Stories for July 2009
Friday, July 31
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. is launching the first test of its Legacy Loans Program to help banks rid their balance sheets of toxic assets so they can raise new capital and increase lending, the agency said on Friday.
The U.S. and UBS AG have reached an agreement in principle to settle their dispute over U.S. demands for the names of thousands of wealthy Americans suspected of using the Swiss bank to evade taxes, a Justice Department attorney said on Friday.
Shares of Fullerton medical testing company Beckman Coulter Inc. rose Friday after an analyst upgraded the stock.
The economy contracted at a slower-than-expected pace in the second quarter, government data showed on Friday, but a sharp drop in consumer spending fanned fears that recovery would be sluggish.
Allergan Inc. of Irvine reported second-quarter results Friday that beat expectations but gave a forecast for the current quarter that was below analysts' projections.
Shares of Santa Ana's Ingram Micro Inc., the largest distributor of technology goods, software and consumer electronics, got dinged on Friday after an analyst downgraded the stock.
Thursday, July 30
Exxon Mobil Corp. reported a steeper-than-expected drop in quarterly profit as natural gas and crude oil prices slid from a year ago and the global recession hurt demand for fuel.
Quality Systems Inc. of Irvine reported quarterly results Thursday that fell short of expectations.
Fullerton-based Beckman Coulter Inc. on Thursday narrowed its 2009 guidance after reporting mixed second-quarter results.
Cities in the states of California, Florida, Nevada and Arizona dominated the record foreclosure spree in the first half of the year, but distress in other regions emerged as joblessness spread, RealtyTrac said on Thursday.
Shares of Santa Ana's Ingram Micro Inc., the biggest distributor of technology products, software and consumer electronics, fell Thursday after the company gave a cautious outlook for the current quarter.
Costa Mesa-based clothing maker Volcom Inc. reported a surprise second-quarter profit Thursday but offered a forecast for the current quarter that was below Wall Street expectations.
Sony Corp. and Sharp Corp.'s third straight quarters of losses underscore the challenges they face in flat-panel TV market as they struggle to compete with Samsung Electronics Co. and other South Korean rivals benefiting from a weaker won.
Santa Ana-based title insurer and business data provider First American Corp. said on Thursday its quarterly profit more than tripled, thanks to lower corporate expenses and an increased demand for mortgage refinancing work.
Wednesday, July 29
Drug maker Valeant Pharmaceuticals International of Aliso Viejo said Wednesday it is buying a Mexican generic drug maker for about $33 million.
Alliance Health Care Services Inc. of Newport Beach reported a lower second-quarter profit that fell short of Wall Street expectations and warned about its revenue for the rest of the year.
Verizon Wireless has renewed the lease for its massive regional headquarters in the Irvine Spectrum, the telecommunication operator said Wednesday.
Microsoft Corp. and Yahoo Inc. inked a 10-year Web search deal to better compete against market leader Google Inc. but stopped short of combining their display advertising businesses.
Irvine-based Foundation 9 Entertainment Inc., a holding company for a group of independent video game developers, is restructuring amid an industry-wide slump, according to reports.
Health insurer WellPoint Inc. posted higher-than-expected quarterly profit on Wednesday, but its shares dropped 4.1% as revenue missed analysts' estimates and the company failed to increase its full-year earnings forecast.
Top Asian and European semiconductor manufacturers sounded a note of optimism on Wednesday as they predicted demand and prices picking up in the second half of the year.
Tuesday, July 28
Senior housing officials and leading mortgage companies on Tuesday will make a fresh commitment to help troubled borrowers keep their homes and will promise to expand foreclosure-prevention aid, sources familiar with the plans said.
Shares of Lake Forest disk drive maker Western Digital Corp. rose after the company reported quarterly results that trumped Wall Street's expectations.
Bank of America Corp. said it plans to shrink its 6,109-branch network modestly over the next three to five years, an about-face for the nation's largest bank by assets after years of expansion.
Irvine's Epicor Software Corp., a maker of business software for manufacturers and retailers, on Tuesday gave an outlook for the current quarter that fell short of Wall Street's expectations.
Viacom Inc. reported a 32% drop in earnings, but tempered yet another quarter of depressed results with the announcement that it has reached a key distribution deal for its new movie channel Epix.
Costa Mesa-based military body armor maker Ceradyne Inc. reported second-quarter profits ahead of Wall Street estimates while coming short of sales expectations.
Monday, July 27
The price of an existing Orange County home jumped by $14,000 in June from a month earlier, the California Association of Realtors said on Monday.
A look at what's been going on at local heart valve maker Edwards
Telmar Network Technology moved its headquarters from Irvine to Texas, in the Technology column
Ownership of Dana Point's St. Regis Monarch Beach Resort has turned over to New York-based lender Citigroup Inc.,
The price of an existing Orange County home jumped by $14,000 in June from a month earlier, the California Association of Realtors said on Monday.
Zimbabwe Postcard from Paul Freeman; locals at Cooperstown
Aetna Inc. sharply cut its full-year earnings forecast on Monday because of higher-than-projected medical costs, sending shares down as much as 12% as the health insurer also posted a 28% drop in second-quarter net income.
With Boeing's Future Combat Systems set for reorganization after a funding cut, the company hopes new contracts will allow it to keep the unit's employees on the payroll
The Offices of South Coast Plaza have spent the past month getting plaudits from Washington, D.C., in the Real Estate column
Agilent Technologies Inc. said on Monday it agreed to buy Varian Inc. in a $1.5 billion deal designed to bolster the company's bioanalytical measurement business.
A look at people, companies and institutions receiving awards, accolades, grants and other honors
The county's 50 largest minority-owned businesses saw a modest pullback in sales last year
Government officials are re-evaluating the long-term plans for the Chet Holifield Federal Building
Verizon Communications Inc. posted a lower quarterly profit and said it would cut 8,000 jobs in its wireline business, as weakness in wholesale and corporate segments overshadowed wireless growth.
The Greater Los Angeles real estate market is seeing effects from the recession, in Real Estate Watch
Santa Ana technology products distributor Ingram Micro Inc. could bounce back toward the end of the year after, according to some on Wall Street.
Abbott Laboratories is satisfied with the second-quarter performance of its Abbott Medical Optics unit, in the Healthcare column
Shares of Newport Beach chipmaker Mindspeed Technologies Inc. jumped Monday after the company surprised Wall Street and said it's set to turn a profit during the current quarter.
Johnny Rockets Group has selected incumbent Northten Inc. to continue its marketing duties, in the Media & Marketing column
Friday, July 24
Samsung Electronics Co. the biggest maker of memory chips and LCD screens, joined other top tech names to rein in growing optimism over the sector's recovery, even after delivering best quarterly profit in two years.
Shares of Newport Beach-based agricultural chemical specialist American Vanguard Corp. traded lower Friday after it warned of lower than expected earnings.
Auto sales are expected to decline 19% in July from a year ago, marking an improvement over declines of more than 30% in the first half of 2009, an influential industry tracking service said on Friday.
Shares of Foothill Ranch-based Kaiser Aluminum Corp. close lower Friday after an analyst downgraded her rating on the stock citing weak demand from aerospace companies and an oversupply of aluminum plate products on the market.
Shares of Irvine-based chipmaker Broadcom Corp. closed down 7% on Friday as some investors figured the recent run-up in the chipmaker's shares was overdone.
The tech sector's road to recovery just got a lot bumpier as Microsoft Corp.'s revenue shortfall in the recently ended quarter abruptly dampened hopes that demand for PCs was on the mend and sent a spate of tech stocks lower.
Thursday, July 23
Existing home sales notched their third monthly rise in June in a sign the housing industry was slowly healing, but new jobless claims rose last week in a move distorted by unusual seasonal layoffs.
Amazon.com will pay about $928 million for booming online shoe retailer Zappos.com, expanding aggressively into the apparel arena with a well-known name after trying unsuccessfully to go it alone.
Irvine's Microsemi Corp., a maker of chips for aerospace, the military and industrial uses, reported an outlook for the current quarter that meets Wall Street's expectations.
South Korea's anti-trust agency on Thursday imposed a $208 million fine on Qualcomm Inc. and ordered the wireless chip and technology company to stop discriminating against companies using competitor's products.
Irvine-based Resources Connection Inc., which provides accountants, lawyers and other consultants to companies on a project basis, announced an abrupt management change Thursday, a week after reporting disappointing quarterly results.
Wednesday, July 22
Anaheim-based mall retailer Pacific Sunwear of California Inc. warned Wednesday of a larger than expected loss and sales decline for its recently ended quarter.
Irvine-based Standard Pacific Corp. reported a narrowed second-quarter loss of $23.1 million on Wednesday, after seeing revenue fall 29% from a year earlier.
Several major banks, led by Wells Fargo & Co., said the troubled economy drove credit losses higher, reducing profitability in the second quarter.
Boeing Co. posted a 17% increase in quarterly profit, topping expectations, on growth in defense programs, but the global recession pressured operations, and the company did not say when its long-delayed 787 Dreamliner would fly.
Carlstadt, N.J.-based clothing distributor Empire Logistics and Warehousing Inc. has signed one of the largest industrial leases in Orange County in years.
Pfizer Inc. said on Wednesday its second-quarter earnings fell 19%, as the strong dollar crimped revenue across its product line.
Tuesday, July 21
Allergan Inc. and Spectrum Pharmaceuticals Inc., both of Irvine, said Tuesday the Food and Drug Administration would speed up its review of the companies' bladder cancer drug candidate.
Coca-Cola Co. reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit on Tuesday, aided by growth in emerging markets, but its shares fell as revenue was lighter than anticipated and investors looked for stocks with stronger growth potential.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and top lawmakers agreed on Monday to close a $26.3 billion deficit in the state's budget in a deal that includes $15.5 billion in spending cuts, they said.
UnitedHealth Group Inc. posted better-than-expected second-quarter profit on Tuesday, helped by growth in its plans for elderly and low-income Americans.
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke on Tuesday said the outlook for the long-suffering economy appears to be improving and the central bank was carefully reviewing ways to withdraw its massive monetary policy stimulus when conditions permit.
Shares of Aliso Viejo's QLogic Corp., a maker of electronics for data storage networks, slumped after the company reported results for the June quarter that saw profits fall by half.
Consumers will spend 8.5% to 12% less this year on back-to-school items than they did last year, as cash-strapped parents try to get children to wear last year's fashions, a retail industry monitor said on Tuesday.
Shares of Irvine-based heart valve maker Edwards Lifesciences Corp. fell Tuesday, a day after the company reported strong quarterly results but offered an outlook at the low-end of profit expectations and didn't up its forecast for sales of a new type of
Monday, July 20
If Las Vegas were built for kids, it might look something like the John's Incredible Pizza that opened in Buena Park last week, in the Marketplace column
One of the three of Irvine condominium towers built by Opus West has been put up for sale, in the Real Estate column
A look at the shakeup that occurred in the management consulting market this year
A big housing project planned near Disneyland Resort is off the books
Massive construction slated for Camp Pendleton is drawing eager interest from local contractors
Commercial mortgages at banks have been failing at the fastest rate in nearly 20 years, the Wall Street Journal said, citing its own analysis.
The Inland Empire is seeing consolidation in the office and industrial markets, in Real Estate Watch
ViewSonic is getting into the cutthroat computer business
'Last Great Estate' for Low-Key Developer; OC's Fed Crime Rise
Newport Beach-based chipmaker Conexant Systems Inc. said Monday it is seeking approval from the Securities and Exchange Commission to sell $20 million worth of its shares.
The drawing power of funnel cake and fried Twinkies is being put to the test this year at the Orange County fair
An industry executive thinks there are some encouraging signs for the tourism industry
Toshiba America Information Systems is doing its first branding campaign since 2000, in the Media & Marketing column
Ownership of Dana Point's St. Regis Monarch Beach Resort has turned over to New York-based lender Citigroup Inc., officials said on Monday.
A medical device trade group is hailing commitments won by the Obama administration to open Japan's medical technology market, in the Healthcare column
Women still are buying beauty products,they're just buying cheaper ones, in the Small Business column
Global sales of location-based services are set to more than double this year, in the Technology column
Irvine-based Spectrum Pharmaceutical Inc.'s shares closed up 6% Monday after the Food and Drug Administration accepted an application for a new use for its cancer drug Zevalin.
Irvine Co. could be looking to spur homebuilding on its land with a shift in strategy
A clothing distributor has signed the largest industrial lease in OC in years
What accounting firms are doing to stay competitive amid the recession
Chris Cox is returning to Orange County as a partner with the Costa Mesa office of Bingham McCutchen LLP
The housing market is showing signs of stabilization, according to inventory data released on Monday by national real estate brokerage ZipRealty.
Sunday, July 19
Zions Bancorporation's California Bank & Trust unit acquired the deposits of Vineyard Bank, one of four lenders seized Friday by regulators. The failures will cost the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. a total of $1.09 billion.
Friday, July 17
Masimo Corp., an Irvine medical device maker, said Friday it settled a lawsuit related to its blood monitoring technology with Respironics Inc., a unit of the Netherlands' Royal Philips Electronics NV.
Former Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Christopher Cox is joining the Costa Mesa office of Boston-based Bingham McCutchen LLP.
The county continued to lose jobs at a pace on par with the worst of the 1990s recession in June, with some subtle signs of tempering.
Thursday, July 16
The number of workers filing new claims for jobless benefits fell sharply last week to the lowest level since January, the government said on Thursday, but the data was distorted by an unusual pattern of automotive industry layoffs that amplified the drop
A former Boeing Co. employee and Orange resident was convicted Wednesday of providing China with trade secrets since the 1970s.
Home foreclosure activity galloped to a record in the first half of the year, overwhelming broad efforts to remedy failing loans while job losses escalated.
Santa Ana-based STEC Inc. said it struck an order for $120 million worth of a new type of data storage drive and projected yearly sales of the product at $220 million, sending its already soaring shares even higher.
The top cell phone maker Nokia OYJ cut its profitability and market share forecasts due to tough competition, sending its shares sharply lower on Thursday.
Wednesday, July 15
Irvine-based Resources Connection Inc., which provides accountants, lawyers and other consultants to companies on a project basis, kicked off the local earnings season with a bomb Wednesday.
Calpers, the biggest U.S. public pension fund, has filed a suit in a California state court in connection with $1 billion in losses that it says were caused by inaccurate credit ratings from the three leading ratings agencies, The New York Times reported.
Costa Mesa-based Creel Printing of California Inc. said Tuesday it's shutting down local operations and moving to Las Vegas.
Boeing Co. said Wednesday it plans to cut about 1,000 workers in two defense industry programs with operations in Orange County.
Newport Beach chipmaker Conexant Systems Inc. promoted two of its own as co-presidents under Chief Executive Scott Mercer.
Boeing Co. told employees it will have to cut around 1,000 jobs in its defense division because of Pentagon budget reductions, the Associated Press said, citing an internal memo from Jim Albaugh, the company's top defense executive.
Intel Corp's quarterly results and outlook blew past Wall Street forecasts on better-than-expected consumer demand for PCs, especially in Asia, setting an auspicious tone for the technology sector.
Tuesday, July 14
Shares of Anaheim-based circuit board maker Multi-Fineline Electronix Inc. closed down about 2% after an analyst cut his rating on the stock following a big run-up.
Johnson & Johnson's second-quarter earnings fell almost 5%, but profit and revenue beat analyst forecasts helped by surprisingly resilient pharmaceutical and consumer product sales.
Goldman Sachs Group Inc reported a 33% rise in quarterly earnings Tuesday on strong trading results, continuing an extraordinary rebound from the near meltdown of the financial sector last fall.
Irvine-based Arch Bay Capital LLC, an acquirer of troubled mortgages, has bought $600 million in subprime loans from Wells Fargo & Co.
Telmar Network Technology Inc., which provides networking services and sells new and used telecommunications gear, said Tuesday it has moved its headquarters from Irvine to Plano, Texas.
Confessed swindler Bernard Madoff was in a medium security prison in Atlanta after being moved from his New York jail cell, U.S. official prisons bureau records showed on Tuesday.
Monday, July 13
The mid-counties industrial market is attracting tenants looking for a good location and lease deal, in Real Estate Watch
Clean Energy is looking to grow with nearly $74 million raised from a stock offering
Arte's New Home; Ackerman Flips, Says Time for Convention
The county's largest tenant improvement contractors saw their first decline in combined revenue since the Business Journal began tracking their numbers
Rancho Santa Margarita-based John's Incredible Pizza Co. opened its first Orange County pizza buffet and arcade Monday at Buena Park Downtown mall.
Apria is consolidating several of its billing and collection offices and moving workers to Kansas
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim owner Arte Moreno has paid $12 .1 million for a home in Corona del Mar.
Shea Properties landed a big tenant for a large Ontario industrial park, in the Real Estate column
St. Joseph Health System, an Orange-based Catholic hospital operator with three local facilities, said Monday it is cutting 159 local jobs.
Edwards has trekked a path along the shore of Lake Geneva to move its European regional headquarters, in the Healthcare column
Microsoft Corp. will release a free version of its dominant Office software that users can access over the Web, catching up with products that arch rival Google Inc launched three years ago.
Four local companies have sold $2.3 billion worth of bonds in recent months
A Minnesota company has bought what's left of a once-promising OC medical implant maker
A look at how summer is treating Anaheim GardenWalk, which opened in the dead of the recession
Why the county's smaller makers of video games are playing it safe
Landlords and tenants are approaching leasing concessions such as tenant improvements
Shares of Santa Ana's STEC Inc., which makes flash memory drives for corporate and industrial uses, jumped Monday after the company announced a $28 million government contract.
El Pollo Loco is doing less cable TV advertising, in the Media & Marketing column
A local executive thinks personal electronic medical records are no panacea, in Viewpoint
Conexant is coming out with a new line of chips, in the Technology column
A federal court judge in Miami approved a delay in a high-profile trial on Monday in which U.S. tax authorities hoped to force UBS AG to reveal the identities of thousands of Americans suspected of using the Swiss bank to evade taxes.
CIT Group Inc., which provides financing to many small and midsize businesses, said it remains in talks with regulators to find ways to improve liquidity, after losses resulted in a capital crunch.
Friday, July 10
Investors reacted differently Friday to analyst upgrades of two local rivals, Aliso Viejo's QLogic Corp. and Costa Mesa's Emulex Corp., both makers of electronics for data storage networks.
A new General Motors emerged from bankruptcy protection on Friday, far more quickly than most industry-watchers had expected, as a leaner automaker pledging to win back American consumers and pay back taxpayers.
American International Group is preparing to pay next week millions of dollars more in bonuses to dozens of corporate executives, a source familiar with the development said.
Orange County's office market took another tumble in the second quarter with rents declining as businesses continued to shed space at an alarming rate.
A San Juan Capistrano-based development built for small office users in 2006 has fallen into bankruptcy, according to court records.
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner on Friday proposed clamping down on dealers in freewheeling markets for little-understood derivatives that helped create a crisis in U.S. and world financial markets.
Thursday, July 9
ICU Medical Inc., a San Clemente-based medical device maker, said Thursday that it is buying a critical care product line for $35 million from its primary customer, Hospira Inc.
More than two months of takeover drama appears to have come to an end Thursday morning as Emulex Corp. rejected an upped $912 million takeover bid from Broadcom Corp., and the Irvine chipmaker said it's walking away.
It looks like the path is now clear for General Motors to exit bankruptcy protection as a new government-controlled company.
Foothill Ranch-based mall retailer Wet Seal Inc. on Thursday reported an 11% drop in June sales at stores open at least a year, a decline that was worse than analysts were expecting.
Citigroup Inc. on Thursday announced its biggest management shake-up since the financial crisis began, replacing its chief financial officer and installing a new banking chief as it prepares to give the government a 34% equity stake.
June sales fell for most retailers as the plunging job market and cool, rainy weather dampened interest in summer shopping for consumers, triggering concern about the back-to-school season.
Wednesday, July 8
Cypress-based Real Mex Restaurants Inc., which runs El Torito and other Mexican chains, said it completed a $130 million bond sale Wednesday.
US Airways Group Inc. has no plans for further downsizing, despite capacity cuts by rivals and falling travel demand in the United States, the airline's chief executive said on Wednesday.
Swiss bank UBS may be able to pay up to $5.5 billion to end a damaging tax dispute without needing an immediate cash injection thanks to a recent capital increase and proceeds from asset sales.
Shares of Santa Ana-based MSC.Software Corp. soared after the maker of simulation software for manufacturers, aerospace and defense contractors said it was being acquired by Palo Alto-based private equity firm Symphony Technology Group LLC for about $360
Family Dollar Stores Inc. reported a 36% jump in quarterly profit, topping market estimates, and its shares rose 10%, as more shoppers scoured its aisles for low prices on food, shampoo and household cleaners.
Irvine-based Pegasus Biologics Inc., a maker of tissue implants used in surgeries and wound care, is being bought for $12.1 million by Synovis Life Technologies Inc. of St. Paul, Minn.
Monday, July 6
Summary of the list of the county's largest restaurant chains
The Orange County Register plans to debut a redesigned Web site later this summer, in the Media & Marketing column
Tustin's Sunwest Bank gets a little fatter after taking over the assets of failed MetroPacific Bank
Job shifts and cuts are playing out at two OC medical device makers
A local provider of electronic medical records is going after the most expensive part of healthcare
A Laguna Hills business park has traded hands in the highest-priced industrial sale OC's seen recently
A trendy juice maker is looking to grow with some private equity funding, in the Small Business column
Ista Pharmaceuticals is getting closer to rolling out an eye allergy drug, in the Healthcare column
Turner Development is eyeing distressed properties and loans for its latest venture, in the Real Estate column
A look at the Cal State Fullerton business sentiment survey
The maker of O'Neill has made a big investment in a new Irvine headquarters
A look at the ins and outs of Fashion Island's makeover, in the Marketplace column
The West County industrial market is relatively healthy, in Real Estate Watch
QLogic has been staffing up its sales operation in the past few months, in the Technology column
ifi's choice for the restaurant of the year - Break of Dawn
Saturday, July 4
Tustin's Sunwest Bank is a little bigger after taking over failed MetroPacific Bank in Irvine.
Thursday, July 2
Fountain Valley-based Hyundai Motor America and sister company Kia Motors America Inc. of Irvine fared better than most automakers again in June as sales fell at a slower pace than in May.
Exelon Corp. raised its hostile takeover bid for independent power producer NRG Energy Inc. by more than 12% to $7.45 billion on Thursday but failed to excite investors.
Johnson & Johnson has agreed to pay $1 billion for an 18.4% stake in Irish drugmaker Elan Corp, and will acquire most of the rights to Elan's portfolio of experimental drugs to treat Alzheimer's disease.
Employers cut far more jobs than expected last month and the unemployment rate hit a nearly 26-year high of 9.5%, underscoring the likelihood of a long and slow recovery from recession.
Clothing maker La Jolla Group Inc. has made a big investment in a new Irvine headquarters.
Wednesday, July 1
UBS can still settle a damaging tax case even though Washington is pushing ahead with a lawsuit to force the Swiss bank giant to identify offshore clients, the Swiss Finance Minister said.
Shares of Irvine's Spectrum Pharmaceuticals Inc. slumped Wednesday after the drug maker said it was planning to raise $21 million in a stock sale.
Phoenix-based Opus West Corp., one of Orange County's largest commercial developers the past decade, confirmed on Wednesday that the company would soon be filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
Is $1.2 billion Emulex Corp.'s magic number? Some analysts think the Costa Mesa maker of electronics for data networks won't even consider an offer from Irvine's Broadcom Corp. that's lower than that.
California's lawmakers failed to agree on a balanced budget by the start of its new fiscal year on Wednesday morning, clearing the way to suspend payments owed to the state's vendors and local agencies, who instead will get "IOU" notes promising payment.
Mortgage applications plunged to a seven-month low last week as demand for home refinancing loans tumbled 30%, data from an industry group showed on Wednesday.