Stories for September 2007

Friday, September 28

Qualcomm Hires Apple Lawyer

Irvine chipmaker Broadcom Corp. has a new legal adversary at rival Qualcomm Inc.

3Com to be Sold for $2.2B

3Com Corp., a maker of networking hardware and software, will be sold to affiliates of private equity firm Bain Capital Partners LLC for $2.2 billion in cash, 3Com said Friday.

Remaining New Century Founders Leave Board

The two remaining founders at New Century Financial Corp. of Irvine have resigned from the bankrupt mortgage lender's board.

Irvine Co. Buying La Jolla Offices

Newport Beach's The Irvine Company has bought Regents Square, a three-building office complex in La Jolla.

Greenspan Speculates on Recession Odds

The probability of a recession in the United States has increased but is still less than 50/50, former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said in comments broadcast on Friday.

Thursday, September 27

GDP Growth Revised Down, Job Market Strong

The U.S. economy grew at a slightly slower but brisk 3.8% annual rate in the second quarter, and fresh signs of a surprisingly buoyant job market emerged last week, government reports on Thursday showed.

KB Home Sales Plunge as Housing Market Worsens

KB Home on Thursday posted a loss on write-downs for land values, and revenue fell 32%, reflecting the swelling supply of homes and tighter standards in the mortgage market that kept potential buyers on the sidelines.

Big Wiring Contractor Relocating to Fullerton

One of the country's top electrical contractors is moving its headquarters to Orange County.

New-Home Sales Tumble to Seven-Year Low

New-homes sales tumbled in August to the lowest level in seven years, a stark sign that the credit crunch is aggravating an already painful housing slump.

Beckman Lands $10M Medical Lab Contract

Fullerton-based Beckman Coulter Inc., a maker of medical testing gear and supplies, has signed a $10 million contract with a Midwestern laboratory operator.

Activist Hedge Fund Sells Remaining New Century Stake

David Einhorn, head of New York-based activist hedge fund operator Greenlight Capital Inc., has sold his remaining stake in bankrupt subprime mortgage lender New Century Financial Corp.

Wednesday, September 26

Ista Pays $2M for Allergy Drug

Ista Pharmaceuticals Inc., an Irvine eye drug maker, said Wednesday that it paid $2 million for U.S. rights to an allergy drug.

GM, UAW Settle Strike

The United Auto Workers union and General Motors Corp. reached a tentative contract on Wednesday, ending a national strike by 73,000 workers with a groundbreaking deal that includes a health-care trust fund.

B of A to Cut 4,000 Jobs Post-LaSalle Buy

Bank of America Corp. said it will lay off about 2,500 workers in Illinois and 1,500 in Michigan over the next two years in connection with its $21 billion purchase of LaSalle Bank Corp.

Resources Connection Plunges on Results

Shares of Irvine-based accounting consultant company Resources Connection Inc. fell 23% on Wednesday, a day after reporting quarterly profits and sales that were short of Wall Street expectations.

Networking Gear Maker Lantronix: CEO Leaving, Search On

Irvine-based Lantronix Inc., a maker of networking gear, said Wednesday its chief executive is set to resign.

Durable Goods Orders Plummet

Demand for big-ticket manufactured goods plunged in August by the largest amount in seven months, with widespread weakness signaling a slowdown in the nation's industrial sector.

Tuesday, September 25

Virgin Mobile Plans IPO of up to $467.5M

Virgin Mobile USA Inc, a venture of Sprint Nextel Corp. and Virgin Group, filed on Tuesday for an initial public offering of up to $467.5 million to raise money to repay debt and for general purposes.

Home Sales, Consumer Confidence Fall

Consumer confidence fell more sharply than expected in September while the pace of existing home sales swooned in August.

Fast-Growing Private Companies Honored

Apparel companies, technology consultants and an avocado distributor were among the companies honored at the Business Journal's first fast-growing private companies luncheon in Irvine.

Qualcomm Raises Earnings Outlook

Qualcomm Inc. said on Tuesday it would beat its target for fiscal fourth quarter earnings and would meet or beat the high end of its target revenue range.

Lennar Takes Big Loss on Declining Land, Home Values

Lennar Corp., the Florida-based homebuilder with its operational headquarters in Aliso Viejo, reported a big quarterly loss Tuesday as it accounted for land and homes that aren't as valuable as they used to be.

Auto Financier Changes Expansion Strategy

A change of strategy is at hand for Irvine-based auto financier United PanAm Financial Corp.

Monday, September 24

Dell to Sell PCs Through China Retailer

Dell Inc. announced a deal Monday to launch a retail presence in China by selling computers through the country's biggest chain of electronics stores as it struggles to capture a bigger share of the booming market.

OCBJ SUPPLEMENTS and GUIDES

WEALTH MANAGEMENT and ESTATE PLANNING

Beckman Downgraded After Big Run-up

Fullerton-based Beckman Coulter Inc.'s 12% stock run-up since July is good enough, according to an analyst that downgraded the maker of medical testing gear on Monday.

Quest Relieves Wall Street With Sales Growth, Big Cash Pile

Quest Software might be seeing some light after its dark options scandal

Inside Auto Club

A look at the corporate culture of Costa Mesa's Automobile Club of Southern California

Commercial Bank Plans Brea Office: Acquisition on Horizon

Commercial Bank of California is looking to tap the county's manufacturing base with an office in Brea

Birtcher Anderson, GE Buy Office, Retail Site

Birtcher Anderson has teamed up with GE's real estate unit for a local buy

Architects Strive to Learn Green Building

Architects Strive to Learn Green Building. Slowdown in Housing Gives Firms Time to Get Ahead of Client Demand.

Big Wiring Contractor Relocating to Fullerton

One of the country's top electrical contractors is moving its headquarters to OC

Standard Pacific Cuts Dividend, Plans $100M Offering

Irvine-based homebuilder Standard Pacific Corp. said Monday its board cut its quarterly cash dividend amid the housing slump.

Food, Wine, Music for a Cause at Rick's Partners Bistro

Habitat for Humanity is hosting its charitable event at one of Laguna's legendary restaurants, in the Executive Dining column

CALENDAR

A listing of events happening all around Orange County

US: Mortgage Default Rate Stabilizing

The default rate on U.S. mortgages is stabilizing, an American housing official said Monday, adding she didn't expect last week's cut in U.S. interest rates to significantly affect the number of defaults.

VIEWPOINT

Is The Sky Falling? Commentary by Wallace Walrod, vice president of research at the Orange County Business Council in Irvine.

REAL ESTATE DEALS

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

Disney Plans to Expand Grand Californian Hotel

Disney Plans to Expand Grand Californian Hotel

Sybron Focuses on Operations

Sybron's seeing a more operations focus after being acquired by Danaher

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

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

MARKET WATCH

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

Agency Deems Indoor Heat Regulations Unnecessary

A state agency has opted not,yes, not,to impose indoor heat illness requirements on businesses.

Triple Net Unit Buys Medical Building in Long Beach

Triple Net's healthcare real estate unit has bought a medical office building in Long Beach, in the Healthcare column

Red Lion To Buy Radisson Maingate

The 314-room Radisson Maingate in Anaheim is set to be acquired by Red Lion Hotels Corp. for undisclosed terms.

Anaheim Condos Press On, Irvine Plans Slow

A pair of developers has pulled back from condo plans in Irvine

Lennar Going Slow, But Not Retreating; Chemerinsky, Cont'd

Lennar Going Slow, But Not Retreating; Chemerinsky, Cont'd

Real Estate Watch: West Orange County

Strong sales continue to spur absorption of industrial space in West County. PLUS: CHART - Net Absorption; Vacancy Rates; Average Asking Lease Rates

Falling Bridges Catch Engineers' Attention

Falling Bridges Catch Engineers' Attention. Local Firms Expect More Business From Infrastructure Bonds, Inspections

Family Stone Seller Eyes Growth Through Housing Slump

Manu Shah is a tiny man behind a big stone company

KUDOS

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

Fashion Island Lands County's First Pinkberry Store

Fashion Island's getting OC's first Pinkberry, in the Marketplace column

Advanced Medical Selling Solution Again

Advanced Medical Optics is back selling its Complete contact lens solution

PEOPLE

Hirings, promotions and other moves at local businesses

GM Says UAW Calls National Strike

The United Auto Workers has launched a national strike against General Motors Corp., GM spokesman Dan Flores said Monday. It's the first nationwide strike during auto contract negotiations since 1976.

Integralis Counting on OC to Outsource Tech Security

A German network security services company is looking to tap the county's slew of businesses, in the Technology column

Skyline Towers Pushes Ahead Despite Slow Condo Pre-Sales

Nexus is well under way with construction of its $350 million condominium project,sales are another story

ASR: Brands Turn Heads With Green, Revamped Garb

The county's brands pushed everything from "green" clothing to revamped sunglasses and other garb at ASR, in the Media & Marketing column

Coldwell Banker Runs 'Apprentice'-Style Competition

Orange County's getting its own version of "The Apprentice," in the Real Estate column

Friday, September 21

Unemployment Inches Up, Jobs Down

Orange County's unemployment rate continued to inch up in August to 4.2%, up from 4.1% in July and 3.9% in June.

Airport Ruling Delays Makar Tower

Newport Beach-based Makar Properties LLC's plans for turning the Wyndham Orange County in Costa Mesa into a boutique hotel and condominium tower were delayed for a few months by an airport commission ruling on Thursday night.

Activist Fund Cuts Standard Pacific Stake

A unit of San Francisco-based activist hedge fund ValueAct Capital LP has reduced its stake in Irvine homebuilder Standard Pacific Corp.

Acer Sees PC Consolidation Speeding Up

The personal computer industry is in for a wave of consolidation, the president of Acer said on Friday, adding the Taiwanese PC maker did not plan any buys itself for up to two years.

Bausch & Lomb Holders Approve Buyout

Shareholders of Bausch & Lomb Inc. approved a proposed $3.67 billion takeover by private equity firm Warburg Pincus on Friday, the eye care company said.

Greenspan: House Prices to Drop Much Lower

A big overhang of property will bring U.S. house prices down further, but it is too early to say if the economy will plunge into recession, former Federal Reserve chief Alan Greenspan was quoted as saying on Friday.

Thursday, September 20

Bear Stearns Profit Tumbles 61%

Bear Stearns Cos. said on Thursday quarterly profit plunged 61% to its lowest level in five years on bad bets on subprime mortgages and disrupted fixed-income trading.

Newport CEO Retiring, COO Taking Post

Irvine's Newport Corp., a maker of lasers, light filters and other gear used by researchers, on Thursday said Chief Executive Robert Deuster is set to retire.

Unemployment Claims Make Surprise Drop

The number of laid-off workers filing claims for unemployment benefits fell to the lowest level in seven weeks, an unexpected sign of improvement for the jobs market.

Report: Apple CEO Subpoenaed in Backdating Case

Apple Inc. Chief Executive Steve Jobs was asked by U.S. securities regulators to give a deposition in a lawsuit against the company's former general counsel involving stock options backdating, Bloomberg reported, citing two people familiar with the matter

Bren Up Big on Forbes 400

Donald Bren of The Irvine Company leads Orange County's contingent on this year's Forbes 400 listing of the richest Americans at an estimated $13 billion.

BioLucent Buy Complete; New Company Formed

Hologic Inc., a Bedford, Mass.-based medical device maker, said Thursday it completed its $70 million buy of Aliso Viejo's BioLucent Inc.

Wednesday, September 19

Masimo Sees Lower Profits, Ups Yearly Outlook

Irvine-based medical device maker Masimo Corp. on Wednesday reported lower second-quarter profits but offered a full-year outlook that surpassed Wall Street expectations.

CPI Dips in August, Home Starts Hit 12-Year Low

Consumer prices unexpectedly dipped 0.1% last month and new home construction hit a 12-year low, data on Wednesday showed, underlining concerns about the country's economic outlook.

Oil Will Hit $100 But Probably Not in 2007: Pickens

Oil will continue to trend higher after hitting fresh highs over $82 a barrel but is unlikely to puncture the $100 level this year, Seal Beach-based Clean Energy Fuels Inc. chairman T. Boone Pickens said on Wednesday.

Blizzard Opening Ireland Service Center

Irvine's Blizzard Entertainment Inc., Orange County's top video game maker, said it's set to open a new European base in Ireland.

Qualcomm CEO: Company to Shift Legal Tactics

San Diego's Qualcomm Inc. plans to shift its legal tactics after a string of losses to rival Broadcom Corp. of Irvine, Qualcomm Chief Executive Paul Jacobs said Wednesday.

Allergan Paying $370M for Bladder Drug Maker Esprit

Irvine-based Allergan Inc. is paying $370 million for New Jersey's Esprit Pharma Inc., maker of a drug to treat overactive bladders.

Morgan Stanley Profit Hit by Credit Crunch

Morgan Stanley on Wednesday said third-quarter profit fell as the summertime freeze in mortgage and corporate loan markets forced the bank to mark loans down by $940 million.

Rate Cut May Provide Only Passing Relief

Like the tides, the wave of good feelings that swept over Wall Street and Main Street with the Federal Reserve's big rate cut could ebb just as quickly.

Tuesday, September 18

Federal Reserve Cuts Federal Funds Rate

The Federal Reserve cut a key interest rate for the first time in four years, seeking with an aggressive half-point move to prevent a steep housing slump and turbulent financial markets from triggering a recession.

Disney Expanding Grand Californian Hotel

Walt Disney Co. plans to expand its Grand Californian Hotel & Spa in Anaheim, adding a wing with more than 200 rooms and 50 timeshare condominiums, the company said Tuesday.

Accredited Home Survival in Doubt

Accredited Home Lenders Holding Co., a struggling subprime mortgage lender, on Tuesday posted a $260.2 million quarterly loss and said it remained unsure it would survive the fallout from a slumping U.S. housing market.

U.S. Home Foreclosures Soar in August

The number of foreclosure filings reported in the U.S. last month more than doubled versus August 2006 and jumped 36% from July, a trend that signals many homeowners are increasingly unable to make timely payments on their mortgages or sell their homes am

Report: Allergan Could Benefit From New Botox Uses

Shares of Irvine drug maker Allergan Inc. could gain as it finds new uses for its flagship Botox drug, an analyst said Tuesday.

Impac Exiting Most Mortgage Lending

Irvine-based Impac Mortgage Holdings Inc. said on Tuesday it was shutting down most of its mortgage lending operations, including for riskier Alt-A mortgages.

Monday, September 17

MARKET WATCH

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

Could Lawyers Solve UCI Law School Flap? Shady Canyon Haircut

Could Lawyers Solve UCI Law School Flap? Shady Canyon Haircut

CALENDAR

A listing of events happening all around Orange County

Smith Micro Broadens Through Acquisitions

Smith Micro's been on a tear working on diversification of its customer base

OC Device Makers Pitch Surgical Products in Europe

Advanced Medical Optics and Edwards Lifesciences have stepped up their activity in Europe, in the Healthcare column

OCBJ SUPPLEMENTS and GUIDES

HUMAN RESOURCES GUIDE

Bixby Buys Two Offices for $116 Million

Bixby's recent acquisitions are the latest in a string of buys

Quest: $143M Options Charge, Finds Other Accounting Mistakes

Aliso Viejo-based Quest Software Inc. has come up with an official bill of $143 million in its long-running probe into misdated stock options.

High-End Yacht Sales Are Up at Newport Beach Expo

Southern California is the second biggest boat market,OC is making up a nice chunk of that, in the Marketplace column

Downey Chairman McAlister: Still 'Addicted to Real Estate'

The cofounder of Downey Financial is a little impulsive

PEOPLE

Hirings, promotions and other moves at local businesses

T-Mobile Parent to buy SunCom Wireless for $1.6B

Deutsche Telekom mobile phone division T-Mobile USA has agreed to buy SunCom Wireless Holdings Inc. for about $1.6 billion, the companies said on Monday.

PR Talent Adds 1,000th Freelancer, National Offices

A not-so-typical public relations firm in Huntington Beach is branching out, in the Media & Marketing column

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

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

Orange Coast Hospital Adding Outpatient Building

Orange Coast Memorial Medical Center is the latest to jump into the building boom, but not because of seismic safety

REAL ESTATE DEALS

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

Medical Testing Company Expanding, Targets Niche

Biomerica is putting health to the test, in the Small Business column

Microsoft Suffers Decisive EU Antitrust Defeat

Microsoft Corp. suffered a decisive antitrust defeat on Monday when a European Union court upheld a landmark ruling that the world's largest software maker had abused its dominant market position to crush rivals.

Kingston Weighs Options as China Plant Hits Capacity

Fountain Valley-based memory products maker Kingston Technologies has reached a turning point at its largest site in Asia, in the Technology column

Commentary: UCI Media Firestorm Off Base

Despite what you've read, the law school dean issue at the University of California, Irvine, wasn't about academic freedom. It was about finding the right dean to head a law school.

ASR Booms on Retail's Uptick

The buzz at the Action Sports Retailer trade show wasn't just about beer and bikinis

Which Way for Acer, Gateway?

Some are wondering whether Gateway's struggling brand name will have staying power under Acer

Real Estate Watch: North/Central County

The robust rent increases on industrial the county's seen may temper a bit in coming months. PLUS: CHART - Net Absorption; Vacancy Rates; Average Asking Lease Rates

Britons Withdraw Billions in Bank Run

Shares in one of Britain's largest lenders tumbled another 30% Monday as customers, driven by fears of insolvency, made run on the bank and withdrew billions.

Chemerinsky Back as UCI Law School Dean

The University of California, Irvine, has rehired Erwin Chemerinsky to be the dean of its law school, the university said Monday.

Evangelical Christian Credit Union Living on a Prayer

Evangelical Christian Credit Union is tapping a misunderstood market

Koll Co. Dumps Kyocera as Tenant to Redevelop Office

Koll has some big redevelopment plans for a site that housed the headquarters of Kyocera Tycom, in the Real Estate column

Z'Tejas Heats Things Up With Charity Menu, Bachelors

Z'Tejas is hosting a charity event featuring fire fighters and a Chile Fest menu, in the Executive Dining column

Telecoms Post Decline in Workers; Dragged Down by Verizon Losses

Local telecommunications companies posted a decline in workers, thanks to Verizon's job cuts

Pierre's Passion

Watch out Al Gore,Sole Technology's chief executive vying to be poster child of green practices

Standard Pacific Home Orders Jump from Depressed Levels

Irvine-based homebuilder Standard Pacific Corp. said Monday that new home orders in July and August were up 20% from a year earlier.

GIVING

Fundraisers and charitable donations from companies and people

Friday, September 14

August Retail Sales Disappoint

Retail sales edged up in August but they posted the biggest decline in almost a year when car sales were stripped out as consumer spending softened, a government report on Friday showed.

Merrill Warns of Securities Value Adjustments

Merrill Lynch & Co. warned on Friday that shaky credit markets forced the world's largest brokerage to adjust the value of securities linked to risky subprime mortgages and other products, in a move that could hurt third-quarter profit.

Bixby Buys Two Offices for $116M

Irvine-based real estate investor Bixby Land Co. paid $116 million for two office properties in Vista and Santa Clara.

ASR Booms on Retail Sector's Uptick

There was a buzz at the recent Action Sports Retailer Trade Expo held in San Diego. But this time the whispering in the aisles wasn't fueled by the beer and bikini-clad babes.

Consumer Confidence Tumbles in Sept.

Consumer confidence tumbled to its lowest point in nearly 1 1/2 years as a deep housing slump and a credit crunch made people more worried about the country's economic health as well as their own.

Thursday, September 13

HireRight Reports First Results Since Going Public

Irvine's HireRight Inc., which screens job applicants for employers, reported higher second-quarter sales and operating profit on Thursday, its first quarterly results since going public in August.

Qualcomm Gets Nod in Patent Case With Broadcom

Shares of Irvine-based Broadcom Corp. weren't phased on Thursday after a federal judge ruled to halt a ban imposed by a government trade group on rival Qualcomm Inc.'s chips in cell phones.

Countrywide Lines Up $12B Financing

Countrywide Financial Corp., the largest U.S. mortgage lender, said on Thursday that it had lined up $12 billion of secured financing to help cope with a housing slowdown that has reduced loan demand and will lead to widespread layoffs.

Report: Quiksilver Studying Offers for Rossignol

Huntington Beach-based Quiksilver Inc. has three offers for its struggling Rossignol division, according to French newspaper La Tribune.

ECB, Paulson See Growth Threat

A global credit crisis has increased the threat to growth, the European Central Bank said on Thursday, as G7 governments asked for a report on the genesis of the turmoil for next month's meeting of finance chiefs.

Clean Energy Starts Natural Gas Plant

Clean Energy Fuels Inc., the Seal Beach company backed by legendary oilman T. Boone Pickens, has started building a liquefied natural gas plant in the Mojave Desert, the company said Thursday.

McDonald's Raises Annual Dividend by 50%

McDonald's Corp. on Wednesday raised its annual dividend by 50% as part of a plan to return up to $17 billion to shareholders through 2009, sending its shares up more than 2%.

Wednesday, September 12

Heart Valve Maker Edwards Gives $5M for UCI Center

Edwards Lifesciences Corp., the Irvine-based heart valve maker, has given $5 million to the University of California, Irvine's Henry Samueli School of Engineering to start a research and development center for heart devices.

Shareholder Suits Filed Against Gateway Sale

Shareholders have filed two lawsuits over Irvine-based Gateway Inc.'s pending sale to Acer Inc. of Taiwan.

UCI Law School Dean Hired, Fired

The University of California, Irvine, rescinded an offer to Duke University's Erwin Chemerinsky to become its law school's inaugural dean because of his political views, according to published reports.

Home Sales Drop Again, Prices Up Slightly

Orange County's housing market continued its divergent trend of the past few months as sales fell again in August but the median price for a home inched higher.

California Economy Weak, But No Recession

Mortgage defaults and a "sustained lull" in home building will weigh on California's economy for at least another year but will not tip the state into a recession, according to a forecast released on Wednesday.

TI Raises 3Q Profit Outlook

Texas Instruments Inc., the world's largest maker of chips used in cellular phones, expects third-quarter earnings to come in on the higher end of a range it had previously forecast.

Option One Cutting More Jobs

Option One Mortgage Corp. of Irvine is cutting 575 jobs as part of the troubled subprime mortgage lender's ongoing restructuring, according to parent company H & R; Block Inc.

Paulson: Market Turbulence May Linger

Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said Wednesday that the turbulence that has hit financial markets will take some time to be resolved, especially in the area of subprime mortgages.

Tuesday, September 11

Health Insurance Premiums Rise 6.1%

Health insurance premiums paid by workers and their employers rose an average of 6.1% this year, outpacing inflation and pay increases and taking a bigger chunk out of families' budgets, according to a new survey.

Comarco Hires Advisor, Seeks to Up Value for Investors

Shares of Lake Forest-based Comarco Inc. rose Tuesday after the company said it hired a financial adviser to "improve shareholder value."

Bernanke Urges Trade Imbalance Fix

The United States and other countries must work together to right a skewed pattern of trade and investment around the globe, a move that would help worldwide economic stability, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke suggested Tuesday.

Realtors Predict Drop in 2007 Home Sales

The National Association of Realtors on Tuesday lowered its forecast 2007 existing home sales for the eighth straight month, predicting a drop of 8.6% from last year.

El-Erian Returning to Pimco Alongside Gross, Thompson

Money manager Mohamed El-Erian is returning to Newport Beach-based Pacific Investment Management Co., this time as co-chief executive.

Monday, September 10

ZMI Sells $160M in Office, Industrial Space

ZMI Real Estate is selling nearly $160 million in holdings, including a few OC buildings

Pro-Dex Expands Operations with Bigger Lease in Irvine

A maker of tiny motors for dental and medical tools has struck a lease for a bigger facility in Irvine

Buyout Consultant Expands Into SoCal Through Local Acquisition

Headwaters MB LLC is buying its way into OC

VIEWPOINT

Blame the Federal Reserve, not the lenders, for the financial panic, a Viewpoint by Katy DeLay, a freelance writer who lives in Marina del Rey

Cooper Cos. Largely Pulling Out of OC

Cooper is ending its run as an Orange County-based company

Role of Women in Grocery Evolves Along With Business

Sue Klug of Albertsons is helping to change the male-dominated industry, in the Marketplace column

THEY SAY

The real cheers will come if retired William Lerach is indicted, in They Say

Digital Media Center Caters to Fledgling Media Cos.

Santa Ana's Digital Media Center is part classroom, part incubator

Bristol Medical Group Buys in Tustin for HQ

Bristol Park Medical is moving its headquarters after buying a building in Tustin

Western Digital Ups Outlook, Accounts for Komag

Lake Forest's Western Digital Corp., a maker of disk drives, on Monday upped its outlook for the September quarter.

Acer Now Likely No. 3 With Gateway Buy

Acer is poised to pass big rival Lenovo once it wraps up its $710 million buy of Gateway, in the Technology column

Sole Technology Makes Marketing Push for Etnies Girl

Sole Technology pushing its etnies girl brand, in the Media & Marketing column

MetroCenter Lands New Leases, Loses Anchor Tenant

Costa Mesa's MetroCenter at South Coast office complex has been landing some good-sized leases as of late, though it looks like its in the market for a new anchor tenant, in the Real Estate column

Wachovia CEO Says Grabbing New Mortgage Business

Wachovia Corp. is grabbing more mortgage business as a result of the recent shakeout in the industry, Chief Executive G. Kennedy Thompson said Monday.

Medical Offices in Irvine Spectrum Nearing Completion

The county's tight medical office market is getting some breathing room with Irvine Heritage Medical Plaza, in the Healthcare column

PEOPLE

Hirings, promotions and other moves at local businesses

ANNIVERSARY U

Cal State Fullerton is turning 50 with a bang

TTM Works on Turnaround, Wall Street Awaiting Results

TTM's working to get back in Wall Street's good graces

REAL ESTATE DEALS

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

Older Medical Office Buildings Draw Buyers' Interest

Placentia Medical LLC spent $4 million to buy the Linda Vista Professional Center in Placentia

Broadcom Ally Nokia Faces Off With Qualcomm Over Dispute

A hearing with ties to Broadcom Corp.'s battle against Qualcomm Inc. gets under way Monday in Washington, D.C.

Corporate Goodwill

Company Foundations Bankroll Charities; Being 'Good Corporate Citizens'

Office Gambit

Construction has begun on what will be one of the largest office complexes in the Inland Empire

Video Service Company SyncCast Bought by Thomson

Video Service Company SyncCast Bought by Thomson

Shea, Cushman Gear Up As Legacy Park Gets Under Way

Shea Properties is gearing up for a busy next few years

School District Selling Four Sites for $88 Million

The Fountain Valley School District is wrapping up $88 million in land sales

Doti Runs Dollar Marathons, Too; Mortgage Rebound?

Doti Runs Dollar Marathons, Too; Mortgage Rebound?

Red Claw Serves Up Unpretentious Cajun-Style Shellfish

The Red Claw in Fountain Valley offers savory meals quite reminiscent of Louisiana in the Executive Dining column

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

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

Billionaire Lewis Buys Bear Stearns Stake

Reclusive billionaire Joseph C. Lewis, who made his fortune trading currencies, has taken a 7% stake in Bear Stearns Cos., snapping up the investment bank's sagging stock to become one of its largest shareholders in less than a month.

Intel Boosts 3Q Revenue Forecast

Intel Corp. on Monday raised its third-quarter revenue forecast and said global demand for computing products was stronger than expected, sending its shares up 2.8%.

Japan's HKS Readies Push for Part to Make Cars Go Vroom

HKS is powering up Nissans and Infinitis with its supercharger

AROUND THE COUNTY

Projects, developments and other activity in cities across OC

Orange County Retail Market

OC's retail vacancy is slightly up, but rents have increased. PLUS: CHART - Net Absorption; Vacancy Rates; Average Asking Lease Rates

Pacific Sunwear Sales Surge; Wet Seal Up

Pacific Sunwear Sales Surge; Wet Seal Up

Friday, September 7

Payrolls Drop for First Time in Four Years

Employers sliced payrolls by 4,000 jobs in August, the first such decline in four years and a stark sign that a painful credit crunch that has unnerved Wall Street is putting a strain on the national economy.

Ford Offers $78M for Romanian Carmaker

Ford Motor Co. has offered to pay $78 million for the Romanian government's majority stake in troubled carmaker Automobile Craiova SA, officials said on Friday.

Analyst: Quiksilver Faces Challenge Meeting Forecast

Huntington Beach-based Quiksilver Inc.'s forecast for the 12 months through October could be tough for the apparel and sports gear maker to meet, an analyst said Friday.

ZMI Sells $160M in Office, Industrial Space

Three Orange County offices and an industrial park are trading hands this month, as part of nearly $160 million in Southern California sales by Newport Beach-based investor ZMI Real Estate Inc.

Credit Turmoil has Raised Risks to Economy: Fed

Recent credit market turmoil has increased downside risks for the economy, but the U.S. Federal Reserve would refrain from taking action to bail out investors who made bad decisions, top policy-makers said on Thursday.

Medical Testing Company Raises $9.6M

NeoMatrix Inc., an Irvine medical testing company, has raised $9.6 million in a third round of funding.

Thursday, September 6

Conexant Soars on Upgrade

Shares of Newport Beach chipmaker Conexant Systems Inc. jumped 17% on Thursday after an analyst upgraded the company, citing positive management changes.

Wet Seal Hires CEO

Foothill Ranch-based Wet Seal Inc. has hired back its former president as the retailer's new chief executive.

Mortgages Entering Foreclosures at Record High

The rate of home loans entering the foreclosure process rose to a record high in the second quarter of 2007, driven largely by failing subprime mortgages, an industry trade group said on Thursday.

Toyota N. American Exec Jumps to Chrysler

Chrysler pulled off a major coup Thursday, hiring away the highly-regarded Jim Press, Toyota's top North American executive, to run its sales and marketing operations.

Cooper Profit Off on Charges, Lowers Yearly Forecast

Cooper Cos., a contact lens and women's surgical company that is moving its corporate office from Lake Forest to Pleasanton, reported lower quarterly earnings Thursday and cut its profit outlook for the year.

Medtronic to Cut Jobs Amid Slowdown in Key Market

Medical device maker Medtronic Inc., feeling the pinch of a slowdown in one of its key markets, will eliminate about 900 jobs through early retirement packages, voluntary and involuntary separations, the company said in a filing.

Pacific Sunwear's August Sales Surge; Wet Seal Up

August sales at Anaheim-based mall store operator Pacific Sunwear of California Inc. surged a surprising 9.6% last month, while the county's other major retailer, Foothill Ranch-based Wet Seal Inc., was up 1.7% last month.

Wednesday, September 5

Conexant Hires CFO From Freescale

Newport Beach-based chipmaker Conexant Systems Inc. has hired a chief financial officer from Freescale Semiconductor Inc., a Motorola Inc. spinoff based in Austin, Texas.

Mindspeed Buys Assets of Struggling Startup

Newport Beach-based chipmaker Mindspeed Technologies Inc. said Wednesday it is buying startup Ample Communications Inc., which makes controllers that speed up communication between computers in a wide-area network.

MGIC, Radian to Terminate Merger

Mortgage insurer MGIC Investment Corp. and bond insurer Radian Group Inc. agreed to terminate their pending merger, the companies said on Wednesday, citing market conditions.

Pending Home Sales Plunge, Layoffs Surge

Pending sales of previously owned homes plunged 12.2% in July and planned layoffs by companies surged 85% in August due to turmoil in the subprime mortgage market, independent reports showed on Wednesday.

Gateway Selling Unit for $90M

Irvine computer maker Gateway Inc. is selling its struggling business selling computers and services to businesses for $90 million, ahead of its own $710 million sale to Taiwan's Acer Inc.

Boeing Delays First Flight for 787

Boeing Co.'s new 787 jetliner will not begin flight testing until mid-November or mid-December, months later than originally planned, because it's taking longer than anticipated to get the first plane ready, the head of the company's commercial airplanes

Tuesday, September 4

Investor Ups Stake in Pacific Sunwear

Anaheim-based Pacific Sunwear of California Inc. has seen investment manager Adage Capital Partners LP of Boston nearly double its stake in the mall retailer to 11.4%.

Construction Spending Fell 0.4% in July

Construction spending took a surprising fall of 0.4% in July, its largest drop since January 2007, as gains in commercial building failed to offset declines in home building, a government report showed on Tuesday.

Video Service Company SyncCast Bought by Thomson

Anaheim-based SyncCast Corp., which offers services for making video available online, has been bought by a unit of France's Thomson SA, a maker of consumer electronics and broadcasting gear.

Companies, Banks Begin To Shed Subprime Caution

Companies showed signs of shrugging off the caution that has enveloped the world economy since a credit crisis broke, as investors looked on Tuesday to U.S. data to gauge the likelihood of a Federal Reserve rate cut.

Quiksilver Headed to Court Over Roxy Clothing Name

Huntington Beach surfwear maker Quiksilver Inc. is headed to court against a Los Angeles company in a dispute over its Roxy brand of clothes.

First American Cuts 1,300 Workers

Santa Ana-based First American Corp. said on Tuesday it plans to cut 1,300 jobs during the third quarter, primarily in its core title insurance business, as a result of the slumping housing market.

Manufacturing Growth Slows

Manufacturing expansion slowed in August from the previous month as a decline in new orders had factory managers opting for caution, according to the Institute for Supply Management on Tuesday.

Monday, September 3

Likely Successor Ends Up Becoming Cooper Cos.' CEO

As analysts predicted, Cooper Cos.' chief operating officer is taking over for its departing chief executive, in the Healthcare column

Is 'City Mag' On Way? From Watergate to Congo

Is 'City Mag' On Way? From Watergate to Congo

Real Estate Watch: Airport Area/Central Coast

Airport, Central Coast: Tight Vacancy Pushing Rents Upward. PLUS: CHART - Net Absorption; Vacancy Rates; Average Asking Lease Rates

Mexican Retailer Famsa Starts to Convert La Canasta's Stores

La Canasta stores are going Famsa

Tub Maker Lasco Soaks in Tough Housing Market

Lasco Bathware has updated its Anaheim facility and products to compete in down market

Quiksilver Headed to Trial Over Roxy Clothing Name

Quiksilver is suing a Los Angeles company over the Roxy brand

EVENTS CALENDAR

A listing of events happening all around Orange County

Walgreen Plans to Open Store in Closed Tower Records

Walgreen Co. plans to open a store in a closed Tower Records, in the Real Estate column

GIVING

Fundraisers and charitable donations from companies and people

Pacific Sunwear: Props for Changes, Dissed for Costs

Freedom Communications is targeting online advertisers, in the Media & Marketing column

On Fire

Venture Funding of Device, Drug Makers Set for Strong 2007, Easily Outpacing Last Year

Oracle Offshoot Pillar Data Opening Local Office

Larry Ellison's Pillar Data Systems is opening an Irvine office

Foundation 9 Buys UK-based Video Game Developer

Foundation 9 buys a British video game developer with site in India, in the Technology column

MARKET WATCH

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

Leading Tofu Maker Beefing Up Fullerton Factory Output

Leading tofu maker beefs up Fullerton facility

Irvine Co.: First Lease for Low-Rise Building

The Irvine Company lands a tenant for Jamboree Business Center

REAL ESTATE DEALS

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

Mozambique: Fine Steak, Smooth Wine, Unique Flavors

Mozambique serves up fine Southern African fare, in the Executive Dining column

Device Makers Post Worker Gains; Beckman Posts Decline

Device Makers Post Worker Gains; Beckman Posts Decline

PEOPLE

Hirings, promotions and other moves at local businesses

Better Than Average

A Look at County's Device, Drug Maker Amid Wall Street's Change of Course

Irvine's Gatekeeper: Backed by Brandes

R.J. Brandes' Gatekeeper protects shopping carts

Con-Way Freight Trucks Out of Buena Park

Con-way Freight Co. is closing its regional HQ in Buena Park

Drug Makers Post Modest Gain in Employees; Little Movement

Drug Makers Post Modest Gain in Employees; Little Movement

THEY SAY

Spending on roads, bridges and other necessities has paled that of stadiums and convention centers

Glitzy Belts Drive B.B. Simon; $13M in Yearly Revenue

Glitzy belts drive B.B. Simon's $13M in yearly revenue, in the Small Business column

Broadcom: Wall Street Focused on Turnaround

A chip turnaround weighs on Broadcom's stock more than the lingering options issue

Landlords Lower Expectations With Debut of Office Towers

Office developments aren't finding tenants

Lindora Expands Rite Aid Clinics for Basic Healthcare

Lindora is expanding its Rite Aid healthcare clinics, in the Marketplace column

Game Maker Foundation 9 Buys British Studio

Foundation 9 buys a British video game developer with site in India, in the Technology column

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Acer Buying Gateway and Other Top News of the week