Stories for January 2007

Wednesday, January 31

Vivendi: Shares Drop on Q4 Sales Letdown

French media and telecoms group Vivendi reported a slightly disappointing 1.2% rise in fourth-quarter sales on Wednesday, including a revenue decline at its mobile operator SFR that pushed down its shares.

Fed Seen Holding Rates Steady

Faced with a strengthening economy and scant signs of runaway prices, the Federal Reserve appeared set to keep interest rates steady on Wednesday while keeping up a verbal guard against potential inflation.

Argus Pays $153M for Wachovia Tower in Raleigh

San Clemente-based Argus Realty Investors has paid $153 million for a trophy East Coast building with a marquee tenant: Wachovia Corp.

Boeing 4Q Profit More Than Doubles

Boeing Co. said on Wednesday fourth-quarter profit more than doubled, easily beating Wall Street expectations, as it delivered more commercial aircraft than in the year-earlier quarter and its defense unit posted record sales.

Allergan Profit Up After Charges, Forecast Soft

Irvine drug maker Allergan Inc. saw higher fourth-quarter sales and profits after charges but offered a profit forecast below Wall Street expectations for the current quarter.

Fed Holds Rates Steady, Sees Housing Stabilizing

The U.S. Federal Reserve held benchmark interest rates steady on Wednesday and maintained a warning on inflation risks as it noted signs of stability emerging in downtrodden housing markets.

Newport Corp. Sees Income Surge

Irvine-based Newport Corp. saw fourth-quarter income double to $12 million while net income for all of 2006 tripled to $37.4 million, the maker of lasers and equipment to control them said Wednesday.

Tuesday, January 30

Another Slumping Quarter for Corinthian Colleges

Santa Ana vocational schools operator Corinthian Colleges Inc. reported a big drop in profit for the second straight quarter on Tuesday as an effort to rework enrollment and tuition financing took its toll.

Merck 4Q Earnings Plummet

Merck & Co. reported Tuesday that fourth-quarter profit plunged 58% despite higher revenues as the drugmaker took a slew of charges for restructuring costs, an acquisition and increased legal reserves, mainly for its withdrawn painkiller Vioxx.

3M 4Q Earnings Jump 58% to $1.18B

3M Co., the diversified maker of products such as Scotch tape, Post-it notes and weather-stripping, said Tuesday its earnings jumped 58% in the fourth quarter helped by a gain on the sale of a pharmaceutical business.

Printronix Jumps on Upped Guidance

Irvine's Printronix Inc., a maker of printers for producing radio frequency identification tags, told investors to expect better-than-anticipated results when numbers for the December quarter come out next week.

Consumer Confidence Improves in January

Consumer confidence improved slightly in January on a strengthening job market, but consumers also appeared concerned that labor conditions could worsen in the future, according to a survey released Tuesday by a private research group.

Epicor Sales Surge; Charges Hit Profits

Irvine's Epicor Software Corp. reported record fourth-quarter sales Tuesday, though profits were off and the business software maker warned about net income for the current quarter.

Monday, January 29

OCBJ SUPPLEMENTS and GUIDES

TECH & TELECOM GUIDE 2007

Pathway Capital: Two Floors at Irvine Tower

Irvine's Pathway Capital Management is moving to an office tower going up near John Wayne Airport

GIVING

Fund-raisers and charitable donations from companies and people

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

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

Toshiba Leads Foreign-Owned Job Gain, Experian Challenges

A hiring surge helped Japan's Toshiba hold its spot as the largest foreign-owned company in Orange County

First Industrial's Deal Could Be Sign of More to Come

Chicago's First Industrial Realty Trust, one of the country's largest industrial landlords, is starting to make a bigger push in OC, in the Real Estate column

Costa Mesa, London, Now Dublin for Experian

The global derby to land the headquarters of an independent Experian Group Ltd. has taken a new twist.

Tesoro Buys Shell, USA Petrol Assets in California

Texas-based refiner Tesoro Corp. is staking out a much larger piece of the giant California fuel market, announcing Monday plans to buy a Los Angeles-area refinery and nearly 400 gasoline stations from Shell Oil and USA Petroleum for about $1.9 billion.

Symantec to Acquire Altiris in $830M Deal

Symantec Corp., maker of Norton antivirus software, said on Monday it will buy Altiris Inc. for about $830 million as it expands into the corporate software market from its previous consumer focus.

Theodora Poised To Be Law Firm's Lead Partner

The Orange County partner of Century City-based Stephan, Oringher, Richman, Theodora & Miller is set to become lead partner as part of changes playing out at the law firm

Prudential Offloads Egg to Citigroup for $1.1B

Britain's Prudential surprised investors on Monday with a $1.1 billion deal to sell loss-making Internet bank Egg to U.S. giant Citigroup, solving a nagging worry for the insurer.

Ling & Louie's Turns to Restaurant Veteran

The owner of Ling & Louie's at Irvine Spectrum Center has tapped the man behind Newport Beach's China Palace to try and revive the struggling restaurant

NATION INDUSTRIAL MARKET

The Boston industrial market posted an exceptionally strong fourth quarter as the market expanded by 900,000 square feet of new absorption,the largest single gain in occupancy since the second quarter of 2005.

Wall Street Exhales With Broadcom's $2.2B Tally

Wall Street's reaction to last week's options tally by Broadcom: a $2.2 billion closing of a chapter

Traffic Products Maker Doubling Tecate Operations Along Border

Econolite Control Products, a maker of traffic lights and control cabinets, is expanding in Mexico

PEOPLE

Hirings, promotions and other moves at local businesses

Bullish on 2007, RiechesBaird Brings On Seasoned VP

RiechesBaird has added to its management team, in the Media & Marketing column

Auto Dealer Keynote Tells Story, Offers Tips for Dads

The keynote speaker for the Orange County Auto Dealers Association's annual meeting tells his story, in the Marketplace column

UnitedHealth Gains, Then Stumbles on Medicare Plans

UnitedHealth gains, then stumbles on Medicare plans, in the Healthcare column

Bush, Sanchez Tango; Moorlach to Iraq? Birth Announcements

Bush, Sanchez Tango; Moorlach to Iraq? Birth Announcements

AROUND THE COUNTY

Project developments and other activity in cities across OC

Real Estate Watch: Los Angeles County

The greater Los Angeles office market continued to grow in 2006, offering returns for investors amid tightening vacancies, rising rents and a slowdown in speculative construction. PLUS: CHART - Net Absorption; Vacancy Rates; Average Asking Lease Rates

INDUSTRIAL MARKET REPORT

Absorption Drops, Availability Rises, Lease Rates Hold. At the end of 2006, the Orange County industrial market continued to have low levels of available space and tight vacancy rates.

West Industrial Market

The industrial market in 2006 didn't see any significant activity, but instead saw a series of incremental increases resulting in a market that is healthier overall than it was 12 months ago.

Trade Show gig

NAMM, the music industry's yearly trade show held in Anaheim earlier this month, showcased the local scene

Costa Mesa, London, Now Dublin for Experian Group

The global derby to land the headquarters of an independent Experian Group has taken a new twist

MARKET WATCH

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

REAL ESTATE DEALS

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

OFFICE MARKET REPORT

Absorption Drops, Vacancy Increases, Lease Rates Rise. At the end of 2006, the Orange County industrial market continued to have low levels of available space and tight vacancy rates.

CALENDAR

A listing of events happening all around Orange County

DEAL BAROMETER

Office Construction Wrapping Up, More Buildings Planned. Locally as well as nationally, the fourth quarter's big news was the Blackstone Group's $36 billion bid to buy Equity Office Properties and the prospect of a bidding war.

Catering Truck Operator Shifting Gears, Plans to Sell 10-Acre Site

Orange County Food Service, an operator of food catering trucks, is moving from Anaheim to Placentia and closing its catering truck business to focus on vending machines

Industrial Lag

Construction at High Since 2001, Market Still Tight With Limited New Space

RETAIL MARKET REPORT

Vacancy Holds, Absorption Gains, Lease Rates Rise. The Orange County retail market continued to see demand. Following a relatively flat third quarter, increased demand for retail space resulted in 68,814 square feet of positive net absorption.

Quest's Prospects Improve as Options Issue Resolves

Quest Software's prospects improve as options issue resolves, in the Technology column

California Industrial Market

The Orange County industrial market had another strong showing in 2006.

Investor Pathway Taking Space at New Tower

Irvine's Pathway Capital Management LLC, an investment manager with a multibillion-dollar portfolio and big-name clients, is moving to an office tower going up near John Wayne Airport.

Merrill to Buy First Republic for $1.8B

Merrill Lynch & Co. Inc. said on Monday it will buy First Republic Bank, which specializes in luxury home lending in California, for $1.8 billion.

STAR WARS

A look at the military monster we're creating by supporting the Chinese economy, in Viewpoint, by Peter Navarro

ICU Medical: Production Concerns Outweigh Strong Results

ICU Medical Inc., a San Clemente medical device maker, on Monday met fourth-quarter profit expectations, exceeded sales targets and offered an upbeat projection for 2007.

Cannery Marks Five Years With Retro Surf and Turf

The Cannery in Newport's Cannery Village marks five years with retro surf and turf, in the Executive Dining column

Disney Sequel

Ed Grier has seen the world with Walt Disney Co., leaving his mark on parks from Florida to Paris to Tokyo

Friday, January 26

BMW Sees Record 2007 Sales After Bumper 2006

BMW's revenue rose by 5% to a record 49 billion euros in 2006, it said on Friday, reaffirming that its 2006 pretax earnings would hit 4 billion euros.

Biomedical Company Starts Nasdaq Trading

Isotis Inc., an Irvine developer of bone graft substitutes, said Friday it started trading on Nasdaq.

Tentative Ruling in Bren Child Support Case

Two children of Donald Bren can't seek more child support from The Irvine Company chairman a Los Angeles judge tentatively ruled Friday, according to a report from City New Service.

Honeywell Profit Up

Diversified manufacturer Honeywell International Inc. reported an almost 14% rise in profit on Friday, but its shares declined after it forecast first-quarter earnings below expectations.

New Home Sales Rise in December; Down for 2006

Sales of new U.S. homes rose 4.8% in December and prices climbed 1.2% as the number of homes on the market decreased, according to a government report on Friday showing some firming in the weakened housing sector.

Tech Stocks Fall Day After Earnings, Warnings

Shares of Western Digital Corp. and Conexant Systems Inc. fell more than 8% in midday trading Friday, a day after reporting quarterly results and warning of a slowdown in sales. Emulex Corp., which also warned of a slowdown on Thursday, fell 6%.

Thursday, January 25

OC Home Dec. Prices Fall, Sales Up From Nov.

The price of an Orange County detached home in December fell $6,220 from November, and now stands 1.3% below the median price seen a year ago, the California Association of Realtors said Thursday.

OC Weekly Editor, Publisher Swaim Leaving

Will Swaim, editor and publisher of OC Weekly, is leaving the alternative weekly newspaper he helped to start 12 years ago.

France's Essilor Interested in Contacts, Prompting More Cooper Speculation

France's Essilor International SA, a maker of corrective lenses for glasses, said Thursday it's interested in contact lenses but didn't name speculated takeover target Cooper Cos. of Lake Forest.

Bristol-Myers Reports Loss, Hurt by Special Charges

Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. reported a fourth-quarter loss on Thursday because of special charges and generic competition for its Plavix blood-clot drug, and results beat expectations because of a tax credit.

Ford: Ends Tough Year, Wider Quarterly Loss

Ford Motor Co. on Thursday capped the worst year in its 103-year history with a wider-than-expected fourth-quarter loss and said it would cut production this quarter and lose market share through September.

Existing Home Sales Slip

The pace of existing home sales slipped 0.8% in December, the National Association of Realtors said on Thursday, leaving in doubt whether the worst of a housing slump has passed.

Wednesday, January 24

WellPoint Profit Jumps 23%

Health insurer WellPoint Inc. said on Wednesday profit rose 23%, in line with estimates, on strong enrollment in its national accounts and tighter controls on administrative expenses, although medical cost trends worsened.

Valeant: Debt, Other Ratings Reaffirmed After Options Restatement

Aliso Viejo-based Valeant Pharmaceuticals International on Wednesday had several financial ratings confirmed by Moody's Investor Service after the drug maker refiled its annual report.

McDonald's: Earnings Double, Steps Up Growth

McDonald's Corp., the world's largest restaurant company, on Wednesday said quarterly earnings nearly doubled after recording a large gain for last year's spinoff of the Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. chain.

Cingular Profit Surges

AT & T; Inc.'s Cingular Wireless, the No. 1 U.S. mobile phone service by customer base, on Wednesday said quarterly profit nearly quadrupled, boosted by customer growth that beat Wall Street estimates.

QLogic Down on Outlook, Results

Shares of Aliso Viejo-based QLogic Corp. fell 5.3% on Wednesday a day after reporting disappointing results for the December quarter and warning about the current one.

Broadcom: In Compliance With Nasdaq

Irvine chipmaker Broadcom Corp. said Wednesday it is back in compliance with Nasdaq rules, a day after filing financial reports delayed amid its look into stock options.

Tuesday, January 23

Valeant Restating Earnings Over Stock Options

Aliso Viejo-based Valeant Pharmaceuticals International said Tuesday that it's restated earnings to account for stock options.

Broadcom Option Bill at $2.2B

Irvine chipmaker Broadcom Corp. came out Tuesday with revised financial statements for 1998 to 2005 with charges of $2.2 billion for stock option grants that weren't properly accounted for.

J & J; Profit Rises on Higher Drug Sales

Johnson & Johnson said on Tuesday its quarterly profit rose, helped by growing sales of its drugs and consumer products, although stent sales fell sharply.

Wachovia Profit Rises 35%

Wachovia Corp., the No. 4 U.S. bank, said on Tuesday that fourth-quarter profit rose 35%, helped by growth in fees and the acquisition of Golden West Financial Corp.

Bank of America Profit Up 47%

Bank of America Corp. said on Tuesday that fourth-quarter profit rose 47% as growth in credit card fees and investment banking offset weakened credit quality.

Monday, January 22

PEOPLE

Hirings, promotions and other moves at local businesses

Europe Now Has a Common Currency, But Patent Process Still All Over Map

Europe Now Has a Common Currency, But Patent Process Still All Over Map

Eaton Posts Higher Profit, Sees Flat '07 Sales

Diversified manufacturer Eaton Corp. on Monday posted a stronger-than-expected 15% increase in quarterly profit on strong demand in its electrical and fluid power businesses, but the company forecast flat sales this year.

Birtcher Anderson: Sales Record With Medical Offices

Birtcher Anderson and a partner are cashing out in a seller's market with a recent medical office center sale, in the Real Estate column

KUDOS

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

Y & R; Hires on Expanded Land Rover, Callaway Work

Rick Eiserman, head of Young & Rubicam Brands in Irvine, continues to hire at the advertising agency, in the Media & Marketing column

Local Startups Raised $523M Last Year, Down From Strong 2005

Venture investments in Orange County companies fell 10% last year with a steep decline in funding for healthcare startups, according to a report by Ernst & Young LLP and VentureOne, a unit of Dow Jones.

Morton's in Anaheim More Intimate, Same Great Food

Morton's Steakhouse in Anaheim, the second in Orange County, has a more intimate atmosphere with the same great food, in the Executive Dining column

Western Digital Gains Share With Fast Business Drive

Lake Forest-based Western Digital's share of the disk drive market grew to about 20% in the third quarter, in the Technology column

Bend It Like Beckman: Another Restructuring Move

Beckman Coulter's Palo Alto closure is its latest restructuring move, in the Healthcare column

Pfizer Profit Jumps on Sale of Consumer Unit

Pfizer Inc. said on Monday its quarterly profit more than tripled on the sale of its consumer health business, although revenue was flat amid lower sales of its Lipitor cholesterol fighter and generic competition for several medicines.

IBM Renews Microsoft Rivalry With Web Software

IBM Corp.'s Lotus unit will introduce on Monday a set of social networking services that functions like a MySpace for office workers and which analysts say marks a renewed challenge to Microsoft Corp.

REAL ESTATE DEALS

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

'The O.C.' Producer Planning Restaurant In Newport Beach

'The O.C.' Producer Planning Restaurant In Newport Beach

Expanding Video Game Sector Spurs Developers

The expanding video game sector is spurring local game developers

Apple Illuminates Little-Known Linksys iPhone

For better or worse, Apple's new phone illuminated the little-known Linksys iPhone

Mindspeed Reports Wider Loss, Brighter Outlook

Newport Beach-based Mindspeed Technologies Inc. on Monday reported a wider loss for the December quarter but said it sees sales for the current quarter exceeding Wall Street expectations.

Cooper Cos. Plans $1B Debt Deal

Lake Forest-based contact lens maker Cooper Cos., which is struggling with a delay of a key product and is the subject of takeover speculation, said Monday it's refinancing about $1 billion in debt.

MARKET WATCH

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

Big With Musicians, BBE Sound Goes After Listeners

BBE Sound Inc., a family-run maker of signal processors and other electronic gear for musicians, is looking to consumer electronics for growth, in the Small Business column

CALENDAR

A listing of events happening all around Orange County

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

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

Assessing Cox

Lawyers Weigh In on SEC Chairman, Executive Compensation Reforms

Fletcher Surpasses $500M in 2006, Maybach Helps

Fletcher Jones had a banner sales year in 2006, in the Marketplace column

Applied Engineering Eyes OC for Growth

A Tectura unit looks to do consulting work in OC

Courtroom Technology: Then and Now

Courtroom Technology: Then and Now

OCBJ SUPPLEMENTS and GUIDES

OFFICE & BUSINESS PARK DIRECTORY

VIEWPOINT

Tuttle-Click's Jim Click Jr. on the business of doing good, in Viewpoint

Hospital Shifts, Medicare Pinch Alliance Imaging; Acquisitions?

Two key sources of business for Alliance,hospitals and Medicare,are seeing shifts

Tech Court

Brothers' Digital Device for Courtroom Presentations Played Out in Beckman Case

Dream Tenants

REAL ESTATE: Landlords look to draw law firms with new towers

Lexus Takes On Benz in Luxury Auto Race

Bragging rights for Orange County's top luxury auto brand could be up in play this year

Real Estate Watch: Inland Empire

The Inland Empire's industrial market saw strong growth in the fourth quarter. PLUS: CHART - Net Absorption; Vacancy Rates; Average Asking Lease Rates

New Turn in M-Flex's Singapore Ordeal

Anaheim circuit board maker Multi-Fineline Electronix may just yet get out of an unwanted deal

Office Max

Two Irvine Co. executives take over amid an office building and buying spree

Firms Add to Attorney Ranks for Fourth Straight Year

Firms Add to Attorney Ranks for Fourth Straight Year . Patents, Deals, Strong Economy Spur Hires; Big Gain at Knobbe

READER LETTERS

John Crean's goddaughter recounts an inspirational story, in Letters

Friday, January 19

Federal Agency Takes Over Kaiser Aluminum Pensions

Pension plans at Foothill Ranch-based Kaiser Aluminum Corp. have been taken over by the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp., the federal agency said Friday.

MSC.Software Cuts 85 Jobs

Santa Ana-based MSC.Software Corp., which makes software used by manufacturers to test their designs, said Friday it will cut 85 jobs and consolidate facilities.

Motorola Plans 3,500 Job Cuts

Motorola Inc. CEO Ed Zander said Friday the cell-phone maker will cut 3,500 jobs, or about 5% of its work force, as it moves to improve operating costs after a disappointing fourth quarter.

GE's 4Q Earnings More Than Double

General Electric Co. said Friday its fourth-quarter profit more than doubled as the diversified industrial products and media conglomerate saw strong revenue growth in its infrastructure, health care and financial services businesses.

M-Flex Could Get Out of MFS Deal

Anaheim-based circuit board maker Multi-Fineline Electronix Inc. may just yet get out of an unwanted deal.

Citigroup: Profit Up 3%

Citigroup Inc. said on Friday fourth-quarter profit rose 3%, less than its major rivals posted but topping forecasts, as revenue grew in all main business lines.

Thursday, January 18

Manufacturers Acquired in Separate Deals Worth $60M

Two Orange County manufacturers have been acquired in separate deals valued at a combined $60 million.

Disney Bringing Cruises Back

Walt Disney Co. said Thursday it's bringing its Disney Magic cruise ship back to the Southland next year.

Jobless Claims Post Surprising Drop

The number of Americans filing new claims for jobless benefits dropped by a surprisingly large 8,000 last week to the lowest level in 11 months, the Labor Department reported on Thursday.

Vornado Team Makes $21.6B Bid for Equity Office

Vornado Realty Trust and two real estate veterans have submitted a $21.6 billion takeover bid for Equity Office Properties Trust in a move to wrest the company from its current suitor.

Santa Ana Bank Startup Seeks To Raise $12M

Federal regulators gave the green light to directors of a new Santa Ana business bank to sell shares to investors.

UnitedHealth: $1.2 Billion Quarterly Profit

Insurer UnitedHealth Group Inc., which is trying to emerge from a stock options scandal, on Thursday reported fourth-quarter net earnings of $1.2 billion, slightly above estimates, helped by its Medicare prescription drug plans for seniors.

Report: Subprime Lender ResMae in Talks With Credit Suisse

Brea-based ResMae Mortgage Corp. is the latest local subprime lender rumored to be up for sale.

Wednesday, January 17

New Sunstone Hotel CEO, Alter to Become Chairman

San Clemente-based Sunstone Hotel Investors Inc. on Wednesday named Steven Goldman as its next chief executive as current leader Bob Alter is set to become chairman.

Producer Prices Signal Inflation Risk

U.S. producer prices rose more than expected in December but they advanced at a far more moderate pace than a month earlier on smaller gains in energy prices, a government report on Wednesday showed.

Drug Maker Taking Space at Former Valeant HQ

Valeant Pharmaceuticals International has found another drug maker to take up part of its former headquarters in Costa Mesa.

Lennar: Quarterly Loss on Write-Down

Home builder Lennar Corp. reported a quarterly net loss on Wednesday after $111.1 million in deposit write-offs and pre-acquisition costs amid a sinking U.S. housing market.

Hyundai Union Agrees to End Strike

Hyundai Motor Co.'s union decided to end a strike Wednesday after the company agreed to pay full bonus payments, officials said, resolving one of the latest obstacles facing South Korea's largest automaker.

Allergan Rolls Out Wrinkle Smoother Nationwide

Juv & #233;derm, Allergan Inc.'s wrinkle remover acquired in last year's $3.2 billion buy of Inamed Corp., now is selling nationwide, the Irvine drug maker said Wednesday.

IBM May Report Higher Sales on Contracts, Purchases

International Business Machines Corp., the world's largest computer-services company, probably will report its biggest sales gain in two years on new contracts and software acquisitions, including its $1.6 billion buy of Costa Mesa-based FileNet Corp.

Tuesday, January 16

Advanced Medical Makes $20M Acquisition

Santa Ana-based eye device maker Advanced Medical Optics Inc. said Tuesday it bought WaveFront Sciences Inc. of Albuquerque, N.M., for $20 million.

Dec. Home Prices Rebound, Sales Remain Sluggish

Orange County home prices rebounded in December, with the median price of a home sold here rising 3.4% to $642,000, versus a year ago.

Irvine Co. Building San Diego Office Tower

The Irvine Company said Tuesday it plans to build an office tower in downtown San Diego.

Wells Fargo: Profit Up 13% on Lending Growth

Wells Fargo & Co., the No. 5 U.S. bank, said on Tuesday fourth-quarter profit rose 13 percent, helped by growth in business lending, low-cost deposits and subprime mortgages.

Centex, KB Take Charges

Home builders Centex Corp. and KB Home said on Tuesday they would take charges to reduce their land positions in a sign the weakest U.S. housing market in decades may not yet have bottomed.

Express Scripts Launches Offer for Caremark

Express Scripts Inc. on Tuesday launched a $24.8 billion offer for all outstanding shares of Caremark Rx Inc. in the latest step in a high-stakes takeover battle after Caremark last week said it preferred a deal with drugstore chain CVS Corp.

Monday, January 15

Hyundai Workers Begin Partial Strike

Unionized workers at Hyundai Motor Co. began a promised partial strike Monday amid a dispute with management over bonuses, a union official said.

Quiksilver Starting to See Rossignol Rebound Signs

Quiksilver's progress on integrating Rossignol has Wall Street breathing a little easier

Plaza Tower Pushing Rent to Big City Rate

Costa Mesa's Plaza Tower is bullish,really bullish,with rates for its two top floors coming up for lease in 2009

REAL ESTATE DEALS

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

Lawsuit May Give Broadcom Edge in Bluetooth Chips

A lawsuit over Bluetooth chips could stand to benefit Irvine-based Broadcom, in the Technology column

Valeant Leases Space, Sells Drug Programs

A developer of drugs for HIV, cancer and other diseases is taking some space at Valeant's former Costa Mesa headquarters

Wet Seal, Pacific Sunwear Discount as Dec. Falls Short

Meager holiday sales means it's discount heaven at Pacific Sunwear and Wet Seal, in the Media & Marketing column

Renovations, New Hotel Lead to Meeting Space Gain

Renovations, New Hotel Lead to Meeting Space Gain

MARKET WATCH

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

2007 Medical Deal Outlook: India Buyers, PIPE Change

Biotech companies could find a new suitor in India, in the Healthcare column

READER LETTERS

The Times missed the county's marathon; Let the competition begin; Troop Surge... in Letters.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

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

Maker of Jet Fasteners Sells for $300 Million

Oregon's Precision Castparts has picked up its third local fastener business,Cherry Aerospace in Santa Ana

Real Estate Watch: Mid-Counties

Sales and leases were up in the third quarter for the Mid-Counties market. PLUS: CHART - Net Absorption; Vacancy Rates; Average Asking Lease Rates

Bamb & #250;: California Style Dishes With Asian Influence

Bamb & #250; Restaurant is California-style dishes with an Asian influence, in the Executive Dining column

Maker of Historical Lanterns Dodges Housing Slowdown

A lantern maker in Orange kicked things up a notch after a deal from a trade show

CES: Gadgets Unveiled, iPhone Debuts From afar

The Consumer Electronics Show was all about convergence

GIVING

Fund-raisers and charitable donations from companies and people

Next Move

Meeting, Exhibit Space Tightening at Convention Center; Expansion on the Way?

American Original

Rick Reiff comments on the life and legacy of John Crean

OC Olympic Bid; Bren Likes Reading, Not Owning, Papers

OC Olympic Bid; Bren Likes Reading, Not Owning, Papers

PEOPLE

Hirings, promotions and other moves at local businesses

OCBJ SUPPLEMENTS and GUIDES

HEALTHCARE GUIDE 2007

Lake Forest Buy First Locally for Bixby Under Halford

Bixby's new chief William Halford makes his first local buy, in the Real Estate column

Top Floors at Costa Mesa's Plaza Tower Hit Rent Highwater Mark

If you're trying to find the most glamorous,and expensive,office space in Orange County, look to the top of 600 Anton Blvd.'s Plaza Tower in Costa Mesa.

Bausch & Lomb Invests in Irvine Eye Device Company

Irvine-based AcuFocus Inc., developer of an eye implant to correct the inability to focus up close with aging, has received an investment from Bausch & Lomb Inc. as well as an option to be bought.

Quest To Take $150M Options Charge

Quest Software Inc. expects to take $150 million in charges to restated earnings to correct backdated stock options granted from 1998 to 2002, the Aliso Viejo-based company said Monday.

GE to Buy UK's Smiths Aerospace Unit

General Electric Co. has agreed to buy the aerospace business of Britain's Smiths Group Plc for $4.8 billion cash as it seeks to capitalize on a flood of new plane orders and robust U.S. military spending.

BIG CONVENTIONS

A look at some of this year's largest conventions

CALENDAR

A listing of events happening all around Orange County

Behind Advanced Medical's $808M IntraLase Buy

Advanced Medical's chief executive isn't looking to the IntraLase deal to pull it out of a rough patch

AROUND THE COUNTY

Project developments and other activity in cities across OC

VIEWPOINT

Consumer driven health plans and health savings accounts could be gaining at the expense of HMOs.

Toshiba, Japan PC Makers: New Models for Windows Vista Unveiled

Toshiba Corp. and other Japanese personal computer makers on Monday unveiled new models designed for Windows Vista, the latest version of Microsoft Corp.'s Windows operating systems, Kyodo reported.

Friday, January 12

Northwest Airlines Files Reorganization Plan

Northwest Airlines Corp. on Friday filed its plan of reorganization with the U.S. bankruptcy court.

Dolan Family Raises Offer for Cablevision

The Dolan family, which controls Cablevision Systems Corp., has raised its offer for all outstanding shares of the New York-based cable operator to $30 per share from $27, representatives of the family said on Friday.

AT & T;: Phase Out Cingular, Reclaim Wireless Brand

AT & T; Inc. will begin to extinguish next week the brand of cellphone operator Cingular, built up with billions of dollars over a few years, to imprint its more-than-century-old name firmly across its services.

Valeant Licenses Drug for Sale in Canada

Aliso Viejo drug maker Valeant Pharmaceuticals International licensed a drug to treat lost muscle tone for sale in Canada from Palo Alto-based Jazz Pharmaceuticals Inc., the latest in a string of deals for Valeant.

Bush Would Veto Medicare Bill

The White House on Friday threatened a veto of a bill that would overhaul the Medicare prescription drug law to require the government to negotiate prices with drug makers.

Thursday, January 11

Quest Shares Up on Analyst's View of Strong Q4

Finally, some good news for Aliso Viejo-based Quest Software Inc. On Thursday, an analyst predicted strong fourth-quarter results for the data-monitoring software maker, which has been bogged down in one of Orange County's more notable stock options ordea

France's Essilor Eyeing Cooper for $2.7B?

Struggling contact lens maker Cooper Cos. of Lake Forest could be bought for $2.7 billion by France's Essilor International SA, according to a research report from Paris brokerage Oddo Securities.

AirTran Raises Midwest Bid to $345 Million

AirTran Holdings Inc. raised its bid for Midwest Air Group Inc. by 19% to $345 million on Thursday, making the offer directly to shareholders and putting pressure on Midwest Air's management.

Jobless Claims Plunged 26,000 Last Week

The number of Americans filing new claims for jobless benefits plunged a larger-than-expected 26,000 last week to its lowest level in more than five months, a government report showed on Thursday.

Hedge Funds Eyeing Ameriquest?

Speculation about a possible sale of Orange-based ACC Capital Holdings Corp.'s Ameriquest took a new turn Thursday.

Rival Bid May Threaten Blackstone's REIT Deal

A consortium of investors including private-equity firm Cerberus Capital Management may be putting together a bid for real estate firm Equity Office Properties Trust in a move likely to raise eyebrows in the tight-knit private-equity world.

Wednesday, January 10

Wells Buying Bank of Orange County Parent

Wells Fargo & Co. is paying an estimated $645 million in stock to buy the parent company of Bank of Orange County.

Sprint Nextel Struggling Since Merger

Technology problems, strong competitors and cost-conscious customers continue to bedevil Sprint Nextel Corp. as the company struggles to make good on a merger that looked so appealing when it was announced three years ago.

US Airways Raises Offer for Delta Air Lines

US Airways Group Inc. raised its takeover offer for larger, bankrupt rival Delta Air Lines Inc. by about 20% to $10.3 billion on Wednesday, sweetening a deal for creditors and putting pressure on Delta management.

Ceradyne Slumps on Military Demand Concerns

Shares of Costa Mesa-based Ceradyne Inc., a maker of ceramics for military armor and dental braces, dropped more than 6% Wednesday on analyst concerns that Pentagon orders will taper off.

Onex to Buy Kodak Health Unit for up to $2.5B

Eastman Kodak Co. said on Wednesday it will sell its medical imaging business to a unit of Canada's Onex Corp. for up to $2.55 billion, a key step in the photography company's strategy to focus on digital products and services.

Beckman Coulter Closing Palo Alto Operation

Beckman Coulter Inc. said Wednesday it plans to close down operations in Palo Alto by the end of 2008 and cut about 220 jobs.

Tuesday, January 9

Sprint: Tepid 2007 Outlook, Job Cuts Expected

Sprint Nextel Corp. said on Monday revenue will be flat or slightly higher in 2007 and profit will remain under pressure due to lower margins, sending its shares down 8%.

D.R. Horton Sales Orders Down

Homebuilder D.R. Horton Inc. reported lower quarterly sales orders on Tuesday that came in well below market expectations, citing challenging selling conditions.

Supervalu Posts Higher Profit

Grocer Supervalu Inc. posted a higher quarterly net profit on Tuesday, boosted by its purchase of Albertsons Inc. stores.

Ceradyne Sees Strong 2006 Profits on Record Q4

Costa Mesa-based Ceradyne Inc., a maker of ceramics for military armor and dental braces, said it expects to more than double profits in 2006 on the heels of a record fourth quarter.

Broadcom Up on Apple iPhone Hopes

Shares of Irvine-based Broadcom Corp. closed up 4% Tuesday on hopes for its chips in Apple Inc.'s newly unveiled iPhone device.

Executives' Outlook Rebounds on Housing, Fed, Stock Market

Orange County chief executives, business owners and managers took comfort in the big stock gains of 2006, an orderly housing slowdown and stable interest rates.

Monday, January 8

Housing, Fed, Stock Gains Boost Executives' Outlook

OC chief executives, business owners and managers took comfort in the big stock gains of 2006, an orderly housing slow down and stable interest rates

Acquicor Debut, Jazz Buyout Deal Cap Quiet 2006 IPOs

Four companies went public last year, according to this week's Business Journal list.

Bidding War Heats Up Health Plan Pharmacy Market

The market for drug benefit managers is heating up, in the Healthcare column

Report From CES: More Convergence

The International Consumer Electronics Show got under way in Las Vegas Monday with a familiar theme: the blurring of computers and consumer electronics in the home.

Office Furnisher

Rosemarie Correia, owner of office furniture dealer Systems Source, never expected to run a company, let alone one with $100 million in yearly sales

MARKET WATCH

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

Doorhangers Drive Business at Marketer PowerDirect

Newport Beach's PowerDirect is looking to build on what it calls a strong 2006 for its marketing niche: doorhangers, in the Media & Marketing column

Block Marketer Plans Concerts, Courts National Chains

The new marketing director for the Block at Orange plans to bring more bands to the outdoor mall, in the Marketplace column

Perfume Bay: Family Fragrance Business Goes Online

Perfume Bay is a twist on the classic family business story as the fragrance business goes online, in the Small Business column

Predictions 2007

With tongue in cheek, Rick Reiff offers some stories you might read in the coming year...

Bren Solidly Bullish on 2007 Economic Growth

Donald Bren foresees a strong local, state and national economy this year

EVENTS CALENDAR

A listing of events happening all around Orange County

Ones That Got Away

2006 Will Be Remembered More For IPOs That Didn't Happen

Fifi Remembers Ford With Trip Down Memory Lane

Fifi remembers President Ford with a trip down memory lane, in the Executive Dining column

Moorlach v. Umberg: Who's the Hack?; Bren on Borrowing

Moorlach v. Umberg: Who's the Hack?; Bren on Borrowing

Arden Takes Foothill Ranch Offices Off LBA's Hands

Los Angeles landlord Arden Realty has been busy buying and selling office space in OC in the past few weeks, in the Real Estate column

Companies Doing Yearly CES Drill, Some Get Honors

When the annual International Consumer Electronic Show kicks off today in Las Vegas, OC will be well represented, in the Technology column

PEOPLE

Hirings, promotions and other moves at local businesses

VIEWPOINT

John Moorlach recounts his first month,and first battle,as county supervisor

Windstar Offers Lease for Triangle Land

A developer is thinking green in a bid to boost its chances of developing a prime piece of Anaheim land

AMO Buying IntraLase for $808M

Advanced Medical Optics Inc., the embattled Santa Ana-based eye device company, said Monday that it's buying Irvine-based rival IntraLase Corp. for $808 million.

Minimum Wage Hike Tops List of '07 Laws

Restaurants and other businesses across OC rang in the new year with added costs, thanks to a hike in the state's minimum wage

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

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

Some Healthcare Offerings On Tap, But Buyouts Seen Ruling

Being sold, rather than selling stock, could be the exit of choice again for medical device and drug companies in 2007.

Burton Snowboards Moves Shoemaker to Irvine

Shoemaker Gravis Footwear is hiring and revamping after recently moving its headquarters from Vermont to Orange County

Friday, January 5

GM CEO Sees More Job Cuts in 2007

General Motors Corp. will cut more jobs in 2007 as it closes plants and tries to wrench more concessions from its major union in contract negotiations, Chief Executive Rick Wagoner said on Thursday.

Job Growth, Hourly Earnings Up in December

The U.S. economy added a surprisingly strong 167,000 jobs in December, according to a government report on Friday showing a jump in pay that may fan concerns by policy-makers who fear a strong job market could ignite inflation.

First American Options Bill: $35.7 Million

Santa Ana-based title insurer First American Corp. has come up with a bill for mispriced and improperly accounted stock option grants during the past 10 years: $35.7 million.

Northwest Air: Close to Mesaba Takeover

Bankrupt Northwest Airlines has reached a deal to buy regional carrier Mesaba Airlines, which also is in bankruptcy, Northwest said on Friday.

Irvine Co.: Barker Stepping Back, Gilchrist Moves Up; New Office President

The Irvine Company on Friday announced big changes to its investment properties group, which oversees the Newport Beach-based company's office, retail, apartment and resort operations.

Thursday, January 4

Advanced Medical Down on Lens Delay, Rival Alcon Rises

Advanced Medical Optics Inc. saw its shares hit a new low Thursday, a day after the Santa Ana-based contact lens and eye device maker said the launch of a new lens could be delayed because of regulatory concerns.

Pending Home Sales Index Slips in November

Pending sales of existing U.S. homes fell 0.5% in November but held above the low hit in July, suggesting the housing market is stabilizing, a real estate agents' trade association said on Thursday.

Cisco: Buying Security Software Maker for $830M

Top U.S. network equipment maker Cisco Systems Inc. said on Thursday it will buy Web messaging and e-mail security firm IronPort Systems Inc. for $830 million to tap growing demand for anti-virus and anti-spam software.

Gross: Fed Will Cut By a Percentage Point This Year

The Federal Reserve will lower interest rates by a percentage point to 4.25% by December to avoid recession, bond fund manager Bill Gross predicts.

Eli Lilly Settles Most Zyprexa Suits

Eli Lilly and Co. said on Thursday it has agreed to settle the majority of cases brought against the company by patients claiming its antipsychotic drug Zyprexa caused them to develop diabetes.

Broadcom Reprices Options for Executives

Irvine-based chipmaker Broadcom Corp. has raised the strike prices for options granted to three executives from 1998 to 2003, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing Thursday.

Mindspeed Lowers Revenue View on Quake Delays

Newport Beach-based Mindspeed Technologies Inc. lowered its sales outlook for the recently ended quarter because of delays in shipping chips from the Philippines.

PacSun Dec. Sales Slip, Tepid Growth for Wet Seal

Retailer Pacific Sunwear of California Inc. saw another drop in same-store sales last month, while Wet Seal Inc. saw a slight gain at the low end of its forecast.

Wednesday, January 3

GM, Ford December U.S. Sales Down, Toyota Gains

The U.S. sales of General Motors Corp. and Ford Motor Co. fell in December, hurt by declines in demand for trucks, while Japanese rival Toyota Motor Corp. continued to gain ground.

EarthLink CEO Garry Betty Passes Away

EarthLink Inc. said its President and Chief Executive Officer Garry Betty passed away on Tuesday due to complications from cancer.

FDA OKs Spectrum Drug Trial

Irvine-based Spectrum Pharmaceuticals Inc. said Wednesday the Food and Drug Administration approved a mid-stage clinical trial for ozarelix, its drug candidate to treat enlarged prostate.

Home Loans: Demand Up Despite Higher Rates

U.S. mortgage applications rose last week, led by increased demand for home purchase loans even as interest rates climbed for a fourth consecutive week, an industry trade group said on Wednesday.

Home Depot CEO Nardelli Leaves With $210M Package

Home Depot Inc.'s Chairman and Chief Executive Robert Nardelli has left the retailer in a mutual decision with the board of directors, the company said on Wednesday, sending its shares up more than 3% in premarket trading.

RR Donnelley & Sons to Buy Van Hoffmann

Printing company RR Donnelley & Sons Co. is buying Von Hoffmann, an education and trade book printer, from Visant Corp. in an all-cash deal valued at $412.5 million, officials announced Wednesday.

Pacific Sunwear: Upgrade Based on Quick Switch to Spring Clothes

Shares of struggling retailer Pacific Sunwear of California Inc. closed up 6% Wednesday after an analyst upgraded the stock based on the company's quick shift from winter to spring clothes.

Cap Maker New Era Moves Unit to Surf, Skate Hub

A maker of baseball and other caps is moving a division here to be part of the county's surf and skate hub.

Tuesday, January 2

Nucor: $1 Billion for Harris Steel

Harris Steel Group Inc. said on Tuesday it agreed to a $1.08 billion takeover bid by U.S. steelmaker Nucor.

Businessperson of the Year: Donald Bren

Just about any year, a case could be made for Donald Bren as the Business Journal's businessperson of the year. In 2006, it was no contest. The Irvine Company chairman talks about the past year and other issues.

Lennar: Sells Stake in Venture, Slashes Outlook

U.S. home builder Lennar Corp. and LNR Property Corp., a holding of Cerberus Capital Management, said on Monday they are selling a 62% stake in their LandSource joint venture to MW Housing Partners for cash distributions totaling more than $1.3 billion.

Hyundai Eyes 2007 Revenue Growth

Top South Korean auto maker Hyundai Motor Co. said on Tuesday it expected global revenue growth to more than double in 2007, boosted by higher sales abroad and increase in sales of high-end models.

Monday, January 1

Cap Maker Moves Unit Closer to Surf, Skate Hub

A maker of baseball and other caps is moving a division here to be part of the county's surf and skate hub

VIEWPOINT

Thoughts on the recent trade summit between U.S. and China negotiators, in Viewpoint by Peter Navarro, business professor at the University of California, Irvine, and author of "The Coming China Wars."

Real Estate Watch: Manufacturing and Warehouse

Manufacturing and warehouse rents surge in the third quarter.

After E. Coli

After a rough 2006, Taco Bell has big plans for the new year

Runner-Up: David Pyott

OC businessperson of the year: runner-up David Pyott of Allergan

Office Buys, Tower Building Cap Dramatic 2006 for OC's Dominant Real Estate Player

OC businessperson of the year: Donald Bren of The Irvine Company

Crevier Alums Buy Own Dealership, Plan Bit of Luxury

Chris Collins and Rob McGee, who left Crevier BMW in Santa Ana last year to go out on their own, recently bought their first dealership, in the Marketplace column

Broadcom Closes Another Chapter With Ruehle's Exit

For all the changes that have played out at Broadcom in the past few years, the chipmaker seems to have hit another turning point, in the Technology column

WaterHealth Lands $4 Million Funding

WaterHealth International, a maker of water purification systems for developing countries, raised $4 million in a third round of venture funding

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

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

IBM Exec Returns To Run Innovation Talks

IBM recently kicked off the first in a series of executive roundtable meetings in OC

Allergan's Pyott Talks Cosmetic Surgery With Cramer

Allergan's Pyott talks cosmetic surgery with Jim Cramer, in the Healthcare column

THEY SAY

A discussion of an immigrant experience in Southern California, in TheySay

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.

CALENDAR

A listing of events happening all around Orange County

CorVel, SimpleTech 2006 Stock Winners

Orange County's best performing stock in 2006 was a company that helps manage workers' compensation claims

Cornerstone Picks Up Westminster Industrial Building

Cornerstone Core Properties, a new real estate investment fund targeting industrial parks, is starting to spend some cash, in the Real Estate column

MARKET WATCH

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

The Plan: Bren Says Company Will Exist in 'Perpetuity'

The Plan: Bren Says Company Will Exist in 'Perpetuity'

TVs, Gadgets Driving Universal Electronics

TVs and gadgets are driving remote control maker Universal Electronics

RiechesBaird: Branding for Technology, Law Clients

Irvine's RiechesBaird continues to bring in work, in the Media & Marketing column

2006 Woes Set To Dog Cooper Into New Year

Lake Forest-based Cooper Cos. starts the year hoping to put a difficult 2006 behind it

Honorable Mention: Thomas Sutton

OC businessperson of the year: honorable mention Thomas Sutton of Pacific Life Insurance

PEOPLE

Hirings, promotions and other moves at local businesses