Stories for January 2009

Friday, January 30

Quality Slumps Despite Beating Street

Shares of Quality Systems Inc., an Irvine healthcare information technology company, were down in Friday trading, possibly because the company declined to provide financial guidance on a conference call.

Manufacturing Slowdown Decelerates in January

Factory activity slowed less sharply in January as a key gauge of manufacturing improved for the first time since June an industry report showed on Monday, but the sector remained under pressure amid the biggest recession in decades, analysts said.

Broadcom Slumps on Outlook

Broadcom Corp., a chipmaker many analysts have pegged to hold up better than others during the downturn, slumped Friday on Wall Street, a day after warning about results for the current quarter.

Employment Costs Up 2.6% in 2008, Lowest on Record

Employment costs rose last year at the slowest pace on record, government data on Friday showed, as a painful recession pinched compensation amid soaring unemployment.

GDP Sees Biggest drop in 27 Years

The economy shrank at its fastest pace in nearly 27 years in the fourth quarter, government data showed on Friday, sinking deeper into recession as consumers and business cut spending.

Shares of Ingram Micro Fall on Downgrade

Shares of Santa Ana's Ingram Micro Inc., the world's biggest distributor of technology products, software and consumer electronics, fell Friday after an analyst downgraded the stock.

Thursday, January 29

Conexant Forecasts More Red Ink in March Quarter

Newport Beach chipmaker Conexant Systems Inc. is expecting to stay in the red during the current quarter.

Ford Posts Q4 Loss of $5.9B

Ford Motor Co. posted a deeper-than-expected $5.9 billion quarterly loss on Thursday but said it would have the cash to survive the worst downturn in auto sales in decades without a government bailout.

Ingram Micro and Targus Team Up on Laptop Bag Lineup

Two local technology heavyweights have teamed up to make and market laptop bags for consumers.

Kodak to Cut Up to 4,500 Jobs

Eastman Kodak Co. posted a sharp quarterly loss and said it would cut up to 4,500 jobs this year after suffering a dramatic decline in demand for digital cameras and commercial printing equipment.

PacSun Reassures Investors, Wet Seal Also Cuts Jobs

Word of layoffs at Anaheim-based Pacific Sunwear of California Inc. is likely intended to reassure investors about the retailer's ability to stay in business, according to an analyst.

Jobless Claims Hit Record Peak, Orders Plummet

The number of jobless claiming benefits jumped to a record in mid-January, while new orders for durable goods fell for a fifth straight month in December, according to data on Thursday that showed the economy in steep decline.

Wednesday, January 28

First American Taps ex-Freddie Mac Exec as CFO

Santa Ana-based title insurer First American Corp. said on Wednesday it has hired former Freddie Mac Chief Financial Officer Anthony "Buddy" Piszel as its chief financial officer and treasurer.

Western Digital Rises as Profit Beats Expectations

Shares of Lake Forest's Western Digital Corp., a maker of disk drives, jumped after the company reported December quarter profits that were down from a year earlier but beat Wall Street analysts' lowered expectations.

Boeing Targeting 10,000 Job Cuts

Boeing Co. reported an unexpected fourth-quarter loss on Wednesday and forecast 2009 earnings well below Wall Street estimates as it grapples with a dip in demand for its planes while airlines feel the pain of recession.

Standard Pacific, Lennar Boosted by Bailout Plans

Two of Orange County's largest homebuilders saw their stock prices jump on Wednesday, thanks to reports suggesting a government-backed bank bailout could take place.

Japan Carmakers to Lose Money in Q3, Revisions Eyed

Japanese automakers are looking at an ugly third-quarter earnings season that will almost certainly include profit warnings from Nissan Motor Co. and others that have not updated their outlooks in the past three months as global vehicle demand shows no si

Wells Fargo Posts Loss, says Wachovia on Track

Wells Fargo & Co. reported a surprise quarterly loss, its first since 2001, as it added to reserves for credit losses, but it maintained its dividend and said it did not need more taxpayer funds to absorb the troubled lender Wachovia Corp.

Tuesday, January 27

Report: Quiksilver Debt Reworking Makes Sale Less Likely

An analyst on Tuesday threw cold water on the prospects of Huntington Beach-based Quiksilver Inc. selling part or all of the company as it seeks to restructure its debt in February.

Virgin America Starting John Wayne Flights

Virgin America said Monday it will start flights from John Wayne Airport starting April 30.

Consumer Confidence Falls Again to Record Low

Consumer confidence fell to a record low in January as a downtrodden housing sector and worsening job prospects kept the country in a somber mood.

DuPont Posts Fourth-Quarter Loss, Trims 2009 Outlook

DuPont Co. posted a bigger-than-expected fourth-quarter loss on Tuesday, hurt by restructuring-related charges, a widening global recession and a slump in consumer spending, and the chemical maker lowered its 2009 earnings outlook.

Printronix Set to Buy Some Assets of Bankrupt Printer Maker

Irvine's Printronix Inc., a maker of printers for manufacturers and retailers, is set to buy the assets of a bankrupt competitor.

Sun Healthcare Rises on Analyst Upgrade

Irvine-based Sun Healthcare Group Inc.'s stock soared Tuesday after an analyst upgraded the shares saying they're undervalued.

Del Taco Names New Chief Executive

Lake Forest-based Del Taco LLC has named a new chief executive as its former boss is leaving to run Texas-based Carlson Restaurants Worldwide Inc., parent company to TGI Friday's and Pick Up Stix.

Housing Market May have Turned a Pivotal Corner

The coast-to-coast fire sale in the housing market appears at long last to have caught a bit of a bid.

Emulex Slumps on Quarterly Outlook

Shares of Costa Mesa's Emulex Corp., a maker of electronics for data storage networks, slumped in afterhours trading after the company gave an outlook for the current quarter that falls short of analysts' expectations.

Monday, January 26

Oakley Grabs Top Spot Among Foreign Cos.

Employment trends at OC's foreign-owned companies

OFFICE MARKET

Office Market Expects More Recession Hurt

Sprint Nextel to Cut Up to 8,000 Jobs, Take Charge

Sprint Nextel Corp., the No. 3 mobile service provider, will cut up to 8,000 jobs, or about 14% of its workforce, as part of a plan to reduce labor costs by $1.2 billion a year.

Oakley Job Surge Makes It Top Foreign-Owned Co.

Foothill Ranch-based sunglasses and clothing maker Oakley Inc. now ranks as the largest foreign-owned company here after hiring 129 people in the past year, an 8% gain to 1,738 local employees, according to this week's Business Journal list.

Existing Home Sales Rise But Prices See Record Drop

The pace of sales of existing homes in the rose 6.5% in December, but the median home price dropped by a record 15.3% compared to the same period the year earlier, a National Association of Realtors report showed on Monday.

Casanova Pendrill Chairman Transitioning Out of Role

Casanova Pendrill's chairman will be leaving his post this month, in the Media & Marketing column

Judge Delays Fraud Trials of Ex-Broadcom Execs

A Santa Ana judge said Monday he's set to delay the trial of cofounder and former Broadcom Corp. chief executive Henry Nicholas until next year.

Quiksilver Speculation: DC Sale? Nike Spurned?

Rumors that Quiksilver could sell part or all of the company to a larger competitor are gaining steam

By the Book

How CFO of the Year award winner Eric Brandt brought mainstream accounting to Broadcom

REAL ESTATE DEALS

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

Nonprofits Combine, Cut, Hone Donation Appeals

As the recession takes its toll, demands for help are up while donations are down

Reports: Quiksilver Near Sale of DC Shoes

Huntington Beach-based Quiksilver Inc. could be near a deal to sell its DC Shoes brand to North Carolina's VF Corp., according to a recent report from Women's Wear Daily and Monday's edition of the Business Journal.

INDUSTRIAL MARKET

Demand Wanes, Ups Industrial Vacancy

Big in Europe, Fuel Systems Eyes U.S. Buyers

Fuel Systems Solutions is hoping it didn't miss a window to expand in the U.S. market

Wanted: Best Places to Work for Inaugural Business Journal List

Is your company one of the best places to work in OC?

AROUND THE COUNTY

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

Home Depot to Cut 7,000 Jobs, Exit Expo Business

Home Depot Inc. said it will eliminate 7,000 jobs, or about 2% of its workforce, as it closes its Expo home design centers and cuts corporate support staff, sending its shares up 6%.

Fletcher Ads Go On, Tone Shifts Weekly

How Fletcher Jones changes its advertising from week to week

QLogic Beats Profit Expectations; Stock Jumps

Shares of Aliso Viejo's QLogic Corp., a maker of electronics for data storage networks, rose after the company reported results for the December quarter that topped analysts' expectations.

CALENDAR

A listing of events happening all around Orange County - January 26-February 4, 2009.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

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

Enron Refugees Grow Energy Consultant

A group of former Enron Corp. employees is looking to hit $50 million in revenue this year advising customers on ways to trim energy costs

Sage Sees Changes in Executive Team

Sage Software is working through a bit of a shakeup in its upper ranks, in the Technology column

RETAIL MARKET

Retail Owners Reduce Space As Sales Slow

BRE Properties Suspends Local Projects, Releases Staff

A Platinum Triangle apartment complex has been put on hold, in the Real Estate column

Advanced Medical's Mazzo Says He's Committed to OC

Advanced Medical Optics' Jim Mazzo has promised to stay part of OC's business landscape, in the Healthcare column

MARKET WATCH

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

Wearing Thin

Industrial Market Faring Better in Recession, But Recovery Not Expected Until After 2010

Discount Brokerage Scottrade Adds Tustin, Surf City Branches

Scottrade is opening two branches as it tries to build business here in a time of flux for stock brokerages

Carona's Celebration; Mark Sanchez's Agent; Wylie Snaps Dustin

Carona's Celebration; Mark Sanchez's Agent; Wylie Snaps Dustin

State of the State

A Business Journal writer talks about Schwarzenegger's plan to extend the state sales tax to several sectors of the service industry

Hyundai Assurance Program Bails Out Strapped Buyers

OC Hyundai dealers welcomed Hyundai Motor America's assurance program, in the Marketplace column

Friday, January 23

Good Bank, Bad Bank All Adds Up To Nationalization

Whether it's called good bank/bad bank, troubled asset relief or some new acronym, the United States appears to be on a course that will lead to the effective nationalization of some of the largest lenders.

2008 Job Loss Tally: 41,400 Workers, 6.5% Unemployment

Orange County's job losses for 2008 came in at a staggering 41,400 workers, a 2.7% decline, according to the state's Employment Development Department.

Pfizer in Talks to Buy Rival Wyeth: Sources

Pfizer Inc, the world's largest drugmaker, is in talks to acquire U.S. rival Wyeth, sources familiar with the situation said on Friday.

Autobytel Rules Out Sale, Weighing Other Options

Irvine-based Autobytel Inc. has ended a three month bid to try and sell the auto marketing company but continues to look at alternatives.

Broadcom up on Texas Instruments' Woes

Shares of Broadcom Corp. rose in late afternoon New York trading, despite an analyst's warning that he sees slowing sales for the Irvine chipmaker and others.

GE Profit Down 44%, Shares Fall Premarket

General Electric Co. reported a 44% drop in quarterly profit on weakness at GE Capital and its lighting and appliance units, as the conglomerate and economic bellwether closed out one of the toughest years in its 117-year history.

Thursday, January 22

Jobless Claims Surge, Housing Starts Tumble

The number of workers lining up for jobless benefits surged last week, while new housing starts and permits hit record lows in December, pointing at an acceleration in the economy's downward spiral.

UnitedHealth Profit Meets Views, Backs '09 Outlook

UnitedHealth Group Inc. posted fourth-quarter profit that met Wall Street targets and backed its 2009 forecast on Thursday, sending shares of the health insurer up 8.6%.

Microsoft Stuns with Profit Miss, To Cut Up to 5,000 Jobs

Microsoft Corp. stunned Wall Street with disappointing results that included plans to slash up to 5,000 jobs and a warning that profit and revenue will almost certainly drop over the next two quarters.

Chipmaker Microsemi Slumps on Outlook

Shares of Irvine-based Microsemi Corp., a maker of chips for aerospace, defense and industrial uses, slumped after the company gave an outlook for the current quarter that fell short of Wall Street's expectations.

Quality Systems Shares Fall on Downgrade

Shares of Irvine healthcare technology company Quality Systems Inc. fell Thursday after an analyst downgraded the stock.

Bad News Bull: Corinthian Colleges

One of the few Orange County stocks up Thursday on a dismal day on Wall Street: Santa Ana-based Corinthian Colleges Inc.

Wednesday, January 21

Hedging Losses Drive UAL 4Q Loss of $1.3B

United Airlines parent UAL Corp. on Wednesday said it lost $1.3 billion in the fourth quarter because of operating losses and fuel-price bets that turned sour as oil prices fell. Without the bad hedges, results were better than analysts had expected.

Geithner apologizes for not paying taxes

Treasury Secretary-designate Tim Geithner said Wednesday he was careless in failing to pay $34,000 in Social Security and Medicare taxes earlier this decade and apologized to Congress.

Regulators Order Sale of Dodge's American Sterling Bank

Foothill Ranch-based American Sterling Bank is being sold to insurer Phoenix Cos. after a plan to shore up the bank was rejected by regulators.

Resources Connection Higher on Upgrade

Shares of Irvine-based Resources Connection Inc. got a boost Wednesday after an analyst upgraded the company's stock, saying it's attractively valued for long-term investors.

Crystal Cathedral Ministry Selling San Juan Land for $10M

San Juan Capistrano has entered a $10 million deal to buy a 150-acre plot of land in the northwest part of the city owned by Garden Grove-based Crystal Cathedral Ministries.

GM Loses Global Sales Crown After 77 Years

General Motors Corp. on Wednesday said its global vehicle sales for 2008 had dropped 11%, allowing rival Toyota Motor Corp to surpass it as the world's largest automaker for the first time.

Tuesday, January 20

Diversifying Alliance Changes Name

Alliance Imaging Inc., a Newport Beach medical imaging and cancer care provider, said Tuesday that it will change its name to Alliance HealthCare Services, effective Feb. 17.

Founder's Grandson Toyoda Takes the Wheel at Toyota

Tracing Akio Toyoda's 24-year career at Toyota Motor Corp. back to its genesis is to witness a carefully drafted roadmap for a climb to the top.

Fiat and Chrysler to Form Global Alliance

Italy's Fiat will take a 35% stake in car maker Chrysler LLC -- valued at zero by its part-owner -- in a deal aimed at helping the pair survive the worst crisis to hit their industry in decades.

Microsemi Down After Analyst Cuts 2009 Estimates

Shares of Irvine chipmaker Microsemi Corp. were dinged by investors Tuesday after an analyst cut his estimates for the company, citing weakening demand.

Former CEO Klaus Back in at Epicor

Epicor Software Corp.'s George Klaus has come out of semi-retirement for a second stint running the Irvine-based maker of business software, which has had a tough past year on Wall Street.

J & J; Profit Rises, '09 Profit View Disappoints

Johnson & Johnson reported higher quarterly earnings on Tuesday as cost cuts offset weak sales of its drugs, devices and consumer products amid the economic downturn, but J & J; forecast 2009 earnings below expectations.

Monday, January 19

Surf, Skate Video Site Operator Moves to Aliso Viejo

An El Segundo-based producer of Web videos of surfing, skateboarding and other events is moving to Aliso Viejo, in the Media & Marketing column

Home Prices Fall Under $400,000

Orange County's median home price fell under $400,000 in December, the lowest price the area's seen since mid-2003.

'AIG Effect'

AIG has put a damper on planned corporate meetings and events

Without Titles, Samueli Advises on Engineering

Despite Broadcom's stock option backdating woes, Henry Samueli's role doesn't appear to have changed much since he stepped down in May

UK Throws Banks a Lifeline as RBS Posts Record Loss

Britain launched a second bank rescue plan on Monday and Royal Bank of Scotland recorded the biggest loss in U.K. corporate history, while a cut in Spain's credit rating caused fresh market wobbles.

No Green Recession: Cleaning Products Maker Eyes $100M

Earth Friendly Products has a rare projection for a company of its size in this economy: a doubling in sales in 2009

L.A. Could Lose Popular Meeting Space at Century Plaza

L.A. Could Lose Popular Meeting Space at Century Plaza

Glenn Told You So; The General's Back; Farewell, Tim

Glenn Told You So; The General's Back; Farewell, Tim

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

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

READER LETTERS

Letters to the Editor. Bail Out Small Business; Fullerton's Pension Move

Long-Range Vision

Advanced Medical is being bought for $2.8 billion by Abbott Laboratories of suburban Chicago

Wanted: Best Places to Work for Inaugural Business Journal List

Is your company one of the best places to work in OC?

Broadcom Looks for Lift from New Version of iPhone

Broadcom could see gains this year from a new product by one of its best-known customers, in the Technology column

Solid Attendance Projections, Few Cancellations Buoy Spirits

Anaheim is holding up amid the downturn in the industry

Reform Could Be Good for Teva, Generic Drug Makers

Teva Pharmaceuticals got good marks in a recent Goldman Sachs research report, in the Healthcare column

VIEWPOINT

Republican Congressman John Campbell debunks some myths about the auto industry

John's Incredible Has a lot Riding on It in Buena Park

Buena Park Downtown has a lot riding on the upcoming opening of John's Incredible Pizza Co., in the Marketplace column

NAMM's Slow Jam

A pictorial summary of what happened at The NAMM Show, Anaheim's largest convention

MARKET WATCH

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

Beckman Confident Amid Hospital Concerns

Beckman Coulter seems to have caught something at the hospital

CALENDAR

A listing of events happening all around Orange County

Russia and Ukraine Aim to Sign Gas Deal

Russia and Ukraine aim to sign an agreement on Monday to restart gas flows after finally agreeing a price for 2009, potentially ending a dispute that has severed supplies to a freezing Europe for nearly two weeks.

REAL ESTATE DEALS

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

Brokerage Expects Shopping Centers in for Tough Year

There are signs the 85 million square feet of shopping centers in OC could be in for a rough 2009, in the Real Estate column

Broadcom Executive, Others Honored at CFO Awards Dinner

What happened at the Business Journal's annual CFO Awards last week

Symwave Taps Advisers, Eyes Q3 Ramp-Up

Startup Symwave has assembled its own dream team as its looks to start producing chips later this year

Grubb's New Leaders Settle In, Thompson Retreats

The shakeout from last month's proxy battle at Grubb & Ellis is starting to show in the company's boardroom

Local Hotels Grew Meeting Space by 3% in Past Year

Meeting space increased slightly at OC's largest hotels last year

GIVING

Fundraisers and charitable donations from companies and people

Event Planners Expect Slight, Not Severe Drop in Business

What the first quarter's three large conventions and trade shows foretell for the rest of the year in OC

REAL ESTATE WATCH: INLAND EMPIRE

The Inland Empire commercial real estate market has begun to feel the effects of the dwindling economy. PLUS: CHARTS - Net Absorption; Vacancy Rates; Average Asking Lease Rates

New York Times May Find Benefactor in Slim

The New York Times Co. has heard more than its share of opinions on what it must do to survive. Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim appears ready to let his cash do the talking.

Tyr Launches Gear, Pursues Speedo Suit

Swimsuit maker Tyr Sport is looking for a rematch with Speedo

KPMG Relocating to Irvine Spectrum

KPMG LLP, Orange County's third-largest accounting firm by employee count, is moving its local operations from Costa Mesa to the Irvine Spectrum.

John Laing Reviewing Operations, Cutting Jobs

Irvine-based John Laing Homes is reviewing its operations because of deteriorating economic conditions and has cut jobs, according to reports.

Friday, January 16

Bank of America Posts First Loss in 17 Years

Bank of America Corp., posted its first quarterly loss in 17 years on Friday and slashed its dividend, hours after winning a multibillion-dollar lifeline from the U.S. government to help absorb Merrill Lynch, which lost a record $15.31 billion in the quar

Circuit Board Maker TTM Shutters Plant, Sees Job Cuts

Shares of Santa Ana's TTM Technologies Inc., a maker of printed circuit boards, rose Friday after it said it's set to close a plant in Washington and slash roughly 500 jobs companywide.

Pimco's Gross Adds Treasury Bonds

The manager of the world's biggest bond fund, Bill Gross of Newport Beach-based Pacific Investment Management Co., bought Treasury bonds for the first time in a year December.

Pimco

Manager of the world's biggest bond fund, Bill Gross of Newport Beach-based Pacific Investment Management Co., bought into Treasury bonds for the first time in a year December.

Carona Found Guilty of Witness Tampering, Cleared on Other Charges

A jury found former Orange County sheriff Michael S. Carona guilty of witness tampering but cleared him of five other public corruption charges Friday.

Kaiser Sees Charge-Driven Q4 Loss, Reworks Credit Line

Shares of Foothill Ranch-based Kaiser Aluminum Corp. fell Friday, a day after the company warned of a charge-driven loss for the recently ended quarter and said it reworked the terms of a credit line.

Inflation Slows to Half-Century Low in 2008

Inflation slowed to a half-century low last year and industrial output dropped for the first time since 2002 as the recession deepened toward year-end, raising the specter of deflation.

Citigroup Splits in Two, BofA Gets Government Aid

Citigroup Inc. plans to split into two units and Bank of America Corp. took $20 billion in government aid after the two banks suffered huge quarterly losses from the devastating credit crisis.

Thursday, January 15

Corinthian Up on Prospect of More Student Loan Funding

Shares of Santa Ana-based Corinthian Colleges Inc. surged Wednesday on talk a federal stimulus package could include money for student loans.

JPMorgan Profit Slumps on Writedowns

JPMorgan Chase & Co.'s fourth-quarter profit plunged 76% as it wrote down bad loans, signaling that even the bank that has avoided the worst of the credit crunch is struggling with the recession.

Broadcom CFO, Others Honored

The chief financial officer who's brought big-company professionalism to Irvine's Broadcom Corp. was honored along with four others at Wednesday's CFO of the Year awards.

Quiksilver Debt Downgraded Again

Huntington Beach-based Quiksilver Inc.'s weak quarterly performance and reliance on short-term debt prompted Moody's Corp. on Thursday to lower its rating on the clothing maker.

Job Market and Factory Activity Remain Weak

Job losses in the moribund economy mounted last week and manufacturing remained in dire straits this month, while other data on Thursday showed the threat of deflation persisted in December.

Bank of America in Talks for More Bailout Funds

Bank of America, the largest U.S. bank, is close to getting billions of dollars more in federal support from taxpayers, a person familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.

Autobytel Strikes Deal With Activist Investor

Irvine-based Autobytel Inc. said Thursday it struck a deal with its largest investor that allows him to acquire more of the automotive marketer in exchange for not seeking changes to the company's board, management or strategy.

Wednesday, January 14

Mortgage Applications Up as Refinancing Jumps

Mortgage applications jumped in the first full week of 2009 as record low interest rates spurred the greatest demand for home refinancing loans in over 5-1/2 years, data from an industry group showed on Wednesday.

WaterHealth Secures $10 Million Investment

Irvine-based WaterHealth International Inc., a water purification company that serves developing countries, announced Wednesday that it secured $10 million in venture backing.

Retail Sales Dive as Holiday Spending Slumps

Sales at retailers fell 2.7% in December, government data showed on Wednesday, as a deteriorating economic climate forced consumers to cut back on spending during the key holiday period.

Water Purification Startup Raises $10 Million

Irvine-based WaterHealth International Inc., a water purification company focused on developing countries, has raised $10 million in venture backing.

Debt Levels Drive Diverging Nursing Home Stocks

Orange County's nursing home companies have parted ways on Wall Street.

Nortel Files for Bankruptcy Protection, Shares Plunge

Nortel Networks Corp., North America's biggest maker of telephone equipment, filed for bankruptcy protection on Wednesday, as the global economic downturn further erodes its once high-flying business.

Southwest Adds John Wayne, San Francisco Flights

Dallas-based Southwest Airlines Co. plans to add five nonstop flights between John Wayne Airport and San Francisco International Airport in May.

Tuesday, January 13

November Trade Gap Shrinks on Record Import Plunge

The trade deficit shrank 28.7% in November, the biggest contraction in 12 years, as weak consumer demand and plummeting oil prices caused a record drop in imports, a Commerce Department report showed on Tuesday.

Treasuries Bubble About to Blow: SocGen

Government debt is heading toward bubble territory and investors should prepare to exit, or risk seeing those assets lose up to a fifth in value, French bank Societe Generale said on Tuesday.

Clothing Maker Volcom Downgraded

Shares of Costa Mesa-based clothing maker Volcom Inc. closed down Tuesday after an analyst downgraded the stock and warned that Wall Street's expectations for 2009 are overly optimistic.

2009 Auto Sales Seen Falling 13%

Auto sales in 2009 should fall around 13% and push some automakers closer to the verge of collapse, industry analysts said on Tuesday.

Quest Buys Silicon Valley Maker of Storage Software

Aliso Viejo's Quest Software Inc., a maker of business software, said Tuesday it bought a small maker of software that manages data storage networks.

Gingrich Talks Politics in Address to Auto Dealers

Newt Gingrich, former House Speaker, didn't mince words when he spoke to Orange County's auto dealers Tuesday at their annual meeting at the Fairmont in Newport Beach.

More Steps Needed to Stabilize Banks: Bernanke

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said on Tuesday that fiscal stimulus alone would not be enough to promote a lasting economic recovery, and further steps to backstop banks may be needed.

Quiksilver Americas President Resigns

Longtime Quiksilver Inc. executive Marty Samuels has stepped down from the Huntington Beach-based clothing maker as it deals with a downturn and restructuring.

Monday, January 12

Lennar denies making improper loan to executive

No. 2 homebuilder Lennar Corp. said on Monday that its chief operating officer had not received a mortgage on his home from the company and denied treating its joint ventures like a "Ponzi scheme."

Luxury Hotels Cut Workers as Meetings, Travelers Dip

The county's luxury coastal hotels have laid off workers and made other cuts amid a downturn in visitors and corporate events

Broadcom Inks Deal with Indian Telecom, Cable Co.

Broadcom has signed a deal to sell its satellite set-top box chips to one of India's biggest telecommunications and cable providers, in the Technology column

Ask the Experts

A Q & A; with some of the county's best lawyers

Now for Growth

Wall Street loves Valeant's J. Michael Pearson but now wants growth

Defense Contractors Fear Bailout Fallout

Eaton Corp. is waiting to see how military spending fares under the Obama administration

AROUND THE COUNTY

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

Ultra Rich Still Buying, But Discretion Is Watchword

Retailers and manufacturers are finding ways to market to the super rich during the recession, in the Marketplace column

Citi Nears Morgan Stanley Brokerage Deal

The break-up of banking powerhouse Citigroup moved a step closer, and Britain took control of a big stake in another top lender on Monday as the reshaping of the global financial landscape gathered pace.

VIEWPOINT

One small-business executive laments over Sacramento's lack of business acumen, in Viewpoint

Abbott Buying Advanced Medical for $2.8B

Santa Ana-based eye surgery device and contact lens solution maker Advanced Medical Optics Inc. is being bought for $2.8 billion by Abbott Laboratories Inc. of suburban Chicago.

Greenlaw Partners Launches Distressed Asset Business

Greenlaw Partners is just another company that is taking advantage of the down commercial estate market, in the Real Estate column

Software Maker Aims to Help Restaurants

Altametrics makes software that helps restaurants manage and monitor costs, in the Small Business column

REAL ESTATE WATCH: RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT SPACE

The mid-counties industrial market sees concessions, but space is still tight, in Real Estate Watch. PLUS: CHARTS - Net Absorption; Vacancy Rates; Average Asking Lease Rates

OCBJ SUPPLEMENTS and GUIDES

Health Care Guide - Winter 2009

Johnny Rockets Puts Advertising Work up for Grabs

Johnny Rockets Group is putting its advertising account up for review, in the Media & Marketing column

Legal Entanglements

Landlords Compete for National Law Firms with Concessions, Some Trepidation

PEOPLE

Hirings, promotions and other moves at local businesses

MARKET WATCH

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

Seagate CEO Watkins, COO Step Down; Shares Fall

Seagate Technology Inc., the world's largest maker of hard-disk drives, replaced Chief Executive Bill Watkins and said its chief operating officer stepped down, in a management shake-up that sent its shares down 11%.

Foodie Alert: Newport Beach Readies Restaurant Week

What to look forward to during Newport Beach Restaurant Week, in the Executive Dining column

State of the State

Minimum Wage, Laws and Regulation in CA. Column by Howard Fine, staff writer with the Los Angeles Business Journal.

Eagle One Turns Old Plastic into Golf Items, Furniture

Eagle One Golf Products is growing with recycled plastic

Debt Levels Drive Diverging Nursing Home Stocks

Local nursing home companies have parted ways on Wall Street

Scandal!

Local Salacious Cases Bring Out Lawyers' Love-Hate Relationship with Media Sources

2009 Set To Rival 2001 Slump for Chipmakers

2009 could rank among the worst years ever for chipmakers

OC Readies Obama Wish Lists; More Intrigue in Irvine

OC Readies Obama Wish Lists; More Intrigue in Irvine

Retail Sales Seen Down 4% in First Quarter: Report

Retail sales could fall by 4% in the first quarter, a data tracking firm forecast on Monday, saying the tumultuous sales trends seen during the holiday shopping period are likely to continue.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

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

Some Law Firms Touting Recession-Proof Practice Areas

Some Law Firms Touting Recession-Proof Practice Areas. Bankruptcy, IP, employment cases rise in economic downturns

Analysts Tout Quality Systems' Growing Power in '09

Quality Systems recently got another love note from the Motley Fool, in the Healthcare column

REAL ESTATE DEALS

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

Grubb Sees Sales Up, Leasing Slow in '09

Brokerages are predicting that OC will see an uptick in commercial property sales volumes in 2009

Practical Electronics Shine at 2009's CES

A report from a tempered International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas

CALENDAR

A listing of events happening all around Orange County

Law Landscape

Saturated Local Market Has Some Firms Consolidating, Downsizing; Others Beefing Up

Friday, January 9

KB Home Reports Worse-Than-Expected Quarterly Loss

KB Home posted a worse-than-expected quarterly loss on Friday and said unprecedented pressures on the industry and the economy would remain difficult or worsen, sending its shares lower.

Infamous Investor Hits Lennar With Fraud Accusations

Shares of Miami-based Lennar Corp. went on a wild ride on Friday after infamous San Diego investor Barry Minkow made a series of accusations against the homebuilder, whose operations largely are run out of Aliso Viejo.

Obama Team Working on Overhaul of Financial Rescue

President-elect Barack Obama's economic team is working to overhaul the $700 billion financial rescue program to stem mortgage foreclosures and spur the flow of credit to the struggling economy, an Obama aide said on Friday.

Edwards, Rival Claim Victory in UK Patent Battle

Edwards Lifesciences Corp. and CoreValve Inc., a pair of Irvine-based medical device makers, on Friday claimed victories in a British patent fight over a new type of heart valve.

ITC Takes Up Complaint Involving Microsemi

The U.S. International Trade Commission has agreed to hear a dispute involving Irvine-based chipmaker Microsemi Corp.

U.S. Slashes Jobs, European Industry Slumps

Some 2.6 million Americans lost their jobs in 2008, the worst toll since the end of World War Two, data showed on Friday, and industrial output plunged across Europe as the global economic crisis bit deeper.

Thursday, January 8

Wal-Mart and Other Retailers Warn After Weak December

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. led retailers in disappointing December same-store sales and profit warnings on Thursday, sparking fresh recession concerns that hit stock and currency markets.

PacSun, Wet Seal Join Grim Retail Chorus

Anaheim's Pacific Sunwear of California Inc. and Foothill Ranch-based Wet Seal Inc. reported disappointing December same-store sales and cut their guidance for the three months through January, joining a chorus of dismal reports from retailers across the

Analyst Upgrades Epicor on Prospects, Possible Proxy Fight

Shares of Irvine-based Epicor Software Corp. closed higher Thursday after an analyst upgraded the stock on expectations for the fourth quarter, hopes for a new product and a possible battle over the company's board.

Jobless Claims Fell Unexpectedly Last Week

The number of workers filing new claims for unemployment benefits last week unexpectedly fell to their lowest level since mid-October, but the number of those remaining on jobless rolls rose to a 26-year high, data showed on Thursday.

Boeing Annual Plane Orders Fall 53%

Boeing Co. took orders for 662 commercial planes last year, a 53% drop from 2007, handing the title of biggest-selling plane maker to archrival Airbus and signaling the end of an unprecedented three-year boom in jetliner sales.

Subdued CES Gets Under Way in Vegas

The biggest consumer electronics trade show kicked off Thursday as reporters, bloggers, retail buyers and die-hard technology enthusiasts descended on Las Vegas for the International Consumer Electronics Show.

Wednesday, January 7

Boeing Ordered to Pay ICO $631M in Damages

Boeing Co. has been ordered to pay former customer ICO Global Communications Ltd. $631 million in damages after a California court approved a jury verdict against the Chicago-based aerospace company.

Family Dollar Posts Higher Profit and Raises Forecast

Family Dollar Stores Inc. reported a 14% jump in quarterly profit and raised its fiscal-year forecast on Wednesday as shoppers headed to its discount stores, sending its shares up 15%.

Budget Deficit to Hit $1.2 Trillion

The budget deficit will swell to a record $1.186 trillion in fiscal 2009 as the global recession saps the economy, congressional forecasters said on Wednesday, presenting a daunting challenge to President-elect Barack Obama who has said tough choices will

Executives Remain Pessimistic for Q1

Executives and business owners continue to hold low expectations for the first quarter, according to a business sentiment survey by California State University, Fullerton.

Device Maker OrthAlign Gets $7M in Funding

OrthAlign Inc., a Laguna Beach-based startup medical device maker, said Wednesday that it received $7.2 million in a first round of venture capital financing.

Register Partially Bringing Back Business Section

The Orange County Register is partially bringing back its stand-alone business section starting Thursday, a year after folding it into the main section of the paper to cut costs.

Consumer Loan Late Payments at 28-Year High

Soaring unemployment has caused more Americans to fall behind on loan payments than at any time since 1980, and delinquencies are likely to head higher, the American Bankers Association said on Wednesday.

Tuesday, January 6

Resources Connection Meets Views, Warns on Current Quarter

Irvine-based Resources Connection Inc., a provider of consultants to companies on a project basis, reported a profit that met Wall Street's expectations for the recently ended quarter but warned of a steep revenue drop for the current one.

Emulex Lowers Quarterly Outlook; Wall Street Not Surprised

Costa Mesa's Emulex Corp., a maker of electronics for data storage networks, has joined the ranks of local technology companies that have lowered their outlooks for the December quarter. But Wall Street doesn't seem bothered.

December Retail Sales to Spur Profit Warnings

Deep discounts that failed to coax consumers to shop in December are likely to lead to a number of profit warnings this week, when retailers report sales for the all-important holiday month.

Home Sales Tumble to 7-Year Low

Pending sales of existing homes dropped to a seven-year low in November, data showed on Tuesday, as rising job losses and a deepening economic recession kept potential house buyers on the sidelines.

Russian Gas Disruption Spreads Across Europe

Russia sharply cut gas flows to Europe via Ukraine on Tuesday in a dramatic worsening of a pricing dispute with Kiev that threatened to disrupt supplies as far west as Italy and Germany.

Device Maker Endologix Surges on Forecast

Shares of Endologix Inc., an Irvine medical device maker, soared Tuesday after the company said it expected its 2008 revenue to rise 35%.

Monday, January 5

Obama Seeks Major Tax Cuts in Stimulus Plan

President-elect Barack Obama, seeking to drum up support from both political parties, plans to propose up to $310 billion in tax cuts for businesses and the middle class as part of his massive economic stimulus package, senior Democratic aides said on Sun

OCBJ SUPPLEMENTS and GUIDES

Private Equity Guide 2009 | Deal Flow and Wine Tasting Event

Circuit Board Maker M-Flex Jumps on Sales Outlook, Share Buyback

Shares of Anaheim-based Multi-Fineline Electronix Inc., a maker of flexible circuit boards for cell phones and other mobile devices, jumped Monday after the company gave a better-than-expected sales outlook for the December quarter and said it plans to bu

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

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

Office Landlords Slash Rents, Vacancy Rises

A flurry of large lease deals wasn't enough to stem the tide for OC's office landlords

Watson Gains 15 Drugs in Teva's Acquisition of Barr

Watson Pharmaceuticals has gained the rights to 15 generic drugs, in the Healthcare column

Fashion Island Saw Sales Boost Friday After Christmas

Black Friday came a little bit later in 2008 for local malls, in the Marketplace column

Executives Remain Pessimistic for Q1

A Cal State Fullerton survey of local executives came in at its lowest reading in its eight-year history

Honorable Mention: Corinthian's Massimino

Businessperson of the year honorable mention: Jack Massimino of Corinthian Colleges

REVIEW

"Unscripted" CD by Jo De La Rosa

IPO'd Out

The process of using a public offering as a prelude to a sale isn't what it used to be for healthcare companies

Moorad Looking to Buy Padres

Former sports agent Jeff Moorad is working on the deal of his career: buying the San Diego Padres baseball team.

Only New Thinking Will Save Global Economy

The Business Journal's businessperson of the year Mohamed El-Erian comments on last year's rocky economy

CALENDAR

A listing of events happening all around Orange County

Crystal Cathedral Looking To Sell Garden Grove Office

A five-story Garden Grove office building on the campus of the Crystal Cathedral has been put up for sale, in the Real Estate column

Automakers Slump in December

The auto industry's slump worsened in December for automakers with operations in Orange County.

Too Soon To Tell

A Look at Executives Who Had a Good 2008, but It's Unclear if Their Gains Will Hold

Pfizer Chief Open to Acquisitions: Report

Pfizer Inc., the world's biggest pharmaceutical group, is open to acquisitions, its chief executive Jeff Kindler told the Financial Times in an interview.

Former Daily Pilot Veterans Starting Local Paper

Two former Daily Pilot veterans are looking to start a daily Internet publication along with a weekly print edition for Newport Beach and Costa Mesa.

REAL ESTATE WATCH: RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT SPACE

Research and development space held steady in the third quarter, in Real Estate Watch. PLUS: CHARTS - Net Absorption; Vacancy Rates; Average Asking Lease Rates

Apple's Jobs Reassures Investors About his Health

Apple Inc. Chief Executive Steve Jobs sought to soothe investor concerns about his health on Monday, saying his weight loss was caused by a hormone imbalance that is relatively simple to treat.

Companies Temper Spending at CES

Slowed consumer spending may dull the glow at this year's International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas

REAL ESTATE DEALS

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

Women Named to Key Spots at Ingram Micro, Conexant

Two local tech companies recently promoted women as finance chiefs, in the Technology column

Day of Reckoning for Private Equity?

Private equity firms with a lot of debt put into acquisitions could be hit next by the credit crisis

Standard Pacific's CEO Eyes Deals, Cuts Costs

Standard Pacific is looking to be one of the five largest homebuilders in the U.S.

MARKET WATCH

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

Attention, Landlords: Sheriff Seeks Space; Cheap Obama Party

Attention, Landlords: Sheriff Seeks Space; Cheap Obama Party

Kia's Upping Interactive Ads Amid Downturn

Kia Motors America is looking to up its marketing amid the worst slump in auto sales in recent history

Del Monte Enlists DraftFCB to Stand Out on Pet Aisle

DraftFCB has started work on an account for Del Monte Foods, in the Media & Marketing column

Honorable Mention: Edwards' Mussallem

Businessperson of the year honorable mention: Edwards Lifesciences' Michael Mussallem

Runner-Up: Blizzard's Morhaime

Businessperson of the year runner-up: Blizzard Entertainment's Michael Morhaime

Friday, January 2

Western Digital Up on Analyst Report on Rival

Shares of Lake Forest-based Western Digital Corp. rose more than 7% Friday after an analyst predicted stable prices for disk drives in coming months.

Report: City National Subject of Bailout Review

The Treasury Department's inspector general is examining the decision to award bailout funds to City National Corp.'s City National Bank, the Los Angeles Times reported.

FDA Joins Advanced Medical Surgery Chemical Recall

Federal regulators have issued a recall for an Advanced Medical Optics Inc. chemical used in eye surgery because of swelling and other health problems.

Factories Mired in Worst Slump in 28 Years

Factory activity fell to a 28-year low in December as the deepening year-old recession hammered the sector and produced a bleak outlook at the start of 2009.

California Coastal Sells Bolsa Model Homes for $25M

Irvine-based California Coastal Communities Inc. said on Friday it has sold 17 model homes at its Brightwater development in Huntington Beach to a local investor, for $25 million.

Report: Fannie Says IndyMac Has $1B in Mortgage Obligations

Fannie Mae, the largest U.S. home funding company, believes that failed mortgage lender IndyMac has obligations to repurchase around $1 billion of home mortgages that failed to meet Fannie's standards, the Wall Street Journal said, citing people familiar