Stories for September 2008

Tuesday, September 30

Conexant Raises Profit Outlook, Stock Soars

Newport Beach-based chipmaker Conexant Systems Inc. said it sees higher-than-expected profits for the three months through Friday, sending its shares soaring on a rebounding Wall Street.

S & P;: Home Prices Plunge Record 16.3 Percent in July

Prices of single-family homes plunged a record 16.3 percent in July from a year earlier, extending declines that have plagued the housing market for two years, according to the Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller Home Price Indexes.

California Coastal Reworks $210M Credit Facility

Irvine-based homebuilder California Coastal Communities Inc. said on Tuesday it had reworked $210 million worth of bank loans, which should allow it to better finance the construction of homes at its Brightwater development in Huntington Beach.

Consumer Confidence up in September

Consumer confidence improved in September as inflation expectations fell to a six-month low, the Conference Board said on Tuesday, though it noted its survey did not capture all the latest events in the financial crisis.

Consultant's Fund Invests in San Luis Obispo Bank

A newly formed fund of Irvine-based bank consultant Carpenter and Co. is expected to invest $6 million into San Luis Obispo-based Mission Community Bancorp.

Pepsi Bottling Profit Tops View

Pepsi Bottling Group Inc. posted a better-than-expected quarterly profit on Tuesday as price increases helped offset volume declines, and it raised the low end of its full-year earnings outlook.

Monday, September 29

Acquisition, Broadcast Shift Drives Broadcom TV Chips

Broadcom broadens focus to digital TV chip business and set-top boxes

Viewpoint

A local accountant writes about which presidential candidate is best for the economy

MARKET WATCH

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

Cashing In

J2 Retail Systems is looking to capitalize on high oil prices by selling cash register computers to gas station operators

Stocks Tumble Along With Wall Street

Orange County stocks plummeted Monday as part of a dramatic Wall Street drop after the House's rejection of the government bailout plan.

Vangard Lands $3M Deal with Software Maker

Vangard Voice Systems landed a $3 million contract, in the Technology column

Auto Parts Maker Calsonic Closing in Irvine

Calsonic North America is shutting down in Irvine after more than four decades there

Costa Mesa Furniture Mall Changing Hands, Strategy

Costa Mesa's South Coast Home Furnishings Centre is looking for its third owner in two years

Street Cred

Felt Bicycles lives and dies by elite sponsorship

Doner Doing Del Taco Ads, Corporate Culture Rallies

W.B. Doner has started a branding campaign for Del Taco, in the Media & Marketing column

Investor Out to Buy $100M of Developable Land

William Shopoff wants to buy about $100 million of undeveloped land with his newly funded REIT

GIVING

Fundraisers and charitable donations from companies and people

Growth in Healthcare Premiums Lowest Since 2001

Orange County employers will pay more for healthcare for their workers next year, but the rate of growth is forecast to be the lowest since 2001.

REAL ESTATE DEALS

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

REAL ESTATE WATCH: MANUFACTURING & WAREHOUSE

The industrial market is slowing down, but vacancy is still low. PLUS: CHARTS - Net Absorption; Vacancy Rates; Average Asking Lease Rates

OC Auto Show Ramps Up Entertainment, Shrinks Size

AUTOMOTIVE - The OC Auto Show is going heavy on the entertainment to draw more people, in the Marketplace column

Credit Woes, Big '07 Deal Hit Hotel Sales

OC hotel sales continued to slow in the first half of 2008 as the credit crunch worsened

Private Equity Firms Buy Lehman's Neuberger Berman

The prized Neuberger Berman asset management business of bankrupt Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. is being sold to private equity firms Bain Capital LLC and Hellman & Friedman LLC for $2.15 billion -- a lot less than original estimates.

UCI Set to Launch Dual Law, Business Degree Program

UCI is offering a dual degree at its business and law schools next year

CALENDAR

A listing of events happening all around Orange County

Citi to Buy Wachovia Assets

Citigroup Inc. said on Monday it would buy the banking operations of Wachovia Corp. in a brokered deal that Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said would help bring financial stability.

OCBJ SUPPLEMENTS and GUIDES

TECH & TELECOM - FALL 2008

PEOPLE

Hirings, promotions and other moves at local businesses

PR Firms Buck Downturn with Healthcare, Government Clients

How the county's largest public relations agencies upped their employment during the past year

Stocks Plunge as House Rejects Bailout Bill

Stocks plunged on Monday, pushing the Nasdaq down more than 7% at one point, after the House of Representatives rejected a proposed $700 billion plan to stabilize the financial sector and repair the credit crisis.

LETTERS

It is time the two presidential candidates tell us more about the economists they'd like to include in their administrations.

Masimo's Blood Monitoring Device Praised by Analyst

One analyst says Masimo's new hemoglobin monitoring system could pay off, in the Healthcare column

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

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

Sources Put Maguire's City Plaza Value Lower, at $55M

Hudson Capital got a better deal on City Plaza tower than previously thought, in the Real Estate column

Gross Stumps for Fed Bailout; Political All-Stars Visit OC

Gross Stumps for Fed Bailout; Political All-Stars Visit OC

State of the State

Edison International has joined environmental groups, labor organizations and renewable energy producers in opposing an initiative on the November ballot.

Friday, September 26

Wachovia, National City Tumble on Bailout, WaMu News

Shares of Wachovia Corp. and National City Corp. tumbled on worries about heavy mortgage losses after talks on a $700 billion financial sector bailout bogged down and federal regulators seized Washington Mutual Inc. in the largest bank failure in U.S. his

Grubb & Ellis Added to Do-Not-Short List

Santa Ana-based real estate brokerage and investor Grubb & Ellis Co. on Friday was added to the New York Stock Exchange's recently created short-selling ban list.

WaMu is Largest U.S. Bank Failure

Washington Mutual Inc. was closed by the government in by far the largest failure of a U.S. bank and its banking assets were sold to JPMorgan Chase & Co. for $1.9 billion.

Autobytel Lays Off, Hires Strategic Adviser

Irvine-based auto marketing company Autobytel Inc. said Friday it is laying off workers and has hired an investment bank to explore options, including a possible sale.

Bailout Pressure Mounts, Roils World Markets

Pressure mounted on lawmakers on Friday to agree on a $700 billion financial rescue plan after the collapse of talks in acrimony and the biggest bank closure in U.S. history roiled global markets.

Drug Maker Ista Raising $65M

Ista Pharmaceuticals Inc., an Irvine-based drug maker, said Friday that three of its long-term shareholders agreed to provide it with up to $65 million worth of funding.

Thursday, September 25

Reports: Regulators Try to Broker WaMu Deal

Regulators are trying to quickly broker a deal for Washington Mutual Inc., a large savings and loan crippled by mortgage losses, the New York Times reported on Thursday.

Pimco's Gross: Government Will Get Return on Bailout - CNBC

The government will get a return on its $700 billion bailout program, said the manager of the world's biggest bond fund on Thursday.

Durable Goods Orders Drop, Jobless Claims Soar

Orders for costly manufactured goods plunged in August and the number of workers filing new claims for jobless benefits shot up, according to government reports on Thursday that showed the economy rapidly weakening.

OC Home Prices Off 29% from Year Ago

The price of an existing Orange County home fell another 4.9% in August from July, although sales were up more than 30% from a year earlier, the California Association of Realtors said on Thursday.

Wild Ride for Downey's Stock

Shares of Newport Beach-based Downey Financial Corp. took a wild ride Thursday, even for a company that's seen its share of volatility in recent weeks.

Joe Ueberroth Stepping Down at Ambassadors International

Joe Ueberroth plans to step down a year from now as chief executive of Newport Beach-based Ambassadors International Inc. in a move that could end the long reign of the Ueberroths at the cruise and travel services company.

Power Supply Maker Cherokee Selling for $105M

Tustin-based Cherokee International Corp., a maker of power supply gear for electronics that's been shopping itself since April, is being sold for $105 million in cash.

Wednesday, September 24

CT Realty Buys $34M Distressed Home Loans

CT Realty Corp. and developer Fasthold Capital Inc. have bought $33.5 million in troubled mortgages for about 100 homes in California, Washington and Arizona.

Freddie Mac: Foreigners Biding Their Time Over Debt

Freddie Mac's treasurer said on Wednesday that overseas investors were taking a wait-and-see stance toward U.S. agency debt due to volatility and uncertainty, but added that this did not signify a loss of confidence.

SMFG Seen Eyeing Goldman as Japan Shops on Wall Street

Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group, Japan's No. 3 bank, plans to invest in Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Japanese media said, in what would be the third big Japanese investment this week on Wall Street.

Another Broadcom Court Win; Said To Be in Talks With Qualcomm

Irvine's Broadcom Corp. is said to be in talks with San Diego-based Qualcomm Inc. to settle a long-running battle over intellectual property rights for cell phone chips, according to reports.

Analyst Downgrades QLogic on Valuation, Says Business Still Strong

An analyst downgraded his rating on shares of Aliso Viejo-based QLogic Corp.,but not on fears of a downturn at the maker of networking electronics.

Kaufman: $800 Billion Budget Deficits Now "the Norm"

Federal budget deficits of as much as $800 billion, double the current level, will be the "norm" following a proposed financial system bailout, said veteran Wall Street economist Henry Kaufman on Wednesday.

Tuesday, September 23

Arnold Schwarzenegger Signs $145B California Budget

After vetoing $510 million in spending passed by the Legislature, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed the state's tardiest budget this morning, allowing more than 80,000 state vendors with outstanding bills to be paid.

Business Software Maker Epicor Slumps on Downgrade

Shares of Irvine-based business software maker Epicor Software Corp. fell Tuesday after an analyst downgraded the stock on concerns about slower sales at the company's target customers and slimmer profits.

Broadcom Lower on Q3 Speculation

Shares of Irvine chipmaker Broadcom Corp. fell 7% Tuesday on speculation the company could issue a warning on third-quarter results, according to a Barron's report.

Analyst: Wet Seal's Arden B Improving But Poses Challenge

Foothill Ranch-based retailer Wet Seal Inc.'s Arden B chain is showing progress on a turnaround but faces a tough retail market and holds the prospect of a sale or closure, an analyst said Tuesday.

Pacific Sunwear Off on Downgrade

Shares of Anaheim-based Pacific Sunwear of California Inc. took a hit on Tuesday after an analyst with MKM Partners downgraded the mall retailer's stock, saying the company is struggling to shed clearance items and faces increased competition.

Monday, September 22

Y & R; Irvine Said To Be Losing Land Rover

The Irvine office of Young and Rubicam is losing work for automaker Land Rover to the agency's New York office

Financial Crisis Busies Campbell, Dogs Cox; Another Vegas Buyer

Financial Crisis Busies Campbell, Dogs Cox; Another Vegas Buyer

EVENTS CALENDAR

A listing of events happening all around Orange County

Downey Names Rinehart As New CEO

Newport Beach-based savings and loan operator Downey Financial Corp. said Monday that it appointed Charles R. Rinehart as its new chief executive.

Investment Strategy

Pimco wants to expand into a new type of exchange-traded funds

Device Maker Testing Dicey Public Offering Waters

A nearly dead market for IPOs isn't stopping TherOx from testing the waters

Hospitals Building Up to Code

Hospitals Building Up to Code

REAL ESTATE WATCH: ORANGE COUNTY RETAIL MARKET

The second quarter showed some positive signs for OC retail. PLUS: CHARTS - Net Absorption; Vacancy Rates; Average Asking Lease Rates

Smith Micro Beefs Up Customer List, Looks Abroad

Smith Micro delivered on its promise to diversify its customers

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

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

Rising Costs Could Temper Quest's Growing Revenue

One analyst sees Quest Software's recent growth slowing down, in the Technology column

Housing Heavyweights Tapped to Restructure Bankrupt LandSource

Lawrence "Larry" Webb and Timothy Hogan ran two of Orange County's larger homebuilders, John Laing Homes and Warmington Homes California, during the peak of the housing market.

88 Orange's Signature Shirts, Candles Scented with Fruit

Costa Mesa-based 88 Orange is trying to smell like a success with orange-scented T-shirts, in the Small Business column

Some Engineering Firms Find It Hard To Recruit Young Workers

Some Engineering Firms Find It Hard To Recruit Young Workers

REAL ESTATE DEALS

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

Nomura to Pay Up to $525M for Lehman Asia: Source

Nomura Holdings, Japan's largest brokerage, will pay up to $525 million to acquire the Asian operations of Lehman Brothers, a person familiar with the matter told Reuters.

CT Realty Buys $34M Distressed Home Loans

CT Realty and Fasthold Capital have bought $33.5 million in troubled mortgages

Microsoft Ups Dividend, Boosts Share Buyback

Microsoft Corp. plans to buyback up to $40 billion of its own stock, and raised its quarterly dividend by 18%, the software maker said on Monday.

Poor Attendance at Yacht Shows Reflects Slow Sales

The four-day Lido Yacht Expo in Newport Beach was slower than usual, in the Marketplace column

OCBJ SUPPLEMENTS and GUIDES

SoCAL HOTSPOTS 2008

Companies Pitch Drugs, Devices at Investor Conference

Several OC device and drug makers attended the Southern California Biomedical Council's annual investor conference in Los Angeles, in the Healthcare column

Eaton's Manufacturing Stays Local with Lease

Eaton Aerospace is consolidating in the Irvine Spectrum,

VIEWPOINT

Alternative Stimulus: A local banker touts going green

MARKET WATCH

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

Dental Laser Maker Biolase Gets Japanese Patent

Irvine-based Biolase Technology Inc., a maker of dental lasers, said Monday that it received its first Japanese patent for its product that uses water particles to cut soft tissue.

Combined Game Studio Revives at Foundation 9

Irvine-based video game developer Double Helix Games buying technology through new, bigger platform

Engineering Firms Gains Driven by Fluor's Contracts

Engineering Firms Gains Driven by Fluor's Contracts

Irvine Sensors Reaches Deal to Work Out Debt

Shares of Costa Mesa's Irvine Sensors Corp., a small maker of electronics for the military, rose Monday after the company said it's working out a plan with lenders to pay down debt.

National Home Auction Closes Down Due to Costly Suit

National Home Auction barely began auctioning homes before it was forced to close its doors, in the Real Estate column

Investment Bank Model Abandoned; Bailout Debated

Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley sought shelter with the Federal Reserve to survive a financial storm that destroyed their rivals, and Wall Street braced for a week of political wrangling over a proposed $700 billion bailout for troubled banks.

PEOPLE

Hirings, promotions and other moves at local businesses

Deal Spurs Gain at Otherwise Slowing Architecture Firms

Deal Spurs Gain at Otherwise Slowing Architecture Firms

SHAKE & ROLL

Builders Look to Each Earthquake for Ways To Improve Seismic Codes, Structural Design

Friday, September 19

Pimco Could Seek to Manage Assets in Government Bailout

Newport Beach-based bond manager Pacific Investment Management Co. could look to manage mortgages and other troubled assets as part of the government's bailout plan, Bill Gross told CNBC Friday.

Treasury Pulls Out Stops to Support Money Markets

Officials rushed to shore up ailing money markets on Friday after signs that this long-safe corner of financial markets, home to some $3.5 trillion of deposits, was at risk of falling victim to the year-old credit crunch and bring the crisis to Main Stree

Toxic-Debt plan, Short-Selling Curbs Lift Markets

The government pledged $50 billion to guarantee money-market mutual funds, curbed short-selling and crafted a sweeping plan to mop up toxic mortgage debt, sending global stock markets soaring on Friday.

Job Losses at 26,600 in August, Unemployment at Recent High

Orange County's job losses continued in August but tempered slightly from July.

Eaton's Manufacturing Stays Local with Lease

Plane parts maker Eaton Aerospace LLC is consolidating in the Irvine Spectrum. The company, a division of Cleveland-based industrial equipment maker Eaton Corp., has signed a 10-year lease for about 140,000 square feet of office and industrial space.

Citigroup Considering Bid for WaMu: Report

Citigroup Inc. is considering making a bid for Washington Mutual Inc., the Wall Street Journal said on Friday, citing people familiar with the situation.

Thursday, September 18

Central banks Turn on Funding Taps to Tackle Market Squeeze

The world's top central banks joined forces on Thursday to throw a multi-billion dollar lifeline to global markets in a dramatic effort to free up bank-to-bank lending, frozen by the upheavals on Wall Street.

Hyundai Switches Advertising to Irvine Agency

Fountain Valley-based Hyundai Motor America plans to shift its advertising account to Irvine's World Marketing Group sometime next year, according to trade publication AdWeek.

Cal State Fullerton Gets $5M For Arts Center

California State University Fullerton received $5 million for its Performing Arts Center from the estate of a former student body president.

Locals Up on Annual Forbes 400 Rich List

Forbes magazine is out with its list of the 400 richest Americans, with some surprising numbers for the list's Orange County contingent.

UCI Gets $1.7M From Gates Foundation

The University of California, Irvine received a $1.7 million donation from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to create an institute focused on the growing use of cell phone technology in providing banking and financial services to people in developing c

Morgan Stanley Scrambles to Find Buyer

Morgan Stanley topped the list of major financial firms scrambling to find a buyer, while central banks rushed in $180 billion of extra liquidity to calm panicked stock and money markets.

Jobless Claims Rise on Delayed Gustav Data

The number of workers filing new claims for jobless benefits rose unexpectedly by 10,000 last week, as the first wave of job losses from Hurricane Gustav rolled in after reporting delays in Louisiana, the Labor Department reported on Thursday.

Wednesday, September 17

Stocks Fall 3% on Financial Jitters

Stocks extended losses on Wednesday, sending the S & P; 500 and the Nasdaq off more than 3%, as a spike in inter-bank lending rates fanned fears that credit might be drying up in the global financial system.

Morgan Stanley Weighing Possible Merger: Report

Investment bank Morgan Stanley is weighing whether it should remain independent or merge with a bank, given the recent turbulence in the company's share price, broadcaster CNBC reported on Wednesday.

Home Prices Fall Again, Off 32% from Year Ago

Orange County's median home price is now off more than $200,000 from a year ago, after prices dropped another $21,000 in August from July.

Valeant Buys Drug Maker

Aliso Viejo-based Valeant Pharmaceuticals International said Wednesday it's spending $95 million to buy skin drug maker Coria Laboratories Ltd.

Jazz Shareholders Approve Buyout by Tower Semi

Shareholders of Newport Beach chipmaker Jazz Semiconductor Inc. gave the green light Wednesday to a deal that would allow the struggling company to be bought by Israel's Tower Semiconductor Ltd.

Stocks Sink After Government Bailout of AIG

Wall Street stumbled again Wednesday, with anxieties about the financial system still running high even after the government bailed out the insurer American International Group Inc. The Dow Jones industrial average dropped about 300 points.

WaMu May Seek Merger as Pressure Mounts: Merrill

Washington Mutual's board would seriously consider a merger offer even at a discount to what the Seattle-based thrift believes it is worth, as it faces mounting pressure to pursue options amid credit-rating downgrades, an analyst at Merrill Lynch said.

Tuesday, September 16

AIG Tumbles, Worsening Financial Carnage

American International Group Inc. shares tumbled 50% after the giant insurer's credit ratings were slashed, feeding market fears as top investment bank Goldman Sachs reported sharply lower quarterly earnings.

Ingram Micro Falls on Lower Q3 Outlook, Weak Demand

Shares of Santa Ana's Ingram Micro Inc., the top distributor of technology products, software and consumer electronics, slipped Tuesday after the company lowered its outlook for the current quarter.

Developer Olenicoff Files $500M Suit Against UBS, Others

Newport Beach-based developer Igor Olenicoff on Tuesday filed a $500 million lawsuit against UBS AG and others, claiming they orchestrated a massive fraud that led to federal tax charges against him.

Hyundai Signs Big Irvine Lease at Maguire Tower

Hyundai Motor Finance Co. announced on Tuesday it signed a lease for about 100,000 square feet at Maguire Property Inc.'s new 3161 Michelson office tower in Irvine.

Goldman Sachs Net Plunges 70%

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. said third-quarter earnings plunged 70% as one of the market's worst slumps ever sapped revenue in almost every business while fueling investment and credit losses.

Fed to Mull Rate Cut But May Hold Steady Course

The Federal Reserve will consider cutting interest rates to boost confidence in battered financial markets but policy-makers may keep rates on hold in the hopes that already low rates and expanded central bank lending will stabilize the economy.

Monday, September 15

ASR Saw Lower Turnout, Few Startups

The Action Sports Retailer Trade Expo in San Diego was a sober affair compared to years past

Lehman and AIG Woes Rattle Wall Street

Stocks fell on Monday as a bankruptcy filing by investment bank Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. and cascading fears about the stability of other major financial institutions spooked global markets.

Bank of America to Buy Merrill for $50B

Bank of America Corp. said it agreed to buy Merrill Lynch & Co. in an all-stock deal worth $50 billion, snagging the world's largest retail brokerage after one of the worst-ever weekends on Wall Street.

PEOPLE

Hirings, promotions and other moves at local businesses

Musco Bankrolls Nephew's Disaster Relief Business

A look at disaster relief startup Relief Pod International

Telecommunications Employment Down Slightly

Employment at OC's largest providers of phone service and equipment largely was stable in the past 12 months

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

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

Allergan Shutting Down Fremont Plant, Cuts 60 Jobs

Allergan is shutting down a collagen plant in the Bay Area, in the Healthcare column

Transworld Revamps Web Around Business News Site

Transworld Media is launching a Web site for all of its publications, in Media & Marketing column

Argyros, Higby Could Bid for OC Register

Two prominent executives considering bid for OC Register, which is looking at a joint operating agreement with the L.A. Times

AROUND THE COUNTY

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

Lehman Files for Bankruptcy, Plans To Sell Units

Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc filed for bankruptcy protection, after trying to finance too many risky assets with too little capital, making it the largest and highest-profile casualty of the global credit crisis.

Socialcast Brings Viral Networking to Connect Offices

Startup Socialcast wants companies to do office meetings MySpace style, in the Technology column

Legal Battles Entangle Hospital Operator

The soap opera behind hospital operator Integrated Healthcare Holdings

Best Buy to Buy Napster for $121M

Best Buy Co. plans to buy digital music service Napster Inc for $121 million in cash in an effort to compete with Apple's dominant iTunes service and its iPod music players.

Fleming's Dinner Specials: $99 for Two, Newport Deal

Fleming's Prime Steakhouse is bringing back a favorite dining experience, in the Executive Dining column

OCBJ SUPPLEMENTS and GUIDES

INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT & ESTATE PLANNING GUIDE 2008

Pimco Set to Take Loss on Lehman Bonds

Newport Beach-based bond manager Pacific Investment Management Co. is set to take a loss with the collapse of investment banker Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.

Impac Mortgage Posts $16M Q2 Loss

Irvine-based mortgage investor Impac Mortgage Holdings Inc. said on Monday it posted a loss of $16.4 in the second quarter, part of a $20.9 million loss for the first half of the year.

VIEWPOINT

A local attorney analyzes the world's rising superpowers.

SunCal, Lehman Face Creditor-Initiated Bankruptcy Petition

Suncal and Lehman Brothers are facing involuntary bankruptcy petitions on large Southern California developments

Canali Outfits Olympian at South Coast

Menswear boutique Canali abuzz when Olympic gold medalist Jason Lezak visited, in the Marketplace column

CALENDAR

A listing of events happening all around Orange County

Harvey's Handbags

Handbag maker Harveys continues to defy the sluggish economy

MARKET WATCH

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

Madison Avenida

Ingrid Otero-Smart says that a little luck helped her nab the chief executive position at Casanova Pendrill

Powerwave Turning Corner; Some Credit 'iPhone Effect'

Powerwave Technologies is turning the corner on two tough years of restructuring

Register Bombshells; Irvine Co. Layoffs; Ga-Ga for Palin

Register Bombshells; Irvine Co. Layoffs; Ga-Ga for Palin

KUDOS

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

REAL ESTATE WATCH: MANUFACTURING & WAREHOUSE

MANUFACTURING & WAREHOUSE. Industrial Market Slowing Down, Vacancy Still Low

Osbrink Tapped to Shift Sperry Offices to Franchises

Portland's Guardian Management has hired a local to head up the recently acquired offices of Sperry Van Ness, in the Real Estate column

REAL ESTATE DEALS

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

AIG Sares Off by Half on Survival Concerns

Shares of American International Group fell more than 50% in early trading on reports that the insurer had turned to the Federal Reserve for $40 billion in bridge financing to ward off a liquidity crisis and ratings downgrades.

Friday, September 12

Retail Sales Fall, Raising Recession Fears

Retail sales fell for a second month in a row in August, the government said on Friday, raising fears that faltering consumer spending was heightening the chances of a recession.

AIG Shares Fall 20% on Mortgage Woes

Shares of American International Group Inc. fell more than 20% on Friday as investors grew increasingly concerned that the big insurance company is being backed into a corner by its large exposure to mortgages.

Circuit Board Maker Cutting Fullerton Jobs

Park Electrochemical Corp., a Melville, N.Y.-based electronics maker, plans to take a $100,000 December quarter charge for job cuts at its Orange County plant.

HealthTronics Drops Endocare Bid

HealthTronics Inc. has withdrawn an unsolicited $26.9 million cash buyout offer for Irvine device maker Endocare Inc.

Quest Software Makes $78M Cash Acquisition

Aliso Viejo's Quest Software Inc., a maker of business software, said Friday it bought Phoenix-based NetPro Computing Inc. for $78 million in cash.

Lehman Shares Slide on Paulson Bailout Reluctance

Concern that Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. may fail to find a buyer because the government is reluctant to provide financial backing sent the investment bank's shares tumbling to a nearly 14-year low on Friday.

Thursday, September 11

Allergan Jumps on Botox Study

Shares of Irvine drug maker Allergan Inc. were up 10% in midday New York trading Thursday trading on news that its flagship Botox wrinkle remover may help relieve migraine headaches.

Comarco Narrows Loss, Sees Setbacks in Power Adapter Unit

Shares of Comarco Inc., a Lake Forest-based maker of wireless testing gear and power adapters, fell Thursday after the company said that one of its two lines of business is slowing.

AIG has $600 Million Fannie, Freddie Preferred: Source

American International Group Inc., the world's largest insurer, holds between $550 million and $600 million in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac preferred shares, according to a source familiar with the investment.

Washington Mutual Plummets Below $2 a Share

Washington Mutual Inc. shares plunged as much as 25% to less than $2 for the first time since 1990 as investors worried about the credit loss and survival prospects for the largest savings and loan.

Apria Ends Accounting Review, Reports Q2, Updates 2008 Forecast

Lake Forest-based home healthcare provider Apria Healthcare Group Inc. on Thursday released second-quarter results delayed by accounting issues and forecast slower 2008 revenue growth on the sale of a business.

Trade Gap Widens to $62.2B in July on Oil

The trade deficit widened much more than expected in July as average oil prices jumped to a record $124.66 per barrel and the volume of crude oil imports grew to the highest in four years, a Commerce Department report showed on Thursday.

Wednesday, September 10

Lehman Plans Sales, Posts $4B Quarterly Loss

Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. plans to sell a majority stake in its asset management unit and spin off commercial real estate holdings, hoping to restore investor confidence and ensure its survival after reporting a record quarterly loss of about $4 billi

Pimco

Bond manager Bill Gross of Newport Beach's Pacific Investment Management Corporation has donated $1.5 million in stamps for auction to benefit needy African communities.

Pimco's Gross To Sell More Stamps For Charity

Bond fund manager Bill Gross of Newport Beach's Pacific Investment Management Co. has donated $1.5 million in rare stamps for auction to benefit needy African communities.

Pentagon Passes Tanker Decision to Next President

The Pentagon is ending for now a $35 billion transatlantic aerial-refueling competition, handing a seven-year headache to the next administration and boosting Boeing Co's hopes to keep Airbus planes out of the fleet.

Disney Says Business Resilient Despite Economy

Walt Disney Co.'s business is proving resilient in the face of tough economic conditions although the crisis is not over yet, Chief Executive Robert Iger said on Wednesday.

Ceradyne Lowers Outlook On Contract Delay

Costa Mesa-based body armor maker Ceradyne Inc. lowered its 2008 guidance Wednesday due to an unexpected delay in an Army contract.

Restaurant Operator BJ's Jumps on Upgrade

Shares of Huntington Beach-based BJ's Restaurants Inc. got a boost on Wednesday after an analyst upgraded the restaurant operator's stock, saying the company's ability to raise prices more aggressively than competitors will help it withstand rising food a

Tuesday, September 9

Oil Falls on OPEC, Easing Storm Threat

Oil was near a new five-month low on Tuesday on expectations that OPEC would leave formal output targets unchanged and as the threat of Hurricane Ike to U.S. Gulf of Mexico energy infrastructure receded.

First American: $38M in Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac

Santa Ana-based First American Corp. said on Tuesday its $37.9 million investment in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will decline in value because of this week's takeover of the mortgage investors by the government.

Luxury Sports Car Maker Fisker Raises $65M

Irvine-based Fisker Automotive Inc., designer of an upscale hybrid sports car, has raised $65 million in one of the largest venture funding rounds seen in the county.

July Pending Home Sales Fell 3.2%: Report

Pending sales of existing homes fell more sharply than expected in July, partially erasing gains from the previous month, data from a real estate trade group showed on Tuesday.

Register Considers Shrinking Paper Size, Other Moves

The Orange County Register is considering shrinking the daily newspaper to a tabloid-size paper as part of an operations review designed to cut costs, according to a trade publication report.

Dollar Recovery Spurs Emerging Markets Rethink

A resurgent dollar has thrust emerging assets into the forefront of a global markets selldown, just months after they were being touted as the least exposed of investments in the credit crunch.

Monday, September 8

CALENDAR

A listing of events happening all around Orange County

PEOPLE

Hirings, promotions and other moves at local businesses

Auri Footwear Generating Cash by Providing Comfort

A serial entrepreneur has created a shoe line with Auri Footwear, in the Small Business column

GIVING

Fundraisers and charitable donations from companies and people

Broadcom's $193M Buy of AMD a Deal, Analysts Say

Broadcom's recent $193 million cash buy of a digital TV chip business was a bit of a steal, in the Technology column

Boeing Strike Impact To Be Felt Globally

Aerospace groups prepared for global disruption from a potentially lengthy strike at Boeing Co., as one of the planemaker's biggest outside suppliers lost no time in cutting production and working hours.

Big Hiring Makes Knobbe Martens Largest Local Law Firm

Knobbe Martens Olson & Bear has become the county's largest law firm after a hiring spree

Judge Rejects Samueli Guilty Plea Deal

A federal judge has rejected a plea deal for Broadcom Corp. cofounder and former chairman Henry Samueli on charges of lying to federal investigators about his role in granting stock options at the Irvine chipmaker.

WaMu Replaces CEO, Agrees to Pact with Regulators

Washington Mutual Inc. confirmed Monday that Kerry K. Killinger is out as chief executive and said it has agreed to file a recovery plan with government regulators.

Summer Surprise

TOURISM - Fears about a disappointing summer for tourism were dispelled in July and August

July Auto Registrations Down 13%, Small Car Sales Up

New auto registrations were down 13% in OC in July, in the Marketplace column

Steady Foundation

ABOUT THE LIST - Personal, Family Foundations Give $115 Million for Range of Causes

Nonprofits Seek Self-Sufficiency by Running Own Businesses

Nonprofits Seek Self-Sufficiency by Running Own Businesses

India's UTV Acquires Startup True Games

True Games Interactive has been acquired by an Indian media and entertainment group

Maguire Takes Hit On City Plaza Sale

Details about Maguire Properties' recent sale of City Plaza tower in Orange are beginning to emerge

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

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

Corporate Giving: Good For Finances, Company Image

FINANCE: Donations are a mix of profit percentages, personal gifts

OCBJ SUPPLEMENTS and GUIDES

SPOTLIGHT ON RETAIL 2008

REAL ESTATE WATCH: SOUTH ORANGE COUNTY

South County's industrial, office and investment markets were hit in the second quarter. PLUS: CHARTS - Net Absorption; Vacancy Rates; Average Asking Lease Rates

3-Man Team To Replace Fieldstone Communities Head

The head of Fieldstone Communities is stepping down, in the Real Estate column

WaMu Ousts CEO, faces Regulatory Oversight

Washington Mutual Inc., the largest savings and loan, ousted Kerry Killinger as chief executive and has been put under special regulatory supervision, following skyrocketing losses from mortgages that are expected to weigh on results for years.

REAL ESTATE DEALS

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

Folino Hosts Palin; Moorlach Raps Brown; Register Speeds Up

Folino Hosts Palin; Moorlach Raps Brown; Register Speeds Up

READER LETTERS

Letters to the Editor: Proposition 13; Elvis vs. Beatles; Talking Heads;

Clean Energy Buying Fueling Gear Maker for $17M

Seal Beach-based Clean Energy Fuels Corp., a provider of natural gas for fleets that's backed by T. Boone Pickens, is acquiring a Canadian maker of natural gas refueling equipment for $17 million.

Nursing Home Companies Rise on Funding Reprieve

Nursing home operators have been among the best local performers in a shaky stock market

Board Vote Over, Quality CEO Looks for Ways to Grow

The new chief executive at Quality Systems isn't spending all his time dealing with board issues, in the Healthcare Column

KDOC Moving Morning Show, Expanding Coverage

KDOC-TV is moving its morning news show from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m., in Media & Marketing column

MARKET WATCH

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

Bailout Stings Fannie, Freddie Stocks, Bolsters Debt

Shares in mortgage finance companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac plunged while their debt soared Monday, one day after the government took over the companies, as investors bet the action would wipe out stockholders but fully guarantee their bonds.

Auto Wax Maker Meguiar's Selling to 3M

3M Co. is acquiring Irvine-based car care products maker Meguiar's Inc.

Former Foot Surgeon Tries Hand Selling Global-Minded T-Shirts

A local surgeon turned T-shirt designer looks to make it big with a line based on international stamps

Boeing Faces Forthcoming Wave of Retiring Engineers

Boeing is ramping up recruiting efforts as its aging workforce looks to retire

Mind Games: Santa Ana Nonprofit Offers Software for Math Learning

Santa Ana Nonprofit Offers Software for Math Learning

VonZipper Broadens Sunglasses, Clothes with Billabong's Backing

Sunglasses maker VonZipper has expanded as part of Billabong USA

Friday, September 5

Home Foreclosures Reach Record High

Home foreclosures and the rate of homes entering foreclosure rose to record highs in the second quarter, the Mortgage Bankers Association said on Friday.

TherOx Files for $100M IPO

TherOx Inc., an Irvine medical device maker, has filed plans to raise up to $100 million in an initial public offering.

Pimco's Thompson Set To Retire

Pacific Investment Management Co.'s Bill Thompson is leaving the bond fund manager after serving as its chief executive for 15 years.

Jobless Rate at 5-Year High

The unemployment rate unexpectedly shot up to 6.1% in August, the highest in nearly five years, as employers cut payrolls for an eighth straight month and a decline in labor markets accelerated.

Broadcom Deal With Sirf Could Be Near

Irvine-based chipmaker Broadcom Corp. could be nearing a settlement of a patent infringement dispute with San Jose-based Sirf Technology Holdings Inc.

Blackstone, KKR Eye Lehman Brothers Assets: Source

Blackstone Group LP and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. are each looking to buy parts of Lehman's real estate and asset management units, sources familiar with the situation said on Friday.

Thursday, September 4

ASR: Subdued Kickoff for Surfwear's Annual Party

There's nothing like a slow economy to dampen a party. The Action Sports Retailer Trade Expo kicked off in San Diego on a somber note on Thursday.

Wal-Mart Leads Better Sales for Discount Retailers

Discount retailers, led by Wal-Mart Stores Inc., posted stronger-than-expected August sales on Thursday as shoppers sought last-minute deals on back-to-school items and other products.

Services, Productivity Up But Job Market Weak

The dominant service sector improved last month and businesses boosted productivity in the second quarter but the labor market continues to struggle, government reports on Thursday showed.

Rebuffed Suitor Reaffirms Bid for Endocare

HealthTronics Inc. said its $26.9 million unsolicited buyout offer for Irvine's Endocare Inc. still stands, despite being rejected three weeks ago.

Pimco: Treasury Needed to Stop Asset Tsunami

To stop a sell-off of an array of assets, the government should give the Treasury the right to buy stocks and debt to halt a financial tsunami, the manager of the world's biggest bond fund said on Thursday.

August Same-Store Sales Drop at PacSun, Wet Seal

August sales at Anaheim-based mall retailer Pacific Sunwear of California Inc. fell less than expected, while Foothill Ranch-based Wet Seal Inc. saw a steeper than expected decline.

Quiksilver Up on Results, Stable Outlook

Huntington Beach-based Quiksilver Inc., the largest maker of clothes inspired by surfing, reported a quarterly profit that beat expectations and upheld its outlook for the 12 months through October.

Wednesday, September 3

Newport Corp. Rises on Cost Cutting, Better Outlook

Shares of Irvine's Newport Corp., a maker of industrial lasers, light filters and related gear, jumped Wednesday after the company outlined a series of steps to boost profits and gave a better than expected outlook for the rest of the year.

Corning Cuts Q3 Profit Outlook, Stock Falls

Specialty glass maker Corning cut its third quarter financial outlook, citing weaker- than-expected demand from companies that assemble flat panel televisions, sending its shares down 10%.

Gordon Stepping Down at Fremont General

The chief executive of bankrupt Fremont General Corp. of Brea is stepping down from the onetime subprime mortgage lender and bank operator.

Boeing Machinists Vote on Contract, Urged to strike

Almost 27,000 Boeing Co. workers are set to vote on the plane maker's latest three-year contract offer on Wednesday, urged by their union to reject it and walk off their jobs at midnight, raising the possibility of the fourth Boeing strike in 20 years.

FDA OK's Edwards Heart Valve

Edwards Lifesciences Corp. said Wednesday that the Food and Drug Administration approved its heart valve for treating mitral valve disease.

Coca-Cola to Buy Huiyuan in Largest China Takeover

Coca-Cola Co., the world's largest soft drinks maker, offered to buy juice maker China Huiyuan for a hefty premium, marking the biggest takeover in China by a foreign company.

Tuesday, September 2

Analyst: Cisco Should Buy QLogic

Networking gear kingpin Cisco Systems Inc. could look to buy Aliso Viejo's QLogic Corp., an analyst speculated Tuesday.

KDB Confirms Lehman Talks; Korea Bank Shares Fall

State-owned Korea Development Bank confirmed on Tuesday it was in talks with Lehman Brothers over a possible joint investment in the U.S. bank with other Korean banks, sending Lehman shares higher but depressing local bank shares.

Volcom Buying Japanese Seller of Its Clothes

Costa Mesa-based Volcom Inc. is buying a seller of its clothes in Japan, the company said Tuesday.

Manufacturing Shrinks Slightly in August: Report

Factory activity unexpectedly shrank slightly in August while inflation pressures also eased, according to an industry report released on Tuesday.

Maguire Selling City Plaza Tower in Orange

Los Angeles-based Maguire Properties Inc. said on Tuesday it is selling City Plaza tower in Orange to Los Angeles-based Hudson Capital LLC.

Oil Drops More Than $6 as Gustav Fades

Oil prices dropped more than $6.50 per barrel on Tuesday, the biggest drop in dollar terms since 1991, as dealers bet the U.S. oil industry would recover quickly from Hurricane Gustav.

Quality Systems Readies for Contested Board Vote

Quality Systems Inc., an Irvine healthcare software company, is set this week to learn if it's getting up to three independent directors after a dissident shareholder and director made another challenge to its management.

Monday, September 1

KUDOS

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

Orbital Sciences Coming to Huntington

Virginia's Orbital Sciences is looking to tap into OC's engineering workforce

Clinical Trials

Device, Drug Makers Count on Expensive Tests to Make or Break New Products, Company

Game On

It's not all fun and games at video game developer Ready at Dawn Studios

Regulation Watch

An analysis of potential laws that could affect local businesses. Column by Howard Fine, Los Angeles Business Journal

Medical Device, Drug Makers' Stocks Hit by Wall St. Slump

Medical Device, Drug Makers' Stocks Hit by Wall St. Slump

Medical Device Makers Grew Employees 3% in Past Year

Medical Device Makers Grew Employees 3% in Past Year

Airborne Systems Adds Jobs, Army Contract

New designs from parachute maker Airborne Systems have driven the company to nearly double the size of its local operation

Life after Donald: Hunt Stays Busy; Beijing, Then Denver

Life after Donald: Hunt Stays Busy; Beijing, Then Denver

REAL ESTATE WATCH: Airport/central Coast Area

Airport area leasing deals continue to slow

Legal Probe Over, Treasurer Touts Budget Cuts, Changes

County Treasurer-Tax Collector Chriss Street dodged a bullet last month when he was cleared of wrongdoing in a district attorney's investigation

OCBJ SUPPLEMENTS and GUIDES

WHO'S BUILDING ORANGE COUNTY SEPTEMBER 2008

Former Assisted Living Exec Turns to Long-Term Care

A former assisted living executive and onetime professional sports entrepreneur has gotten into long-term healthcare insurance, in the Healthcare Column

MEDICAL BRIEFS

Biomedical, Biotech news summaries

Jones Day Hires for Corporate Practice

The Irvine office of Jones Day has hired a lawyer from Latham & Watkins to form a corporate law practice

Medical Device Manufacturers Chose to Stay Local

Medical Device Manufacturers Chose to Stay Local

MARKET WATCH

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

Pimco Looks To Invest $5 Billion in Distressed Mortgages With Fund

Pimco Looks To Invest $5 Billion in Distressed Mortgages With Fund

Broadcom's Samueli Apologizes Ahead of Sentencing

Broadcom's Samueli Apologizes Ahead of Sentencing

Hawaii's Shidler Spins Off OC, Other Office Buildings

It's a parlor game figuring out the power shifts in the executive offices at the Irvine Company, in the Real Estate column

CALENDAR

A listing of events happening all around Orange County

End's Near for Quality Systems' Proxy Fight

Quality Systems is about to learn if it's getting up to three independent directors

PEOPLE

Hirings, promotions and other moves at local businesses

OC Metro Goes Monthly, Pushing Revamped Web Site

OC Metro Business magazine goes monthly with a new look, in Media & Marketing column

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

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

Coastline Car Classic Displays Owners', Dealers' Rides

Mike Harrah's Batmobile will be shown at the Coastline Car Classic this Sunday, in the Marketplace column

Christie Digital Sees $10M Sale for Olympic Projectors

The world's top athletes weren't the only ones raking in the gold at the Beijing Olympics, in the Technology column

Entrepreneur Seeking to Combine Dry Cleaners; A Dozen Buys So Far

U.S. DryCleaning Corp. is trying to become the largest consolidator of dry cleaners

AROUND THE COUNTY

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

Former Merrill Lynch Super Broker Eyeing Bargains in Asia

Money manager Richard Gadbois is bargain hunting in Asia with a new hedge fund

Venture Capitalists Invest $217M in Devices, Drugs in '08

Venture Capitalists Invest $217M in Devices, Drugs in '08

Line-X Expands Truck Bed Spray to New Markets

Tough times in the pickup truck market have Line-X Franchise Development shifting gears to stir up more business

REAL ESTATE DEALS

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