cash for a Swiss maker of a device to fight obesity.

Jobless Claims Fall 27,000

The number of U.S. workers filing for first-time jobless benefits fell a smaller-than-expected 27,000 last week, a government report showed on Thursday.

Volcom Hits High End of Views, Cautions About Q1

Costa Mesa clothing maker Volcom Inc. reported fourth-quarter results at the high end of projections but warned results for the current quarter could fall short of expectations.

Nestle full-year profit rises 14%

Nestle SA, the world's biggest food and drink company, reported at 14%increase in 2006 profit Thursday after it increased prices and restructured some parts of the business as it seeks to focus on health and nutrition.

Toll Brothers Quarterly Profit Falls Sharply

Toll Brothers Inc. on Thursday said the weak U.S. housing market drove down its quarterly profit 67% after write-downs for lower land values, and the luxury home builder lowered its forecast.

Wednesday, February 21

SenoRx Outlines IPO Terms

SenoRx Inc., a medical device maker in Aliso Viejo, outlined terms of its pending initial public offering on Wednesday.

January Consumer Prices Up More Than Expected

U.S. consumer prices rose more than expected in January despite a dip in energy prices, as medical costs jumped, according to a Labor Department report on Wednesday that revived worries of inflation.

AT & T; Lands $1 billion Contract From GM

AT & T; Inc. said Wednesday it received a five-year, $1 billion global networking contract from General Motors Corp. to help the world's largest automaker boost productivity.

Alliance Q4 Results Beat Estimates

Alliance Imaging Inc., an Anaheim-based scanning services provider, said Wednesday that its fourth-quarter profit nearly doubled, beating Wall Street expectations.

99 Ranch Looks to Golden Pig for Sales

Asian grocery store chain 99 Ranch Market, owned by Buena Park-based Tawa Supermarkets Inc., is looking to the golden boar to be a cash cow.

Cisco to Buy Maker of Computer Network Equipment

Cisco Systems Inc. said on Wednesday it would buy privately held Reactivity Inc., a maker of equipment used in computer networks, for $135 million as part of an effort to diversify from its core business of making routers and switches.

Tuesday, February 20

Edwards Gets FDA Warning Letter

Edwards Lifesciences Corp. said Tuesday it received a warning from the Food and Drug Administration over conditions at its Irvine plant.

Hyundai to Assemble Vehicles in Brazil

Hyundai Motor Co., the world's sixth-largest automaker, said Tuesday it plans to export vehicle parts and components to be assembled at a locally owned plant in Brazil.

It's Official: Maguire Buying Buildings

The biggest speculated real estate deal of the past week is official: Los Angeles-based Maguire Properties Inc. is buying Equity Office Properties Trust's former Orange County and Los Angeles buildings from Blackstone Group LP.

Volvo Offers $1B for Nissan Diesel

Swedish truck maker AB Volvo made a $1 billion offer Tuesday to take over Japan's Nissan Diesel in a strategic move aimed at gaining a solid presence in Asia.

Powerwave Swings to Loss on Slow Sales

Santa Ana-based Powerwave Technologies Inc., a maker of wireless network gear beset by slowing sales and shareholder lawsuits, swung to a loss in the fourth quarter on a big drop in revenue.

Home Depot Profit Falls on Housing Slowdown

Home Depot Inc., the world's largest home improvement retailer, posted a 28% drop in fourth-quarter profit on Tuesday as the weak U.S. housing market depressed sales.

Monday, February 19

No Bull: Startup Malava Concocts Anti-Energy Drink

A Newport Beach company wants people to chill with its anti-energy drinks in the Small Business column

After Troubled 2006, Some Investors Like UnitedHealth

Last year may have been a bad year for UnitedHealth, but some investors say there's still life in the company, in the Healthcare column

XM And Sirius: Merger Looming?

Satellite radio rivals XM and Sirius could announce a merger deal as early as Monday, The New York Post reported.

For Rent

Passed Over During Housing Boom, Apartments Could See Comeback

READER LETTERS

It might be time for former President George H.W. Bush to chat with his son about the war in Iraq, in Letters

CALENDAR

A listing of events happening all around Orange County

PEOPLE

Hirings, promotions and other moves at local businesses

Hyundai Denies Report of Chrysler Deal

Hyundai Motor Co., the world's sixth-largest automaker, on Monday denied a British newspaper report that it is interested in acquiring Chrysler, the U.S. unit of German automaker DaimlerChrysler AG.

Gov.'s Health Plan: Businesses Waiting, Others Hope for Compromise; Competing Bills Emerge

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's healthcare reform proposal is a sensitive issue

Printronix Latest Quarterly Earnings Beat Expectations

Printronix gave investors what it promised,strong quarterly earnings, in the Technology column

Real Estate Watch: Low-Rise Office Space

Low-rise office space continues to see strong numbers. PLUS: CHART - Net Absorption; Vacancy Rates; Average Asking Lease Rates

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

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

Kabuki: Sushi, Sashimi Mixed With Modern Creations

Kabuki restaurants travel through traditional Japanese dishes and specialty creations, in the Executive Dining column

99 Ranch Eyeing Sacred Pig for Sales

Asian grocery chain 99 Ranch is looking to the golden boar for increased sales

Airbus Delays Restructuring Announcement

Airbus said Monday it postponed a news conference at which it had been expected to announce its long-awaited restructuring strategy.

Tustin's Sleepy Old Town Starting to Awaken

Tustin's former Marine base may be in the midst of a huge redevelopment, but it is the city's old town that's getting a makeover

Organic Growth

Mother's Market wants to spread its organic growth into other OC cities

Downward Spiral

Homebuilders Attribute Decline in Sales to Lack of Big Projects Under Way in 2006

Maguire: Not for Sale, Eyes More Irvine Development

Maguire Properties says it's no longer up for sale, in the Real Estate column

Brea Appliance Maker Being Acquired

Brea-based Jade Products Co., a maker of luxury kitchen appliances, is set to change hands.

VIEWPOINT

President Bush is getting a nine out of 10 points for his proposal to equalize health insurance among Americans, in a Viewpoint by Michael Arnold Glueck and Robert J. Cihak

Brothers Ready Second Taco Rosa Restaurant in Irvine

The Calderon brothers are hitting a turning point with a new Irvine Taco Rosa restaurant

Developer Building Virginia Plant for Biotech Drug Company

Developing medical buildings is proving to be a nice niche for a San Clemente company

MARKET WATCH

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

Skate Shoemaker Looks to Go Green With Practices

Sole Technology's new hire is heading the company's green practices, in the Media & Marketing column

Quantum Corp. Closing Costa Mesa Plant

San Jose-based Quantum Corp. is closing its 270-person Costa Mesa plant and moving jobs to Colorado, though most local workers are set to shift to the company's Irvine operation.

Builders Not Cutting Home Prices; Playing Up Buyer Options, Upgrades

Builders Not Cutting Home Prices; Playing Up Buyer Options, Upgrades

From Italy With Love: Lamborghini Boss Calls on OC

Italy's Automobili Lamborghini's chief executive stopped off at its biggest U.S. dealer,Lamborghini Orange County, in the Marketplace column

Bullish Bosa

Condo Plans Include More Space, Amenities; Empty Nesters, Middle Class Targeted

Robotics Maker Renews Lease, Sees More Automation Growth

Demand for robots is driving Irvine's Motoman

Deal Would Make Maguire Pivotal Tower Owner, Rivaling Irvine Co.

Maguire Properties could be looking to rival The Irvine Company's OC office portfolio with an eye on Equity's local holdings

Technology Companies Await Vista Effect

Fountain Valley-based Kingston Technology could be among the beneficiaries of technology spending spurred by Microsoft's Vista

Deal Would Catapult Maguire Here

A deal to buy Equity Office Properties Trust's former Orange County buildings would make Los Angeles-based Maguire Properties Inc. a key player in the market for prime office space here.

Stradling Prevails in Patent Suit Over Generic Blood Drug

Newport Beach's Stradling Yocca Carlson & Rauth won a not-so generic trial earlier this month

KUDOS

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

REAL ESTATE DEALS

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

Quantum Closing Plant in Costa Mesa; Most Jobs Shifting to Irvine

Quantum Corp., a San Jose maker of backup tape systems, is shuttering a 270-person Costa Mesa plant

Coins, Rodman, Jockeys, Jesse; Big Player in Downtown Brea

It was a nickel that made entrepreneur Dwight Manley $1 million richer

OCer Behind L.A. Hoopla; Chapman's Mel Gibson Tie

OCer Behind L.A. Hoopla; Chapman's Mel Gibson Tie

Saturday, February 17

Ingram Micro Posts Record Profits

Santa Ana-based technology distributor Ingram Micro Inc. posted record fourth-quarter results, gaining ground in sales in nearly every country in which the company operates.

Conexant Buys $10M in Acquicor Shares; Jazz Deal Wins Approval

Chipmaker Conexant Systems Inc. on Thursday said it's acquired 1.7 million shares,about $10 million worth,of Acquicor Technology Inc. of Newport Beach.

Friday, February 16

Criminal Charges Near in Broadcom Scandal, WSJ Reports

Federal prosecutors are "strongly considering" criminal charges against former Broadcom Corp. Chief Financial Officer Bill Ruehle and one other executive for their part in an options backdating scandal, The Wall Street Journal reported Friday.

Simon, Farallon Team Up to Buy Mall REIT

Real estate investment trust Mills Corp. said Friday that Simon Property Group Inc. and hedge fund Farallon Capital Management will acquire the company for $25.25 a share in cash, ending another contest for a commercial real estate owner and operator.

Producer Prices Fell 0.6% in January

U.S. producer prices shrank a slightly bigger-than-forecast 0.6% in January, government data showed on Friday, as energy prices declined sharply while core producer prices inched up as expected.

January Housing Starts Down 14.3%

The pace of U.S. home construction fell 14.3% in January, the sharpest drop since October that bucked two months of increases and that was much worse than economists had expected, a government report on Friday showed.

Thursday, February 15

Irvine Company Acquiring Equity's San Diego Buildings

The Irvine Company is buying Equity Office Property Trust's San Diego office buildings, marking a major expansion in the company's second-biggest market.

Hershey: Cutting 1,500 Jobs

Hershey Co. on Thursday said it would cut about 11% of its workforce and reduce the number of production lines it operates by more than a third as it spends as much as $575 million to overhaul its manufacturing.

Jobless Claims Rise After Winter Storms

U.S. industrial output dropped unexpectedly in January as automakers slashed production, while new claims for jobless rose sharply last week partly due to winter storms, data released on Thursday showed.

Credit Suisse Names New CEO as Profits Surge

Credit Suisse made the surprise appointment of investment banking head Brady Dougan as new chief executive after posting stronger-than-expected results on Thursday, sending its shares sharply higher.

Buffett's Berkshire Buys 1 million Shares of UnitedHealth

Warren Buffett's holding company Berkshire Hathaway Inc. bought 1 million shares of insurer UnitedHealth Group in the fourth quarter of 2006, according to a regulatory filing.

Wednesday, February 14

Chrysler: 13,000 Job Cuts

In the next three years, 13,000 Chrysler workers will lose their jobs under a wrenching restructuring announced Wednesday that eventually may lead to a DaimlerChrysler divorce.

Lender CashCall Strikes Big Sublease in Anaheim

Growing consumer lender CashCall Inc. has signed one of the larger office leases here in the past year.

January retail sales flat after stronger December

In the next three years, 13,000 Chrysler workers will lose their jobs under a wrenching restructuring announced Wednesday that eventually may lead to a DaimlerChrysler divorce.

Delta Air Lines Reports 4Q Loss of $2B

Delta Air Lines Inc., which is operating under bankruptcy protection, reported Wednesday a wider fourth-quarter loss of nearly $2 billion because of hefty restructuring items.

OC Home Prices, Sales Fall in Jan.

Orange County home prices started the year off slowly, with the median price of a home sold here falling 4.8% to $600,000 in January, versus a month ago.

Tuesday, February 13

Trade Deficit Rises to Record $763.6B

The U.S. trade deficit set a record for the fifth straight year in 2006, reflecting a huge jump in America's foreign oil bill and a record imbalance with China. The year ended with the December deficit increasing more than had been expected.

Time Warner Cable: Becomes Public Company

Time Warner Inc.'s cable division said on Tuesday it has become a public company and expects its shares to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange and start trading as early as March 1.

Lender ResMae Files for BK, Selling Assets to Credit Suisse

Brea-based subprime mortgage lender ResMae Mortgage Corp. said Tuesday it's filing for bankruptcy reorganization and selling its assets to Switzerland's Credit Suisse Group for $19 million.

CVS Boosts Caremark Bid

CVS Corp. sweetened its bid for Caremark Rx Inc. on Tuesday by tripling a proposed special cash dividend for the prescription drug benefit manager's stockholders to $6 per share, after proxy advisory firms urged rejection of the previous offer.

KB Home pPosts $49.6M 4Q Loss on Charges

KB Home reported a loss in its fourth quarter Tuesday as the homebuilder absorbed a series of charges related to inventory and land options and saw the number of net orders for homes decline sharply amid a tough housing market.

Recall Drives Advanced Medical Loss

Advanced Medical Optics Inc. said Tuesday it swung to a loss in the fourth quarter on lower sales after recalling a contact lens solution late last year.

Monday, February 12

Blackstone to Buy Duncan Hines Maker for $1.2 Billion

Pinnacle Foods Corp., the maker of Duncan Hines baking mixes, Vlasic pickles and Aunt Jemima breakfast foods, has agreed to be bought by private equity firm Blackstone Group for $1.2 billion, Pinnacle said on Monday.

Lender CashCall Strikes Big Sublease in Anaheim

CashCall signed one of the bigger leases here

Growing Vizio Triples Space in Move

Flat-panel TV maker Vizio is growing fast, tripling its space in a move to Irvine

IndyMac Buying New York Mortgage Co.

IndyMac Buying New York Mortgage Co.

Nature's Best: Chino Lease; Brea HQ to Stay

Nature's Best is leaving 350,000 square feet of industrial space in Brea for a warehouse in Chino

Powerwave, Hit by Warnings, Lawsuits, Due for Results

Powerwave Technologies is facing a riptide from shareholders, in the Technology column

Inside Edwards

Corner Offices: a look inside Edwards Lifesciences' executive suite

Power Play

A maker of gear for aerospace companies is doubling its space at an Irvine plant

Real Estate Watch: High-Rise Office Market

Vacancy rose slightly for high-rises around John Wayne Airport. PLUS: CHART - Net Absorption; Vacancy Rates; Average Asking Lease Rates

GIVING

Fund-raisers and charitable donations from companies and people

Vans Readying HQ; Set for 300 Workers

Vans is gearing up for its big move back to Orange County,complete with an indoor skatepark

Newport's Island Hotel: New Name, Familiar Face in Jacobi

Ray Jacobi is back for a second stint at what's now The Island Hotel

Lexus Expansion Nearly Done as Brand Rivals Mercedes

Lexus of Westminster's new showroom will have all the fixings, in the Marketplace column

Cushman Lures More Trammell Workers

Cushman & Wakefield is reaping the benefits of CB Richard Ellis' buy of Trammell Crow

Insurance Commissioner Poizner Staking Middle Ground Early On

Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner may be getting settled into office, but some insurers are eager for him to make some moves

Bear Stearns Wraps Buy of Subprime Lender

Log an entry in the consolidation of Orange County's subprime mortgage lending sector, a rather unceremonious one at that.

Real Estate Execs Spell Out Challenge: Finding People

The biggest challenge for developers isn't finding land,it's finding the right people to hire, in the Real Estate column

Hospitals Still Working on Last Mandate: Earthquakes

Deal with earthquakes first,that's what some hospital execs have to say about the governor's proposed state healthcare plan, in the Healthcare column

HireRight Looks to Raise $86M in IPO

Irvine-based HireRight Inc., which does employee background checks and drug screening for employers, on Monday filed plans for an $86 million initial public offering.

VIEWPOINT

Consumers' privacy rights might not be so private, a Viewpoint by Gregory S. Taylor, a class action defense lawyer with Hansen & Taylor LLP in Irvine.

SNOW DAY

SNOW DAY - Lamborghini's debuting its Winter Academy for owners

Enclave Banking

Hispanic Startups Join Asian Counterparts; Big Banks Stand Their Ground

OC's GOP-Prez Scorecard; Commie Girl Reality Show?

OC's GOP-Prez Scorecard; Commie Girl Reality Show?

Triple Net, Big in Office Buying, Forms Unit to Acquire Medical Space

Santa Ana's Triple Net Properties is looking to healthcare for its next venture

Enchant & #233;: French Charm, Then Some at Caf & #233; Beau Soleil

Caf & #233; Beau Soleil is a true French sidewalk cafe smack in the middle of Fashion Island, in the Executive Dining column

Bank Consolidation

FINANCE: Banks could look to continue big buying sprees

PEOPLE

Hirings, promotions and other moves at local businesses

Catering Truck Yards Squeezed by March of Redevelopment

Local catering truck yards are feeling the squeeze from developers

Banks See Deposits Rise; Acquisitions Bring New Names

ABOUT THE LIST: Banks See Deposits Rise; Acquisitions Bring New Names

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

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

AROUND THE COUNTY

Economic development and other activity in cities in and around OC

First American Logs Biggest Buy Yet

First American's buy of CoreLogic is the company's largest yet

New World

Regulation, More Lenders Changing Face of SBA Loans; Smaller Banks Filling Void

Home Depot May Unload Supply Unit

Home Depot Inc. is considering a sale, spin-off or initial public offering of its wholesale distribution unit, HD Supply, as it focuses on its retail business, the company said on Monday.

Deep Deposits

Local Thrifts' Gain in Deposits Outshines Commercial Bank Counterparts

REAL ESTATE DEALS

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

SimpleTech Sells Consumer Unit; Changes Name

Santa Ana's SimpleTech Inc. has sold its consumer division to San Mateo-based Fabrik Inc. for $43 million and is changing its name to STEC Inc.

Banking Pulse

Bankers Discuss Consolidation, Industry Regulations, Prospects for Growth

Four Seasons Agrees to Gates, Alwaleed Buyout Bid

Four Seasons Hotels Inc. said on Monday it has agreed to a $3.37 billion offer to be taken private by a group that includes the Canadian company's chief executive as well as Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal and Microsoft Corp. Chairman Bill Gates.

Los Kitos Comic Characters Land Merchandising Deal

A Santa Ana producer of Spanish cartoon strips is looking to go retail, in the Media & Marketing column

Friday, February 9

New Century Bleeding Continues

Shares of Irvine-based New Century Financial Corp. continued to take a beating on Friday, with the company's value down 40% in two days after disclosing a string of bad news midweek.

FirstGroup to Buy Greyhound Bus Firm for $2.8B

Britain's biggest bus company, FirstGroup PLC, has agreed to buy Laidlaw International Inc., the U.S. company that runs Greyhound buses, for $2.8 billion, the companies said on Friday.

Newport Breakers to Play for Hoag

The Newport Beach Breakers professional tennis team now has a cause to play for: Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian.

Alcatel-Lucent to Slash 12,500 Jobs

Alcatel-Lucent will shed 12,500 jobs or 16% of staff, more than expected, as a result of its complex transatlantic merger and it sees tough times ahead with another dip in sales in the first quarter.

Yamaha Closing Plants, Shifting Production to Asia

Buena Park-based musical instruments maker Yamaha Corporation of America is closing plants in Michigan and Georgia and is shuttering a local unit.

Beckman Profit Surges on Lower Costs

Fullerton-based Beckman Coulter Inc.'s profit surged nearly fourfold in the fourth quarter, thanks to declining expenses, the company said Thursday.

Wet Seal Warns on Profits

Foothill Ranch-based mall retailer Wet Seal Inc. saw a 3.6% increase in sales at stores open at least a year in January and cut its profit outlook for the recently ended quarter.

Consumer Confidence Up

Consumer confidence climbed to a two and a half year high with people feeling even better about job prospects, the current economic climate and investment opportunities.

Thursday, February 8

Jobless Claims Rise, Wholesale Inventories Drop

The number of Americans filing new claims for jobless benefits rose slightly last week, while wholesale inventories dropped unexpectedly in December in a good sign for future economic growth, government data showed on Thursday.

Kodak to Cut More Jobs

Eastman Kodak Co. said on Thursday it expected to cut up to 3,000 additional jobs and complete a three-year restructuring program by the end of 2007 that it says will help sustain profitability.

Cisco's Router Exec Mike Volpi Resigns

Cisco Systems Inc. said senior executive Mike Volpi resigned on Thursday, a move that appears to clear the way for Chief Development Officer Charles Giancarlo eventually to head the network equipment maker.

Gateway Swings to Profitability

Irvine-based Gateway Inc. swung to a profit in the December quarter thanks in part to a tax benefit.

Broadcom Profit Slips on Charges; Plans Share Buyback

Irvine-based chipmaker Broadcom Corp. reported a big drop in fourth-quarter profits on costs from its recently ended options probe, while profits before charges were off slightly from a year earlier.

Oakley Q4 Profit Misses, Guides Up for 2007

Foothill Ranch-based sunglasses maker Oakley Inc. said Thursday its fourth-quarter profit fell from a year earlier on higher sales and forecast better-than-expected 2007 results.

Wednesday, February 7

Vornado Out; Blackstone Poised to Buy Equity Office

Vornado Realty Trust said on Wednesday it terminated its cash and stock proposal to acquire Equity Office Properties Trust, paving the way for private equity firm Blackstone Group to take over the top U.S. office landlord for $23 billion.

Former OC Bank Executive Rady Attacked

A man posing as a delivery person forced his way into the home of business titan Ernest Rady, holding Rady's wife and housekeeper hostage while demanding cash, then shocking the billionaire with a stun gun before fleeing, police said Wednesday.

Productivity, Labor Costs Climb in 2006

Workers stepped up their efficiency in the final three months of 2006, yet productivity still turned in the weakest yearly performance in almost a decade.

Disney Doubles Income

A bonanza in home-video income coupled with a double-digit jump in networks profits-plus a gain from the sale of publishing properties-helped Walt Disney Co. more than double its first-quarter earnings, as the entertainment giant also reported Wednesday t

Equity Office Shareholders OK Buyout

Blackstone Group trumped rival suitor Vornado Realty Trust Wednesday, acquiring Equity Office Properties Trust in a $23 billion all-cash deal.

Cigna Quarterly Profit Up 10%

Managed care insurer Cigna Corp. said Wednesday its fourth-quarter profit rose more than 10% as medical spending fell.

Printronix Delivers on Promise of Strong Quarter

Irvine-based Printronix Inc. told investors to expect strong results for the December quarter. The industrial printer maker delivered Wednesday with results that ran roughshod over Wall Street expectations.

Nortel to Cut Nearly 9% of Workforce

Nortel Networks Inc. on Wednesday said it would eliminate 2,900 jobs and shift another 1,000 positions to "lower-cost" locations as part of an ongoing transformation in how the company does business.

Cisco's 2Q Profit Surges 40%

Despite a robust second quarter and a sunny financial forecast, networking equipment maker Cisco Systems Inc. is coming under intense scrutiny over fears about the company's ability to sustain its torrid growth rates.

Apria Profit Flat After Gains, Guides Up

Lake Forest-based home healthcare provider Apria Healthcare Group Inc. saw fourth-quarter profits flat from a year earlier after taking out one time tax and other gains.

Tuesday, February 6

Pacific Sunwear Closing Stores, Warns on Profits

Anaheim-based Pacific Sunwear of California Inc. said Tuesday it plans to close 74 stores as the retailer reported another monthly decline in same-store sales and warned about results for its recently ended quarter.

Blackstone Ups Bid as Battle for EOP Goes to Wire

The Blackstone Group raised its bid for Equity Office Properties Trust to $23 billion in cash on Tuesday after rival bidder Vornado Realty Trust sweetened its own offer in the latest round of the fight to control the top U.S. office landlord.

Cisco Profit Up on Internet Traffic

Cisco Systems Inc. said on Tuesday its quarterly net profit rose as customers bought more network equipment in response to growing Internet traffic.

Toyota Q3 Beats Expectations on Sales

Toyota Motor Corp. posted a near-20% rise in quarterly profit on Tuesday on brisk sales in North America and Europe, and kept its forecasts for a seventh straight year of record earnings intact.

M-Flex Profit Plunges, Predicts Recovery

Anaheim-based Multi-Fineline Electronix Inc. on Tuesday said falling prices for circuit boards drove a 79% drop in profits for the December quarter but forecast a recovery with anticipated strong sales to its largest customers.

Quality Systems Slumps on Word of SEC Probe

Shares of healthcare software developer Quality Systems Inc. closed down nearly 9% Tuesday, a day after the Irvine company said the Securities and Exchange Commission is looking into stock trading by its chief financial officer.

Mortgage Insurer MGIC to Buy Radian for $5.47B

Mortgage insurer MGIC Investment plans to buy rival Radian Group Inc. for about $5.47 billion, the companies said on Tuesday, a move that will allow them to cut costs amid shrinking demand that has been hurt further by a slowing housing market.

Monday, February 5

SUNNY DAY BUSINESS

Irvine's Tropitone Furniture makes fashionable furniture for the outdoors

KUDOS

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

Wyndham Condo Plan Goes to City Planners

Makar Properties' proposal to revamp the Wyndham Orange County adds another glitzy high-rise to the mix for the South Coast Plaza area

Court Dismisses M-Flex Suit Against Parent

Anaheim-based Multi-Fineline Electronix Inc. said Monday its suit against parent WBL Corp. over an unwanted acquisition was dismissed by a Delaware court.

Valentine's Day Possibilities: Fondue, Necklace Giveaway

Make your reservations now for one of the busiest days of the year,Valentine's, in the Executive Dining column

Yearly Roth Party, Er, Stock Confab: Togas, Ludacris

Roth Capital Partners' yearly stock conference mixes company presentations and afterhours partying

Valeant Finishes Options Accounting, Ratings Affirmed

Valeant Pharmaceuticals has come up with its bill for correcting misdated stock options, in the Healthcare column

Kids Clothes Maker Looking to Mexico

A Santa Ana maker of upscale baby and kids clothes experiences growing pains

Tim DeCinces Finding Own Way With Homes, Southern Barbecue

Tim DeCinces sports an expanding line-up of custom homes and restaurants

REAL ESTATE DEALS

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

Hospital Revenue Grows, Income Lower; Hoag No. 1

Hospital Revenue Grows, Income Lower; Hoag No. 1

Annual Apparel Party ASR Gets Sober Start

The start of the Action Sports Retailer Trade Expo in San Diego last month had a more sober vibe

CALENDAR

A listing of events happening all around Orange County.

Newport Corp. Settles Patent Dispute

Irvine-based laser maker Newport Corp. said Monday it has settled a patent infringement suit lodged by a subsidiary against Oxford, Mass.-based IPG Photonics Corp.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

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

Archie's Ice Cream: Hip With Surf Crowd, Celebrities

Archie's Ice Cream caters ice cream at corporate parties, sporting events and concerts, in the Small Business column

Business Groups Want Fast Rollout of Greenhouse Law

After fighting against passage of a state law cracking down on greenhouse gas emissions, business groups now are pushing for more rapid implementation, in Regulation Watch

Edwards Profit Up After Charges

Irvine-based heart valve maker Edwards Lifesciences Corp. reported higher fourth-quarter profits before charges on Monday and offered first-quarter guidance in line with expectations.

Argyros, Hopkins La Habra Retail Project Gets Started

The first big local project in several years for George Argyros,head of Costa Mesa-based real estate investor and developer Arnel & Affiliates,is starting to see outward progress, in the Real Estate column

Swimsuit Maker Tyr Eyes Olympics Gain

A water gear maker strikes a multimillion dollar sponsorship deal with an Olympic medallist

Vornado Sweetens EOP Property Bid

Vornado Realty Trust moved on Sunday to make its $23.2 billion bid for top U.S. office landlord Equity Office Properties Trust more attractive by offering to pay the cash portion up front.

McCluney: Emulex Diversifying, Still Generating Cash

Four months into Jim McCluney's chief executive role at Emulex, he's floating high, in the Technology column

UnitedHealth Cuts 2007 Revenue Forecast

UnitedHealth Group said on Monday it lowered its 2007 revenue forecast after determining its Medicare Advantage membership will likely decline "modestly" this year.

VIEWPOINT

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's plan to make health insurance coverage mandatory in California is ambitious but flawed, in Viewpoint by Jim Lott, executive vice president of the Hospital Association of Southern California.

Epicor Software's Big Acquisition Bears Q4 Fruit

Epicor Software's buy of a large retail software maker seems to be paying off

PEOPLE

Hirings, promotions and other moves at local businesses

Hospital City

Orange's Home to Four Hospitals, 1,177 Beds, 9,700 Workers

Rudy, Pataki k OC; UCI's Role In Climate Report

Rudy, Pataki k OC; UCI's Role In Climate Report

DEVICE ENTRY

Hospitals Use Buying Groups, Panels to Bring In New Products

San Juan Land Sold for Business Park

Centra Realty plans to develop a 241,000-square-foot business park in San Juan Capistrano

Hospital Officials Vary on Governor's Healthcare Proposal

Hospital Officials Vary on Governor's Healthcare Proposal

Wet Seal Looking to Revamped Arden B. for Growth

Wet Seal is looking to its revamped Arden B. stores for growth, in the Media & Marketing column

Hyundai Motor Chairman: 3 Years in Jail

The head of Hyundai Motor was sentenced to three years in jail for embezzling funds from the world's No. 6 auto maker, dealing another blow to a company battling a rising won and restive labor unions.

REVIEW

MacGillivray Freeman's "Hurricane on the Bayou"

REAL ESTATE WATCH: CONSTRUCTION

Despite a slight dip in activity at the end of 2006, the OC office market still is poised for more investment, development and leasing

Dealers: If You're Not a Brand, You're a Commodity

A look at the concept of branding in the automotive dealer industry, in the Marketplace column

Friday, February 2

Ericsson's Net Climbs 14% on Network, Phone Sales

Shares of Ericsson AB lost as much as 7% on Friday after the world's largest maker of mobile-phone networks reported a 14% rise in quarterly profit, helped by record earnings at its handset joint venture with Sony, but cautioned that the market for mobile

Equity Office Affirms Support for Blackstone Offer

Equity Office Properties Trust said on Friday that its board of trustees has voted to reaffirm its support for a $54 per share takeover offer from private equity firm The Blackstone Group, despite a higher competing bid from Vornado Realty Trust.

Taco Bell Courts Federline for Job,and Publicity

Britney doesn't want him, but apparently Irvine-based Taco Bell Corp. does, for publicity at least.

Latest Ameriquest Speculation: Citigroup, Morgan Stanley

The latest takeover speculation on Ameriquest Mortgage: Citigroup and Morgan Stanley are in talks to acquire the subprime mortgage lender, according to reports this week.

Standard Pacific Outlook Drives Shares

Irvine-based homebuilder Standard Pacific Corp. saw its shares surge Friday on a better-than-expected outlook for the first quarter and all of 2007.

Economy Adds 111,000 Jobs in January

The U.S. economy added a weaker-than-expected 111,000 jobs in January, but the job picture was much brighter than first estimated in the final quarter of last year, a government report on Friday showed.

Thursday, February 1

Netlist Beats Street in Debut Quarter, Ups Guidance

Irvine memory products maker Netlist Inc. beat fourth-quarter profit expectations and upped its revenue outlook for the current quarter in its first reporting of results since going public in November.

Autobytel Sells Automaker Data Unit

Irvine's Autobytel Inc., which generates online leads for auto dealers, has sold a unit to Southfield, Mich.-based R.L. Polk & Co., the companies said Thursday.

Marsh & McLennan to Sell Putnam for $3.9B

Insurance broker Marsh & McLennan Companies Inc. said on Thursday that it would sell its troubled money manager, Putnam Investments, to a unit of Canada's Power Financial Corp. for $3.9 billion.

U.S. Manufacturing Slows Unexpectedly in Jan.

U.S. manufacturing unexpectedly contracted in January to its slowest pace since April 2003 as new orders, inventories and production fell, according to a survey published on Thursday.

Vornado Raises Bid for Equity Office

Vornado Realty Trust said on Thursday it had raised its takeover offer for Equity Office Properties Trust to $56 per share, or $23.24 billion, above a rival bid of $54 per share from private equity firm Blackstone Group.