Stories for July 2008

Thursday, July 31

GM Talks with Mahindra, Others on Hummer: Sources

General Motors Corp. is in talks with Indian automaker Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. and automakers in Russia and China about selling its Hummer brand, sources familiar with the matter said.

Standard Pacific Posts $248M Q2 Loss

Irvine-based Standard Pacific Corp. posted another big loss in the second quarter, although Wall Street appeared unfazed by the latest earnings release from the struggling homebuilder.

Bristol Offers to Buy ImClone for $60 a Share

Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. has offered to buy ImClone Systems Inc. for $60 a share, valuing its biotech partner at $5.2 billion, in a deal that would give it greater control of the cancer drug Erbitux.

Cost Cutting Brings First American Profit; Spinoff Delayed

Shares of Santa Ana-based First American Corp. were up nearly 12% at close of trading Thursday, after the title insurer and business information company reported better than expected second-quarter earnings.

Exxon has Record Profit Again on Soaring Oil Prices

Exxon Mobil Corp. said on Thursday soaring oil prices pushed its second-quarter earnings up 14%, again breaking its own record for the highest-ever profit by a U.S. company.

Wednesday, July 30

MetLife Shares Fall on Profit drop, Weak Forecast

Shares of MetLife Inc. fell more than 5% on Wednesday, a day after the largest U.S. life insurer reported lower quarterly earnings and cut its 2008 profit forecast.

Apria Reports Initial Q2, Final Results Delayed

Lake Forest-based home healthcare provider Apria Healthcare Group Inc. released partial second-quarter results Wednesday but delayed final figures because of a possible accounting issue.

Allergan Reports Q2, Cautious on Q3

Allergan Inc. on Wednesday reported second-quarter profits in line with Wall Street expectations and sales that beat them.

GMAC, Ford Pull Back on Leases as Credit Tightens

GMAC and Ford Motor Credit disclosed steps on Tuesday to cut back on auto leases in a move that leaves automakers facing the risk of even more pressure on auto sales already at decade lows.

DeVry Buying Schools Operator U.S. Education for $290M

Mission Viejo-based U.S. Education Corp. is being bought by vocational school operator DeVry Inc. of Illinois for $290 million, the companies said Wednesday.

Central Banks Expand Effort to Fight Credit Crisis

The U.S., European and Swiss central banks on Wednesday extended liquidity offerings to stressed banks and securities firms to ease credit strains that have weighed on the global economy for nearly a year.

Medical Services Provider Alliance Makes $20M Buy

Alliance Imaging Inc., which recently moved to Newport Beach from Anaheim, said Wednesday it bought another provider of medical scanning services for $20 million in cash and debt.

Tuesday, July 29

Starbucks to Cut 1,000 Jobs, Jim Alling to Leave

Starbucks Corp. said on Tuesday that it would cut 1,000 jobs as it tries to overhaul its business, and the head of its international business is leaving the company.

Home Prices Fell at Record Pace in May: S & P; Report

Prices of single-family homes plunged at a record pace in May from a year earlier, with each of the 20 regions monitored showing annual declines for a second month, according to the Standard & Poor's/Case Shiller home price indexes reported on Tuesday.

Loss-Making Alcatel-Lucent Dumps CEO and Chairman

Alcatel-Lucent ousted its chairman and chief executive on Tuesday and cut its sales growth expectations yet again, which investors took as a sign the French-American group was continuing to lose market share.

Shares of TTM Technologies Sink on Poor Q3 Outlook

Shares of Santa Ana's TTM Technologies Inc., a contract circuit board maker, plunged Tuesday after the company gave an outlook for the current quarter that fell short of analysts' expectations.

Networking Gear Maker Lantronix Cuts More Jobs

Irvine's Lantronix Inc., a publicly traded maker of networking gear, cut 28 jobs as part of its ongoing restructuring plan.

Jazz Narrows Loss in Q2

Jazz Technologies Inc., the parent of Newport Beach based contract chipmaker Jazz Semiconductor, narrowed its losses in the second quarter.

Ista Plummets on Analyst Downgrade

Shares of Irvine eye drug maker Ista Pharmaceuticals Inc. fell nearly 20% Tuesday after an analyst downgraded the company on concerns about it running out of money.

Monday, July 28

Fremont General Sued Over $4M Sale of Art

Fremont General is being sued for a $4 million sale of Ansel Adams prints

Hyundai Motor Launches Ad Campaign for Hispanics

Hyundai Motor America has launched a Hispanic advertising campaign, in Media & Marketing column

Standard Pacific Merges NorCal, SoCal Offices in OC

Standard Pacific is consolidating more of its operations in California, in the Real Estate column

ARB's Parent Going Public in Reverse Merger

The parent of Lake Forest construction and engineering company ARB Inc. is set to go public this quarter via an unconventional route.

Deficit Seen Near Record $490B in Fiscal 2009

The Bush administration on Monday plans to project the budget deficit will soar to a new record of nearly half a trillion dollars in fiscal 2009 as the economic outlook darkens and Americans elect a new president.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

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

J & J; Puts Wrinkle in Skin Filler Market for Allergan

Johnson & Johnson is trying to disrupt Allergan's reign over the wrinkle-reducing drug market, in the Healthcare column

Downey's Chairman

Downey's Chairman. Commentary by Rick Reiff

Real Estate-Related Companies Down by $1.8B

The real estate and mortgage slump has pummeled three of OC's larger publicly traded companies

Verizon Quarterly Profit Gains, Led by Wireless

Verizon Communications Inc. posted a higher-than-expected quarterly profit on Monday on strong wireless sales and improved margins, offsetting a fall in landline users.

St. John Knits Fashion Show Mixes Color with Classics

A review of St. John Knits' 2009 spring collection

Minority-Owned Businesses Brace for Tough '08

OC's largest minority-owned businesses saw solid growth in 2007, but that may be changing

Wall St. Falls on Financial Jitters

Stocks fell on Monday as investors worried that the financial sector may be hit by more credit losses, while a rise in the price of oil revived concerns about inflation and consumer spending.

Bausch & Lomb Looks at Aliso Viejo for Eye Surgical Hub

Bausch & Lomb is focusing on Orange County as the hub of its surgical eye business

Tattoo Potion Profits On Ink Trend with Skincare Line

Tattoo Potion has found a niche market in skincare products for people with ink, in the Small Business column

Mortgage Brokers, Lenders Focus on FHA Loans, Refinancing

Mortgage Brokers, Lenders Focus on FHA Loans, Refinancing

PEOPLE

Hirings, promotions and other moves at local businesses

Big 2008 Start For Honda Center; Ritz Owner Arrested

Big 2008 StartFor Honda Center; Ritz Owner Arrested

Chronic Cachet

Two OC natives have built an enterprise on tacos, T-Shirts and music

Blizzard Launches Latin American Version of Games

Blizzard Entertainment is set to launch a Latin American version of "World of Warcraft," in the Technology column

Smurfit-Stone Closing, Selling Fullerton Plant

Smurfit-Stone Container is closing its Fullerton site for a more modern plant in Cerritos

VIEWPOINT

A local real estate consultant has an idea on how to solve the mortgage mess

REAL ESTATE WATCH: LOS ANGELES COUNTY

Los Angeles County is seeing a split between buyers' and sellers' expectations about the office market. PLUS: CHARTS - Net Absorption; Vacancy Rates; Average Asking Lease Rates

Semicoa's Equipment, Companies' Overlap Attracted Microsemi

Microsemi has struck a deal to buy local rival Semicoa Semiconductors for $25 million

REAL ESTATE DEALS

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

Media Gathers at First Heritage; No Deposit Run

TV vans and reporters gathered outside First Heritage Bank in Newport Beach Monday morning after it was seized last week by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. for being undercapitalized.

MARKET WATCH

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

Solid State

SiliconSystems' solid state drives are attracting the interest of some big names

EVENTS - LAW DINNER

Scenes from business, social, charity and other events

CALENDAR

A listing of events happening all around Orange County

Honda Costa Mesa to Lease Hydrogen Cars

Power Honda Costa Mesa is one of three dealers in the nation leasing the hydrogen-fueled Honda FCX Clarity, in the Marketplace column

Friday, July 25

New Home Sales Fall But Stronger than Expected

Sales of newly constructed single-family homes were stronger than expected in June, and inventories shrank to three-and-a-half-year low, a government report showed on Friday, providing a glimmer of hope for the beaten-down housing market.

Grubb & Ellis Says No to Former Chair's Board Bid

Santa Ana-based Grubb & Ellis Co. has rejected former chairman Tony Thompson's request for a board seat on the slumping real estate company.

Consumer Confidence Rebounds From 28-Year Low

Consumer sentiment recovered from early 1980s lows in July as Americans received tax rebate checks from the government but remained pressured by high gasoline prices and falling home values.

OC Home Prices Rebound in June; Off 23% from Year Ago

The price of an existing Orange County home rebounded by 7% in June from May, but remained far below its year-ago median price, the California Association of Realtors said on Friday.

Ceradyne Beats Q2 Estimates; Narrows Outlook

Costa Mesa-based body armor maker Ceradyne Inc. reported second-quarter profits ahead of Wall Street estimates and refined its outlook for the rest of the year based on better forecasting of Pentagon contracts.

Honda Beats Q1 Estimates But Sees Tougher Year Ahead

Honda Motor Co.'s quarterly earnings handily beat market estimates but it cut its annual profit and global car sales forecasts as it battles with rising costs for raw materials and a crumbling U.S. auto market.

Tech Stocks Plunge on Outlooks, Industry Woes

Two technology stocks were hammered by investors Friday on concerns about poor outlooks for the current quarter and tougher industry conditions.

Beckman Sees Strong Q2 Profit

Beckman Coulter Inc. on Friday posted a higher-than-expected second-quarter profit.

Thursday, July 24

Microsoft Buys Local Maker of Database Software

Aliso Viejo's Datallegro Inc., a reseller of servers loaded with its database software, is set to be bought by Microsoft Corp.

Broadcom Slumps After Rival Qualcomm Strikes License Pact

Shares of Broadcom Corp. plunged Thursday on investor concerns that the Irvine chipmaker might not have as much firepower behind it in ongoing sparring over patents with rival Qualcomm Inc.

Western Digital Beats Expectations

Lake Forest-based disk drive maker Western Digital Corp. on Thursday reported results for the June quarter that beat expectations.

Ingram Micro Offers Cautious Q3 Outlook

Shares of Santa Ana's Ingram Micro Inc., the top distributor of technology products, software and consumer electronics, fell before leveling out on Thursday after the company gave a cautious outlook for the third quarter.

Ford Posts $8.7B Loss on Truck Slump

Ford Motor Co. posted a record $8.7 billion quarterly loss on Thursday as it wrote down the value of slumping truck and SUV operations and revamped plans in a bid to break its reliance on the gas-guzzlers that have been its franchise vehicles for a decade

Home Sales at 10-year Low, Jobless Claims Jump

Jobless claims jumped last week and the pace of existing home sales tumbled to a 10-year low as slowing growth hit hiring and a glut of unsold homes weighed on the real estate market, data on Thursday showed.

Downey Sees Big Loss, Hires Adviser to Explore Options; Chairman McAlister Steps Down

Newport Beach-based savings and loan operator Downey Financial Corp. reported a big second-quarter loss on Thursday as its mortgage struggles prompted more executive changes and the hiring of an investment bank to explore its options.

National City has $1.76B Loss on Loan Write-offs

Regional bank National City Corp. posted a $1.76 billion second-quarter loss on Thursday, hurt by soaring mortgage and real estate construction loan losses and a write-down for acquisitions.

Wednesday, July 23

White House says Bush Will Sign Housing Bill

President George W. Bush on Wednesday dropped a threat to veto a housing rescue bill, clearing the way for measures meant to shore up the worst home market since the Great Depression.

GM Trails Toyota in First-half 2008 Global Sales

General Motors Corp. trailed Japanese rival Toyota Motor Corp. in global vehicle sales decisively through the second quarter and first half of the year, hurt by a large decline in North America.

Broadcom Shares Fall on Concern About Slimmer Profits in Q3

Shares of Irvine chipmaker Broadcom Corp. continued falling Wednesday on concerns about higher expenses eating into profits in the current quarter.

TechSpace Signs $25M Aliso Viejo Lease

TechSpace just signed one of the biggest office leases seen in OC this year

ConocoPhillips Earnings Rise with Record Oil Prices

ConocoPhillips said on Wednesday second-quarter operating earnings rose 13% as record crude prices propelled profits from its oil and gas production business, but sapped results at its refining business.

Corinthian Up on Analyst Upgrade

Shares of Santa Ana-based Corinthian Colleges Inc. got a boost on Wednesday after a Lehman Brothers analyst raised his price target on the vocational school operator's stock on expected enrollment growth.

Tuesday, July 22

Edwards' Q2 Profit Up 14%

Edwards Lifesciences Corp. said Tuesday that its second-quarter profit rose 14%, beating Wall Street expectations.

Rockwell Automation Profit Falls, Cuts Forecast

Rockwell Automation Inc. said on Tuesday third-quarter profit fell 7.1% and cut its earnings forecast, citing weakening demand in the U.S. and Europe for its products, which help factories run more smoothly.

QLogic Rises on Results, Outlook

Shares of QLogic Corp., an Aliso Viejo-based maker of electronics for data storage networks, were up about 9% at close of trading Tuesday, a day after reporting quarterly results and an outlook for the current quarter that beat Wall Street's expectations.

UPS Takes a Hit from Soaring Fuel, Weak Economy

United Parcel Service on Tuesday reported an in-line profit that was hit by fuel costs and a weak economy, but the package delivery company's shares rose more than 3% as analysts said it was performing well despite multiple challenges.

Wachovia, Other Banks Post Dismal Results

Wachovia Corp. led several large U.S. banks in posting weak second-quarter results on Tuesday, as soaring losses from mortgages and other debt led to large write-downs.

Monday, July 21

Demographic Shift Plays out as Firms Seek Talent

Demographic Shift Plays out as Firms Seek Talent

AROUND THE COUNTY

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

SEC Study on Sarbanes-Oxley Expected Soon, Small Businesses Affected

SEC Study on Sarbanes-Oxley Expected Soon, Small Businesses Affected

REVIEW

Dinner and tournament, Medieval Times, Buena Park

MARKET WATCH

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

Emulex Lowers Outlook, Rival QLogic Expands Share

The outlook for Emulex is looking a little dimmer these days, in the Technology column

Mindspeed Jumps on Patent Sale

Shares of Newport Beach chipmaker Mindspeed Technologies Inc. jumped Monday after the company said it got $10 million for selling some patents.

OCBJ SUPPLEMENTS and GUIDES

SAFETY & SECURITY GUIDE 2008

Volcom Buys Laguna Surf & Sport

Costa Mesa-based Volcom Inc. has acquired Laguna Surf & Sport, which sells Volcom clothes at its Laguna Beach and Aliso Viejo stores.

Tough Market for UCI Apprentices,And Their Mentor

Tough Market for UCI Apprentices,And Their Mentor

REAL ESTATE WATCH: INLAND EMPIRE

The Inland Empire's office and industrial markets are stable, but slowing. PLUS: CHARTS - Net Absorption; Vacancy Rates; Average Asking Lease Rates

Private Equity Backing Former Epicor Execs

A big acquisition at Epicor three years ago planted the seeds for startup M2 Technology Partners

Linksys Evolves as Part of Cisco

Top Linksys execs think globally but still want autonomy from parent Cisco

PEOPLE

Hirings, promotions and other moves at local businesses

Auto Dealers Consolidating as Part of Chrysler Effort

Orange Coast Chrysler Jeep Dodge is consolidating, in the Marketplace column

Bank of America Profit Falls 41% But Tops Views

Bank of America Corp. on Monday reported quarterly profit that fell less than expected, causing shares of the largest retail bank and mortgage lender to soar despite a surge in bad loans.

UCI Raised Record $130M in Past Year

UCI Raised Record $130M in Past Year

Small Thinking

Some in the auto industry believe that small vehicles are here to stay

Wahoo's Debuts Ad Campaign, Touts Purses Made by Harveys

Blue C Advertising has rolled out a new campaign for OC-based Wahoo's Fish Taco, in Media & Marketing column

GIVING

Fundraisers and charitable donations from companies and people

Sullen Spirit

A profile on an Irvine-based lifestyle brand that's getting some buzz in surf and skate circles

VIEWPOINT

A local consultant offers a solution to the sour residential real estate market

Guitar Hero

OC's Rickenbacker guitars have been made famous by the likes of the Beatles, the Who and U2

Big Brothers Big Sisters Looks to Companies for Kid Mentors

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Orange County marks its 50th anniversary

Grubb & Ellis Steps Up Buying of Healthcare Buildings

Grubb & Ellis's healthcare unit is on a buying binge, in the Healthcare column

Lender Going After Americans Buying Homes in Mexico

Worldwide Lending is looking to cater to Americans buying homes in Mexico and hopes to bundle mortgages for Wall Street

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

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

Office Market Still Slow, Q2 Shows Bottom is Near

The second quarter wasn't as bad as some OC office landlords had feared

Comarco Sells Off Call Box Business

Comarco Sells Off Call Box Business

Roche Offers to Buy Out Genentech for $43.7B

Swiss drugmaker Roche Holding AG offered to acquire all outstanding shares in its U.S. partner Genentech Inc. for $43.7 billion in cash to reinforce its position in cancer medicines.

Industrial Market Showing Signs for Concern in Q2

OC's industrial market still counts a remarkably low vacancy rate, in the Real Estate column

Integrated Raising $11M in Stock Sale

Santa Ana-based hospital operator Integrated Healthcare Holdings Inc. is raising about $11 million in a stock sale with the proceeds set to go to pay down debt.

Rules for Profit

Accountants Look for Boon in Work from Adoption of Global Accounting Rules

Upscale Shift at BSH

A local maker of luxury appliances has a new chief executive and four lieutenants

Fallen Giants

Collapse of Big Companies Creates More Scrutiny on Outside Auditors, Internal Management

Tanker War: Locals Win Either Way

Boeing and Northrop Grumman are battling it out for a $35 billion contract for fuel tankers

Yahoo and Icahn Settle, Microsoft Deal Seen Adrift

Yahoo Inc. will appoint activist investor Carl Icahn and two of his nominees to its board, settling a proxy battle and making an immediate transaction with Microsoft Corp. less likely.

Small Companies Get Break on SOX Reports

Small Companies Get Break on SOX Reports

REAL ESTATE DEALS

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

Friday, July 18

Office Market Still Slow, Q2 Shows Bottom is Near

Orange County's office landlords weren't popping champagne over the second quarter. But they weren't drowning their sorrows either.

Allergan Settles Over Potential Eyelash Drug

Irvine-based Allergan Inc. logged a win in a battle over what could be its next big medical cosmetic product: a drug that promotes the growth of eyelashes.

Citigroup $2.5B Loss Soothes Investors

Citigroup Inc. posted a smaller-than-expected quarterly loss, despite $11.7 billion of write-downs and credit losses tied to deteriorating capital markets and a slumping economy.

Merrill posts $4.9B Loss, Sells Bloomberg Stake

Merrill Lynch & Co. posted a much larger-than-expected $4.89 billion quarterly loss on Thursday after writing down soured debt, and unveiled plans to sell billions of dollars of assets, including a part of its lucrative brokerage business, to shore up cap

Teva to Buy Barr for $7.46B, Boost Generic Lead

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, the world's largest generic drug company, said on Friday it would buy rival Barr Pharmaceuticals Inc. for $7.46 billion to expand its leadership in the U.S. market and fortify its presence in Europe.

County's Yearly Job Losses Break 25,000 Mark

Yearly job losses in the county broke the 25,000 mark in June, according to the state's Employment Development Department.

Thursday, July 17

JPMorgan Profit Falls But Beats Forecasts

JPMorgan Chase & Co. said on Thursday that second-quarter profit fell more than 50%, hurt by $1.1 billion in write-downs at its investment bank, but the results beat expectations and its shares rose nearly 5%.

Downey Surges on Financials Rally, Short Seller Buying

Beaten down shares of Newport Beach-based Downey Financial Corp. rose 75% on Thursday, but not necessarily on the expectation that things could be getting better for the savings and loan operator.

Manufacturers Beat Wall Street's Profit View

Brushing aside surging energy and metals costs and a slowing economy, several top manufacturers reported better-than-expected profit on Thursday, in some cases raising their full-year targets.

Pickens' Clean Energy Gets $3.7M Grant

Seal Beach-based Clean Energy Fuels Corp., an operator of natural gas fueling stations that's backed by T. Boone Pickens, said Thursday it was awarded $3.6 million from air quality regulators to help open more stations.

Amazon, Others to Suck Up Holiday Shipping Costs

Online retailers cannot afford to raise shipping prices. The high cost of fuel is hurting the wallets of American consumers and businesses alike, but online retailer Amazon.com Inc and others will likely forgo shipping price increases on its discount prog

ICU Medical boosts Q2 Profits as Sales Stagnate

San Clemente-based medical device maker ICU Medical Inc. reported a big gain in second-quarter profits that met Wall Street expectations, but slowing sales to the company's dominant customer held revenue flat.

Wednesday, July 16

Wells Fargo Results Ease Fears, Shares Surge

Wells Fargo & Co., the fifth-largest U.S. bank, reported surprisingly strong quarterly results and raised its dividend, easing investor fears about mortgage losses and causing its shares to soar on Wednesday.

Inflation Surges on Record Energy Prices

Inflation accelerated in June to its fastest rate since the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005 while workers' earnings slumped, compounding the stagflationary dilemma facing the Federal Reserve.

AMR, Delta Results Hurt by Rising Fuel Costs

AMR Corp., parent of American Airlines, and Delta Air Lines reported large quarterly net losses on Wednesday, blaming rising jet fuel prices that have forced widespread industry downsizing.

Pacific Life Leasing Unit Orders $934M Worth of Jets

The jet leasing arm of Newport Beach-based insurance company Pacific LifeCorp said Wednesday it has ordered 15 of Boeing Co.'s next generation 737-700s.

Median Home Price Rises, Off $150,000 from Peak

Orange County's median home price increased $10,000 in June, the first time prices here have gone up since November.

Resources Connection Jumps on Quarterly Results

Irvine accounting services company Resources Connection Inc. saw its shares jump nearly 10% in afterhours trading after posting quarterly results that surpassed Wall Street expectations.

Accounting Firm Squar Acquires L.A. Counterpart

Newport Beach's Squar, Milner, Peterson, Miranda & Williamson LLP, the largest accounting firm based in Orange County, has acquired Thomashow, Brown & Paialii LLP of Los Angeles.

Seagate Warning Drags Down Western Digital

Shares of Western Digital Corp., the Lake Forest-based maker of disk drives, slumped Wednesday on signs that its top rival, Scotts Valley-based Seagate Technology LLC, is struggling.

Tuesday, July 15

GM to Cut Jobs, Raise Cash to Survive

General Motors Corp. on Tuesday announced a plan to cut costs by $10 billion, suspend its common stock dividend and sell up to $4 billion in assets in a bid to shore up cash to survive a deep industry slump.

Paulson Should Consider Receivership for Fannie, Freddie: Report

The Treasury Secretary could make greater progress toward a safer financial system by putting Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac into federal receivership, the Wall Street Journal said on Tuesday.

UCI Raised Record $130M in Past Year

The University of California, Irvine said Tuesday it raised a record $130 million from donations and grants during the 2007 and 2008 school year.

Bernanke: Markets Under Stress; Outlook Uncertain

A weakening housing market, strained banking system and rising oil prices threaten the economy, and restoring financial market stability is a top priority, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said on Tuesday.

Microsemi Buys Semicoa for $25M

Shares of Irvine's Microsemi Corp. rose Tuesday after the company bought local rival chipmaker Costa Mesa-based Semicoa Semiconductors for $25 million in cash.

Electronics Maker Comarco Selling Business

Lake Forest-based electronics maker Comarco Inc. is selling its business making and servicing emergency roadside call boxes for about $3 million in cash.

Monday, July 14

Ingram's Latest Services Push: Recruiting Workers

Ingram Micro's razor-thin distribution profits have the electronics distributor in a new line of business

Valentine Woodworks Growing Into 50,000-Sq.-Ft. HQ

Some big office furniture dealers have tapped Valentine Woodworks for their manufacturing, in the Small Business column,

Life After Kia: Former Automaker CEO Lands at Gallup Unit

Former Kia Motors America CEO Len Hunt was surprised by his February dismissal

InBev Buys Bud for $52B

Brewer Anheuser-Busch Cos. accepted a sweetened $52 billion takeover bid from Belgium-based InBev NV to create the world's largest beer maker and end a month-long standoff.

OCBJ SUPPLEMENTS and GUIDES

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY GUIDE 2008

REAL ESTATE WATCH: Research and development

Research and development buildings saw a relatively steady 2007. PLUS: CHARTS - Net Absorption; Vacancy Rates; Average Asking Lease Rates

Auto Financier Consumer Portfolio Strikes Funding Deal

Irvine-based auto financier, Consumer Portfolio Services Inc., announced Monday that it has taken an additional $15 million in financing to add to the $10 million it received earlier this month.

Cost of Conservation

Builders Say Recycled Materials Still Expensive, Hard to Find, But Times Are Changing

Baron Davis Joins Irvine Team, Too; Harley's Wild Ride

Baron Davis Joins Irvine Team, Too; Harley's Wild Ride

Sheppard Mullin Hires Local Patent Lawyers

Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton has added two lawyers to its intellectual property practice

St. John Debuting Ads, Sans Jolie

A group of glamorous but unknown models are the new faces of St. John Knits

Ceradyne Pays Up To $125M For Chip Equipment Maker

Ceradyne Pays Up To $125M For Chip Equipment Maker

KUDOS

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

Office Landlords, Builders in Competition for Tenants

Office Landlords, Builders in Competition for Tenants

TriZetto Shareholders Approve Acquisition

Shareholders of Newport Beach's TriZetto Group Inc. voted to approve the company's acquisition by private equity firm Apax Partners Inc.

VIEWPOINT

Gunning for the Ugly Right. A business lawyer talks about the recent Supreme Court ruling on the right to bear arms.

Maker of Auto Dealer Software Gets Fast-Growing Nod

Software startup DealerSocket got a nod as one of the nation's fastest growing companies, in the Technology column

Waste Management Offers $6.2B to Buy Republic

Waste Management Inc. on Monday offered to buy Republic Services Inc. for about $6.19 billion, potentially derailing the smaller competitor's deal to acquire Allied Waste Industries Inc.

Inside St. Joseph

The vision set by the nuns guides the corporate culture of St. Joseph today.

Thompson Offers $40M for Distressed Buildings, TICs

A recap of a Las Vegas real estate conference put on by NNN's Tony Thompson, in the Real Estate column

MARKET WATCH

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

Maguire Finds Buyer In Tough Sales Time

Maguire Properties is attempting to unload some of its largest and most expensive OC office buildings

Freddie Sees Strong Demand in Key $3B Bill Sale

Freddie Mac's $3 billion bill sale on Monday drew stronger demand than a similar sale last week in a deal seen as the first test of the housing finance company's borrowing ability after sweeping steps by the government to shore up confidence in the compan

Auto Registrations Fell 18%, Big Drop in Trucks, SUVs

Auto registrations, a barometer of sales, took a beating in May, in the Marketplace column

Board Battle Latest in Ongoing Saga for Quality Systems

A partial owner of Quality Systems is backing a six-candidate slate for the company's board, in the Healthcare column

Epicor's Push Into Retail Software Pays Off

Epicor Software is seeing growing sales to specialty retailers and department stores

EVENTS CALENDAR

A listing of events happening all around Orange County

PEOPLE

Hirings, promotions and other moves at local businesses

Impac Strikes Mortgage Servicing, Investment Deal with UBS

Irvine-based mortgage investor Impac Mortgage Holdings Inc. is buying a home loan servicing business from UBS AG, which in turn is making a $1.2 million investment in Impac.

El Pollo Loco Promotes 400th Restaurant

El Pollo Loco is promoting its 400th restaurant, in Media & Marketing column

Smart Art

Companies Use Art in Their Offices To Create Specific Corporate Image

Mortgage Collapse Turns Downey Into Home Seller

Beleaguered thrift operator Downey Financial has turned into a caretaker and seller of foreclosed homes

Friday, July 11

Hispanic Agency Casanova Hires Otero-Smart as CEO

Advertising agency executive Ingrid Otero-Smart, who spent a good part of her career in Orange County, is returning to run Casanova Pendrill of Costa Mesa, the largest Hispanic advertising agency here.

Grubb & Ellis CEO Resigns, Dividend Suspended

The chief executive of Santa Ana-based Grubb & Ellis Co. has resigned from the slumping real estate company, which is under fire from a big shareholder.

Paulson Shoots Down Fannie, Freddie Bailout

Fear spread on Friday that the housing crisis would drag down the nation's major mortgage finance agencies and the government offered no hint that it would swiftly step in to help.

InBev, Anheuser Hold Deal Talks: Source

Anheuser-Busch Cos. has finally begun negotiations for a friendly merger with InBev NV, a source familiar with the situation said on Friday, sending shares of both brewers up about 8%.

GE Profit Meets Expectations; Outlook Steady

General Electric Co. on Friday posted a second-quarter profit in line with Wall Street forecasts as its finance business recovered from a brutal first quarter, but the company warned those operations are not out of the woods yet.

Ceradyne Boosted by Analyst Upgrade

Shares of Costa Mesa's Ceradyne Inc. rose more than 5% Friday after an upgrade from a Friedman Billings Ramsey analyst who thinks its ceramic military armor will stay in favor with the Pentagon.

Thursday, July 10

Emulex Cuts Outlook; Shares Fall

Shares of Costa Mesa's Emulex Corp., a maker of electronics for data storage networks, slumped late Thursday after the company slashed its outlook for the June quarter.

Takeover Talk Heats Up for Heart Valve Maker Edwards

Analysts are speculating that Irvine-based Edwards Lifesciences Corp. could be a takeover target by two medical device heavyweights looking to get into a new type of heart valve.

Blizzard, Activision Deal Closes

Orange County's biggest deal yet closed Thursday after more than six months of approvals and back and forth with shareholders.

June Sales Better Than Expected at PacSun, Wet Seal

June sales at existing stores came in better than analysts expected for mall retailers Pacific Sunwear of California Inc. and Wet Seal Inc.

Pimco Says Continues Trading with Lehman

Pimco continues to trade with Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., a Pimco spokesman said on Thursday, amid rumors that the world's biggest bond fund was scaling back business with the investment bank.

Dow Chemical to Buy Rohm and Haas for $18.8B

Dow Chemical Co. said on Thursday it would buy rival Rohm and Haas Co. for $15.3 billion in a move to broaden its product offerings in higher margin markets such as paints, coatings and electronic materials.

Fannie, Freddie Stocks and Bonds Plummet

A firestorm of anxiety over the ability of mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to get the capital they need to survive sent their debt and stocks plummeting on Thursday.

Apria Sale to Blackstone Passes Antitrust Review

Apria Healthcare Group Inc. of Lake Forest said Thursday that federal regulators gave antitrust clearance for its proposed $1.6 billion buyout by Blackstone Group LP.

Wednesday, July 9

QLogic Boosts Q1 Outlook; Shares Jump

Shares of Aliso Viejo's QLogic Corp., a maker of electronics for data storage networks, jumped Wednesday after the company raised its outlook for the June quarter.

Ceradyne Buying Chip-Equipment Maker for up to $125M

Costa Mesa-based Ceradyne Inc., a maker of bullet-proof vests and other military armor, is paying up to $125 million for North Billerica, Mass.-based SemEquip Inc.

Economic Gloom Leads To Cuts In Ad Forecast

Another closely watched advertising forecast was cut on Tuesday, the second in as many weeks, in a signal that the industry has begun to buckle under the weight of a slumping economy.

Merrill To Base Asset Sales On Second-Quarter Loss

Merrill Lynch & Co. will determine how much of its stakes in BlackRock Inc. and Bloomberg LP to sell based on the size of its second-quarter loss, a person briefed on the matter said on Wednesday.

Morgan Stanley Cuts Targets On Retailers

Retailers may have a challenging 2009 as sales at its domestic stores continue to fall and in the absence of a stimulus like this year's tax rebates, analysts at Morgan Stanley said, as they lowered their price targets and 2009 earnings estimates across t

Qualcomm, Allies Appeal Chip Ban in Broadcom Case

San Diego's Qualcomm Corp. appealed a ban on sales of its cell phone chips stemming from a ruling last year that favored Irvine-based rival Broadcom Corp.

Tuesday, July 8

Analyst Stops Covering Downey, Cites Uncertain Outlook

Shares of Newport Beach-based Downey Financial Corp. sunk to a 20-year low on the heels of a downgrade from Lehman Brothers.

Conexant Buys Chips, Digital Picture Frames

Shares of Newport Beach chipmaker Conexant Systems Inc. jumped Tuesday after the company said it agreed to buy some of Freescale Semiconductor Inc.'s technologies for digital picture frames and a line of chips that go into printers that also fax, scan and

Maguire Selling Main Plaza Towers for $211 Million

Los Angeles-based Maguire Properties Inc. said on Tuesday it plans to sell its Main Plaza office buildings in Irvine to San Francisco-based Shorenstein Properties LLC.

Venture-Backed Software Co. Reportedly Up for Sale

Santa Ana-based software developer Clupedia Corp., which raised $1.3 million in venture capital last year, is reportedly up for sale.

Office Depot Sees Quarterly Sales Decline; Shares Sag

Office supplies retailer Office Depot Inc. said on Tuesday its North American same-store sales fell nearly 10% in the second quarter and warned operating margins would fall more than expected, sending its shares down more than 30% to a new low.

Western Digital Sees Analyst Upgrade

Shares of Lake Forest's Western Digital Corp. rose Tuesday after an analyst upgraded and raised his price target for the stock, citing the disk drive maker's two-year long effort to boost profits.

Pending Home Sales Tumble In May

Pending sales of previously owned homes plummeted by 4.7% in May, far more than expected and a sign of more trouble ahead for the beleaguered housing market, a real estate trade group report showed on Tuesday.

Siemens To Cut 16,750 Jobs

German industrial conglomerate Siemens AG plans to slash almost 17,000 jobs worldwide to speed up cost savings and boost margins as it prepares for a global economic downturn.

Monday, July 7

Something Special

Fifi's Best: Focusing on Restaurants That Provide an Extra Value to Diners

Mortgage Lender IndyMac Cutting Half of Workers

Pasadena's IndyMac Bancorp Inc., which runs its mortgage operations from Irvine, said Monday said it will stop accepting loan submissions and slash its workforce by nearly 4,000 people.

Western Digital, QLogic Shares Break Rank

Some tech stocks have parted ways this year

PEOPLE

Hirings, promotions and other moves at local businesses

VIEWPOINT

A former homebuilding executive makes the case for saving our oceans

Broadcom Jumps on Analyst Upgrade

Shares of Broadcom Corp. jumped Monday after an analyst upgraded his rating on the stock on the prospect of sales gains.

Kia Motors Downplays Humor, Flash in Latest TV Ads

Kia Motors is retooling its marketing, in Media & Marketing column

REAL ESTATE WATCH: MID-COUNTIES MARKET

Some businesses are putting relocations and expansions on hold. PLUS: CHARTS - Net Absorption; Vacancy Rates; Average Asking Lease Rates

Activision Shareholders Set to Vote on Blizzard Deal

Shareholders of Santa Monica-based Activision Inc. are set to vote Tuesday on a proposed combination with Irvine-based Blizzard Entertainment Inc.

Restaurant Chains Grow in 2007, Struggling Now

The county's largest restaurant chains are struggling

Microsoft Says Willing To Restart Yahoo Talks

Microsoft Corp. on Monday said it would be willing to reopen talks to buy all or part of Yahoo Inc. -- but only if a new Yahoo board is elected, a major boost for investor Carl Icahn's board slate.

OCBJ SUPPLEMENTS and GUIDES

SENIOR LIVING GUIDE 2008

Bad Economic News Sends Jitters Through Executives' Q3 Outlook

Bad economic news sends jitters through executives' Q3 outlook

REAL ESTATE DEALS

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

Obama Coming to OC, too; Campbell Defies Bush, GOP

Obama Coming to OC, too; Campbell Defies Bush, GOP

GM May Be Mulling Thousands Of Job Cuts

No. 1 U.S. automaker General Motors is planning to cut thousands of white-collar jobs and is considering whether it should sell or stop production of more of its brands, The Wall Street Journal said, citing people familiar with the matter.

Slow Economy Creates Botox Patients, Boost Sales 13%

The slow economy is boosting sales of Botox, in the Healthcare column

Snell & Wilmer Enlists State GOP Assemblyman

California Assemblyman Van Tran has joined Snell & Wilmer

MARKET WATCH

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

Fletcher Claims No. 1 Spot on Ward's List by Default

AUTOMOTIVE - Fletcher Jones Motorcars tops Ward's Dealer 500 list, in the Marketplace column

Restaurant of the Year

Fifi's Best,includes Fifi's restaurant of the year - Marche Moderne

Oil Below $142 On Dollar gain, Iran In View

Oil retreated to below $142 a barrel on Monday as the dollar gained, taking a pause from a record-breaking rally that has lifted prices by almost 50% this year.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

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

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: Thompson Talks About Grubb Bid

The former chairman of Grubb & Ellis is looking to return to its board

Spending on Tech Goods, Services to Rebound in 2009

Companies' spending on technology goods will rebound in 2009, in the Technology column

Bad News Sends Jitters Through Execs' Q3 Outlook

Falling home and stock prices, high fuel costs and inflation have local executives spooked about the new quarter.

Exec Leaves Homebuilder Warmington for Consulting

Warmington Group is making some changes during the slow housing market, in the Real Estate column

Demographic Surfing

Irvine's Billabong USA has turned its 2004 buy of Hawaiian clothing stores into a play for mature surfers

Technology Employment Study: OC's Big in Consumer, Defense Electronics

Orange County's fourth in the state for technology jobs

Raytheon Looks to Hire 120 People

Thales-Raytheon in Fullerton wants to hire, if it only can find software programmers

Regulation Watch

How new Americans With Disabilities Act rules will affect businesses. By Howard Fine, reporter, Los Angeles Business Journal

Maker of Implantable Lenses Visiogen Eyeing Fix for Reading Glasses Crowd

Startup replacement eye lens maker Visiogen Inc. is in a hot segment

AROUND THE COUNTY

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

Thursday, July 3

Service Sector Shrinks Unexpectedly

The U.S. service sector shrank unexpectedly in June, according to a report released on Thursday, while inflation pressures soared to a record high for the survey's 11-year history.

Dow's Bear Market Run Spells Trouble For Wall St.

With the Dow sliding into a bear market on Wednesday, the dark days on Wall Street are far from over, amid record oil prices, struggling consumers and the never-ending credit crisis.

Economy Likely To Shed 60,000 Jobs In June

The economy likely suffered its sixth consecutive month of job losses in June as the worst housing slump in generations and ongoing stress in manufacturing and banking discouraged businesses from hiring.

TriZetto Cleared for Shareholder Vote on Acquisition

A Delaware judge has cleared Newport Beach-based healthcare software maker TriZetto Group Inc. to hold a July 14 shareholder vote on its acquisition by a private equity firm.

Garden Grove Hospital Sale Wraps Up

The $41 million sale of Garden Grove Hospital and Medical Center by Tenet Healthcare Corp. to Prime Healthcare Management Inc. has wrapped up.

Wednesday, July 2

Networking Device Maker Lantronix Restructures

Shares of Irvine-based Lantronix Inc., a maker of networking gear, slumped on Wednesday after the company said it's set to start an overhaul of its business.

Circuit City Shares Fall After Blockbuster Pulls Bid

Circuit City Stores Inc. shares sank as much as 16% on Wednesday after Blockbuster Inc. abandoned its bid for the electronics retailer, saying a deal was not in the movie rental company's best interest amid current market conditions.

UnitedHealth Cuts 4,000 Jobs and 2008 Outlook

UnitedHealth Group Inc. will cut at least 4,000 jobs, or 5% of its workforce, in a restructuring and warned Wednesday that a weaker environment and higher costs will cut into profits this year.

Condos Near Completion, But Will There Be Buyers?

Skyline at MacArthur Place, the twin condominium towers developer Nexus Cos. is putting up in its hometown of Santa Ana, is expected to wrap up construction by September.

Billabong Buys San Diego Skateboard, Clothes Maker

Irvine's Billabong USA has bought a San Diego maker of skateboards and related clothing.

Merrill May Have To Sell $10B BlackRock Stake

Merrill Lynch & Co. may not want to sell its $10 billion stake in top performing money manager BlackRock Inc. But it may have no alternative.

Tuesday, July 1

New iPhone To Sell for $599-$699 Without Contract

Consumers who want the new iPhone but cannot or do not want to sign up for a two-year contract with AT & T; Inc. will eventually be able to buy it for an extra $400.

Nicholas Set for Options Trial in April, Drugs Later in 2009

Broadcom Corp. cofounder and former chief executive Henry Nicholas is set to stand trial for options backdating in April next year.

Seller of Fresh, Frozen Strawberries Sold

Placentia-based Sunrise Growers Inc., a seller of fresh and frozen strawberries, has traded hands among private equity firms.

UBS Leads Europe's Scarred Banks To 5-Year Low

UBS led a tumble by European bank stocks to their lowest level for five years on Tuesday as the prospect of more hefty writedowns, falling profits and more fundraising spilled over into a new quarter.

Quality Systems Director Nominates Board Candidates

Ahmed Hussein, a director of Irvine medical software maker Quality Systems Inc., said Tuesday that he is nominating six candidates to the company's board of directors.

Manufacturing Data Beats Expectations

Factory activity expanded unexpectedly in June but inflation pressures soared, according to a report released on Tuesday.