Stories for August 2008

Friday, August 29

Wall St. Extends Losses, Dow, S & P; Off 1%

Stocks extended their losses on Friday, with the Dow and S & P; 500 both shedding 1% as oil prices rose and Dell warned that companies worldwide are cutting back on technology spending.

Quiksilver Unloading Rossignol, to Little Avail on Wall Street

For the past few years, Wall Street couldn't wait for Huntington Beach-based Quiksilver Inc. to sell off its struggling ski unit, Rossignol. Now, with a deal in hand, it seems there's no pleasing investors.

Microsoft to Buy Ciao.com Price Comparison Firm

Microsoft has agreed to buy Greenfield Online, owner of European price comparison website ciao.com, for about $486 million to boost its Internet search and e-commerce business in Europe.

Consumer Spending Shrinks But Confidence Rises

Personal income tumbled unexpectedly in July and inflation-adjusted spending shrank as government economic stimulus waned, but consumer spirits rose this month, a hint the economy may muddle through its woes.

Aristos Selling to Adaptec for $41M

Foothill Ranch-based Aristos Logic Corp., a maker of controller chips for storage networks, is selling to Adaptec Inc. for $41 million, or about half of the venture funding it's raised since 2000.

Thursday, August 28

Boeing Prepares to Make Final Contract Offer

Boeing Co. will present a final contract offer to its largest labor union as early as Thursday, hoping to prevent a strike that could cost the company $3 billion a month.

Second Quarter Growth Revised Upward to 3.3%

The economy grew at a solid 3.3% annual rate in the second quarter, much stronger than first thought, but many economists expect growth to flag as the year progresses.

Valeant Signs Deal Worth Up to $820M

Aliso Viejo-based Valeant Pharmaceuticals International said Thursday that it signed a deal with GlaxoSmithKline PLC that gives the British drug maker worldwide rights to retigabine, an epilepsy drug.

Healthcare Financier Buys Tustin Building for HQ

Medical Capital Corp., a healthcare finance company, has spent $15.5 million on a Tustin office building that's set to house its executive offices.

Sears Holdings Profit Falls Short, Forecast Cut

Sears Holdings Corp. posted a quarterly profit that fell far short of Wall Street expectations and cut its full-year earnings forecast as consumers scaled back shopping in a weak economy.

Broadcom Win: Qualcomm Found in Contempt of Chip Ban

A Santa Ana judge on Thursday found that San Diego's Qualcomm Inc. violated an earlier ruling by continuing to sell cell phone chips that Broadcom Corp. had patented and by failing to pay royalties on time.

Wednesday, August 27

Quiksilver Selling Rossignol for $147M

Huntington Beach-based Quiksilver Inc. has struck a deal to sell its Rossignol unit for $147 million to a former chief executive of the struggling French ski maker.

BP May Close Deal With Russian Co-Owners "In Weeks"

BP is conducting secret, high-level negotiations with the Russia-connected billionaires who co-own its troubled Russian venture TNK-BP and an outline deal to settle their dispute may come in weeks, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters.

Dollar Tree Posts Higher Profit, Outlook Below View

Dollar Tree Inc. reported a higher profit on Wednesday but gave a forecast for the full year that fell short of Wall Street expectations, sending the retailer's shares down more than 6%.

Anaheim Circuit Board Maker Leases Malaysia Plant

Anaheim-based Multi-Fineline Electronix Inc., a maker of flexible circuit boards, said Wednesday it is set to lease a factory in Malaysia and buy manufacturing gear for about $1 million.

Lehman Faces Q3 Loss, Fresh Writedowns: Morgan Stanley

Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. may post a loss in the third quarter on likely pre-tax writedowns of $3.5 billion, while Goldman Sachs Group Inc. may incur $1.5 billion in writedowns, according to an analyst at Morgan Stanley.

Pimco Looks To Invest $5B In Distressed Mortgages

Newport Beach-based Pacific Investment Management Co. is looking to invest as much as $5 billion in mortgage bonds with a new fund, according to Bloomberg.

Tuesday, August 26

Consumer Confidence Bounces

Consumer confidence recovered more than expected in August as worries over inflation eased, while financial markets combed through a slew of housing data for reasons to hope the worst is over for the moribund sector.

Big Lots Profit rises, Shares Down on Sales View

Big Lots Inc. posted a higher-than-expected profit as shoppers sought low prices at its stores, but shares fell 6% after it said same-store sales for the rest of the year would likely trail the first half.

Home Prices Fell at Record Pace in June: Report

Home prices fell a record annual 15.9% in June, but the monthly rate of decline slowed from May which suggested the decimated housing sector may be stabilizing, according to Standard & Poor's on Tuesday.

Broadcom Shares Dinged on Downgrade

Shares of Irvine's Broadcom Corp. fell Tuesday after an analyst downgraded the stock on concerns that the company is set to see slower sales growth in the fourth quarter.

MiCardia Raises $5M

MiCardia Corp., an Irvine-based medical device maker, said it has raised $5 million from insiders in a bridge round of financing with an eye on a larger third-series round next year amid "a tough fund-raising environment."

Corinthian Slumps on Outlook

Shares of Santa Ana-based Corinthian Colleges Inc. sunk after the vocational school operator forecast a profit for the current quarter that's below what Wall Street had been expecting.

Broadcom's Samueli Apologizes Ahead of Sentencing

Broadcom Corp. cofounder and former technology chief Henry Samueli apologized in a statement filed in federal court Tuesday for lying to the Securities and Exchange Commission during its probe of stock options backdating at the Irvine-based maker of commu

Monday, August 25

Device Maker Terumo Moving Unit to Tustin

Terumo Corp., a Japanese medical device maker, will move its MicroVention Inc. unit from Aliso Viejo to a Tustin facility that's being vacated by Terumo Cardiovascular Systems.

Financials Drag Market Down About 2%

Stocks slid on Monday on persistent credit concerns and worries about the impact of slowing global growth on big industrial companies.

Gypsy Den Waitress Turns Green Retailer in Santa Ana

A Gypsy Den waitress turns green retailer in Santa Ana with the Road Less Traveled, in the Marketplace column

Kingston, Intel Team Up Drives Made of Flash Memory

Kingston Technology Co. has teamed up with Intel Corp. to market drives made of flash memory to corporations and makers of laptops and servers.

PacSun Sells Warehouse for $35M

Pacific Sunwear is selling its Anaheim warehouse to Panattoni for $35 million

Broadcom GPS Patent Victory Poses Questions for Sirf

Broadcom GPS patent victory poses questions for Sirf, in the Technology column

RF Nano's Founders Took Risk on Startup, Get $8M Vote of Confidence

RF Nano's founders took a risk on the startup and got $8 million in funding

Volcom Makes Changes, Tempers Outlook

Volcom makes an executive change and tempers its outlook

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Summaries of other business news and top stories by industry; Economic Indicators

Terumo Moving Operations to Michigan

Terumo Cardiovascular Systems, a medical device maker, is moving its research and development and manufacturing operations from Tustin to Ann Arbor, Mich.

Tenants' Delight

More Industrial Space on Market, Rents Flattening

Existing-Homes Sales Rise, Inventory Swells

Sales of previously owned homes ticked higher in July thanks to lower prices, but record inventory suggested the battered housing market is unlikely to recover soon, a trade group report showed on Monday.

GIVING

Fundraisers and charitable donations from companies and people

Irvine Now County's No. 3 City by People

Irvine overtakes Huntington Beach as the county's largest city by population

Medical Office Prognosis: Steady, Not Immune to Slowing

Medical Office Prognosis: Steady, Not Immune to Slowing

Olenicoff Widow Runs Personal Products Co., Law Firm

Olenicoff widow runs a personal products company and a small law firm, in the Small Business column

Expanding Fluor Grabs Another Building in Spectrum

Expanding Fluor grabs another building in the Irvine Spectrum, in the Real Estate column

OCBJ SUPPLEMENTS and GUIDES

MERGERS & ACQUISITIONS 2008

Broadcom Buying AMD Unit for $193M

Irvine's Broadcom Corp. is paying $192.8 million in cash for the digital TV chip business of Advanced Micro Devices Inc.

OC All Over Airwaves; Eddy's Other Socal Job

OC All Over Airwaves; Eddy's Other Socal Job

VIEWPOINT

Tax Fight - Upping commercial property taxes could stick it to small businesses

Freddie Debt Sale Eases Concerns of Nationalization

Ailing mortgage finance company Freddie Mac easily sold $2 billion of debt on Monday, reassuring investors that it and rival Fannie Mae can fund operations without a government takeover.

Latest From Fifi: Urban Thai, Cafe Maiz, Tango Sale

Latest from Fifi: Urban Thai, Cafe Maiz, Tango Sale, in the Executive Dining column

CALENDAR

A listing of events happening all around Orange County

Retail Deals Slow in Past Year, Will Continue Through '08

Retail Deals Slow in Past Year, Will Continue Through '08

Pancake Fundraiser

Pancake Fundraiser

MARKET WATCH

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

Business Journal Hires Media, Ad, PR Writer

The Business Journal has hired a media and marketing reporter, Michael Volpe

Safety-Net Centers Look to Attract Wealthier Patients

Safety-net providers look to shed their image of catering to poor and attract wealthier patients, in the Healthcare column

Entrepreneur Makes Changes, Sale Off

Jennifer Bellantonio says farewell, in the Media & Marketing column

Healthcare Financier Buys Tustin Building for HQ

Healthcare financier Medical Capital bought a Tustin building for headquarters

Economy Pushes Industrial Rents, Absorption Down

Economy Pushes Industrial Rents, Absorption Down

REAL ESTATE DEALS

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

Friday, August 22

Boeing May Withdraw from U.S. Tanker Bid

Boeing Co. confirmed on Friday it may withdraw from a $35 billion competition for new aerial refueling aircraft unless the Pentagon agrees to give it six months to submit a new bid.

Irvine Now County's No. 3 City by People

Orange County's 34 cities added people and revenue in the past year with fast-growing Irvine overtaking Huntington Beach as the third largest city, according to this week's Business Journal list.

Automakers Seek Fed Loans to Ride Downturn: Report

The Big 3 Detroit-based automakers are seeking about $25 billion in federal loans as they struggle to ride out a steep downturn in auto sales, The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday.

Wanted: Fast-Growing Private Companies for Annual List

We know you're out there. The Business Journal is producing its second list of fast-growing privately held companies in October.

PacSun Stock Plummets, Wet Seal Gains

Shares of Anaheim-based Pacific Sunwear of California Inc. plunged Friday as investors reacted to the retailer's poor outlook, while shares of Foothill Ranch-based Wet Seal Inc. jumped amid cost cutting efforts that have shored up profits even as sales st

Boeing May Withdraw from U.S. Tanker Bd

Boeing Co. confirmed on Friday it may withdraw from a $35 billion competition for new aerial refueling aircraft unless the Pentagon agrees to give it six months to submit a new bid.

Bernanke Says Inflation Outlook "Uncertain"

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke on Friday said the stronger dollar and lower oil prices, along with the weak economy, should curb inflation, in a hint that interest rates would stay on hold, though he warned the inflation outlook is "highly uncertai

Thursday, August 21

Plant Grower Hines Files for Bankruptcy

Irvine-based Hines Horticulture Inc., a seller of plants and shrubs through home improvement stores, has filed for bankruptcy protection and plans to sell off its operations.

PacSun Slumps on Weak Outlook

Anaheim-based mall retailer Pacific Sunwear of California Inc. reported quarterly earnings that met expectations but shares fell more than 20% in afterhours trading after the company warned about the next two quarters.

Oil Rises Towards $120 on Russia-U.S. Tension

Oil rose by more than $4 a barrel to nearly $120 on Thursday, climbing for a third day, as Washington's missile shield deal with Poland angered Russia, adding to international tension.

Jobless Claims Fall Again But Still High

The number of workers filing new claims for jobless benefits fell last week for a second week in a row, the government said on Thursday, though they continued at levels that showed a weakening labor market.

Wonderware Buys Maker of Mobile Factory Software

Lake Forest's Wonderware Corp., a maker of factory automation software, said Thursday it bought Houston-based SAT Corp. for $52 million.

Fannie, Freddie Shares Dive Deeper on Bailout Fear

Heightened expectations of a government bailout of home-funding giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac drove the two companies' shares down more than 14% on Thursday, as investors feared such government action would wipe out shareholders.

Wet Seal Meets Expectations, Offers Moderate Outlook

Foothill Ranch-based Wet Seal Inc. on Thursday reported quarterly results and offered an outlook for the current quarter that largely fell in line with Wall Street expectations.

Wednesday, August 20

Fannie, Freddie Shares Hit 18-Year Low on Bailout Fears

Shares of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac dove to their lowest levels in more than 18 years on mounting fears of a government bailout that would wipe out shareholders of the two housing finance giants.

Hedge Fund Ups Epicor Stake, Seeks Change

A New York hedge fund has taken a 10% stake in Epicor Software Corp. with an eye toward the Irvine business software maker "exploring strategic alternatives."

Oil Pares Gain on Big Rise in Inventories

Oil traded near $115 a barrel on Wednesday, paring an earlier gain, after a government report showed crude oil inventories rose much more than expected in the world's largest consumer.

BJ's Wholesale Profit Up, Raises Full-Year View

BJ's Wholesale Club Inc. said on Wednesday quarterly profit rose as shoppers headed to its stores in search of low prices on food and fuel, and the No. 3 U.S. warehouse club operator raised its full-year profit forecast.

$90M Condo Project Approved in Fullerton

A $90 million condominium building with stores and offices was approved Tuesday night for Fullerton's downtown.

Tuesday, August 19

Seal Beach Lot Up for Sale as Hotel Project

Nearly 11 acres of undeveloped land on Seal Beach's coast is up for sale, with expectations that the buyer will turn the site into a hotel.

Big SunCal Project Slated for Auction

A stalled 6,000-home development near Bakersfield overseen by Irvine-based SunCal Cos. could go to auction as early as Friday, according to a report.

Inflation Heats Up as Home Building Slows

Wholesale prices shot up in July at the fastest year-on-year rate since 1981, while home builders cut back on construction as they worked through a glut of unsold homes, government data showed on Tuesday.

Home Depot Beats Estimates, Keeps Full-Year View

Home Depot Inc., the world's largest home improvement retailer, reported higher-than-expected quarterly profit on Tuesday as it held down costs and consumers took on spring projects.

General Dynamics to Buy Jet Aviation for $2.25B

General Dynamics said it agreed to acquire Zurich-based Jet Aviation, a privately held provider of business aviation services, for about $2.25 billion in cash.

Monday, August 18

Travel Agencies Post 6% Gain, Carried By Luxury, Corporate

Travel Agencies Post 6% Gain, Carried By Luxury, Corporate

Work on St. Jude Medical Office Building Under Way

St. Jude Medical Center is getting more medical office space and parking, in the Healthcare Column

First American Passes on Buy Amid Changes

First American says it's not actively looking to buy smaller title companies, in the Real Estate column

Maguire Cautious as It Looks to Sell Off, Lease Up Buildings

Maguire Properties is in talks for a lease in Irvine and is working on two other deals

REAL ESTATE DEALS

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

Corporate Retreats

Companies Look to Save Money Having Teambuilding, Meetings, Incentive Events in SoCal

PacSun Slumps After Analyst Warns of Tough Back-to-School

Shares of Pacific Sunwear of California Inc., an Anaheim-based seller of surf inspired clothing, fell on Monday after an analyst lowered its outlook on the company' earnings due to a struggling back-to-school shopping season for retailers.

Home Builders Stay Grim in August

Home builder sentiment was stuck at a record low in August, as stringent lending and a flood of foreclosed homes dragged on the real estate market, according to data from the National Association of Home Builders released on Monday.

China Push Impacts Circuit Board Maker's Profits

Multi-Fineline's construction delays and higher than expected costs have stalled a run-up in shares

Quest Spooks Analysts With Costs, Talk of Big Buy

Quest Software could see rougher waters ahead, in the Technology column

CALENDAR

A listing of events happening all around Orange County

OCBJ SUPPLEMENTS and GUIDES

GOING GREEN GUIDE 2008

REAL ESTATE WATCH: LOW-RISE OFFICE

OC's low-rise office sector has seen a slow 2008 so far, in Real Estate Watch. PLUS: CHARTS - Net Absorption; Vacancy Rates; Average Asking Lease Rates

Wall St. Slides as Credit Worries Rattle Financials

Stocks fell on Monday as investors fretted about the prospect of more losses from the mortgage crisis, bruising shares of the two big home finance providers and other financial companies.

D-Link's Pitch: Cheaper than Cisco

D-Link, big with consumers, is looking to sell more to businesses

Seal Beach Lot up for Sale as Hotel Project

Some 11 acres of undeveloped land on Seal Beach's coast is up for sale

REVIEW

A local insurance executive talks about how to reduce healthcare costs.

LETTER

Air Force Tanker. Letter to the Editor.

VIEWPOINT

A local insurance executive talks about how to reduce healthcare costs.

Auto Sales: Awful First Half, Hope for Better Year End

Sales for OC's auto dealers are projected to get better after slumping for the year so far, in the Marketplace column

Taking Flight

Swift Engineering has roots in racecars and ambitions in the sky

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

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

Pickens' Clean Energy Buys Landfill Gas Plant

Seal Beach-based Clean Energy Fuels Corp., a provider of natural gas that's backed by T. Boone Pickens, bought a Dallas landfill gas processing plant for $19 million.

MARKET WATCH

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

Irvine Networking Startup Raises $14M

Irvine telecommunications gear startup Aktino Inc. said Monday it raised $14 million in a third round of venture funding.

Department Store Darling

Three Dots' loyal following is insulating the company from the downturn that's hit other clothing makers

EVENTS - Park Fundraiser

Park Fundraiser - Scenes from business, social, charity and other events

Luxury Lives

Smaller Travel Agencies, Tour Operators Hurt by Economy, Airlines; High End's Doing Fine

Video, Film Budgets Holding Up, Blackstone Media Says

Blackstone Media Group has watched some clients shift tactics to weather the economy, in Media & Marketing column

July Home Prices Off 28% from Year Ago

Orange County's median home price decreased $34,000 in July from June, as bargain hunters focused their attention on foreclosed and distressed properties in more affordable neighborhoods.

Olen Building Brea Apartments

Newport Beach developer Olen Properties Corp. has started on a 260-apartment complex in Brea, the largest to go up in the North County city in the past decade.

Analyst Questions Edwards Valve, Others Remain Upbeat About Trial

An analyst's sour review of Edwards' new heart valve has derailed the stock's gains

PEOPLE

Hirings, promotions and other moves at local businesses

Good Weather Trumps Economy for Convention Bookers

Good Weather Trumps Economy for Convention Bookers

Under-Construction L.A. Live Books 25 Conventions to 2024

Under-Construction L.A. Live Books 25 Conventions to 2024

Booked in Advance

Meeting, Convention Business Still Strong on Planned Events; Concern for Future Slowdown

Building Still Booms On Local Campuses; OCBJ Office Tower?

Building Still Booms On Local Campuses; OCBJ Office Tower?

Lowe's Profit Beats Wall St. View

Retailer Lowe's Cos. reported a higher-than-expected quarterly profit on Monday, helped by consumers spending tax rebate checks, and raised its full-year forecast, sending shares up about 2%.

Ingram's Shares Dip on Downgrade

Shares of Ingram Micro Inc., the Santa Ana-based distributor of technology products, software and consumer electronics, fell Monday after an analyst downgraded the stock.

Friday, August 15

Job Losses Worsen in July

Orange County lost nearly 30,000 jobs in July from a year earlier as the area's slumping employment market took a turn for the worse.

Downey: Deposits Stable After Withdrawal Spike

Newport Beach-based savings and loan operator Downey Financial Corp. said Friday deposits stabilized in August after "elevated" withdrawals last month.

J.C. Penney Profit Falls But Beats Estimates

J.C. Penney Co. posted a quarterly profit on Friday that beat Wall Street expectations as strong inventory controls offset weaker consumer spending, pushing its shares 6% higher.

New York to Sue Merrill on ARS: Attorney General

New York state will soon take legal action against Merrill Lynch & Co. over auction-rate securities as part of its industrywide investigation into banks that mishandled the risky debt, Attorney General Andrew Cuomo said on Friday.

Irvine's Gatekeepers Buying Back London Shares

Irvine's Gatekeeper Systems Inc., which makes an electronic gadget that keeps shopping carts from leaving a store's parking lot, is buying back its London-traded shares with an eye toward going private.

Wall St Rises as Cheaper Oil Lifts Outlook

Stocks rose in choppy trading on Friday as falling commodity prices buoyed hopes of a revival in consumer spending, boosting the outlook for economic and profit growth.

Thursday, August 14

Wal-Mart Profit Up 17%

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. reported a 17% rise in profit and raised its full-year forecast as shoppers seek low prices, but cautioned that a difficult global economy was heaping pressure on consumers.

Thompson National Eyeing $110M Industrial Buy

Irvine-based real estate investor Thompson National Properties LLC is looking to buy close to 1.4 million square feet of industrial properties from Storm Properties Inc. of Torrance, for a reported $110 million.

Consumer Prices Up Sharply, Job Market Softens

Consumer prices climbed at twice the rate expected in July and job prospects kept softening last week, according to Labor Department reports on Thursday that pointed to swelling economic stress.

Two Banks Agree to Auction-Rate Settlement with NY

Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan Chase & Co. have agreed to settlements with New York state stemming from alleged mishandling of sales of auction-rate securities, the state's attorney general said on Thursday.

Irvine's Ultimate Ears Bought for $34M

Irvine's Ultimate Ears Inc., a maker of custom ear monitors for musicians and sound engineers, is set to be bought by Switzerland's Logitech International SA for $34 million.

Real Estate Investor Thompson Eyes $110M Industrial Buy

Irvine-based real estate investor Thompson National Properties LLC is looking to buy close to 1.4 million square feet of industrial properties from Storm Properties Inc. of Torrance, for a reported $110 million.

Wednesday, August 13

Genentech Rejects Roche Bid

Biotechnology company Genentech Inc. rejected an offer by its majority shareholder, Roche Holding AG, to acquire the shares of Genentech it does not already own.

Jet Engine Parts Maker Being Bought for $59M

Irvine-based Chen-Tech Industries Inc., a maker of jet engine parts, is being acquired for $59 million.

Jazz Acquisition Set for Vote, Likely Close Next Month

Newport Beach-based chipmaker Jazz Technologies Inc.'s $170 million acquisition by Israel's Tower Semiconductor Ltd. is on track to close next month, the companies said Wednesday.

Chrysler Identifies Over $1B in Assets for Sale

Chrysler LLC has identified over $1 billion in non-earning assets for potential sale, Tom LaSorda, the automaker's president, said on Wednesday.

Endocare Rejects Buyout Offer

Endocare Inc., an Irvine medical device maker, said Wednesday it rejected a $26.9 million unsolicited buyout offer from Austin, Texas-based HealthTronics Inc.

Retail Sales Dip Points to Spending Strain

Retail sales edged down 0.1% in July on a big drop at auto dealers, the government said on Wednesday in a report suggesting consumers were straining to keep spending up amid rising prices.

Tuesday, August 12

Chip Startup with UCI Ties Lands $8M Funding

Newport Beach startup RF Nano Corp., a chipmaker that grew out of research at the University of California, Irvine, said Tuesday it raised $8 million in its second round of venture funding.

JPMorgan Loses $1.5B So Far in Third Quarter

Investment bank JPMorgan Chase & Co. has incurred losses of about $1.5 billion since the start of July, hurt by turmoil in the credit and mortgage markets and by wider credit spreads and lower levels of liquidity, the company said in a regulatory filing l

Spectrum Shares Surge on Q2 Profit

Shares of Spectrum Pharmaceuticals Inc., an Irvine drug maker, were up nearly 25% at close of trading after reporting a profitable second quarter.

Quality Systems Names CEO

Irvine's Quality Systems Inc. named director and longtime local healthcare executive Steven Plochocki as its chief executive on Tuesday.

Trade Gap Shrinks Despite Oil Price Surge

The trade deficit shrank unexpectedly in June as the weak dollar helped push exports higher and overpowered record high prices for imported oil, a Commerce Department report showed on Tuesday.

House Prices Edge Higher in June

House prices edged higher in June in another sign the market is clawing back some ground from its worst downturn in decades, according to an early reading of single-family home sales during the month.

Monday, August 11

Company Recruits Students, Fans as Potential Employees

The top maker of online video games is looking to recruit workers from local universities

Beckman Shines with Blood Analyzer, Tradeshow Booth

Beckman Coulter shined at a recent tradeshow, in the Healthcare Column

Turnaround Illusive for Telescope Maker; Buyout in the Stars?

Meade Instruments is struggling in its third year of a five-year turnaround

Analyst Suggests Broadcom as Suitor for TV Chip Buy

Broadcom could be a likely contender to buy the digital television chip business of a Northern California company, in the Technology column

Doctor's Orders

Health insurance officials are carefully watching what the upcoming presidential presidential election will mean for their industry

HMOs Saw Drop in Growth After Years of Increases

HMOs Saw Drop in Growth After Years of Increases; PPOs grew its members by 2.6% in the past year

Waste Management Raises Bid for Republic

Waste Management Inc., the largest U.S. trash hauler, raised its unsolicited takeover bid for rival Republic Services Inc. by about 9% to $6.7 billion on Monday to try to thwart Republic's agreement to acquire Allied Waste Industries Inc.

REAL ESTATE DEALS

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

Alcon's Irvine Operations Embrace Swiss Handover

Alcon is undergoing an ownership change

Under the Weather

HMOs' Stocks Have Taken a Hit in 2008 as Competition, Economic Pressures Dropped Value

CALENDAR

A listing of events happening all around Orange County

Atlanta's Flip Flop Shops Targets Irvine for Expansion

Flip Flop Shops has targeted OC as its launch pad for a national expansion, in the Marketplace column

PEOPLE

Hirings, promotions and other moves at local businesses

JSP Creative Cuts Full-Time Jobs by 20%, Hires Freelance

Production shop JSP Creative has cut jobs to survive the economic downturn, in Media & Marketing column

Shares of Emulex Rally on Upgrade

Shares of Costa Mesa-based Emulex Corp., a maker of electronics for data storage networks, jumped in midday New York trading Monday after the stock was upgraded by an analyst.

Kaiser Permanente Reaches Rescission Policy Settlement

Kaiser Permanente Reaches Rescission Policy Settlement

Palomar Pomerado Health Touts High-Tech Development

Palomar Pomerado Health Touts High-Tech Development

Wet Seal Swims Against Rough Tide

Wet Seal is turning around with some bumps along the way

Restructuring Valeant Rises, Despite 'Poor' Results

Shares of Aliso Viejo-based Valeant Pharmaceuticals International were up nearly 7% at close of trading as investors appeared to look past a disappointing second-quarter loss at the restructuring drug maker.

VIEWPOINT

A local lawyer talks about how some people in OC are fighting to stop exorbitant congressional spending.

GIVING

Fundraisers and charitable donations from companies and people

Proposed Presidential Healthcare Plans

Proposed Presidential Healthcare Plans

Game Companies Taking Office Space at Faster Clip

The video game industry is propping up the local office market

Nasdaq Up 1% as Oil Drops, Dollar Strengthens

Stocks added to gains on Monday, with the Nasdaq climbing more than 1%, as the stronger dollar boosted the allure of U.S. investments and Citigroup projected strong sales for Amazon.com Inc.'s electronic book reader.

MARKET WATCH

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

Corinthian's Thriving on Wall Street in Down Economy

A sluggish economy is giving Corinthian Colleges a boost on Wall Street

Calmont Makes Tubes for Hula Hoops to Space Ships

Calmont Wire has evolved from making tubes for hula hoops to making cables for space ships, in the Small Business column

Grubb & Ellis Executives: Company Misunderstood

Grubb & Ellis is trying to convince Wall Street that it's a sound investment

Nexus Development To Rent Out Costa Mesa Condos

Nexus Development is planning to convert its Westside Lofts in Costa Mesa from condos to apartments, in the Real Estate column

Emulex Expanding Campus in Costa Mesa

Costa Mesa's Emulex is set to expand its Costa Mesa campus

Dental Insurance Companies Grew Membership 5%

HMOs Saw Drop in Growth After Years of Increases; PPOs grew its members by 2.6% in the past year

No Second Place At Irvine Co.; Gustavo Does OC

No Second Place At Irvine Co.; Gustavo Does OC

REAL ESTATE WATCH: HIGH-RISE OFFICE MARKET

High-rise space in the airport area and South County is seeing moderate activity. PLUS: CHARTS - Net Absorption; Vacancy Rates; Average Asking Lease Rates

Downey Reports Pickup In Withdrawals

Newport Beach-based Downey Financial Corp. said Monday that its customers began withdrawing money at a faster pace last month.

PacSun July Sales Fall, Profit Outlook Upped

PacSun July Sales Fall, Profit Outlook Upped

New York Expands Auction-Rate Securities Probe

New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo's office on Monday expanded its investigation into Wall Street's handling of auction-rate securities markets, seeking to commence settlement talks with JPMorgan Chase & Co., Morgan Stanley and Wachovia Corp.

Edwards Slumps on Heart Valve Concerns

Investors drove down shares of Irvine heart valve maker Edwards Lifesciences Corp.

OCBJ SUPPLEMENTS and GUIDES

WHO'S BUILDING ORANGE COUNTY 2008

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

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

Capitol Hill

Summary of SOME Healthcare-Related Bills Being Debated IN Congress

AROUND THE COUNTY

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

Friday, August 8

Fannie Mae Posts Another Huge Loss, Cuts Dividend

Fannie Mae on Friday posted a much larger-than-expected second-quarter loss and slashed its dividend more than 85% to preserve capital as home loan defaults accelerated in the bleakest U.S. housing market since the Great Depression.

UBS to Buy Back Stricken Debt Securities

Swiss bank UBS has agreed to buy back $19.4 billion of debt securities whose value collapsed during the global financial crisis, and to pay $150 million in fines to settle charges that it misled investors, a Massachusetts official said on Friday.

Committee Kills Sick Leave Bill

Legislation requiring California employers to provide paid sick leave was killed in committee Thursday afternoon, handing a major victory to business groups.

Oil's Slide Revives Wall Street Rally

Stocks rose on Friday as a drop in oil below $117 a barrel buoyed prospects for stronger business and consumer spending, leading to improved prospects for corporate profits.

Fuel Systems Higher On Forecast

Shares of Santa Ana-based Fuel Systems Solutions Inc. soared more than 25% Friday, a day after beating Wall Street expectations and raising its forecast for the year.

Endocare Gets $27M Buyout Offer

Endocare Inc., an Irvine medical device maker, has received a $26.9 million unsolicited buyout offer from HealthTronics Inc. of Austin, Texas.

Thursday, August 7

July Sales Struggle as Tax Rebate Cash Ends

Retailers including Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Target Corp. posted disappointing July sales results on Thursday as shoppers ran out of extra tax rebate cash, dampening hopes for the current back-to-school shopping season.

Ista Shares Plunge Before Q2 Results; Loss Narrowed

Irvine drug maker Ista Pharmaceuticals Inc. said it narrowed its second-quarter loss but not before its shares plunged on Thursday.

Edwards Slumps on Concerns About Heart Valve

Investors drove down shares of Irvine heart valve maker Edwards Lifesciences Corp. Thursday after a JP Morgan analyst downgraded the company's stock on concerns about a new type of heart valve.

June Pending Home Sales Up Unexpectedly

Home sales contracts signed in June unexpectedly rose, boosting an index of pending sales to the highest level since October, though it was well below the year-ago level, a real estate trade group said on Thursday.

Quality Shares Surge on Strong Results

Shares of Quality Systems Inc., an Irvine-based healthcare information technology company, shot up nearly 10% in afterhours trading Thursday after its quarterly profit beat analysts' expectations.

PacSun, Wet Seal Slump in July, Offer Better Outlooks

Mall retailers Pacific Sunwear of California Inc. and Wet Seal Inc. saw sales at stores open at least a year fall in July, missing Wall Street's expectations.

Kaiser Aluminum Misses On Earnings

Foothill Ranch-based Kaiser Aluminum Corp. reported earnings below Wall Street's expectations Thursday as higher fuel costs and a fire at one of its plants hurt business.

Authorities Reach ARS Deal with Citigroup

Citigroup Inc. has agreed to buy back more than $7 billion of illiquid auction-rate securities from investors by November 5 and pay $100 million in penalties, according to a settlement with New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo and the Securities and Exc

Emulex's Results, Outlook Fall Short of Expectations

Shares of Costa Mesa's Emulex Corp., a maker of electronics for data storage networks, fell Thursday after the company gave June quarter results and an outlook for the current quarter that missed analysts' expectations.

Wednesday, August 6

Grand Jury Clears County Treasurer Street

The Orange County district attorney's investigation of county Treasurer-Tax Collector Chriss Street has cleared him of wrongdoing in the remodeling of his office and taking paid time from work to tend to legal issues.

Parker Lands $3.5B Contract, Set To Hire

Parker Aerospace, the Irvine-based unit of Cleveland's Parker Hannifin Corp., has won one of its biggest commercial contracts ever to make steering controls for Canada's Bombardier Inc.

Wireless Tech Stocks Take Beating on Costs, Outlook

The stocks of two makers of wireless phone products continued to get hammered Wednesday, a day after they posted second-quarter results and outlooks that left a bad taste in investors' mouths.

Freddie Posts 4th-Straight Loss, to Slash Dividend

Freddie Mac on Wednesday posted its fourth straight quarterly loss as it braced for a prolonged housing crisis by setting aside twice as much money for bad loans and setting plans to slash its dividend by at least 80%.

Time Warner to Split AOL in Two, Beats Estimates

Time Warner Inc. said it would split AOL's dial-up Internet and advertising businesses into separate divisions by early 2009, a move that could ease a sale or merger of either business.

Blackstone Profit Lower, Financing Still Difficult

Blackstone Group LP, the private equity company, reported lower quarterly profit on Wednesday, but still topped estimates, and said it sees increasing investment opportunities despite volatile markets.

Tuesday, August 5

Investors Balk at M-Flex's Expected Higher Costs in Q3

Shares of Anaheim's Multi-Fineline Electronix Inc., a maker of flexible printed circuit boards for cell phones, were hammered by investors Tuesday after the company said it expects to take a slew of charges for its cost-cutting program during the current

Grubb & Ellis Posts Q2 Net Loss of $5.1M

Santa Ana-based Grubb & Ellis Co., feeling the effects of a slow commercial real estate market, reported a net loss of $5.1 million in the second quarter, compared to combined net income of $11.3 million a year ago, the company reported on Tuesday.

Cablevision Says to Explore Spin-Off

Cablevision Systems Corp. said on Tuesday it would hire investment banks to help evaluate a spin off at least one of its businesses, among other strategies, including buying back stock or paying out dividends, sending shares up as much as 8%.

D.R. Horton Posts Bigger-Than-Expected Loss

D.R. Horton, the largest U.S. home builder, posted a bigger-than-expected quarterly loss as it wrote down the value of more holdings in a decimated real estate market.

Dish Network Again Weighs DirecTV Deal: Report

Satellite-TV provider Dish Network Corp. is weighing another attempt to merge with rival DirecTV Group Inc., The Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday.

Quest Software's Q2 Results Miss Expectations

Shares of Aliso Viejo-based Quest Software Inc., a maker of business software, held relatively flat Tuesday after the company reported second-quarter results that fell short of Wall Street's expectations.

I-Flow Shares Plunge on Q2 Earnings

Shares of I-Flow Corp. fell sharply Tuesday after the Lake Forest device maker said it swung to a second-quarter loss after charges.

Monday, August 4

Residents Buying Smart Cars as Just Another Gadget

There's another reason to buy the smart fortwo car besides gas and the environment, in the Marketplace column

VIEWPOINT

Republican Congressman John Campbell predicts what the next Congress and president will do to you.

Cleveland No Joke For City National; Obama Trails Drake

Cleveland No Joke For City National; Obama Trails Drake

STEC Shares Rise on Q3 Outlook; New Design Win

Shares of Santa Ana's STEC Inc., a maker of flash memory drives for server computers and laptops, rose Monday after the company reported second quarter results and gave an outlook for the current quarter that beat Wall Street's expectations.

WCI Communities Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

Home builder WCI Communities Inc. said on Monday it and about 130 of its subsidiaries filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection because it failed to obtain the financing that would keep $1.8 billion of debt out of default.

OC's WEALTHIEST

Call them the reluctant billionaires.

Irvine Co. CEO McKee Retiring

Michael McKee, chief executive of The Irvine Company, is retiring, the county's dominant real estate company announced Monday.

Parker Lands $3.5B Contract, Set To Hire

Parker Aerospace has won a big commercial contract to make electronic steering controls for Canada's Bombardier

Region's Richest: Kerkorian, Bren Tops in Southern California

Kerkorian, Bren Tops in Southern California

PEOPLE

Hirings, promotions and other moves at local businesses

Advanced Medical Recovers After Shares Fall on Q2 Results

Shares of Advanced Medical Optics Inc. were down Monday after the Santa Ana maker of eye surgery devices and contact lens solutions posted second-quarter earnings that missed analysts' expectations.

Buy.Com, EBay Deal Sparks Online Uproar

Buy.com has raised the ire of the eBay faithful

Harbor View

In Newport's Shadow, Huntington Harbour is Low-Key Coastal Wealth

OTHER CENTIMILLIONAIRES

Those estimated to be worth $100 million or more, though an exact number is hard to pin down

ImClone Calls Bristol Offer Too Low

Biotechnology company ImClone Systems Inc. said on Monday that a $60-per-share takeover bid from partner Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. was too low, but it would hire financial advisers to help it study the unsolicited offer.

Studley: Office Availability at 25% in Second Quarter

Class A office space in OC now is seeing availability rates at 25%, in the Real Estate column

Prices, Selling Times for Richest Homes Tempers from Boom

Prices, Selling Times for Richest Homes Tempers from Boom

Motorola Names Qualcomm COO to Head Cell Phones

Motorola Inc. named Sanjay Jha, Qualcomm Inc.'s former chief operating officer, to head its loss making mobile devices business and become co-chief executive with Greg Brown, the company said on Monday.

Billionaire's Club

A summary of OC's Billionaire Club

Qualcomm Pact Hits Broadcom

Some are seeing Qualcomm's recent licensing deal with Nokia as a blow to Broadcom's ambitions in cell phone chips

Valeant Cut 52 Jobs in Aliso Viejo, 1,250 Companywide

Valeant Pharmaceuticals is shedding jobs, including at its Aliso Viejo headquarters, in the Healthcare column

Beyond Check Writing: Some Wealthiest Start Own Charities

Beyond Check Writing: Some Wealthiest Start Own Charities

Ista's Shares Plummet On Analyst Downgrade

Ista's Shares Plummet On Analyst Downgrade

MARKET WATCH

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

Coto de Caza: Rich Living off the Water

There's more to Coto de Caza than what was featured on "The Real Housewives of Orange County,"

Spectrum Set To Sell First Branded Drug

Generic drug maker Spectrum Pharmaceuticals is set to start selling its first brand-name drug

ASR Expo Expected to Be Smaller, More Tame in Sept.

The September Action Sports Retailer Trade Expo is expected to be smaller than usual, in Media & Marketing column

Valeant Sells European Operations for $392M

Aliso Viejo-based Valeant Pharmaceuticals International is selling some of its European operations to Swedish drug company Meda AB for nearly $400 million as part of planned efforts to improve its profitability and shift its focus to North America.

Western Digital Consolidates Disk Drive Operations

Western Digital bought the controller chip division of Switzerland's STMicroelectronics, in the Technology column

Asics America Expanding Headquarters in Irvine Spectrum

Asics America is moving its headquarters within the Irvine Spectrum to make way for growth

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

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

Multimedia Cos. Slow Hiring as Business Drops

Orange County's multimedia production companies buckled down in the past year

REAL ESTATE WATCH: CONSTRUCTION

Commercial construction is down in OC, in Real Estate Watch. PLUS: CHARTS - Net Absorption; Vacancy Rates; Average Asking Lease Rates

Friday, August 1

Wealthiest Here Estimated at $34.5B; Real Estate Down

Orange County's 32 wealthiest people count a combined estimated worth of $34.5 billion, according to the Business Journal's annual list that appears in Monday's issue.

Jobless Rate Highest in 4 Years

The unemployment rate hit its highest level in four years during July as employers cut jobs for a seventh straight month, though less severely than predicted, a Labor Department report showed on Friday.

GM Posts $15.5B Loss as Sales Sputter

General Motors Corp. reported a $15.5B quarterly loss on Friday as North American sales dropped by 20% and resale prices for SUVs coming off lease plunged.

IndyMac Bancorp Files for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

IndyMac Bancorp Inc., once one of the largest U.S. mortgage lenders, has filed for bankruptcy protection, less than three weeks after being seized by federal regulators following a bank run by depositors.

Chipmaker Conexant Rallies on Outlook, Turnaround

Shares of Newport Beach chipmaker Conexant Systems Inc. soared Friday, a day after it surprised analysts with an improved outlook for the current quarter.

William Lyon Posts $39M Q2 Loss

Newport Beach-based homebuilder William Lyon Homes Inc. on Friday reported a $38.9 million loss for the second quarter, about half of what it lost a year earlier.

Sun, Other Nursing Home Operators up on More Medicare Funding

Shares of Irvine nursing home operator Sun Healthcare Group Inc. rose Friday, likely on news that the government is hiking Medicare payments to it and its competitors next year.