Stories for March 2008

Monday, March 31

Waterfield Triples Space in Irvine Tower Move

Waterfield Enterprises LLC, the parent of a family of financial service companies, is pushing for a much bigger profile in Orange County.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

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

Building Block

The Block at Orange shopping center is readying an expansion plan

Best Foot Forward

Shoe designer Ocean Minded is expanding under owner Crocs Inc

No Pressure: Luxottica Looks to Oakley

Oakley's new parent Luxottica is looking to the company to spur growth

Aloha Airlines Shuts Down Passenger Operations

Hawaii-based Aloha Airlines, which filed for bankruptcy protection on March 20, said that Monday would be its last day of passenger operations.

McCain's Tale of Two OC Cities; Freedom on Hold

McCain's Tale of Two OC Cities; Freedom on Hold

Chipmakers Solarflare, Conexant Promote, Hire Execs

Chipmakers Solarflare, Conexant Promote, Hire Execs, in the Technology column

Ista Readying to Start Trial of Nasal Allergy Treatment

Ista Pharmaceuticals is looking to use an eye drug for sinus allergies, in the Healthcare column

MARKET WATCH

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

Interactive Marketing Campaign Pushes Doner's Growth

Growth in interactive marketing campaigns has spurred hiring at Doner in Newport Beach, in the Media & Marketing column

REAL ESTATE DEALS

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

Symwave Chief Eyeing HQ Move to South OC

Former Broadcom Corp. executive Yossi Cohen plans to move his new company to Orange County

Angels Season Tickets Up, Some 'Hesitancy'

Angels season ticket sales are up, but the team is seeing some "hesitancy" among corporate buyers

REAL ESTATE WATCH: WEST ORANGE COUNTY

West County's industrial market saw higher rents last year, in Real Estate Watch. PLUS: CHART - Net Absorption; Vacancy Rates; Average Asking Lease Rates

AROUND THE COUNTY

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

Sacramento Eyes Business Tax Credits, Breaks to Close Deficit

Wary eyes are on Sacramento as politicians look at business tax breaks to close the budget deficit

Report: Lawyers, Justice Official Meet Over Possible Broadcom Indictments

Lawyers for executives of Irvine-based Broadcom Corp. recently met with a Justice Department official to try and head off indictments over backdated stock options at the Irvine chipmaker, according to a report.

KUDOS

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

Turner New Zealand Near OCPAC Shutters Its Doors

Turner New Zealand Near OCPAC Shutters Its Doors, in the Dining Column

Wet Seal Results Beat Wall Street Estimates But Company Cautious About April Quarter

Wet Seal posted strong results for its recently ended quarter and gave a cautious outlook for its current one

Ingram Micro's Murai Lands at Fremont's Synnex

Ingram Micro Inc.'s former president and chief operating officer Kevin Murai has landed at Synnex Corp., a Fremont-based service provider to electronics makers, software publishers and resellers.

Tesco Puts Brakes on U.S. Rollout

Britain's biggest retailer, Tesco, has halted the rollout of Fresh & Easy, its chain of U.S. convenience stores, while it reviews the performance of the startup business, the Sunday Telegraph reported.

Angels Ticket Sales Up; Dugout, Suite Packages Seeing Hesitancy

Season ticket sales for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim are up as opening week unfolds but the baseball team is dealing with something it hasn't seen in a few years.

CALENDAR

A listing of events happening all around Orange County

Pretty in Pink

Pink is big among guys enlisted in the battle against breast cancer

Treasury Department Set to Announce Regulatory Overhaul

Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson will reveal in full sweeping new plans on Monday for streamlining a hodgepodge of regulation faulted for permitting the mortgage crisis to balloon into a full-blown economic threat.

Boeing Reshuffles Executives; Dreamliner's 'Domino Effect'

Boeing has reshuffled its key local executives

Nationwide Support Subleasing Floor at Impac's HQ

Impac Mortgage has struck its first big Irvine sublease, in the Real Estate column

EVENTS

Scenes from business, social, charity and other events

Pillsbury Rumored To Close OC Office

Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP's Costa Mesa office is down to just a few people

Comarco's Future Uncertain as It Works to Regain Revenue

Electronics maker Comarco is dealing with a big drop in sales and assertive shareholders

High-End Mercedes-Benzes Coming to Fletcher Jones

Fletcher Jones Motorcars of Newport Beach has some high-end models hitting the show room, in the Marketplace column

PEOPLE

Hirings, promotions and other moves at local businesses

Universal Marks Sales Growth on High-End Remotes

Demand for remotes is pushing Universal Electronics' buttons

Friday, March 28

Consumer Mood Signals Recession

Consumers' confidence weakened to the lowest in 16 years in March, pointing to recession, as worries over fading job prospects and rising inflation clouded the outlook, a survey showed on Friday.

Bear Stearns Shares Fall After Chairman Sells Stock

Bear Stearns Cos. shares fell nearly 5 percent on Friday after Chairman James Cayne, who was seen as opposing JPMorgan Chase & Co's acquisition of the investment bank, sold his stock.

Regulators: Fremont Must Raise Money

Regulators have labeled Brea-based subprime lender Fremont General Corp. as "undercapitalized" and say it must to come up with money or sell itself in 60 days.

Personal Income Rises, Inflation Moderates

Personal income rose more than expected in February as the economy teetered on the brink of a recession, while both personal spending and a key price measure increased only slightly, a government report showed on Friday.

Drug Maker Avanir Raising $40M for Drug Trial

Avanir Pharmaceuticals Inc., an Aliso Viejo drug maker, said it is raising $40 million in a sale of shares to investors.

Maguire Not Considering Sale, Shares Fall

Shares of Los Angeles-based Maguire Properties Inc., Orange County's second-largest office landlord, were down 20% in midday trading Friday, as the company said it was no longer considering a sale.

Thursday, March 27

Corporate Profits Fall, GDP Growth Unrevised

Corporate profits fell 3.3 percent in the fourth quarter of 2007, according to government data on Wednesday that also confirmed economic growth slowed to a meager annual pace of 0.6 percent in same period.

New Valeant CEO Outlines Sweeping Reforms

Aliso Viejo drug maker Valeant Pharmaceuticals International said Thursday that it's undergoing a sweeping restructuring and narrowing of its business.

Wet Seal Beats Estimates, Lowers Current Quarter Outlook

Shares of Foothill Ranch-based Wet Seal Inc. surged in midday New York trading Thursday as the company reported quarterly results that beat estimates and investors looked past a more cautious outlook for the current quarter.

Highflying Western Digital Hit by Downgrade

Shares of Lake Forest disk drive maker Western Digital Corp. slumped Thursday after an analyst downgraded the stock and that of its top rival, Seagate Technology.

Lennar Posts Smaller-Than-Expected Loss

Lennar Corp. reported a quarterly loss on Thursday as deliveries of new homes and new orders tumbled, but shares of the No. 2 U.S. home builder rose because the results were not as bad as analysts had expected.

Pershing CEO Sees Boon as Bear Unravels

Pershing LLC, the largest financial clearing company, is winning a "material" amount of new business as investors look for a safe haven amid the market turmoil that caused the collapse of Bear Stearns Cos., its chief executive told Reuters.

Wednesday, March 26

Pension Funds Seek Emergency Block of Bear Deal

Two Michigan pension funds are seeking emergency court action to stop the planned takeover of Bear Stearns Cos Inc. by JPMorgan Chase & Co. from moving forward, according to court papers.

Report Faults New Century Execs, KPMG

Risky loans and improper accounting created a "ticking time bomb" at bankrupt subprime mortgage lender New Century Financial Corp., a bankruptcy court examiner said in a report released Wednesday.

French Cycling Co. Could Buy Quiksilver's Rossignol

France's Look Cycle International, a maker of bicycling equipment, could bid for Huntington Beach-based Quiksilver Inc.'s struggling Rossignol skis business, according to a report.

Citigroup to Settle Enron Claims

Citigroup Inc. has agreed to pay Enron creditors $1.66 billion to settle a lawsuit over its responsibility in the energy trading firm's downfall, a group representing creditors said on Wednesday.

Nicholas Giving $10M to After-School Programs, Opening Center in Santa Ana

Henry Nicholas, cofounder and former chief executive of Irvine chipmaker Broadcom Corp., is set to give $10 million to start after-school programs for poor students.

Ford Selling Jaguar, Land Rover to Tata for $2.3B

Ford Motor Co. is selling Jaguar and Land Rover, which have their U.S. headquarters in Irvine, to India's Tata Motors Ltd. for $2.3 billion.

Weak Durables Dent Outlook, Home Sales Mixed

Sales of new single-family homes fell to the slowest pace in 13 years while orders for durable goods tumbled unexpectedly last month, according to government data that added to signs the economy has stalled.

Tuesday, March 25

Home Prices Extend Slide

Prices of existing single-family homes slumped in January, with 16 of 20 regions measured posting record annual declines, according to the Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller home price index reported on Tuesday.

Consumer Confidence Hits 5-year Low

Consumer confidence took an unexpectedly sharp hit, dropping to a five-year low in March, the Conference Board said on Tuesday, as expectations for the future tumbled to their lowest in 34 years.

Anaheim Memorial Selling for $57M

Anaheim Memorial Medical Center is being sold for $57.1 million to Pacific Health Corp. of Tustin.

Hoag, CHOC Strike Deal for Children Care

Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian said late Monday that it is going to work with Children's Hospital of Orange County to provide specialized pediatric services.

Citigroup Says Microsoft Likely to Raise Yahoo Offer

Citigroup said it is likely Microsoft Corp. will raise its $31-per-share offer for Yahoo Inc. and upgraded Yahoo shares to "buy" from "hold."

Mitsubishi Puts Ad Account Up for Review

Cypress-based Mitsubishi Motors North America Inc. is putting its advertising account up for review without Los Angeles-based BBDO West, the automaker's agency for the past three years.

Monday, March 24

SM & A; Founder Mounting Board Fight

Steven Myers, the founder, largest shareholder and former chief executive of Newport Beach-based SM & A;, is waging a proxy battle to change the management of the aerospace and defense consultant.

GIVING

Fundraisers and charitable donations from companies and people

MARKET WATCH

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

Laer Pearce Looks to Lure Clients With More Services

Laguna Hills-based Laer Pearce & Associates has expanded its services and staff in a bid to lure clients, in the Media & Marketing column

QLogic's Prez, COO Resigns Over Timing of Ascension to CEO

There's a lot of talk of what happened between the No. 1 and No. 2 at QLogic

CALENDAR

A listing of events happening all around Orange County

Box Maker Moving Retail Display Unit from Brea to City of Industry

Orange County Container is ditching Brea and moving its Zapp Packaging unit to City of Industry

Regulators Let Home Loan Banks Lift MBS Holdings

Regional banks will be allowed to boost holdings of mortgage-backed securities by more than $100 billion, regulators said on Monday, announcing another bid to bring stability to troubled mortgage markets.

February Existing Home Sales Rise

The pace of existing home sales rose in February to a 5.03 million-unit annual rate while prices took a record fall, the National Association of Realtors said in a report on Monday that painted a mixed picture for the housing market.

OCBJ SUPPLEMENTS and GUIDES

TECHNOLOGY & TELECOMMUNICATIONS, SPRING 2008

Susan's Healthy Gourmet Grows Out of Irvine Space

Susan's Healthy Gourmet is looking for a bigger building to handle its growth, in the Small Business column

Several Local Wine Dinners You Won't Want to Miss

Several Local Wine Dinners You Won't Want to Miss. In the Dining Column

New Age

Sharp Solar Energy Solutions Group's "Hello Sunshine" Web site: created by RiechesBaird

REAL ESTATE DEALS

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

Kingston: $4.5B in 2007 Sales

Privately held Kingston Technology Co., the Fountain Valley-based maker of memory products for computers and consumer electronics, gave a glimpse at how it did last year.

Culture Clash at Hyundai, Kia

A culture clash at Hyundai and Kia; little jazz for Jazz Semiconductor; and Sacramento's tax talk, in They Say

High Tower in Licensing Deal With Anaheim Company

An Aliso Viejo-based maker of security software has struck a licensing deal with another local software maker, in the Technology column

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

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

BP Relocates New Franchise HQ to North County; Some Job Cuts

Britain's BP has moved the headquarters for its U.S. gas stations and convenience stores to Orange County, and cut a slew of jobs

AmeriCredit Makes Orange Local HQ, Some Work Goes to Texas

An auto financier is dealing with an uncertain outlook for loans sold to Wall Street

Lennar Subleasing Part of Regional HQ in Aliso Viejo

Cost-cutting moves by Lennar now are extending to the Miami-based homebuilder's local headquarters in Aliso Viejo, in the Real Estate column

PEOPLE

Hirings, promotions and other moves at local businesses

LifeMasters Looks to Life After Scuttled Deal

LifeMasters has found new life after a buyout deal went sour

Allergan Passes Pfizer Acquisition Test, Analyst Says

Could Allergan be an appropriate buyout candidate for Pfizer? in the Healthcare column

Broadcom's Wireless Push: Acquisitions, Big Rivals

Broadcom's slowly working its way into the cell phone chip market

REAL ESTATE WATCH: RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT

Despite fears of a weakening economy and negative net absorption in the office market, OC's research and development sector remained fairly stable throughout 07.

Kingston Moves Beyond Cards, Into Content

Kingston's pushing its memory business further with preloaded content cards

Profits, Fight Over Home Auctions

A pair of local home auction companies is going toe to toe in a lawsuit

Disney, Hotels See Solid Q1; Pondering Summer

Disney's hoping a strong first quarter continues into spring and summer

Trademark Law

Knobbe Martens prides itself on its homegrown culture

Standard Pacific Reduces Credit Line

Irvine-based Standard Pacific Corp. said Monday that it gained a 45-day extension for violating terms of the homebuilder's bank credit lines.

Chipmakers Rally on Upgrades

Shares of local chipmakers rallied Monday after analysts upgraded a handful of companies.

Slowing Economy Didn't Dampen Ad Agencies' Growth

Local ad agencies showed strong OC billings

Leases Up,So Are Used Auto Sales at Crevier BMW

Off leases helped Crevier BMW sell a lot of used autos last year, in the Marketplace column

JPMorgan Raises Bear Stearns Bid to $10 Per Share

JPMorgan Chase & Co said on Monday that it raised its all-stock offer for Bear Stearns Cos.

OC Home Prices, Sales Down Again

The price of an existing Orange County home fell 2.1% in February from January, while the pace of sales continued to be squeezed by the credit and liquidity crunch, the California Association of Realtors said on Monday.

READER LETTERS

Deep Thoughts on Orange County. PLUS: Survey

Friday, March 21

Questions Abound on Bear Stearns Buyout

Stunned Bear Stearns shareholders who saw investments virtually wiped out overnight when a takeover deal with JPMorgan Chase was unveiled are demanding to know how it was put together in the first place.

Trade Body to Probe Sony

The U.S. International Trade Commission said it would launch an investigation into some 30 companies including Sony Corp. on possible patent infringements related to Blu-ray disc players and other products.

Kingston Selling Memory Cards With Ringtones, Songs

Fountain Valley-based Kingston Technology Co. is pushing deeper into memory for consumer electronics with a line of cards for wireless phones that are preloaded with games, songs, videos and other files.

Leery Lenders Demand More From Borrowers

Just when consumers and the economy need banks to lend more freely, the mortgage industry is making it harder to borrow -- even for those with good credit.

Western Digital Ending Outside Komag Work, Restructuring

Lake Forest-based disk drive maker Western Digital Corp. plans to stop making parts for other companies in May and is restructuring some operations, the company said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

County Sees Yearly Job Loss in Feb., Up From Jan.

Orange County saw a 1.4% decline in jobs in February from a year earlier, a yearly loss of 21,500 jobs, according to the state's Employment Development Department.

Thursday, March 20

Scarborough Out as Standard Pacific CEO

Stephen Scarborough is out at Standard Pacific Corp., the Irvine-based homebuilder said on Thursday.

Food Makers Say Won't Overreact to Safety Scares

A string of high-profile food safety scares has heightened government and consumer concerns about the food supply, but top food companies say they have felt little need to react dramatically to those events because their quality standards are already so r

Qualcomm Chip Ban Stands

A federal appeals court on Wednesday turned down Qualcomm Inc.'s request to put a hold on a ban against sales of its cell phone chips stemming from a ruling last year that favored Irvine-based rival Broadcom Corp.

Citigroup Cuts 2,000 Banking, Trading Jobs

Citigroup Inc. is cutting about 2,000 more investment banking and trading jobs, a person briefed with the matter said, as the largest U.S. bank moves to lower costs after subprime mortgage and credit problems led to a record quarterly loss.

Rival Didn't Infringe on Edwards, Court Rules

Cook Inc., a medical device maker, said Thursday that a federal court found that it didn't infringe on patents held by Irvine-based Edwards Lifesciences Corp.

Report: SEC Probing Options Activity in Bear Stearns

The Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating the events leading up to the collapse of Bear Stearns, specifically a surge in options contracts betting that the investment bank's share price would fall sharply, according to the Wall Street Journa

Jobless Claims Jump by 22,000

The number of newly laid off workers filing for unemployment benefits rose last week to the highest level in nearly two months, providing more evidence that the weak economy is having an adverse impact on the labor market.

Wednesday, March 19

Quiksilver Grows Up With Latest Clothing Line

Huntington Beach-based Quiksilver Inc. is braving new waters with a line of women's clothing that's more style than surf.

Zehntner Named Permanent CEO of UCI Medical Center

The University of California, Irvine Medical Center in Orange has a new chief executive.

Frank Says Bush Administration Ready to Talk on Plan

U.S. Rep. Barney Frank said on Wednesday that the Bush administration is getting ready to negotiate a plan seeking to avoid home foreclosures.

Fannie, Freddie Cleared to Pump $200 Billion Into Market

The regulator of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac on Wednesday eased capital requirements for the two biggest housing finance agencies, allowing them to pump up to $200 billion into the distressed mortgage market.

Retention Education Nabs Funding

Aliso Viejo-based Retention Education Inc., a maker of English learning tools for Spanish speakers, has completed a Series B funding round, the company said Wednesday.

Thornburg Mortgage Seeks $1 Billion to Insure Survival

Thornburg Mortgage Inc. said on Wednesday that it would try to quickly raise nearly $1 billion of capital to keep five lenders at bay and avoid a collapse for the struggling "jumbo" home loan provider.

Tuesday, March 18

I-Flow Results Helped by Business Sale

I-Flow Corp. said Tuesday that its fourth-quarter profit shot up on a gain from the sale of a subsidiary.

Fed Cuts Key Interest Rate by 3/4 Point

The Federal Reserve slashed a key interest rate by three-quarters of a percentage point on Tuesday, a substantial cut but smaller than many in financial markets had expected, as part of an effort to hold off a deep recession and financial meltdown.

Broadcom Exec Lands at San Diego Chip Startup

Former Broadcom Corp. executive Yossi Cohen, who stepped down from heading the mobile group at the chipmaker last week, has taken the top spot at a San Diego chip startup.

Wall Street Jumps as Financials Rebound

Stocks jumped on Tuesday as stronger-than-expected earnings from Goldman Sachs Group Inc's and Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc provided some reassurance about the ailing financial sector.

Housing Starts Drop, Core PPI Rises in February

The flagging economy got more mixed news from its troubled housing sector on Tuesday, while evidence of inflation pressures continued to lurk in the producer pipeline.

Fed Poised to Slash Rates Even as Jitters Ease

Federal Reserve policy-makers opened a meeting on Tuesday that was expected to lead to the biggest one-day cut in interest rates since 1982, as two major Wall Street firms provided some relief to markets with better-than-expected earnings.

Device Maker Cameron Health Raises $14M

Cameron Health Inc., a San Clemente medical device maker, has raised $14.1 million of a planned $50 million fifth round of funding, according to venture capital sources.

Monday, March 17

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

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

CALENDAR

A listing of events happening all around Orange County

MARKET WATCH

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

Bad Loans Rise at Downey Financial

Loan losses continue to mount for Newport Beach-based thrift operator Downey Financial Corp.

Condo Downturn Spurring Apartment Owner Western

Western National Properties is looking to take advantage of the tough market for condominium developers, in the Real Estate column

Freedom Requires Marriage for All

Freedom requires marriage for all, in a Viewpoint by Chris Mears, former city councilman in Irvine

Well-Funded Startup

Irvine-based Specific Media Inc., an online advertising startup, last week said it purchased a British online advertising company.

EVENTS

Scenes from business, social, charity and other events

Bond Fund Manager Eyes Global Growth

Huntington Beach bond fund manager Allegiance Investment is looking to go after global investments now that it's part of Australia's Macquarie Group

Bear Stearns Takeover Sparks Fresh Financials Rout

An emergency rescue of Bear Stearns Co. stunned the Wall Street bank's staff and pummeled financial stocks on Monday amid fears that few banks are safe from deepening financial market turmoil.

AROUND THE COUNTY

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

Changing Clothes

Quiksilver's testing new waters with a line of women's clothing that's more style than surf

Watson, Barr Tangle Over Birth Control Pill Seasonique

Watson Pharmaceuticals is being sued by a rival over a birth control pill, in the Healthcare column

Safi Meets Wang; Edwards to Manatt; Gwen's Big Auction

Safi Meets Wang; Edwards to Manatt; Gwen's Big Auction

Ameriquest's Roland Arnall Dead at 68

Roland Arnall, founder of former subprime lender Ameriquest Mortgage of Orange, died at the age of 68.

Merrill Lynch Taps New Director in OC

Orange County has lost one of its top female executives

Tech Buys Likely to Slow Despite Cos. Sitting on Piles of Cash

Tech Buys Likely to Slow Despite Cos. Sitting on Piles of Cash

OCBJ SUPPLEMENTS and GUIDES

HOTELS GUIDE 2008

The Lab Owner Halts Plans to Add Lofts Near Stores

The Lab's and The Camp's owner says he's putting off construction of lofts near the shopping centers, in the Marketplace column

WebVisible Nabs Second Funding for $12M

An online ad search startup nabbed its second round of funding

REAL ESTATE DEALS

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

Roy's Turns 20: Restaurant Tour, Special Local Menus

Roy's Turns 20: Restaurant Tour, Special Local Menus

Active Market

Deals Still Being Made; Not Big Blockbusters of Years Past

Integrity Starts Press Release Service for Small Business

Integrity Public Relations has expanded its services in a bid to lure more work from smaller clients, in the Media & Marketing column

Gateway, Packard Bell Boost Acer to No. 2 in Laptops

Acer's now the second-biggest laptop PC maker,thanks to Irvine's Gateway and Europe's Packard Bell, in the Technology column

REAL ESTATE WATCH: MANUFACTURING & WAREHOUSE

Orange County's manufacturing and warehouse industrial sector stays steady. PLUS: CHART - Net Absorption; Vacancy Rates; Average Asking Lease Rates

PEOPLE

Hirings, promotions and other moves at local businesses

Prime Pickings

County's Small, Midsize Companies Could See More M & A; Activity as Big Deals Slow

Key QLogic Exec Resigns

Jeff Benck, a former IBM Corp. executive recruited to eventually take over running Aliso Viejo-based QLogic Corp., has resigned.

Fashion Finds

Apparel Industry Ripe for Consolidation; County Hot for Deals With Plenty of Players

Market Heating Up For Foreign Investors? Only Time Will Tell

Market Heating Up For Foreign Investors? Only Time Will Tell

Oil Sinks in Commodities Sell-Off

Oil dropped from a record high on Monday as a part of wider commodity sell-off sparked by growing concern over the health of the world's largest economy.

Option One's Servicing Business Could Sell for $1B

H & R; Block Inc. said it has a deal to sell what's left of Irvine-based subprime mortgage company Option One Mortgage Corp. in a sale that could be worth about $1 billion.

Network Shift Drives QLogic, Emulex Talk

Wall Street's buzzing over a new way to streamline corporate data networks,and what it could mean for local players QLogic and Emulex

Fed Wades Further Into Risky Waters

The Federal Reserve is taking a risk by opening up its own balance sheet to the same poisonous securities that have strained banks to the limit. But the risk of doing nothing is far greater.

Irvine Co. Branches Into Costa Mesa with Apartments

The big surprise about The Irvine Company's apartment project? It's in the Costa Mesa arts district

Valeant: "Encouraging" Drug Trial Results

Valeant Pharmaceuticals International said Monday its drug to treat hepatitis C liver disease had "encouraging" results in a second-phase clinical trial.

Assessing the Field

A look at local companies that have been the subject of buyout speculation or that just could catch the eye of potential suitors

Drug Withdrawal

Ista Pharmaceuticals' chief executive thinks Wall Street can be swayed, despite the company losing more than half of its market value

Maguire Buzz Spins on Lease, Sale Talk

The buzz in real estate circles is a possible leasing coup for Maguire Properties

Friday, March 14

Bear Stearns Gets Fed Funding as Shares Plummet

JPMorgan Chase & Co and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York on Friday agreed to provide emergency financing to Bear Stearns after the investment bank said its cash position had deteriorated sharply, sending its shares into freefall.

Consumer Prices Flat but Confidence Dips

Cheaper gasoline and food helped keep consumer prices in check during February, the government said on Friday, but a key gauge of consumer hopes showed growing dread of soaring prices in a slowing economy.

Impac Loses Execs, Delays Annual Report

Irvine-based Impac Mortgage Holdings Inc. said Friday that Chief Investment Officer Andrew McCormick and Chief Operating Officer Richard Johnson have resigned.

Report: Microsoft and Yahoo Met to Discuss Merger

Microsoft Corp. and Yahoo Inc. met on Monday to discuss Microsoft's takeover offer for the Internet company, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday, citing people familiar with the matter.

Pacific Sunwear Rebounds on Turnaround Hopes

Shares of Anaheim-based retailer Pacific Sunwear of California Inc. were up near the close of New York trading Friday, reversing an afterhours tumble on a mixed outlook.

Merrill Lynch Promotes Top Local Female Exec, Names New OC Manager

Orange County has lost one of its top female executives as Jodi Rolland, former regional managing director for Merrill Lynch & Co., has taken a promotion at the company's Denver office.

Thursday, March 13

Edwards' Mussallem Named Chairman of Trade Group

Michael Mussallem, chief executive of Irvine heart valve maker Edwards Lifesciences Corp., is the new chairman of AdvaMed, a Washington, D.C.-based medical device trade group.

OC Home Prices Unchanged for February

Orange County's median home price remained unchanged in February from January, stopping the bleeding that's seen prices here fall $125,000 from the market's June 2007 peak.

Consumers Retrench, Labor Market Weak

Consumers cut spending in February and the labor market continued to weaken, suggesting the household-spending pillar that had supported the economy's expansion may be giving way.

Toyota Expects Steady North America Demand

The head of Toyota Motor Corp said he expected steady demand in North America this year despite a slowing economy, and said the automaker may need to take steps to counter a surging yen.

Paulson: Time to Toughen Rules on Mortgage Brokers

Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson on Thursday issued a call for financial institutions to raise capital quickly so they can keep lending, and pledged tougher rules for the mortgage industry.

Wednesday, March 12

Home Loan Demand Drops as Rates Near 5-month High

Mortgage applications dipped last week, reflecting lower demand for home loan refinancing as interest rates surged to their highest since October, an industry group said on Wednesday.

Well-Funded Specific Media Makes British Acquisition

Irvine-based Specific Media Inc., an online advertising startup, said Wednesday it purchased a British online advertising company.

Wachovia Says Housing Downturn Nowhere Near Over

Wachovia Corp, which offers adjustable-rate mortgages that let borrowers decide how much to pay each month, believes the housing downturn is far from over, Chief Risk Officer Don Truslow said.

NYT: New York Gov. Spitzer to Resign Wednesday

New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer is expected to resign on Wednesday morning over a sex scandal involving a prostitute, The New York Times said, citing unnamed staff members.

M-Flex Names New CEO

Shares of Anaheim's Multi-Fineline Electronix Inc., a maker of flexible circuit boards for cell phones, rose Wednesday after the company named a new chief executive.

Perfume Bay Changes Online Names After eBay Battle

A four-year battle with eBay Inc. has brought a name change at Huntington Beach's Perfume Bay Inc.'s Web sites.

Tuesday, March 11

BioLase Swings to Loss in Q4

Irvine dental device maker BioLase Technology Inc. on Tuesday swung to a loss in the fourth quarter.

LifeMasters Raises $15 Million

LifeMasters Supported SelfCare Inc., an Irvine disease management company, said Tuesday it raised $15 million from existing investors.

Jury Awards Damages in Heart Case Against Edwards Lifesciences

A Washington state jury awarded $40.1 million late Monday to a man whose heart was damaged by a malfunctioning monitor made by Irvine-based Edwards Lifesciences Corp.

Kimmitt: Economy to Turn Up in Second Quarter

The economy is going through a rough patch but, thanks to a government fiscal package worth some $150 billion, should start recovering as soon as the second quarter, a senior Treasury official said on Tuesday.

Consumer Confidence Falls in March

Consumer confidence fell in March, turning its most pessimistic in nearly two and a half years on the back of high fuel prices and a wave of grim economic data, according to a survey released on Tuesday.

Wall Street Rallies on Fed Cash Injection

Stocks rallied on Tuesday, led by financial shares, after the Federal Reserve said it would add up to $200 billion to strained credit markets as part of a coordinated effort with other central banks.

Monday, March 10

Hotel Sales Slowed in 2007, Handful of $100M-Plus Deals

Hotel Sales Slowed in 2007, Handful of $100M-Plus Deals

REAL ESTATE WATCH: NORTH & CENTRAL ORANGE COUNTY

The woes of the housing market have had drastic effects on some of the county's commercial real estate. PLUS: CHART - Net Absorption; Vacancy Rates; Average Asking Lease Rates

Back To Reality

Portfolio Deals Dry Up, Capital Retreats From Commercial Markets as Sale Frenzy Slows

Apria Downgraded on Medicare Concerns

Apria Healthcare Group Inc.'s shares fell Monday after a Deutsche Bank analyst downgraded the home healthcare provider.

Countrywide Shares Fall After FBI Probe Reports

Countrywide Financial Corp. shares fell more than 7 percent on Monday following reports it was being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation for possible securities fraud.

Panasonic in Talks To Install Internet In 100 Airplanes

Lake Forest-based Panasonic Avionics Corp. could be a month away from inking its first deal to install high-speed wireless Internet service on airplanes

Cell Phone GPS Software Maker Eyes Profits

Aliso Viejo navigation software startup Networks in Motion is looking to pinpoint a profit in 2008

County Losing Automaker Volvo, Top Woman Executive

Ford Motor Co.'s decision to move its Volvo Cars of North America LLC from Irvine to New Jersey takes away a major automaker as well as one of the county's most prominent women executives.

Five Feet Hosts Food and Wine's Winemaker of the Year

Don't miss the Robert Foley Vineyards Dinner with winemaker Robert Foley at Five Feet in Laguna Beach, in the Executive Dining column

Anaheim Housing Pushes Coatings Maker SDC to Irvine

An Anaheim maker of protective coating for glasses and windows is moving to Irvine after being squeezed out of its longtime home near Angel Stadium, in the Small Business column

REAL ESTATE DEALS

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

Subprime Auto Lender Dinged But Holds Up

A subprime auto lender in Irvine seems to still be holding up

Cell Phone Market Boded Well for Chipmakers, Others

Consumer demand for cell phones was stronger than expected last year, in the Technology column

GPS Software Maker On Track to Post Profit

Aliso Viejo navigation software startup Networks in Motion Inc. is looking to pinpoint a profit in 2008.

Walton Street Pushing Rents at 118 Industrial Buildings

Walton Street Pushing Rents at 118 Industrial Buildings

Goldman Says Can't Rule Out Fed Emergency Rate Cut

An emergency interest rate cut from the Federal Reserve is possible ahead of its March 18th policy meeting, according to a Goldman Sachs research note on Monday.

Former Apria Chairman Brings Activist Style to Sprint

A former director at Apria Healthcare is getting some press, in the Healthcare column

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

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

Vans Expands, Revamps Stores to Show Products

Shoe and clothes maker Vans Inc. isn't letting a slow economy get in the way of its plans to roll out more stores

OCBJ SUPPLEMENTS and GUIDES

ONTARIO GUIDE 2008

Second Chances

The Business Journal's annual Excellence in Entrepreneurship awards: William Wang of Vizio Inc.

Wholesale Inventories, Sales up in January

Wholesale inventories rose 0.8 percent in January, while sales leapt 2.7 percent, the largest increase in nearly four years, the Commerce Department said on Monday.

CALENDAR

A listing of events happening all around Orange County

Marketing Shop Integrated Hires After Landing Work

Integrated MarketingWorks is growing its staff after nabbing more work, in the Media & Marketing column

Edward Buys Prime Pebble Beach Lot; OC's Acting Sheriff

Edward Buys Prime Pebble Beach Lot; OC's Acting Sheriff

MARKET WATCH

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

KUDOS

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

Few Gainers in Jan. Auto Sales; Dealers Eye Incentives

The January numbers for Orange County auto dealers were grim, in the Marketplace column

Land Broker O'Donnell/Atkins Upbeat on Recent Deals

Execs at O'Donnell/Atkins want everyone to know the company isn't going anywhere, in the Real Estate column

TOP REAL ESTATE DEALS

Investors looking to buy office and industrial buildings across Orange County took a breather in 2007, while big portfolio and institutional sales grabbed most of the headlines.

Real Estate Owner Bets on Medical Office Space

Healthcare real estate investor Nationwide Health Properties Inc. is hot on baby boomers these days

PEOPLE

Hirings, promotions and other moves at local businesses

Sunday, March 9

Frank Says Bush Administration Ready to Talk on Plan

U.S. Rep. Barney Frank said on Wednesday that the Bush administration is getting ready to negotiate a plan seeking to avoid home foreclosures.

Thornburg Mortgage Seeks $1 Billion to Insure Survival

Thornburg Mortgage Inc. said on Wednesday that it would try to quickly raise nearly $1 billion of capital to keep five lenders at bay and avoid a collapse for the struggling "jumbo" home loan provider.

Fannie, Freddie Cleared to Pump $200 Billion Into Market

The regulator of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac on Wednesday eased capital requirements for the two biggest housing finance agencies, allowing them to pump up to $200 billion into the distressed U.S. mortgage market.

Friday, March 7

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.

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.

Report: WaMu, Other Lenders Seek Private Equity

Washington Mutual Inc. and other lenders have approached private-equity firms and sovereign-wealth funds to discuss cash infusions, according to the Wall Street Journal, citing people familiar with the situation.

Drug Maker Ista Slump on Regulatory Setbacks

Shares of Ista Pharmaceuticals Inc. slumped more than 20% Friday after it came out that the Irvine drug maker hit regulatory snags with some of its products and several analysts downgraded it.

Investors Eye Modest Feb. Growth at McDonald's

McDonald's Corp. may report a bit of a bounce in February sales after a slow turn of the year, but the twin challenges of food costs and a slumping domestic economy will keep improvement modest, analysts and investors said.

Feb. Payrolls Drop Biggest in Nearly Five Years

Employers cut payrolls for a second straight month during February, slashing 63,000 jobs for the biggest monthly decline in nearly five years as the nation's labor markets weakened steadily, a government report on Friday showed.

Framework for Sale of Jaguar, Land Rover Expected Soon

The outline of a deal for India's Tata Motors to acquire Ford Motor Co.'s Jaguar and Land Rover brands, which have their U.S. base in Irvine, is expected within two weeks.

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.

Quiksilver Gains on Strong Clothes Sales

Shares of Huntington Beach-based Quiksilver Inc. were up nearly 10% in early afternoon New York trading a day after posting results that showed strong clothing sales.

Broadcom Vice President Resigns

A longtime Broadcom Corp. executive who heads the mobile chip group is set to step down next week to take the top post at a privately held startup.

Thursday, March 6

Merrill Quits Subprime Lending, Cuts 650 Jobs

Merrill Lynch & Co. said it will eliminate 650 jobs as it stops making subprime mortgages through its First Franklin Financial Corp unit.

Greenspan: Credit Recovery Hinges on Housing

A recovery in global credit markets will depend on stabilization in home prices and a massive reduction in housing inventory, former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan told Deutsche Bank AG clients.

Nursing Home Operator Sun Beats Expectations

Nursing home and medical staffing company Sun Healthcare Group Inc. of Irvine reported a fourth-quarter profit from continuing operations that beat analysts' expectations.

Mixed Bag for PacSun, Wet Seal Feb. Sales

Same-store sales in February were a mixed bag for Pacific Sunwear of California Inc. and Wet Seal Inc.

Smith Micro Soars on Outlook

Shares of Aliso Viejo's Smith Micro Software Inc., a maker of cell phone software, soared Thursday, continuing a bullish run after the company gave a yearly sales estimate that topped Wall Street's expectations.

H & R; Block Posts Third-Quarter Loss

H & R; Block Inc., the tax preparer trying to recover from losses at its former Irvine subprime mortgage unit, posted a quarterly loss on Wednesday, due to discontinued operations and staff reduction expenses.

Australia's Macquarie Buying Bond Fund Manager

Huntington Beach-based bond manager Allegiance Investment Management LLC has found a buyer in Australia's Macquarie Bank Ltd.

SEC Gives Quest Software, Chief Executive Notice of Possible Lawsuit

Aliso Viejo-based Quest Software Inc. and employees including Chief Executive Vinny Smith have received notice that the Securities and Exchange Commission plans to sue the company for possible violation of securities laws relating to misdated stock option

Wednesday, March 5

Grim Job Market Deals Economy Another Blow

The weakening job market dealt another blow to the struggling economy on Wednesday, while more bad news emerged from the inflation front.

Heart Attack Treatment Company Raises $30M

TherOx Inc., an Irvine company that is developing treatments for heart attack patients, said Wednesday it has closed a $30 million round of financing.

Edwards: Less-Invasive Valve Implanted in Three Patients

Irvine-based Edwards Lifesciences Corp. said Wednesday that its next-generation transcatheter heart valve has been implanted in three people as part of ongoing testing of the device.

IBM Buy of Telelogic Approved in Europe

The European Commission Wednesday approved IBM Corp.'s buy of Sweden's Telelogic AB, a software maker which has its U.S. headquarters in Irvine.

Market Rises on Services Data, Energy Gains

Stocks rose on Wednesday as data showing the services sector contracted less than expected last month eased some jitters about the economy, while gains in crude oil prices lifted energy shares.

American Vanguard: Profit Up, Buys Idaho Plant

Newport Beach-based American Vanguard Corp., a maker of insecticides, reported higher fourth-quarter profits and also said it bought a factory in Idaho.

MBA: Mortgage Applications Rose Last Week

Applications for home mortgages rose for the first week in a month as falling interest rates increased incentives to refinance existing loans, according to data from an industry group on Wednesday.

Paul Frank Strikes Licensing Deal, Confirms Mossimo Involvement

Costa Mesa-based Paul Frank Industries Inc. has granted rights to the clothing company's designs and trademark cartoon characters to Australia's Creata and confirmed that designer Mossimo Giannulli has become an investor in the company.

Tuesday, March 4

Fed Chief: Mortgage Crisis to Continue

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke called Tuesday for additional action to prevent more distressed homeowners from falling into foreclosure.

Former Broadcom Exec Settles With SEC for $1.4M

A former human resources executive at Irvine's Broadcom Corp. agreed Tuesday to settle charges with federal officials that she took part in the backdating of stock options at the chipmaker.

Allergan Gets Subpoena for Botox Documents

Allergan Inc. said late Monday that it received a subpoena from federal officials for documents relating to its flagship Botox drug.

Stocks Fall on Bleak Corporate Forecasts

Stocks tumbled Tuesday as troubling outlooks for Citigroup Inc. and Intel Corp. again underscored for investors that U.S. companies, led by the financial sector, are getting hit by a weak economy.

Vizio, Sole Technology Founders, Other Entrepreneurs Honored

Five entrepreneurs,from a seller of flat-panel TVs to an operator of nursing schools,were honored at Tuesday's Excellence in Entrepreneurship Awards luncheon in Irvine put on by the Business Journal.

Sector Snap: NAND Flash Stocks Slip

Shares of companies that make memory chips used in iPods and other electronic devices slid Tuesday after Intel Corp. warned that declining prices would pull down its first-quarter profit margins.

Monday, March 3

Lamborghini OC Secures OK for Newport Beach Showroom

Brian Glabman has plans for a more upscale version of his fourth-generation family furniture store, in the Marketplace column

US Manufacturing Contracted in February

U.S. manufacturing activity declined in February to its weakest level in nearly five years, an industry group survey showed Monday, heralding more instability in the job market and further frailty in the overall economy.

New Face Set to Run Gibson Dunn's Irvine Office Come January

Gibson Dunn & Crutcher has named a co-partner-in-charge as part of a succession plan for its Irvine office

CHEF OF THE YEAR

Bayside Chef Paul Gstrein's Huge Influence on County's Fine Dining Scene

San Jose's Considering of Name no Big Deal in Little Saigon

Sometimes even the smallest things can be controversial in Little Saigon. But a move by San Jose to name its own Vietnamese enclave Little Saigon is going over without protest in Orange County, home to the largest number of Vietnamese outside of Vietnam.

Vineyard Bank Could See Board Showdown

A proxy battle could be brewing at Vineyard Bank

Broadcom Paying Up to $48M for Video Disc Chipmaker

Irvine chipmaker Broadcom Corp. said Monday it bought Sunnyvale-based Sunext Design Inc., a maker of chips for high-definition video players, for up to $48 million.

Inside Sun Healthcare

Corner Offices: The culture of Sun Healthcare Group Inc. is found in frequent-flier miles and BlackBerrys

Shea Gets Hotels for Tustin

Three hotels, including Orange County's first Kimpton, are coming to Tustin's former Marine base

Lease Reupped at Big South County Distribution Center

A big South County warehouse saw its lease renewed, in the Real Estate column

REAL ESTATE WATCH: AIRPORT/CENTRAL COAST AREA

The commercial real estate market in South Orange County is steady. PLUS: CHART - Net Absorption; Vacancy Rates; Average Asking Lease Rates

After Strong Q4, Several Companies Iffy About Q1

After a strong fourth quarter, some of OC's largest public companies are iffy on what their first-quarter results will look like

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

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

GIVING

Fundraisers and charitable donations from companies and people

Insurers Curbing Medical Scans; Fallout for Alliance

Alliance Imaging Inc. and others are seeing less use of advanced medical imaging services by health plans, in the Healthcare column

Construction Spending Dives in January

Construction spending took its biggest nosedive in 14 years and manufacturing activity contracted, fresh trouble signs for a struggling economy.

Ricoh's Secrets

Japan's Ricoh has amassed an empire along the Costa Mesa (55) Freeway

More Ad Takes on '08: Accountability, 'Smart Growth'

More advertising executives give their outlooks on 2008, in the Media & Marketing column

REVIEW

Capt. Dave's Whale & Dolphin Safari boat trips from Dana Point

Survey: Makers of Business Software Set to See Growth

Sales of business software are set to see growth this year, in the Technology column

CALENDAR

A listing of events happening all around Orange County

OCBJ SUPPLEMENTS and GUIDES

HUMAN RESOURCES GUIDE - MARCH. 2008

REAL ESTATE DEALS

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

Buffett Says U.S. in Recession

Billionaire investor Warren Buffett said on Monday the U.S. economy is in recession, and that stocks are "not cheap" despite recent declines.

OC Makes Lender's 'Worst' List; Loretta Eyes Governor Race

OC Makes Lender's 'Worst' List; Loretta Eyes Governor Race

Valeant Selling Off Asia Operations, Restating Some Results

Valeant Pharmaceuticals International said Monday it sold its Asia-Pacific operations to Invida Pharmaceutical Holdings Pte Ltd. of Singapore for $37.8 million.

MARKET WATCH

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

San Jose Eyes Little Saigon Name; Locals Don't Seem to Mind

Little Saigon is known for flare-ups, but San Jose's bid to adopt the same name for its Vietnamese enclave is going over just fine in Orange County

PEOPLE

Hirings, promotions and other moves at local businesses

AROUND THE COUNTY

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

County's Top Automakers See Job Losses

Hyundai Motor led a decline in local jobs at automakers last year

County Boasts Lunching Scene; Owners', Chefs' Favorite Dishes

County Boasts Lunching Scene; Owners', Chefs' Favorite Dishes. A look at some of Executive Dining columnist Fifi Chao's favorite lunch spots

WiSpry Lands Funding, Big Cell Contract

Chip startup WiSpry Inc. raised $7 million in venture funding