Stories for May 2008

Friday, May 30

Mercedes Moving Design Center from Irvine to Carlsbad

Germany's Daimler AG said it is more than doubling its Mercedes-Benz design studio space,just not in Irvine, where it opened its studio in 1990.

Wet Seal Soars Day After Beating Estimates

Foothill Ranch-based retailer Wet Seal Inc. saw its shares rise as much as 15% Friday before closing up about 5%, a day after the retailer beat expectations for the recently ended quarter and upped its profit outlook for the current one.

April Auto Sales Continue Slump, With Some Twists

April auto sales in Orange County saw some surprises and more of the same,sales were down 10% from a year earlier.

UAL, US Air Not Pursuing Merger Right Now, CEOs Say

UAL Corp., parent of United Airlines, and US Airways Group have decided not to merge, the chief executives of the two carriers said on Friday in separate messages to employees.

ECRI: Annualized Growth Rate at 22-week High

A gauge of future economic growth slipped in the latest week but its annualized growth rate, while still in recessionary territory, was at a 22-week high, indicating improvement in short-term growth prospects, a research group said on Friday.

U.Mich: Consumers' Mood at 28-Year Low in May

Consumer confidence fell to a 28-year low in May as inflation expectations soared, according to a survey released on Friday that presents a dilemma for the Federal Reserve.

Thursday, May 29

CEO Morris Named Chairman of Pacific Life Parent

The parent company of Newport Beach's Pacific Life Insurance Co. named Chief Executive James T. Morris as its chairman, completing a succession that started a year ago.

GDP Growth Revised Higher, Jobless Claims Up

The economy grew at a revised 0.9 percent annual rate in the first quarter, slightly better than previously thought because of lower demand for foreign goods and services and a pickup in non-residential building, the Commerce Department said on Thursday.

Bear Stearns Shareholders Approve Sale to JPMorgan

Bear Stearns Cos. shareholders approved the sale of the company to JPMorgan Chase & Co. on Thursday, a JPMorgan spokesman said.

Costco's Profit Up 32 Percent, Above Expectations

Costco Wholesale Corp., the biggest U.S. warehouse club operator, said on Thursday its quarterly profit jumped 32 percent, beating expectations, as shoppers flocked to its stores for discounts on food and gasoline.

Wednesday, May 28

Durable Goods Orders Show Surprising Strength

New orders for long-lasting manufactured goods dipped last month but demand outside of transportation jumped and a gauge of business investment rose sharply, suggesting surprising strength in the factory sector.

Report: SEC to Probe Bear Stearns Trading Data

Bear Stearns Cos. plans to turn over documents to securities regulators showing that financial giants like Goldman Sachs Group, Citadel Investment Group and Paulson & Co. cut their exposure to the securities firm before its collapse, the Wall Street Journ

Ambassadors Shopping Cruise Line

Ambassadors International Inc. has put its upscale cruise line up for sale.

Report: Ford to Cut Up to 12 Percent of Salaried Jobs

Ford Motor Co. plans to cut its U.S. salaried work force by up to 12 percent after its turnaround plan stalled because of the downturn in the economy, the Detroit News reported on Wednesday.

BioSensors Downsizing Newport Beach Office

Biosensors International Group Ltd., a Singapore-based medical device maker, is scaling back its Newport Beach operations.

Mexican Retailer Soriana Selling Gigante Anaheim Store, Others

The fate of Grupo Gigante SA de CV's Southern California grocery stores is clear now after the December sale of the Mexican retailer.

Tuesday, May 27

Top Exec, Others Leave SunCal Homebuilding Arm

The top executive and others at Irvine-based SunCal Cos.' homebuilding arm have left the business started by the real estate developer late last year.

Consumer Confidence Hits 16-Year Low in May

Consumer confidence plunged unexpectedly to its lowest in 16 years in May as rising gasoline costs and falling home prices made Americans nervous about the future, a survey released on Tuesday showed.

Standard Pacific Gets $530M Investment; Shares Soar

Shares of Irvine-based Standard Pacific Corp. closed up more than 45% Tuesday after the homebuilder announced it struck a deal for $530 million in funding from a New York private equity fund.

Anaheim, EarthLink in Talks Over Fate of City Wireless Network

The city of Anaheim is talking with EarthLink Inc. on how best to wind down their wireless Internet venture.

S & P;: Home Prices Fell at Record Pace in First Quarter

Prices of single-family homes plunged a record 14.1 percent in the first quarter from a year earlier, marking a pace five times faster than the last housing recession, according to the Standard & Poor's/Case Shiller national home price index reported on T

Anaheim Could See $75M Impact From All-Star Game

Angel Stadium of Anaheim is set to host baseball's 2010 All-Star Game is what could be a $75 million economic boost to the city.

April New Single-Family Home Sales Rose 3.3 Percent

Sales of newly constructed single-family homes rose 3.3 percent in April to a 526,000 annual rate but they were down 42 percent from a year ago, which was the largest year-over-year drop in nearly 27 years, government data on Tuesday showed.

Monday, May 26

Software Maker Thunderhead: More Offices, IBM Tie

Irvine's Thunderhead is set to open a handful of offices around the globe, in the Technology column

REAL ESTATE DEALS

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

Publisher Moves to Other Coast; 'Mood Lighting' at Luncheon

Publisher Moves to Other Coast; 'Mood Lighting' at Luncheon

CALENDAR

A listing of events happening all around Orange County

PRINTERS CONSOLIDATE

Costs, Technology Demands From Clients Squeeze Industry

OCBJ SUPPLEMENTS and GUIDES - OC BOATING

OC BOATING 2008

Ford Aims to Help Dealers, Change Sagging Perception

Ford Motor is trying to spruce up its image, especially to local consumers, in the Marketplace column

O'Donnell/Atkins Launches Lender Consulting Business

Irvine-based land brokerage O'Donnell/Atkins is starting up a consulting business for lenders, in the Real Estate column

OCBJ SUPPLEMENTS and GUIDES - TECH & TELECOM

TECH & TELECOM SPRING 2008

UST Global Eyeing Plans To Go Public

Aliso Viejo's UST Global is readying to go public next year

New Maguire CEO Sees Long-Term Turnaround

Orange County is set to get "hands-on" attention from Maguire Properties new chief executive

THEY SAY

Crisis Lingers. Predictions of a credit market turn around are a bit premature

Chew's Mix

Don Chew isn't your conventional businessman

REAL ESTATE WATCH: Airport area/Central coast

The airport area office market saw a decrease in tenant demand and higher vacancy. PLUS: CHARTS - Net Absorption; Vacancy Rates; Average Asking Lease Rates

Top Exec, Others Leave SunCal's Building Arm

The top executive and others have left SunCal's homebuilding arm

Anaheim Wireless Internet Network Up in the Air

The city of Anaheim and EarthLink are in talks about winding down their wireless Internet venture

MARKET WATCH

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

Boeing: Local Move Already Paying Off

Boeing's big move of its Anaheim operations to Huntington Beach already is paying off

Printers Post Sales Gain Despite Slow Economy, Cut Jobs

Printers Post Sales Gain Despite Slow Economy, Cut Jobs

Maker of Alternative Fuel Auto Kits Surges on Global Business

A maker of fuel converter kits for autos is big in Europe

AROUND THE COUNTY

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

Healthcare Technology Growth Slows After Heady Run

Expect some slowing in the growth of healthcare information technology, in the Healthcare column

VIEWPOINT

Double Bottom Line. Nearly any thing you own can be put to work for the causes you care about and trim your taxes

Broadcom Founders' Era Fades With Samueli Shift

Wall Street thinks Broadcom has moved out of the shadows of its founders

BioSensors Downsizing Newport Beach Office

A Singapore-based medical device maker is scaling back its Newport Beach operations

Art Concierge

A Laguna Beach art consultant is behind the art at some of the county's posh hotels

Irvine's Capita Nabs $12.5M Contract from L.A. County

Irvine's Capita Technologies landed a big contract from Los Angeles County, in the Media & Marketing column

PEOPLE

Hirings, promotions and other moves at local businesses

OCBJ SUPPLEMENTS and GUIDES - ANAHEIM

ANAHEIM GUIDE 2008 - A Translucent Retail and Dining Experience

Friday, May 23

Pacific Sunwear Continues to Slide on Profit Warning

Shares of Anaheim-based Pacific Sunwear of California Inc. were down again Friday, a day after the mall retailer reduced its quarterly and annual profit outlooks.

Survey: Homeowner Sentiment Darkens in May

Twice as many Americans expect the value of their homes to fall in the next 12 months than a year ago, while price rises in the next five years will fail to keep pace with inflation, according to the results of a survey.

ECRI: Gauge of Economy Lower in Latest Week

A gauge of future economic growth was slightly lower in the latest week due to higher interest rates and slower housing, while its annualized growth rate reached a four-month high, a research group said on Friday.

April Existing Home Sales Fall to 4.89 Million Pace

The pace of existing home sales in the United States fell 1 percent in April to a 4.89 million-unit annual rate, the National Association of Realtors said in a report on Friday that was slightly better than expectations.

Thursday, May 22

UCI Medical Center Chief, Other Women Honored

The head of Orange County's largest hospital and four other women were honored Thursday at the Business Journal's annual Women in Business awards luncheon in Irvine.

Economy Still Facing Recession, Rebound Seen Tepid

The economy is still facing a possible recession this year, with any recovery stunted by inflation that prevents the Federal Reserve from cutting interest rates again, according to a Reuters poll.

Ford Abandons 2009 Profitability Goal

Ford Motor Co. said on Thursday it no longer expects to meet a long-held goal of returning to profitability in 2009 and would cut production through the remainder of this year to adjust to a slumping U.S. market.

Adelphia Founder and Son to be Resentenced

A federal judge on Thursday will re-evaluate the prison sentences of Adelphia founder John Rigas and his son Timothy after an appeals court overturned one part of their convictions last year.

SM & A;, Founder Strike Deal to End Board Fight

An agreement announced Thursday between Newport Beach-based aerospace consultant SM & A; and its founder ends a short but bitter proxy battle for control of the company's board.

Wednesday, May 21

CEO: JPMorgan to Cut 55 PCT of Bear Staff

More than 7,600 Bear Stearns Cos' employees, about 55 percent of its staff, are expected to lose their jobs as the troubled investment bank is absorbed into JPMorgan Chase & Co., JPMorgan Chief Executive James Dimon said Tuesday.

American Airlines to Slash Capacity Up to 12 Percent

American Airlines said on Wednesday it plans to cut jobs, retire old planes and slash domestic capacity by 11 percent to 12 percent in the fourth quarter as fuel prices reach record highs and the weak economy saps air travel demand.

Impac Reports Delayed 2007 Results, Posts $2 Billion Loss

Irvine-based Impac Mortgage Holdings Inc. saw its stock drop 10% at the close of New York trading Wednesday after reporting a staggering $2 billion loss for 2007.

Boeing Laying Off Satellite Workers in Seal Beach, El Segundo

Layoffs are coming at Boeing Co.'s Seal Beach site after the company lost a military contract to make satellites.

Time Warner to Separate Cable in $10.9 Billion Deal

Time Warner Inc. will completely split with Time Warner Cable Inc. by the end of the year, in a $10.9 billion transaction to separate its content and distribution businesses.

Pimco Buys $2.5B in Mortgage Bonds From Israeli Bank

Newport Beach-based bond manager Pacific Investment Management Co. has bought $2.5 billion worth of subprime mortgage bonds from Israel's Bank Hapoalim Ltd.

Tuesday, May 20

Home Depot Profit Falls as Housing Woes Weigh

Home Depot said on Tuesday that quarterly profit fell 66 percent as the housing meltdown hurt sales and it took a charge to close stores and curb expansion plans.

Buffett Says Will Continue to Buy U.S. Businesses

Warren Buffett said on Tuesday he would not shy away from making acquisitions outside the United States, but he would also continue to buy U.S. companies.

Broadcom: Prosecutors Weighing Indictments of Samueli, Dull

Federal prosecutors are weighing criminal indictments of Broadcom Corp. cofounder Henry Samueli and general counsel David Dull, the Irvine chipmaker said in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing on Tuesday.

Jazz Set To Keep Name, Operations Under Tower Semi

Newport Beach-based contract chipmaker Jazz Technologies Inc. is set to continue operating under its own name with just a few initial changes under a deal to be bought by Israel's Tower Semiconductor Ltd.

Source: Third Point Backs Icahn in Yahoo Fight

Third Point LLC, a $5.7 billion hedge fund headed by activist Dan Loeb, has recently accumulated a stake of over 5 million shares in Yahoo Inc. and is supporting investor Carl Icahn's proxy battle, a source familiar with the matter said on Tuesday.

Monday, May 19

MacGregor: Survivor From County's Yacht-Making Heyday

MacGregor Yacht is one of the few to survive the local boat building world

Lamborghini OC Party: Celebs, Helicopters, Fast Cars

Lamborghini Orange County held a party to mark the launch of a laptop computer from Italy's Automobili Lamborghini, in the Marketplace column

Maguire Properties' OC Offices Push $48.6M Q1 Loss

The county continues to be a drag on Los Angles-based landlord Maguire Properties, in the Real Estate column

OCBJ SUPPLEMENTS and GUIDES

BANKING & FINANCE GUIDE 2008

Big San Juan Capistrano Projects in Works

Several large housing and commercial projects are getting under way along a two-mile stretch of land running just along the east side of the San Diego (I-5) Freeway in San Juan Capistrano.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

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

O'Quinn Clothing Brings Touch of Class to Beachwear

Orange County's surf- and skate-inspired clothing is a little classier these days, in the Small Business column

No Call Waiting

Time Warner Cable is set to offer phone services to Southern California businesses

Quality Systems Buys Healthcare Billing Company

Quality Systems Inc., an Irvine medical software maker, said Monday that it was buying Healthcare Strategic Initiatives, a healthcare billing company out of St. Louis.

SBA Loans Slow With Economy, More Cautious Credit Market

The number of loans made by the top 20 SBA lenders in the county was down from a year earlier

No End In Sight to Market Woes Say Trichet, Buffett

The end to the credit crunch is still not in sight, European Central Bank President, Jean-Claude Trichet and Warren Buffett, the world's most famous stock market investor, warned on Monday.

Jazz Being Bought by Israeli Chipmaker

Newport Beach's Jazz Semiconductor Inc. said Monday it's set to be bought by Israeli chipmaker Tower Semiconductor Ltd. for $169 million.

John Laing Expands to Custom Homebuilding

John Laing is starting a custom homebuilding business

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

Eminent Domain. Letters to the Editor

Robert Maguire Out at Maguire Properties

Maguire Properties Inc. founder Robert Maguire was ousted over the weekend as chief executive of the company he founded.

Facebook Stresses Independence Amid Microsoft Talk

Facebook Inc. founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg stressed his company's independent spirit on Monday, after a report the social networking site might be sold to software giant Microsoft, which is hunting for ways to beef up its Internet business.

Big San Juan Projects in Works

A few developers with local ties are putting up large housing and commercial projects along Ortega Highway

REAL ESTATE DEALS

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

Inside Ceradyne

A scrappy, can-do attitude drives the corporate culture of Costa Mesa's Ceradyne, in Corner Offices

Minimum Wage Hike Just Another Burden for Small Businesses

Minimum Wage Hike Just Another Burden for Small Businesses

Going Green

Environmentally Friendly Practices No. 1 Trend Among Hotels

Investors Wanted

What Small-Business Owners Should Know Before Seeking Out Investors

New Valve Prospects Help Propel Edwards

The rollout of a new type of heart valve is helping to spur Edwards Lifesciences on Wall Street

REVIEW

"Grand Canyon Adventure: a River at Risk" focuses on the delicate nature of the natural world

Penrose Steps into Top Spot at St. Jude Medical

Former chief financial officer Lee Penrose is taking the top spot at Fullerton's St. Jude Medical Center

Jets Parts Company Buys U.K. Business

A plane parts supplier has picked up a British company despite unfavorable exchange rates

Brainsaw Sees Opportunity in Del Taco Account Loss

Brainsaw plans to go after more restaurant work now that it doesn't have the Del Taco account, in the Media & Marketing column

UCI Thinks Big; DeVore Gets Power Boost from Brown

UCI Thinks Big; DeVore Gets Power Boost from Brown

CALENDAR

A listing of events happening all around Orange County

Local Company Looking to Enhance Vision for Legally Blind

Huntington Beach's Enhanced Vision aims to make life easier for the blind

Laser Vision

Irvine-based Mitsubishi Digital Electronics America is pushing the next generation of flat-screen TVs

Lehman, Goldman, Morgan Stanley Outlooks Cut at Citi

Citigroup slashed its earnings outlook for Wall Street investment banks, Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. and Morgan Stanley, citing a tough operating environment.

Spectrum Raises Money with Sale of Profit Stake, Drugs

Irvine drug maker Spectrum Pharmaceuticals is raising money, in the Healthcare column

Moreland & Associates Acquired by Sacramento's Macias

Sacramento-based Macias, Gini & O'Connell has acquired a Newport Beach firm to build on its business here

KUDOS

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

Epicor's New Chief Projects Rebound from Tough Q1

Epicor Software weathered a handful of one-time events that made for a tough first quarter, in the Technology column

GIVING

Fundraisers and charitable donations from companies and people

Stormy Weather

Slow Economy Forcing Small Business Owners

VIEWPOINT

Despite the tall tale in the 2006 film "Who Killed the Electric Car?" General Motors Corp.'s EV1 was not ready for prime time.

Friday, May 16

Fannie Mae Relaxing Loan Down Payment Requirements

Fannie Mae, the nation's largest source of home financing, said on Friday it is lowering the amount of down payments required on mortgages it purchases, even in areas where home prices are falling.

County Sees Sixth Straight Month of Yearly Job Losses in April

Orange County's yearly job losses continued in April while employment picked up slightly from March.

Medical Scanner Alliance Rises on Upgrade

Shares of Alliance Imaging Inc., an Anaheim medical scanning company, were upgraded to "hold" from "buy" Friday by a Deutsche Bank Securities analyst.

Abercrombie & Fitch Profit Tops View

Teen apparel retailer Abercrombie & Fitch Co. reported higher quarterly profit on Friday, topping Wall Street estimates, as a lower tax rate and better gross profit helped offset the impact of lower same-store sales.

April Housing Starts Rise Best Since Jan 2006

Construction starts on new homes rose by a surprisingly strong 8.2 percent in April and applications for new building permits turned up for the first time in five months, the Commerce Department said on Friday in a report showing the hard-hit housing sect

Thursday, May 15

April Figures Show More Downey Loan Losses

Financial data released by Newport Beach-based Downey Financial Corp. sheds light on further loan losses for the thrift operator.

CBS to Buy Web Publisher CNET

CBS Corp. said on Thursday it would buy web media company CNET Networks Inc. for about $1.8 billion to boost the television broadcaster's reach across the Internet.

Icahn to Fight Yahoo to Accept Microsoft Bid

Financier Carl Icahn on Thursday launched a proxy battle to force Yahoo Inc. to reopen buyout talks with Microsoft Corp., saying the Yahoo board had acted "irrationally" in refusing its $47.5 billion offer.

Jobless Claims Rise 6,000 in Latest Week

The number of workers filing claims for initial jobless benefits rose by 6,000 in the latest week while the number on benefit rolls after a first week of aid hit a four-year high, a government report showed on Thursday.

Muted Reaction to Samueli Resignation on Wall Street

Wall Street reacted mildly Thursday to the resignation of Broadcom Corp. cofounder Henry Samueli as chairman and to his leave of absence as the chipmaker's technology chief.

Beckman Coulter Upgraded by S

Beckman Coulter Inc., the Fullerton-based medical testing maker, got an upgrade from Standard & Poor's Thursday on a "successful transition" to a new type of lease for its equipment.

Wednesday, May 14

Macy's Affirms Full-Year Forecast, Shares Rise

Macy's Inc. reported a quarterly loss on Wednesday, hurt by restructuring costs and falling sales, but the department store operator stood by its full-year earnings forecast, and its shares rose 7 percent.

MBA: Mortgage Applications Rise in Latest Week

Mortgage applications rose for a second consecutive week, fueled by a jump in demand for home refinancing loans as interest rates dropped, an industry group said on Wednesday.

Freddie Mac Loss Widens Less Than Feared

Freddie Mac posted a smaller-than-expected quarterly loss on Wednesday and the second-biggest home-financing company said it would raise capital as credit losses deepened. Its shares rose more than 9 percent.

Advanced Medical: FDA OK's Vision Surgery Laser

Santa Ana-based Advanced Medical Optics Inc. said Wednesday the Food and Drug Administration approved a new laser for use in vision correction surgeries.

SEC Sues Broadcom Founders, Other Past, Current Executives

Former and present Broadcom Corp. executives, including cofounders Henry Samueli and Henry Nicholas, were sued by the Securities and Exchange Commission Wednesday over stock options backdating at the Irvine chipmaker.

Kingston Upped Lead in Memory Modules in 2007

Fountain Valley's Kingston Technology Co., the biggest maker of memory products, widened its market share last year for sales of circuit boards loaded with memory chips that go into computers.

Tuesday, May 13

Bernanke Says Markets Healing But Still Not Well

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said on Tuesday that emergency Fed liquidity measures have helped relieve strain in financial markets, but the recovery process remains incomplete.

Two Olenicoff Bankers Indicted in Tax Evasion Case

Two bankers employed by Newport Beach-based developer Igor Olenicoff are under criminal indictment for allegedly helping the Olen Properties Corp. founder and president hide assets and evade taxes, according to reports.

Retail Sales Show Resiliency

Total sales at retailers weakened modestly in April, the government reported on Tuesday, but outside the hard-pressed auto sector they showed more resiliency than many analysts had anticipated.

Wal-Mart Profit Up, But Shares Fall

Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the world's largest retailer, reported a 7 percent rise in quarterly profit on Tuesday as discounts drew shoppers looking for bargains on necessities like food and pharmacy items.

Valeant Up on Epilepsy Drug Results

Shares of Valeant Pharmaceuticals International closed up 5.5% on Tuesday on positive trial results for retigabine, an anti-epilepsy drug.

Investor: MSC.Software Should Explore Alternatives

A large shareholder in Santa Ana-based MSC.Software Corp. said on Tuesday the maker of industrial simulation software should "explore strategic alternatives",including a possible sale.

Monday, May 12

PEOPLE

Hirings, promotions and other moves at local businesses

Economic Concerns Weighing Down Allergan

Implants boost cosmetic sales, small part of unit

MARKET WATCH

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

AROUND THE COUNTY

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

Next Generation of Givers: Involved, Connected; Big Checks to Come Later

The county's new breed of philanthropists is big on participation, with big checks to come later

Former QLogic Executive Joins Rival Emulex

Jeff Benck has joined Costa Mesa-based Emulex Corp., two months after abruptly leaving rival QLogic Corp. of Aliso Viejo.

INDUSTRIAL MARKET

Industrial Market Claims Strong Rents, Vacancy Stays Low

Economic Jitters Felt in Los Angeles' Office Lease Rates

Economic Jitters Felt in Los Angeles' Office Lease Rates

WEST MARKET

Since 2004, an influx of mortgage, title and residential real estate companies had spread across the valley to take advantage of the exploding housing market.

Ritz Interactive Broadens Web Sales Beyond Cameras

Irvine's Ritz Interactive Inc. is a dot-com survivor that sells cameras, electronics, even boating and fishing gear

READER LETTERS

The Case for Bill Hunt, Commentary by Chris Mears

Beckman Pursuing Hepatitis C for New Testing System

Beckman Coulter is looking to add hepatitis C virus testing to its machines that run tests for hospitals and doctors, in the Healthcare column

OFFICE MARKET

Number of Office Buildings Grow, Jobs Declining

Clear Channel Trial Delayed Till Tuesday

The scheduled start on Monday of a trial over financing for the $20 billion buyout of Clear Channel Communications has been delayed until Tuesday.

First American's Businesses Split Set to Wrap Up in Q4

Safeco is putting up space for sublease in Aliso Viejo, in the Real Estate column

VIEWPOINT

The Case for Bill Hunt, Commentary by Chris Mears

Shaky Ground

Orange County Apartments Outpacing National Average, Hit By Job Loss, Slow Economy

EVENTS CALENDAR

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

Fifi Does Restaurant Scene: Roy's, Blue Coral, Others

Fifi Does Restaurant Scene: Roy's, Blue Coral, Others

OCBJ SUPPLEMENTS and GUIDES

HEALTHCARE GUIDE, JUNE, 2008

Teridian Recognized for Satellite Set-Top Box Chips

Irvine chipmaker Teridian Semiconductor Corp. got a nod for its satellite TV set-top boxes, in the Technology column

Handicapping OC Sheriff's Derby; Ask Mrs. Puri

Handicapping OC Sheriff's Derby; Ask Mrs. Puri

Fullerton Cracks Down on Nightlife With Tighter Laws

Fullerton has laid down new rules for the booming bars and restaurants in its downtown

Star Trac No. 3 in Gym Gear; Eyeing Growth

Irvine-based exercise equipment maker Star Trac is No. 3 in its industry

RETAIL SPACE

Demand for Retail Space Drops With Consumer Spending

Analyst Upbeat on Allergan, Alcon, Cautious on Advanced Medical

Irvine's Allergan Inc. and Alcon Inc., which has some 500 workers in Irvine, could see continued growth, an analyst said Monday.

Bust to Boom

Broken Condominium Projects Present Opportunities for Apartment Developers

Park Place Lexus Mission Viejo Seeing Improvements

Park Place Dealerships is putting its mark on Lexus Mission Viejo, in the Marketplace column

Cablevision and Tribune Seal Newsday Deal

Cablevision Systems Corp. sealed a $650 million deal to buy 97 percent of Newsday Media Group from Tribune Co., the companies said on Monday, after Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. withdrew its bid.

Morgan Stanley Raises Billions for Infrastructure

Morgan Stanley and a fund set up by General Electric and Credit Suisse said on Monday they had collectively raised almost $10 billion for funds to invest in infrastructure.

Tech Entrepreneur Looks to Invest in Environmental Co.

Investor John Clarey is looking for an environmental company to back

W.B. Doner Named Ad Shop for Del Taco Restaurants

W.B. Doner & Co. in Newport Beach landed work from Lake Forest-based Del Taco Inc., in the Media & Marketing column

NATIONAL MARKET

While economists debated the financial health of the country, the office real estate sector in Pittsburgh remained healthy and busy...

CALIFORNIA MARKET

The effects of the subprime mortgage meltdown have hit hardest in Orange County...

Irvine Business Complex's Planned Projects At Risk

Irvine Business Complex's Planned Projects At Risk

Pacific Life Unit Does $10.5B in Plane Orders

Pacific Life's jet leasing arm is buying $10.5 billion of Boeing planes

REAL ESTATE DEALS

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

Unsold Homes, Falling Land Values Drive Another Big Standard Loss

Irvine-based homebuilder Standard Pacific Corp. posted another big loss for the first quarter on nearly $200 million in write-offs in the value of unsold homes and undeveloped land.

Saturday, May 10

Cable Business Journal VideoCast

There are over 160 nominees for the Business Journal's Women In Business Awards program this year. This month's guest is one of those who has been recognized at that event.

Friday, May 9

Citigroup Aims to Sell $400 Billion of Assets

Citigroup Inc, the largest U.S. bank, said on Friday it aims to shed $400 billion of assets -- nearly 20 percent of its total -- over the next two to three years to become more efficient and profitable.

Spectrum Sells Drugs to Focus on Other Products

Spectrum Pharmaceuticals Inc. said Friday that it has sold four of its injectable generic drugs.

Siemens Ex-CEO Faces No Criminal Charges in Probe

Prosecutors investigating suspected bribery at German engineering group Siemens said on Friday they have found no evidence to warrant criminal charges against former Chief Executive Heinrich von Pierer.

Coatings Maker SDC Selling to Mitsui for $95M

Irvine-based SDC Technologies Inc., a maker of coatings for glasses, windows and display screens, is being sold to Japan's Mitsui Chemicals Inc. for $95 million.

Fremont Could File for Bankruptcy

Brea-based Fremont General Corp., once one of the country's largest subprime lenders, says it might file for bankruptcy.

March Trade Gap Narrows More than Expected

The trade deficit narrowed more than expected in March on a record plunge in the value of imports, even as average oil prices surged to a new record, a Commerce Department report on Friday showed.

Quest Jumps on Q1 Results

Aliso Viejo-based business software maker Quest Software Inc. saw its shares rise 7% in midday New York trading Friday, a day after beating expectations for first-quarter results and offering a 2008 sales forecast that topped expectations at the high end.

Thursday, May 8

Shoppers Go After Bargains for April Rebound

Retail sales rebounded in April after the worst March in 13 years, as warmer weather boosted demand for spring and summer apparel, while most discounters shined as cash-strapped consumers hunted for bargains.

Report: U.S. Not Slipped into Recession, Lazear Says

U.S. Council of Economic Advisers Chairman Edward Lazear is confident the economy has not slipped into a recession and is optimistic that the economic stimulus payments could help growth in the current quarter, the Wall Street Journal said on Thursday.

Microsoft: No Plans For Another Bid for Yahoo

Microsoft has no plans to make another approach for Yahoo Inc. after it pulled its $47.5 billion bid earlier this month, Microsoft's Chief Research and Strategy Officer Craig Mundie said on Thursday.

Fremont Selling Last Remaining Business: Mortgage Servicing

Brea-based Fremont General Corp. has struck a deal to sell what's left of the onetime subprime lender.

Wet Seal Shares Rise on Upped Outlook; PacSun Sees Bigger Loss

Foothill Ranch-based retail Wet Seal Inc. reported a decline in April same-store sales but its shares jumped on a raised outlook for the recently ended quarter, while Anaheim's Pacific Sunwear of California Inc.'s April sales fell short of expectations an

Jazz Mum on Buyers; Observer Comes Up With Short List

Newport Beach-based contract chip maker Jazz Technologies Inc. didn't offer an update on talks with potential buyers during its quarterly conference call earlier this week.

Wednesday, May 7

Allergan Beats Expectations; Concerns About Botox

Irvine-based Allergan Inc. said Wednesday that its first-quarter profit prior to charges exceeded analysts' expectations, but its shares fell as much as 5% and closed down 3%, likely on concerns about slowing domestic sales of flagship wrinkle-remover Bot

UCI Nabs $27.2 in State Funding for Stem Cell Center

The University of California, Irvine, on Wednesday said it received $27.2 million from the state to build its stem cell research facility.

CEO: Valeant Results Show

Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, an Aliso Viejo drug maker that's undergoing restructuring, said Wednesday that it posted a first-quarter profit before charges.

Report: Sunstone Hotel Up for Sale

San Clemente-based hotel owner Sunstone Hotel Investors Inc. is up for sale with Bear Stearns taking bids on the company, according to a report by London-based market tracker dealReporter.

Tuesday, May 6

Fannie Mae Posts Loss, To Cut Payout, Raise Capital

Fannie Mae on Tuesday cut its dividend and set plans to raise $6 billion in fresh funds to weather the severe housing market slump, driving its shares and the broader stock market lower.

Homebuilding Slump Continues to Play Out at William Lyon

Newport Beach-based William Lyon Homes Inc. continued its slide with first-quarter results, though a onetime tax change helped the homebuilder report a narrower loss from a year earlier.

Grubb & Ellis Posts Q1 Net Loss of $5.9M

Santa Ana-based Grubb & Ellis Co., in its first full quarter of operations following its merger with local real estate investment firm NNN Realty Advisors LLC, posted revenues of $160.6 million and a net loss of $5.9 million, the company said on Tuesday.

Circuit Board Maker M-Flex Surges on Strong Results, Diversification

Anaheim-based Multi-Fineline Electronix Inc., a maker of circuit boards for wireless phones and other devices, saw its shares jump after reporting strong quarterly results boosted by business with newer customers.

D.R. Horton Posts Quarterly Loss

D.R. Horton Inc., the largest U.S. home builder, posted a large quarterly loss on Tuesday after a $834.1 million charge for the lower value of land and inventory of unsold homes and aggressive price cuts to move unsold homes.

Microsoft Intl Exec Says at End of Road on Yahoo

Microsoft Corp. has come to the "end of the story" with Yahoo Inc. and will now focus on its own, clear strategy of evolving as a leading provider of Internet services, the president of Microsoft International said.

Monday, May 5

Slumping Powerwave Jumps on Q1 Results

Santa Ana-based Powerwave Technologies Inc., a maker of equipment for wireless networks that's slumped on Wall Street since the fall, saw its shares jump Monday on better than expected first-quarter earnings.

Solel Solar on the Hunt for Newport Beach HQ Space

Solel Solar Systems plans U.S. headquarters in Newport Beach this year, in the Small Business column

REVIEW

A new play, The Injured Party, at the South Coast Repertory is reviewed

REAL ESTATE WATCH: HIGH-RISE OFFICE MARKET

Vacancy for local high-rise space increased, in Real Estate Watch. PLUS: CHARTS - Net Absorption; Vacancy Rates; Average Asking Lease Rates

Yahoo Shares Plunge After Microsoft's Exit

Yahoo Inc.'s shares tumbled as much as 20 percent on Monday after Microsoft Corp. withdrew its $47.5 billion takeover offer, wiping about $7.6 billion off the Internet company's market capitalization and piling pressure on its leadership.

PowerDirect Debuts Smaller Door Hangers in Spanish

A marketing shop wants to target Hispanics, in the Media & Marketing column

TriZetto: Shelter from Scrutiny, Better Valuation

TriZetto's deal to go private is a way for the company to get out of Wall Street's glare

Morrison & Foerster Closes OC Office, Manatt Picks Up 2

Morrison & Foerster LLP is shuttering its Orange County office

REAL ESTATE DEALS

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

AN UNCERTAIN SUMMER

The tourism boom of the past couple of years might wane this summer as consumers scale back spending in the face of rising living costs, shrinking jobs and an uncertain economy.

Resorts Eye More Guests With Unique, Specialized Services

A variety of vacation experiences bodes well for OC during this uncertain economy.

Bruin Coach Coaxes Trojan to Donate; OC 50 Rundown

Bruin Coach Coaxes Trojan to Donate; OC 50 Rundown

OCBJ SUPPLEMENTS and GUIDES

WOMEN IN BUSINESS PROFILES 2008

John Laing Chief Is Out, Emaar Exec In

Homebuilder John Laing Homes is seeing a big shake-up of its executive ranks

MARKET WATCH

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

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

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

PEOPLE

Hirings, promotions and other moves at local businesses

CalPers Calls for Change to Standard Pacific's Board

Irvine-based Standard Pacific's recent executive change isn't enough, in the Real Estate column

Device Makers Up After Hearing on Laser Eye Surgery

A recent FDA hearing on the safety of laser eye surgery hasn't affected the stock prices of medical device makers, in the Healthcare column

Irvine Co. Inking Leases for Local Offices

It's taken a while, but The Irvine Company is starting to see some leasing at the office towers and low-rise buildings it's putting up

Here's a Switch: Window Maker Leaving Phoenix, Expands Here

Window maker Atrium is making an unusual consolidation

Blizzard Fans Converge on City of Light for Convention

Fans of Blizzard's online video games are gearing up for the company's fifth annual worldwide invitational convention and tournament, in the Technology column

Quiksilver Restructuring Part of Brand Refocus

Quiksilver's eyeing more profits with its latest restructuring

Going Green

The American Hotel & Lodging Association calls the greening of the hotel industry the No. 1 trend this year.

ISM Survey: Service Sector Grows in April

The service sector grew unexpectedly in April, snapping a three-month period of contraction, according to a report released on Monday.

Window Maker Shifting Dallas Operations to Anaheim

Window maker Atrium Cos. is consolidating operations amid a slowdown in sales caused by the weak housing market.

Q1 Local Auto Sales Drop Outpaces National Decline

A decline in first-quarter auto registrations wasn't pretty, in the Marketplace column

STEC Jumps on Results, Outlook

Santa Ana-based STEC Inc., a maker of data storage drives that use memory chips instead of disks, beat first-quarter expectations and upped its guidance for the current quarter, sending its shares up.

More Big Losses Expected From Fannie, Freddie

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, reeling from the deterioration in the housing market, will likely post steep losses for the first quarter, but the two largest home funding companies are expected to escape previous record losses.

KUDOS

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

Arbor Day

Renovation of El Toro Road has given way to stores and eateries at The Arbor

Friday, May 2

Central Banks Extend Liquidity Lifeline to Markets

Major central banks on Friday announced larger liquidity injections in a bid to wrestle down market interest rates as they extended joint efforts to tackle stubborn tensions on money markets.

Chevron Earnings Up on Record Oil Prices

Chevron Corp. said on Friday its first-quarter earnings rose 10 percent as record oil prices outweighed weak profits from gasoline production.

Job Cuts in April Less Severe Than Feared

Fewer jobs were lost in April than economists feared and the unemployment rate unexpectedly improved, raising hopes an economic downturn was not gathering steam as the second quarter opened.

Drug Maker Valeant Cutting Half of Workforce

Drug maker Valeant Pharmaceuticals International of Aliso Viejo said Friday it will cut nearly half of its workforce as part of a restructuring plan.

Sun Healthcare Group Rises on Upgrade

Shares of Irvine health services company Sun Healthcare Group Inc. were upgraded Friday by a Friedman Billings Ramsey analyst who said that Medicare is making smaller-than-expected reimbursement cuts to nursing homes.

Thursday, May 1

Report: Microsoft's Board Fails to Decide on Yahoo

Microsoft Corp.'s board met on Wednesday to discuss its stand-off with Yahoo Inc. over its $41.8 billion takeover bid, but failed to reach a decision on what to do next, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

H & R; Block Wraps Up Option One Sale

H & R; Block Inc. has completed the sale of its Irvine-based Option One Mortgage Corp. for $1.3 billion, with most of the proceeds going to pay off debt.

Jobless Claims Jump But Consumer Spending Up

The number of workers applying for jobless benefits surged last week in gloomy news for the labor market, but personal spending in March was stronger than expected, government data on Thursday showed.

First American Q1 Profit Falls 65%, Tops Expectations

Santa Ana-based First American Corp. on Thursday said that its earnings continued to be impacted by the slowdown in real estate and mortgage markets in the first quarter, with net income falling to $29.3 million from $83.8 million a year ago.

Advanced Medical Rises on Results, Affirmed Outlook

Advanced Medical Optics Inc. said Thursday that its first-quarter profit before charges met Wall Street's expectations and affirmed its full-year profit guidance.

Exxon Profit Disappoints Even With Record Oil

Exxon Mobil Corp. on Thursday posted a $10.89 billion first-quarter profit but the results still disappointed investors as weak production and low refining margins took some steam out of profits from record-high crude prices.

Software, Computer Supplier Datallegro Raises $20M

Aliso Viejo-based Datallegro Inc., a reseller of servers loaded with its database software, landed nearly $20 million in its latest round of funding.