Stories for April 2008

Wednesday, April 30

SEC Brings Civil Charges Against Ex-Monster Execs

Securities regulators filed civil charges against two former executives at employment listings website Monster Worldwide Inc. on Wednesday for allegedly engaging in fraudulent stock options backdating, according to court documents.

GM Posts Quarterly Loss on Strike, Charges

General Motors Corp. on Wednesday posted a first-quarter loss due to a costly supplier strike, waning demand for its most profitable vehicles and charges related to struggling former subsidiaries, although results beat Wall Street expectations.

Corinthian Meets Expectations, Cautious on Student Loan Crunch

Santa Ana-based vocational school operator Corinthian Colleges Inc. reported March quarter revenue and profit before charges that surpassed Wall Street's expectations.

Fed Lowers Rates, Hints Cuts May Be At End

The Federal Reserve lowered a key interest rate by a modest quarter percentage point on Wednesday and hinted the move could be the last in a series dating to mid-September.

Volcom Soars on Yearly Outlook

Shares of Costa Mesa-based clothing company Volcom Inc. opened up nearly 30% Thursday, a day after it reported big gains in first-quarter sales and profits and upped its outllook for the rest of the year.

Beckman Up on Results, Outlook

Beckman Coulter Inc. on Wednesday reported first-quarter sales and profit prior to charges that exceeded Wall Street's expectations and upped its outlook for the rest of the year.

First-quarter Growth Stronger Than Forecast

A buildup in inventories kept the economy afloat in the first quarter despite the weakest consumer spending since 2001 and the biggest drop in home building in more than 26 years, a government report showed on Wednesday.

Tuesday, April 29

CSUF: Long But Shallow Economic Downturn

The national economy is in for a long but shallow slowdown, according to California State University, Fullerton economists.

Countrywide Swings to Loss

Countrywide Financial Corp., the mortgage lender being acquired by Bank of America Corp., on Tuesday posted a surprisingly large $893.1 million first-quarter loss, as it took more than $3 billion of charges for write-downs and bad loans.

Consumer Confidence Falls to 5-year Low

Confidence among consumers fell to a five-year low in April as they confronted the grimmest jobs outlook since late 2004 and they expect inflation to rival the levels last seen in the early 1980s, the Conference Board said on Tuesday.

Conexant Selling Business for up to $145M

Newport Beach chipmaker Conexant Systems Inc. is selling its business making chips for set-top TV boxes for up to $145 million to NXP Semiconductors, the former chip arm of Royal Philips Electronics NV.

Grand Theft Auto Launches to Rave Reviews

"Grand Theft Auto 4" went on sale Tuesday, with fans lining up at midnight to grab the first copies of the criminal action game hailed as a brutal and satirical masterpiece equal to films like "The Godfather."

Judge Denies Injunction Against Device Maker SenoRx

SenoRx Inc., an Aliso Viejo maker of devices to diagnose and treat breast cancer, said Tuesday that a federal judge denied a request by Hologic Inc. for an injunction against it.

Epicor: Tough Q1, Sees Second Half Rebound

Shares of Irvine's Epicor Software Corp., a maker of business software, rose after first-quarter results fell in line with analyst's lowered expectations and the company gave a better-than-expected outlook for the back half of the year.

Monday, April 28

Class of 2008

Executive departures, company shake-ups, an acquisition and other moves played out among this year's OC 50

REAL ESTATE WATCH: ORANGE COUNTY CONSTRUCTION

Commercial construction dropped in the first quarter. PLUS: CHARTS - Net Absorption; Vacancy Rates; Average Asking Lease Rates

Employment Agencies Slumping Amid Downturn

The economic downturn affected employment agencies' revenue

OC 50 TECHNOLOGY

Profiles of Orange County's most influential businesspeople in Technology

Mars and Buffett Team Up to Buy Wrigley

M & M;'s candy maker Mars Inc. has teamed up with billionaire Warren Buffett to buy Wm Wrigley Jr Co., the world's largest chewing gum maker, for $23 billion, creating the world's largest confectionary company.

Brewing Board Battle at SM & A; Heats Up

The war of words over Newport Beach-based SM & A; is heating up. The aerospace consultant is in the early stages of a board battle that pits founder and former chief executive Steven Myers against the company's current management and board.

OC 50 HEALTHCARE

Profiles of Orange County's most influential businesspeople in Healthcare

NNN's Thompson Raises $15M Fund, Eyes OC Deals

Triple Net's Tony Thompson is trying to raise millions of dollars to buy distressed real estate in new company

First-Quarter Results Help Boost Broadcom From Six-Month Slide

Time will tell if Irvine chipmaker Broadcom is climbing out of a six-month slump on Wall Street

BrandLogic's Bulk

A Q & A; with BrandLogic's Mike Elias

Downey: Investors Look Past Big Loss

A snapshot of OC banks and savings and loans, ranked by assets

Two Hotels Proposed In Irvine Airport Area

A couple of hotel projects could be in the works for Irvine

IPW Experience Using MySpace, Web for Campaigns

IPW Experience is trying to redefine a typical marketing campaign, in the Media & Marketing column

Flash Drive Maker STEC Jumps on Projected Deal With Computer Maker

Shares of Santa Ana's STEC Inc., a maker of flash memory drives for industrial uses, jumped Monday after an analyst upgraded the stock.

VIEWPOINT

No one in the Western media is showing any sympathy at all for China in the mess over Tibet and the Olympic Games

Genuine Parts Expands to Fill Auto Parts Void in OC

Genuine Parts plans to expand its Napa Auto Parts stores in OC, in the Marketplace column

Ueberroth Leaves Quiksilver Board for NBA China Push

Heidi Ueberroth, global business executive of the National Basketball Association, has stepped down as a director of Huntington Beach-based Quiksilver Inc. as she works on launching an NBA league in China.

REAL ESTATE DEALS

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

Japan's Famima Sees Slow Going, Pushing Ahead With Stores

An upscale convenience store chain is continuing its advance into Orange County, despite disappointing sales since its California launch

SunCal: Lender Deals Reworked

Looks like SunCal is going to hold onto its projects

Fullerton Glasses Co. Bought Out by Rival

Fullerton's Motive Eyewear has been sold to StyleMark and is looking to consolidate its local operations

OC 50 APPAREL

Profiles of Orange County's most influential businesspeople in Apparel

Claims Review Company Being Bought for $22M

Irvine-based CompIQ Corp., a provider of workers' compensation claims services and software, is being bought for $22 million by Dallas-based Affiliated Computer Services Inc., a big provider of outsourced services for companies and governments.

Tustin Legacy Has Created More Jobs than Buildings

A majority of the Tustin Legacy project has yet to see construction,that hasn't stopped some from calling the project a success, in the Real Estate column

Maguire Makes Buyout Offer, Would Keep OC Buildings

Maguire Properties Inc.'s Chairman and Chief Executive Robert Maguire has proposed buying a majority of the company after selling off most of the office landlord's holdings,except for buildings in Orange County.

Union Bank Pushing Expansion of Services for Everyday Rich

Union Bank is eyeing the rich with expansion plans for its priority banking program

OC 50 REAL ESTATE

Profiles of Orange County's most influential businesspeople in Real Estate

Homeowner Vacancies Hit Record High in 1st Quarter

The share of homes owned but empty edged up in the first quarter to a record high 2.9 percent, the U.S. Census Bureau said on Monday in a report adding more evidence of a deepening housing slump.

MARKET WATCH

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

New Millennium Power's Staff Moves to Long Beach

Laguna Niguel-based New Millennium Power has moved its staff to Long Beach after being bought by PermaCity Solar, in the Technology column

Analysts Expect Good Revenue Reports from Beckman

Analysts are highlighting medical diagnostic companies as standouts and predicting strong first-quarter financial results, in the Healthcare column

Pimco: Slimming Down After Bloated Credit

Consumers, banks and financial companies are "slimming down" after a bloated era of easy credit, but face an extended period of fixing their finances, Pacific Investment Management Co said in a new report.

OCBJ SUPPLEMENTS and GUIDES

INTERNET PRODUCTS & SERVICES 2008

EVENTS CALENDAR

A listing of events happening all around Orange County

No Air-Fare Wars at JWA; Donald & Arnold

No Air-Fare Wars at JWA; Donald & Arnold

Maker of Upscale Appliances Shifting Production to Mexico

A maker of high-end stoves and barbecues is moving manufacturing from Huntington Beach to Mexico

GIVING

Fundraisers and charitable donations from companies and people

AROUND THE COUNTY

Projects, developments and other activity in cities in and around OC

OC 50 INDUSTRY & SERVICES

Profiles of Orange County's most influential businesspeople in Industry & Services

Economy Could Prompt More Small Drug Co. Buyouts

Small drug makers could see M & A; activity heat up

OC 50 GOVERNMENT & INSTITUTIONS

Profiles of Orange County's most influential businesspeople in Government & Institutions

Friday, April 25

Honda Tumbles on Tax Woes

An unexpected tax bill sent Honda Motor Co.'s quarterly profit tumbling 86 percent, and Japan's No.2 carmaker warned of a weak year ahead due to a stronger yen, rising materials costs and a soft U.S. car market.

Microsoft Issues Final Threat to Scotch Yahoo Deal

Microsoft Corp. gave Yahoo Inc. no hope of a higher takeover price, saying it was ready to go hostile or even call off its bid if Yahoo maintains "unrealistic expectations" of a better deal.

BJ's Slumps on Downgrade, Sales Concerns

Huntington Beach-based BJ's Restaurants Inc., an operator of pizzerias with beer breweries, slumped more than 11% at the close of New York trading Friday on an analyst's downgrade.

Ceradyne Beats Forecasts, Affirms Yearly Guidance

Costa Mesa-based body armor maker Ceradyne Inc. beat its first quarter earnings forecasts, but said flat revenue and higher costs lead to a 14% profit decline from a year ago.

Western Digital Slumps on Drive Price, Supply Concerns

Shares of Lake Forest-based disk drive maker Western Digital Corp. were off more than 9% at the close of New York trading Friday on concerns about falling drive prices and the impact on profits.

Consumer Sentiment at a 26-year Low

Consumer confidence fell for a third straight month in April, hitting its weakest in 26 years, on heightened worries over inflation and the sagging housing market, a survey showed on Friday.

Thursday, April 24

Ingram Micro's Q1 Profit Misses Views, Lowers Q2 Outlook

Shares of Santa Ana's Ingram Micro Inc., the world's top distributor of technology goods, slightly fell in afterhours trading Thursday after the company gave a worse-than-expected outlook for the current quarter.

Economy Seen Improving in Second Half of '08

The economy could improve slightly in the second half of 2008 after a challenging first half, and there are some encouraging signs in the credit markets, a senior Treasury Department official said on Thursday.

UCI Engineering Dean Alexopoulos Stepping Down, MIT Vet Taking Job

The engineering school at the University of California, Irvine, on Thursday named a new dean to replace Nicolaos G. Alexopoulos, who said he's retiring from the post and taking a job at Irvine's Broadcom Corp.

Emulex Beats Expectations, Slumps on Outlook

Shares of Costa Mesa-based Emulex Corp., a maker of electronics for data storage networks, fell in afterhours trading Thursday after the company gave a weak outlook for the current quarter.

Jobless Claims Drop but More Grim News on Homes

obless claims fell sharply last week and durable goods orders showed resilience in March but new home sales plummeted, according to data on Thursday that delivered mixed news on the struggling economy.

Ford Swings to Surprise Profit

Ford Motor Co. posted an unexpected quarterly profit on Thursday, led by strong results in Europe and South America and a narrowing loss in North America, sending its shares up nearly 8 percent.

Wednesday, April 23

Boeing Profit Up On Plane Deliveries

Boeing Co. reported a greater-than-expected 38 percent jump in first-quarter profit on Wednesday as increased deliveries of its commercial planes offset a dip in military sales, and manufacturing operations became more efficient.

MBA: Mortgage Applications Plunge as Rates Soar

Mortgage applications plunged last week, largely reflecting a drop in demand for home refinancing loans as interest rates surged, an industry group said on Wednesday.

Edwards Jumps on Upgrades, Improved Outlook

Shares of Irvine heart valve maker Edwards Lifesciences Corp. were up more than 13% at the close of New York trading after it received a pair of analyst upgrades and improved its financial guidance.

DDI Shares Rally on Q1 Earnings

Shares of Anaheim printed circuit board maker DDi Corp. jumped in afterhours trading Wednesday after the company reversed a loss in the first quarter.

Broadcom Bounce Continues on Outlook

Shares of Irvine-based communications chipmaker Broadcom Corp. continued their bullish run on Wednesday after the company gave a positive outlook for the current quarter.

GM's Global Sales Fall 0.6 Percent

General Motors Corp. said on Wednesday its global sales fell 0.6 percent in the first quarter, after a 10 percent decline in North America more than offset increased sales elsewhere in the world.

Tuesday, April 22

Software Maker Being Bought By Rockwell Automation

Milwaukee-based Rockwell Automation Inc. is buying Incuity Software Inc., a Mission Viejo maker of manufacturing software.

Broadcom Settles SEC Charges for $12 Million

Irvine chipmaker Broadcom Corp. has agreed to pay $12 million to settle civil charges that it illegally backdated stock options for five years up to 2003, according to the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Existing Home Sales Fall 2 Percent

The pace of existing home sales fell in March to a 4.93 million-unit annual rate, the National Association of Realtors said on Tuesday in a report that showed the housing market continues to struggle.

Broadcom Results Top Expectations

Shares of Irvine's Broadcom Corp. rose in afterhours trading Tuesday after the chipmaker reported better-than-expected quarterly results.

Soft Sales Hit McDonald's Stock

McDonald's Corp. said on Tuesday U.S. sales at established restaurants fell in March, the first monthly decline in five years, overshadowing higher-than-expected first-quarter profit and strong overseas sales.

Downey Gets Upgrade: Investors Betting Worst Is Over?

Shares of Newport Beach-based thrift operator Downey Financial Corp. rose as much as 10% on Tuesday, a day after reporting a $248 million first-quarter loss.

Irvine Ranch Gets State Landmark Designation

A large chunk of the Irvine Ranch got a environmental honor on Tuesday, as it was designated as the first-ever California Natural Landmark.

Sulzberger Jr: New York Times is Not For Sale

New York Times Co Chairman Arthur Sulzberger Jr told shareholders on Tuesday the company is not for sale, disputing media reports.

Edwards' Profit Hit by Charges, Ups 2008 Forecast

Edwards Lifesciences Corp. said Tuesday that its first-quarter profit fell 45% on charges primarily related to a product line sale.

Proxy Battle Set for Corona's Vineyard Bank

The battle for control of Corona-based Vineyard National Bancorp's board has gotten hotter.

Monday, April 21

Local Companies See $144M From Venture Capitalists in Q1

Venture capital firms invested $144 million into young local companies during the first quarter,the highest amount in two and a half years.

Drug Maker Avanir Back in Nasdaq Compliance

Avanir Pharmaceuticals Inc., an Aliso Viejo drug developer, said Monday it has regained compliance with Nasdaq listing requirements.

Fremont Sells Assets To CapitalSource, Keeps Loan Servicing Unit

Fremont Sells Assets To CapitalSource, Keeps Loan Servicing Unit

VIEWPOINT

Businesses need to take the lead in the immigration debate. By Jerry Sullivan, editor and publisher of the Garment & Citizen

BNY Mellon Leases Space at Irvine Co.'s Corporate Plaza West

The Irvine Company has found a big-name financial tenant to occupy half the space at the office it is building along Pacific Coast Highway in Newport Center.

CALENDAR

A listing of events happening all around Orange County

OCBJ SUPPLEMENTS and GUIDES

SECURITIES GUIDE 2008

Longtime Local Exec Taking Reins at Ev3

Some thought that with an OC exec at the helm, Ev3 might relocate,think again

Lawry's Guest Menu Delights Diners at The Cannery

The Cannery's guest chef program was a hit when Lawry's took part, in the Executive Dining column

REAL ESTATE DEALS

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

Quiksilver Wins Roxy Trademark Case

Quiksilver scored a coup for its Roxy girls' brand

Bankers: Commercial Lending Holding Up

Banks say commercial lending is still holding up

Conexant's CEO Shift: Clash Over Direction?

Conexant's executive shake-up last week could have come down to a clash over how to proceed with a turnaround

PEOPLE

Hirings, promotions and other moves at local businesses

Dropping In

A maker of guys' clothing has seen more exposure after tapping a professional surfer to promote the line

Healthcare Real Estate Set to Benefit from Baby Boomers

Real estate is the latest industry that's expected to benefit from a large number of Americans getting ready to hit their senior citizen years,

Sensor Maker Eyed 2001 Downturn for More Clients

A maker of sensors nabbed more clients after the 2001 terrorist attacks, in the Small Business column

Parker Kennedy: Class Act, 'Last Emperor' Of First American

Parker Kennedy: Class Act, 'Last Emperor' Of First American

Fletcher, Newport Lexus Faring Well Despite Economy

Fletcher Jones and Newport Lexus are weathering the economic downturn, in the Marketplace column

Holiday Garb To Be Hawked at May ASR Tradeshow

Expect to see several of Orange County's surfwear makers at the Action Sports Retailer tradeshow next month, in the Media & Marketing column

Bank of America Profit Hurt by Credit Crunch

Bank of America Corp., the second-largest U.S. bank, on Monday said quarterly profit fell 77 percent, hurt by more than $5 billion of write-downs and credit-related costs as more borrowers fell behind on payments.

Reports: Bloomberg Friends Encourage NY Times Bid

People close to New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg are encouraging him to buy the New York Times Co. and save the company from shareholder assaults, while members of its controlling family are interested in a rescuer, according to media reports.

Inside Ingram Micro

Ingram Micro is big on being frugal, in Corner Offices

Analysts Cut Citigroup's '08 Outlook

Citigroup Inc's. lack of earnings power could put the bank under pressure to cut or eliminate its current dividend and raise additional capital, said Oppenheimer & Co. analyst Meredith Whitney, as she widened her loss per share forecast on the bank.

MARKET WATCH

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

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

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

Rising Asking Lease Rates for Offices Conflict Market

What's the most misleading statistic in the commercial real estate market these days,probably asking lease rates for offices, in the Real Estate column

Chip Startups Funding Dropped 19% in 2007 to $3B

Funding in chip startups declined last year, in the Technology column

BNY Mellon Taking Newport Center Space

BNY Mellon is taking half the space at The Irvine Company's Corporate Plaza West in Newport Center

Friday, April 18

ICU Medical Slumps on Q1 Shortfall

Shares of San Clemente-based medical device maker ICU Medical Inc. fell Friday, a day after the company reported lower than expected first-quarter results.

FBI: Subprime Probe May Lead to Hedge Funds, Others

The Federal Bureau of Investigation's probe of the subprime mortgage industry could uncover fraud involving Wall Street investment banks, private equity firms or hedge funds, the head of the agency said on Thursday.

County Sees Another Month of Yearly Job Losses in March

Orange County continued a streak of yearly job losses in March as 21,300 fewer people were employed here from a year earlier.

Wall Street Gains as Investors Weigh Citi, Google Results

Wall Street jumped Friday as results from companies like Citigroup Inc. and Google Inc. helped ease investor anxiety about the health of corporate profits. The Dow Jones industrial average at times rose more than 200 points.

Report: Nicholas in Rehab

The latest twist for former Broadcom Corp. chief executive Henry Nicholas: the technology billionaire is said to be in rehab, according to the Orange County Register.

Building Materials Maker James Hardie May Formally Move HQ to OC

James Hardie Industries NV, an Australian turned Dutch maker of building products, is shifting its headquarters to the U.S. where it's operations are run from Mission Viejo, according to a report in The Australian newspaper.

Citigroup to Cut 9,000 Jobs After Posting Loss

Citigroup Inc. posted its second straight quarterly loss on Friday, hurt by more than $16 billion of write-downs and costs related to credit losses, and said it will cut another 9,000 jobs.

Thursday, April 17

Quiksilver Wins Roxy Trademark Battle

Huntington Beach surfwear maker Quiksilver Inc. said on Wednesday that it has won a nearly six-yearlong trademark infringement case over its Roxy brand of clothes against Los Angeles-based Kymsta Corp.

Epicor Slumps on Lowered Outlook

Shares of Irvine's Epicor Software Corp., a maker of business software, slumped Thursday after the company cut its yearly outlook on weaker-than-expected first quarter results.

Jobless Claims on the Rise

The number of workers applying for unemployment benefits rose by 17,000, which was marginally less than expected, while those of workers remaining on jobless benefits were at the highest level in almost four years, a government report showed on Thursday.

Merrill Lynch Posts Big Loss

Merrill Lynch & Co. on Thursday posted a quarterly loss of $2 billion and said it planned to cut 4,000 jobs after recording more than $9.5 billion in write-downs and losses on subprime mortgages and other risky assets.

Kohn: Banks' Caution an Economic Threat

Banks have become so wary about lending that credit costs are being pushed up despite sharp cuts in official interest rates and that is adding to the risks of an economic downturn, the vice chairman of the Federal Reserve said on Thursday.

Angels See Big Jump in Valuation

The value of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim baseball team has risen 16% in the past year to $500 million, according to Forbes.

Wednesday, April 16

Consumer Prices Muted as Housing Starts Reach 17-Year Low

The number of housing projects started last month fell to the lowest in 17 years, while consumer prices moved up a bit less than expected, leaving the Federal Reserve some room to lower interest rates to ward off a housing-led slowdown.

Seagate CEO: Western Digital in Laptop Drive Price War

Lake Forest-based disk drive maker Western Digital Corp. cut prices for laptop drives in the first quarter in a market share battle with Hitachi Ltd., according to Bill Watkins, chief executive of top drive maker Seagate Technology LLC.

JPMorgan Net Falls 50 Percent

JPMorgan Chase & Co. said on Wednesday quarterly profit fell 50 percent, but the third-largest U.S. bank was able to skirt the massive losses that have crippled many rivals, and its shares rose as much as 5 percent.

EU Clears Vivendi's Activision Blizzard $19B Deal

Orange County's biggest deal yet got the green light from the European Union on Wednesday.

Report: Merrill Lynch to Write Down Further $6-8 Billion

Investment bank Merrill Lynch & Co. will announce $6 billion to $8 billion of asset write-downs in its first quarter results on Thursday, the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday, citing a person familiar with the matter.

InSight Completes Sale of Imaging Centers

Lake Forest-based InSight Health Services Holdings Corp. said it completed the sale of five Southern California medical imaging centers to Los Angeles-based RadNet Inc.

Tuesday, April 15

Foreclosures Jump 57 Percent in Last 12 Months

Home foreclosure filings surged 57 percent in the 12 month-period ended in March and bank repossessions soared 129 percent from a year ago, as homeowners struggled to make mortgage payments, real estate data firm RealtyTrac said on Tuesday.

J & J; Profits Rise

Johnson & Johnson posted better-than-expected first-quarter earnings on Tuesday, sending its shares higher, as aggressive cost cutting helped offset plunging sales of anemia drugs hit by safety concerns and medicines facing generic competition.

OC Home Prices Stumble Again in March

Orange County's median home price tumbled by $14,000 from February to March, aided by the increase in discounted sales of foreclosed homes that's being seen across the Southland.

Food and Energy Costs Lead Wholesale Prices to Soar in March

Inflation at the wholesale level soared in March at nearly triple the rate that had been expected as the costs of energy and food both climbed rapidly.

Seagate Sues STEC Over Flash Memory Drives

Santa Ana's STEC Inc., a maker of flash memory drives for industrial uses, is being sued by the top maker of disk drives, Seagate Technology LLC.

Conexant, Emulex Fall on Downgrades

Shares of Newport Beach-based Conexant Systems Inc. and Costa Mesa's Emulex Corp. fell sharply Tuesday on analyst downgrades for the technology companies.

Monday, April 14

Boat Business

Orange County's the second biggest boating market in California

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

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

Aliso Viejo Golf Takes Private Route; Chris' New Gig

Aliso Viejo Golf Takes Private Route; Chris' New Gig

Power Supply Maker Cherokee Hires Adviser

Shares of Tustin-based Cherokee International Corp., a maker of power supply gear for medical devices, fell Monday after the company said it hired an investment bank as an adviser.

Artusi Out as CEO of Conexant, Mercer Named to Post

Newport Beach chipmaker Conexant Systems Inc. on Monday announced a sudden change for its top post,the company's second chief executive shake-up in a year.

Portfolio Swaps

Property Managers Saw Little Growth in OC Contracts, Lost Business Outside of County

PEOPLE

Hirings, promotions and other moves at local businesses

Split Personality

Brokerages Reported Increase in Sales, Leases Carried by Activity in First Half of 2007

KUDOS

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

Anaheim GardenWalk Gearing Up for Grand Opening

Anaheim GardenWalk is gearing up for its grand opening, in the Marketplace column

Doctors, Regulators, Patients Blast Insurer UnitedHealth

UnitedHealth has taken a few blows from patients, regulators and doctors, in the Healthcare column

Office Options

Local Class A Buildings Have Large Amounts of Empty Space, Tenants Can Bargain

Kaiser Opening Hospital, Starting on Another

Kaiser Permanente's readying to open a hospital in Irvine and gearing up for construction in Anaheim

MSC's Overhaul Helps It Land Boeing Deal

MSC's been working hard on big turnaround

Virtualization Trend Boost for Quest, Emulex, QLogic

Market researcher Gartner has pegged virtualization as the biggest trend through 2012, in the Technology column

Female Partner Heading Irell's OC Office

Irell & Manella has named a woman partner to head its Newport Beach office

EVENTS

Scenes from business, social, charity and other events

Fremont Selling Deposits, Branches to CapitalSource

Brea-based Fremont General Corp., a onetime subprime mortgage lender that's struggled to survive as a bank, is selling branches, deposits and its stake in commercial real estate loans, the company said Monday.

OCBJ SUPPLEMENTS and GUIDES

EXECUTIVE STYLE 2008

Toshiba, Knobbe Get Rare Win Against Acacia Lawsuit

The Northern American computer unit of Toshiba Corp. has prevailed in an area few have dared to tread: taking on patent holder Acacia

AROUND THE COUNTY

Projects, developments and other activity in cities in and around OC

Analysts' Top Investment Options: Apartments, Retail

Analysts are divided over what's the best types of property investments these days, in the Real Estate column

Higher Antitrust Bar for Yahoo-Google

Yahoo Inc.'s attempt to form an alliance with Google Inc. to stave off Microsoft Corp. could run into more trouble with antitrust regulators than Microsoft's unwelcome takeover bid.

REAL ESTATE DEALS

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

Big Contracts Behind Fluor's Local Growth

A slew of big contracts has Fluor looking to hire more workers here

First American Shareholder Shakes Up Board

Santa Ana-based First American Corp. on Monday announced a shake-up to its board, based on the recommendations of its largest unaffiliated shareholder.

MARKET WATCH

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

LETTER

OCTax opposes the Solar and Clean Energy Act of 2008, in Letters

Wachovia Posts Surprise Loss, Raises $7 Billion

Wachovia Corp. posted a surprising first-quarter loss on Monday as credit problems from mortgages and other debt soared, prompting the fourth-largest U.S. bank to raise $7 billion of capital, slash its dividend and cut jobs.

Sage Software Taps Telecom Executive as Part of Shake-Up

A former telecom executive is heading the county's biggest software makers

Fremont Options Few as Clock Ticks on Regulators' Deadline

Fremont's options are few as it faces a looming deadline

March Retail Sales Unexpectedly Rise 0.2 Percent

Retail sales unexpectedly rose 0.2 percent in March, pushed up by a jump in gasoline sales, a government report released on Monday showed.

Olenicoff Sentenced to Probation, Community Service

Igor Olenicoff, founder and president of Newport Beach-based real estate company Olen Properties Corp., was spared prison time in the conclusion of the billionaire's long-running tax dispute with the government.

Report: Kingston Invests in Taiwan's Phison

Fountain Valley-based Kingston Technology is said to be buying a stake in an Asian chip supplier

Doner Goes After More Work by Tapping Executive

W.B. Doner hired an executive to help go after more work, in the Media & Marketing column

CALENDAR

A listing of events happening all around Orange County

Swimsuit Co. Partners With Owners of C & C;

Lake Forest-based L*Space has started a jointly owned company with the owners of C & C; Partners

Friday, April 11

Western Digital Down on Another Cautionary Analyst Report

Wall Street's love affair with disk drive makers might be coming to an end. Investors had been up on the stocks until recently, when both Lake Forest-based Western Digital Corp. and top rival Seagate Technology LLC have seen downgrades.

U.S. to Start Summer with Gasoline Surplus

Gasoline supplies should start the summer driving season at their highest level since 1999, helping to temper a surge in pump prices linked to the soaring cost of crude oil.

Subprime Auto Lender Sells Loans to Wall Street

Auto lender Consumer Portfolio Serves Inc. of Irvine has sold $310 million in subprime auto loans to Wall Street in its first securitazation since November.

Sources: Citi Examines Break Up of German Business

Citigroup is eyeing a sale of its retail business in Germany as part of a global reorganization of the loss-making U.S. group, sources familiar with the matter have told Reuters.

GE Shocks Market with Profit Drop, Shares Tumble

General Electric Co. posted an unexpected 6 percent drop in first-quarter profit on Friday, the biggest shock yet to industry from the credit crisis and the latest sign the economy may be in a recession.

TriZetto Going Private in $1.4B Buyout

TriZetto Group Inc., a Newport Beach-based medical information technology company, said Friday it's being bought for $1.4 billion by Apax Partners Inc., a private equity investor.

Thursday, April 10

Retailers Turn in Dreary March Sales

An early Easter holiday, chilly weather and recession-wary consumers combined to deliver dismal March sales results for retailers.

Jobless Claims Drop 53,000 in Latest Week

The number of workers applying for unemployment benefits tumbled by a greater-than-expected 53,000 last week, but a closely watched moving average of claims was at its highest in two and a half years, a government report showed on Thursday.

Ista Subpoenaed Over Eye Drug Marketing

Ista Pharmaceuticals Inc. has received a subpoena from the U.S. Attorney's office in Buffalo, N.Y., requesting documents about its flagship Xibrom drug, according to a statement released Thursday.

Yahoo Seeks AOL Tie as Microsoft Talks to News Corp

Yahoo Inc, which was widely believed to be running out of alternatives to accepting Microsoft Corp's takeover offer, has become a target of two warring camps of technology giants and their media allies, sources said on Wednesday.

Retailers PacSun, Wet Seal See Big March Sales Drop

Orange County's two major mall retailers, Anaheim's Pacific Sunwear of California Inc. and Foothill Ranch-based Wet Seal Inc., saw drops in March same-store sales that went beyond Wall Street expectations.

First American Downgraded by Fitch

Fitch Ratings on Thursday cut its credit ratings on Santa Ana-based First American Corp., noting significant deterioration in the company's capital during the housing and mortgage downturn.

Wednesday, April 9

Nationwide Downgraded after 45% Stock Run-up

Nationwide Health Properties Inc. saw its shares fall Wednesday after an analyst said the stock's risen to a fair value.

Bush Administration Widens Homeowner Aid

The Bush administration will loosen rules that underpin the largest homeowner aid program in order to help more borrowers who have seen their home drop in value and are facing foreclosure, a senior administration official said on Wednesday.

IMF: As Credit Turmoil Grows, U.S. Heads For Recession

The economy will tip into recession this year and there is a 25 percent chance world growth will drop to 3 percent or less -- a level that would be considered recessionary, the International Monetary Fund said on Wednesday.

School Operator Corinthian Off on Downgrade, Loan Concerns

Shares of Santa Ana-based vocational school operator Corinthian Colleges Inc. closed down Wednesday after an analyst downgraded the stock on concerns about student loan defaults.

Sources: Citigroup Near Sale of $12 Billion Loans

Citigroup Inc., the largest U.S. bank, is close to selling about $12 billion of leveraged loans and bonds to a group of private equity firms, people familiar with the situation said on Tuesday.

Tuesday, April 8

QLogic Hires CFO from Chipmaker Mindspeed

QLogic Corp., the Aliso Viejo-based maker of electronics for data storage networks, nabbed a new chief financial officer from Newport Beach chipmaker Mindspeed Technologies Inc.

Report: Entrepreneur Magazine Parent Up for Sale

Irvine-based Entrepreneur Media Inc., publisher of Entrepreneur magazine, is reported to be up for sale for around $200 million.

American Mold Shutting Down Amid Tough Market

San Juan Capistrano-based American Mold Guard Inc. is calling it quits after going public a year and a half ago.

WaMu Gets $7 billion Infusion, Cuts Jobs, Sees Big Loss

Washington Mutual Inc, the largest U.S. savings and loan, said on Tuesday it obtained a $7 billion capital injection from private equity firm TPG Inc and other investors, but that mortgage problems will lead to a $1.1 billion quarterly loss and the elimin

February Pending Home Sales Index Drops to Record Low

Pending sales of previously owned homes fell a bigger-than-expected 1.9 percent in February to the lowest level on record, according to a report from a real estate trade group on Tuesday that pointed to more troubles in the beleaguered housing market.

Pacific Sunwear Up on Analyst Upgrade

Shares of Anaheim-based retailer Pacific Sunwear of California Inc. were up about 8% in late morning New York trading after an analyst raised his profit forecast and said the company is improving its merchandise and getting more efficient.

Report: Greenspan Says Unfairly Blamed, Has no Regrets

Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan has lashed out again at his critics, saying he was being blamed unfairly for the credit crisis and that he had no regrets about decisions he took while at the helm.

Monday, April 7

Medicare Cuts Don't Faze Apria, Wall Street

Apria Healthcare Group says it's prepared for Medicare cuts

Walk-Away Borrowers: Latest Mortgage Mess?

Some borrowers are walking away from home loans even when they can pay them

Rutan & Tucker Shifts Focus to Intellectual Property Practice

Rutan & Tucker is growing its intellectual property practice

Avanir to Use $40M from Shares Sale on Zenvia Trials

Avanir plans to use $40 million from the sale of shares for a drug trial, in the Healthcare column

UBS top Employee Detained in Tax Probe

A senior UBS employee was briefly detained by U.S. authorities in April as part of an investigation into the bank's cross-border business, UBS said on Wednesday.

VIEWPOINT

John Moorlach's mad motivation, in a Viewpoint

1. INGRAM MICRO INC.

Ingram Micro, the largest distributor of technology products, has been bracing for a slowdown.

Pringle May Exit Politics; Augie to Meet Hawkings

Pringle May Exit Politics; Augie to Meet Hawkings

Novartis to Buy Nestle's Alcon Stakes for $39 Billion

Novartis AG has agreed to buy Nestle AG's 77 percent stake in U.S. company Alcon in a deal worth up to $39 billion to boost its eye care business, the Swiss drugmaker said on Monday.

Top Public Cos. Last Year Saw First Loss Since 2002

The top public companies here saw their first loss since 2002

Aerospace Manufacturer Sells Then Leases HQ for Cash

PCA Aerospace has sold its headquarters in a sale-leaseback deal, in the Real Estate column

New Century Report Likely Reading for Prosecutors

A report on accounting issues at New Century Financial Corp. could become part of a criminal probe

MARKET WATCH

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

Ev3 Replaces CEO With Former IntraLase Boss

Ev3 Inc., a medical device maker with some 400 workers in Irvine, said Monday its chief executive is being replaced by a local industry veteran.

Execs Less Pessimistic Going Into Q2

Execs Less Pessimistic Going Into Q2. Leaders still cautious, see good things for own companies

7. BECKMAN COULTER

The company's dominant business selling machines and supplies to hospitals and medical testing labs helped drive higher sales and profits

Sprint, Cable Companies form WiMax Venture

Sprint Nextel Corp. is teaming up with top U.S. cable companies to introduce advanced wireless services and get a head start on AT & T; and Verizon, but analysts said the seven-way partnership may be too complex to succeed.

Gartner Report: '08 PC Sales Expected To Be Up 11%

A Gartner report predicts 2008 PC sales to be up 11%, in the Technology column

8. QUIKSILVER INC.

Cleaning up ski wreck Rossignol. Quiksilver spent the past year looking for ways to improve Rossignol, the ski maker it bought in 2005, and calming Wall Street's concerns

REVIEW

Sunset Gondolas, Sunset Beach or Huntington Harbor, www.sunsetgondola.com

Flash Forward

TECHNOLOGY - Toshiba is introducing a laptop in Japan with a flash memory drive

PEOPLE

Hirings, promotions and other moves at local businesses

10. SUN HEALTHCARE

Sun spent 2007 widening its reach around the country... bought Harborside Healthcare Corp., a Boston-based company, for $350 million

REAL ESTATE WATCH: THE MID-COUNTIES MARKET

Real Estate Watch: Mid-counties hold up pace in the fourth quarter. PLUS: CHART - Net Absorption; Vacancy Rates; Average Asking Lease Rates

9. APRIA HEALTHCARE

The Lake Forest home healthcare provider went back to one of its old standbys at the end of 2007,growing through a deal

Merrill's Thain: Credit Crisis Easing

The credit crisis is easing and the risk in its housing market is dramatically lower now, but economic growth will remain under pressure over the next year, the chief executive of Merrill Lynch & Co. said.

Alliance Imaging Buys Surgery Centers

Anaheim-based Alliance Imaging Inc. said Monday that it bought six radiation surgery centers in California and four other states from Accuray Inc., a Sunnyvale device maker.

Tesco Slowing Expansion in OC on Disappointing Sales

Tesco is slowing its Fresh & Easy expansion amid disappointing sales, in the Marketplace column

Emulex Falls on Analyst Downgrade

Shares of Costa Mesa's Emulex Corp., a maker of electronics for data storage networks, fell Monday after an analyst downgraded the stock.

OCBJ SUPPLEMENTS and GUIDES

PUBLIC COMPANIES 2008

Options for Beckman Site: Industrial, Offices, Hotel?

Fullerton is watching what Beckman Coulter will do with its soon-to-be-empty headquarters

CALENDAR

A listing of events happening all around Orange County

Dulcinea Says Customers Will Pay More for Better Fruit

Dulcinea Farms hopes customers will pay more for better fruit, in the Small Business column

3. WESTERN DIGITAL CORP.

Western Digital Corp. has been on a tear the past year...growing sales from laptop PCs and external storage devices for businesses and consumers.

6. STANDARD PACIFIC

Standard Pacific, the country's 11th largest homebuilder by sales during the housing boom, had a year to forget in 2007.

REAL ESTATE DEALS

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

GIVING

Fundraisers and charitable donations from companies and people

Mossimo: Helped Design Paul Frank Industries' Licensing Deal

Mossimo Giannulli has big plans for Paul Frank Industries

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

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

Report: Delta and Northwest Revive Merger Talks

Delta Air Lines and Northwest Airlines have revived merger talks, according to a report in The Financial Times.

2. FIRST AMERICAN CORP.

The housing market slump and crash of the mortgage market took their toll on Orange County's oldest company

5. BROADCOM CORP.

2007 was big for Broadcom, which posted the largest options restatement bill of any company, won several legal rounds against Qualcomm Inc. and then slumped late in the year

Yahoo Rebuffs Microsoft, Says Open to Better Deal

Yahoo Inc., responding to a three-week deadline issued by Microsoft Corp. to accept its $42 billion takeover bid, again rejected the deal for undervaluing the Web pioneer.

4. ALLERGAN INC.

Orange County's most valuable company by market value spent 2007 continuing its march into medical cosmetics, through its steady flagship drug Botox

ChopShop Adding Workers for Promotion, Creative Spots

New business helps ChopShop grow workers, in the Media & Marketing column

Friday, April 4

Economy Sheds 80,000 Jobs in March

Employers cut payrolls for a third consecutive month in March and the jobless rate jumped to a 2-1/2 year high, adding more evidence that a housing downturn and credit crisis may have pushed the economy into recession.

OC's Biggest Public Companies Posted Loss Last Year

2007 was a transition year for Orange County's largest public companies as the expansion of the past few years met the slowed economy of today.

UBS Ex-CEO Leads Campaign to Shake Up Bank

Pressure on beleaguered Swiss bank UBS AG to break up intensified as activist investor and former chief executive Luqman Arnold demanded to shake up its governance and structure.

Fed Officials Play Down Rate Cut Expectations

For the second time this week, a senior Federal Reserve official conceded the economy could slip into recession, but suggested the central bank should wait to see if more rate cuts are needed.

Analyst: Laser Downturn Overblown for Advanced Medical

Advanced Medical Optics Inc. got a boost Friday from a Jefferies & Co. analyst who said that laser vision surgeries using the company's equipment are holding up in spite of a slow economy.

Thursday, April 3

Bernanke Repeats Economy in Difficult Period

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke on Thursday repeated remarks justifying the government's financial market rescue and acknowledging tough economic conditions, but did not mention economic recession or contraction in prepared testimony.

ISM: Service Sector Shrinks Again in March

The service sector contracted less than expected in March, according to a report released on Thursday.

Nursing Home Operator Skilled Pays $13M for Facilitiies

Lake Forest-based nursing home operator Skilled Healthcare Group Inc. said Thursday that it spent $13.2 million to buy two facilities in Wichita, Kan.

San Diego Chipmaker Moving to OC

A San Diego chipmaker led by a former executive at Irvine's Broadcom Corp. is moving to Orange County.

Jobless Claims Jump to Highest Since 2005

The number of workers applying for unemployment benefits soared by 38,000 last week, posting the highest reading since September 2005 and reinforcing fears that the economy has stalled, government data on Thursday showed.

IBM Completes Telelogic Buy

IBM Corp. has completed its acquisition of Sweden's Telelogic AB, a software maker that has its U.S. headquarters in Irvine.

Wednesday, April 2

Boeing Reshuffles Executives; Dreamliner's 'Domino Effect'

A shuffling of Boeing Co.'s local leadership has put some new faces on its intricate org chart.

Ista Hammered Day After Disappointing Drug Results

Shares of Ista Pharmaceuticals Inc., an Irvine eye drug developer, continued to plunge on Wednesday, a day after the company said that clinical trial results for a new version of its flagship Xibrom drug were disappointing.

Fannie Mae Tightens Rules for Mortgages

Fannie Mae, the largest U.S. home funding company, told lenders on Monday that it will require a minimum credit score for loans it buys on an individual basis.

Lehman Brothers Examines China Growth Options

Lehman Brothers, the investment bank that raised $4 billion this week to shore up its capital and calm investors' nerves, is looking at expanding its business in China, an executive said on Wednesday.

Bernanke: Recession Possible, Growth to Rebound

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said on Wednesday the economy could face a mild recession but that growth should pick up as the impact of aggressive interest rates cuts are felt.

Tuesday, April 1

Lehman To Raise $3B To Quash Stability Fears

Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc, an investment bank beset by rumors of not having enough funding, said it plans to raise $3 billion of capital to quash questions about its stability.

Farm Chemcial Maker American Vanguard Warns on Q1

Newport Beach-based farm chemical maker American Vanguard Corp. said Tuesday that bad Midwest weather could cause first-quarter results to fall short of last year's levels.

CoCaLo Being Bought for $16M

New Jersey's Russ Berrie and Co. is acquiring Costa Mesa-based baby bedding maker CoCaLo Inc. for $16 million, the company said Tuesday.

UBS, Deutsche Losses Mount, But Bank Fog Clearing

UBS and Deutsche Bank took a $23 billion hit on their risky assets and the Swiss bank asked investors for more cash on Tuesday, but Europe's bank shares rallied on hopes that the end of another torrid quarter could mark a turning point.

Ceradyne Gets $41M Army Order

Costa Mesa-based body armor maker Ceradyne Inc. has won a $41 million Army contract.

Cisco: Core Router Sales Rose in Past 9 Months

Cisco Systems Inc., the biggest maker of network equipment, said sales of its high-end routers accelerated in the past several months despite worries that a slower U.S. economy was hurting technology spending.