Stories for October 2009

Monday, October 26

Land of Less

Downturn Takes Toll on Immigrants; Some Return Home

The county’s illegal immigrant workforce is believed to be among the hardest hit in the recession

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William Lyon Homes Gets $206M Loan

Newport Beach-based homebuilder William Lyon Homes Inc. is getting a $206 million loan

San Juan Capistrano Retailer Sees Sales Up for Toy Giraffes

OluKai Shoes Backed by Industry Veterans; Innovate Media Getting Paid per Web View

A San Juan Capistrano distributor plans to sell 500,000 units of a popular children’s toy, in the Small Business column by Dan Beighley

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NEWS OF THE WEEK

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

GE Aviation Shifts Focus of former Smiths’ Aerospace Unit

MANUFACTURING: Contractor looks to unmanned planes for work

The aviation arm of GE is looking to its Santa Ana operation to go after a new wave of government military contracts

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Mayors Trash Talk On Angels-Yankees; Carly’s Big Date

OC Insider column by Rick Reiff

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Developer Bacchus Charts Out Ambitious Sales, Recovery Plan

REAL ESTATE: Lender set to contest plan; “no realizable equity” in offices

Bankrupt Bacchus Development is looking to sell out its projects by the end of 2010,

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On Deposit

CapitalSource Picks Up Fremont Pieces, Uses Deposits, Branches for Business Loans

A casualty of the subprime mortgage meltdown has proven to be a lifeline for CapitalSource

Microsemi’s Peterson Reflects on ‘Darkest Hour’ of Past Year

TECHNOLOGY: Exec survived Diplomagate, federal challenge

Microsemi Chief Executive Jim Peterson weathered a humbling year

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Big Easing Seen in Health Costs

EMPLOYERS: Sluggish economy drives more competitive market

What businesses should expect for their health insurance rates

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Investors Look for Signs of Stability at Ceradyne

MANUFACTURING: Q3 results expected to best Q2, stay profitable

Investors are looking for signs of stability from Ceradyne when it reports third-quarter results this week

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William Lyon Alums Launch Homebuilder

REAL ESTATE: Company among those building for Irvine Company

A trio of former William Lyon executives has started a new homebuilder

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Kingston Drive’s as Much Strategic as for Sales

TECHNOLOGY: Adoption is aim of new drive’s price, niche use

Kingston is hoping to drive consumer adoption of solid state drives

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UC Irvine Joins Network for Massive Breast Cancer Study

HEALTHCARE: Funded by grants; looks to cut long-run screening costs

Irvine’s Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center and four other UC schools have joined forces to screen 150,000 California women for breast cancer and then track them for decades.

County MBA Enrollment Increases with Online Gain

EDUCATION: Growth eclipses SoCal; attracts satellite campuses

Enrollment in Orange County business programs is up 12% from a year earlier to 6,752 students,

Recession Bump

For-Profit Colleges Ramp Up Advertising to Maintain Growth Driven by Economic Downturn

The recession has proven a boon for for-profit colleges, driving up enrollment and share prices on Wall Street.

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State of the State

Gov. Schwarzenegger upheld his tradition of rejecting “job killer” bills by vetoing six bills recently, in State of the State by Howard Fine

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Owner of 3 MacArthur On the Prowl for Investments

Brea Distributor of Cabinet Hardware Renews Lease; Sares-Regis Buys Redlands Property

The owner of 3 MacArthur is on the prowl for investments, in the Real Estate column by Mark Mueller

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REAL ESTATE WATCH: GREATER LOS ANGELES

Los Angeles Office Market Steeped in Concessions, Industrial Starting to Recover

The Greater Los Angeles office market is steeped in concessions, while the industrial market is starting to recover, in Real Estate Watch

Lantronix Looks to Cut Shares, Boost Price for Nasdaq

Jazz, Microsemi Sign Government Chip Contracts; Ready at Dawn to Sell Game Development

Lantronix is set to appeal its delisting from the Nasdaq exchange, in the Technology column by Sarah Tolkoff

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Mazda Ups Online Spending As TV Spots Spur Visitors

Auto Club Starts Push for Services Beyond Towing; RiechesBaird Blog Draws Guests, Leads

Irvine’s Mazda North America Operations is stepping up its online marketing, in the Media & Marketing column

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Chevron Tweaks Station Stores with Hispanics in Mind

Fashion Island Openings; Traditional Jewelers’ Heir Apparent; Emmo Home at South Coast Plaza

Chevron is mixing up the food at its gas station convenience stores with an eye toward Hispanics, in the Marketplace column by Sherri Cruz

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Octane Medical Device Forum Looks at Deals, Funding

Drug Maker Peregrine Forms Research Group; Hospital Adopts Patient Simulation Training

Octane is gearing up for its annual medical device and investor forum next month in Irvine, in the Healthcare column by Vita Reed

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PEOPLE

Hirings, promotions and other moves at local businesses

KUDOS

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

Picking Up Speed

Annual Auto Show Scales Back But Attendance Sees Boost

The Orange County Auto Show in Anaheim was a scaled down affair from years past. But, attendance was up 4.5% from last year.

Monday, October 19

CT Realty Taps Execs To Lead Acquisitions

REAL ESTATE: Investor eyeing commercial buys, distressed loans

CT Realty is bolstering its management to handle fundraising and acquisitions

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Broadcom Braces for Trial Fallout in Case of ex-CFO

Broadcom's trying to distance itself from the federal trial of its former finance chief

Anaheim Stucco Maker Looks to Grow after Cuts

An Anaheim stucco maker is recovering from cuts and is looking to grow

Pringle's Tax Panel Faces Long Odds; Meg Skips Debate

Pringle's Tax Panel Faces Long Odds; Meg Skips Debate

Financier's Fall Puts Hospital Operator Stake in Play

Nearly half of Santa Ana hospital operator Integrated Healthcare Holdings soon could be up for auction

CT Realty Taps Execs To Lead Acquisitions

CT Realty is bolstering its management to handle fundraising and acquisitions

Device Makers Battle $4B Reform Tax Plan

HEALTHCARE: Executives, trade groups lobby Washington to kill fee

Device makers are rallying against a proposed tax

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Broadcom Braces for Trial Fallout in Case of ex-CFO

Broadcom’s trying to distance itself from the federal trial of its former finance chief

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Pringle’s Tax Panel Faces Long Odds; Meg Skips Debate

OC Insider Column by Rick Reiff

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Financier’s Fall Puts Hospital Operator Stake in Play

HEALTHCARE: 40% stake in Integrated could be up for auction

Nearly half of Santa Ana hospital operator Integrated Healthcare Holdings soon could be up for auction

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Anaheim Stucco Maker Looks to Grow after Cuts

MANUFACTURING: Sales, jobs down; eyes new products, buys

An Anaheim stucco maker is recovering from cuts and is looking to grow

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Auction Block

Master Development Pushing Santa Ana Industrial Condominiums in November Auction

Master Development is pushing Santa Ana industrial condominiums in an auction

Defusing Debt

Debtmerica Grows by Settling Credit Card, Other Debts

Fast-Growing Private Cos. No. 3 - Debtmerica LLC

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Growth Case

Incipio Expands by Selling iPhone, Other Accessories

Fast-Growing Private Cos. No. 10 - Incipio Technologies

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Commercials, Retailers Spur 290% Revenue Surge at Monkey Hook

RETAIL: Quirky ads, early Ace Hardware boost drew other stores

Fast-Growing Private Cos. No. 9 - Monkey Hook LLC

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Optical Chipmaker Cosemi Surges, Eyes More Growth Ahead

TECHNOLOGY: Betting on push to spread optical to more uses

Fast-Growing Private Cos. No. 8 - Cosemi Technologies Inc.

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Loan Survivor

Stearns Lending Dodged Crash, Grows by Picking Up Pieces

Fast-Growing Private Cos. No. 7 - Stearns Lending Inc.

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Bargain Hunters Spur Surplus, Refurbished Electronics Seller

TECHNOLOGY: Recession eases refurbished “stigma” for Point One

Fast-Growing Private Cos. No. 6 - Point One Technologies Inc.

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Growth App

Wireless Software Maker Sees Big Growth; Profits Since 2008

Fast-Growing Private Cos. No. 5 - Networks in Motion Inc.

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Solid Start

Client Prompted Most to Go Out on His Own; Expansion Has Brought Eye-Catching Growth

Fast-Growing Private Cos. No. 4 - Most Brand Development + Advertising

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Home Sweet Growth

Stone Equity Switches Gears, Rides Foreclosure Boom

Fast-Growing Private Cos. No. 2 - Stone Equity Group LLC

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Little Niche, Big Growth

Pacific Pharmacy Buys Up Independents; Nearly 7,000% Growth Since 2007

Fast-Growing Private Cos. No. 1 - Pacific Pharmacy Group

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Fast-Growing Privates: $20B in Sales, Two-Year Growth of 34%

Orange County’s top fast-growing private companies saw sales rise 34% in the past two years to $19.7 billion, according to this week’s Business Journal list.

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Freeway Series Stimulus

VIEWPOINT

A freeway World Series would be a boon to local businesses, in a Viewpoint

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REAL ESTATE WATCH: Inland Empire

Inland Empire Recovery Expected To Be Slow

The Inland Empire’s recovery is expected to be slow, in Real Estate Watch

REAL ESTATE DEALS

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

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Emmes Group Looks To Lease Michelson, Buy Offices

Ensign Group Expands Mission Viejo HQ Lease; Former Lennar Execs to Start Buying Land

Emmes Group is looking to lease The Michelson and buy more local office space, in the Real Estate column by Mark Mueller

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Local Software Maker Tracking Swine Flu Vaccinations

Vehicle Maker T3 Lands Deal With Target; True Games Interactive Opens Studio in Austin

A Lake Forest software maker is tracking swine flu vaccines, in the Technology column by Sarah Tolkoff

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Taco Bell Backing Bands To Reach Young Rock Fans

Construction Document Printer Makes San Diego Buy; Truth Wins Marketing for OC Parks

Taco Bell is reaching out to youth by backing and feeding bands, in the Media & Marketing column by Michael Volpe

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Incoming Biotechs Need To Spawn Others To Spur Hub

Sun Healthcare Settles Kickback Suit for Units; Avanir Sees Stock Bounce on Drug Extension

An industry watcher thinks incoming biotech companies need to spawn offshoots to create a hub, in the Healthcare column by Vita Reed

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PEOPLE

Hirings, promotions and other moves at local businesses

GIVING

Fundraisers and charitable donations from companies and people

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AROUND THE COUNTY

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

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NEWS OF THE WEEK

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

After School

O’Hares Stay Active in Laguna; Met in Law Office Romance

Bill and Theresa O’Hare still are active in Laguna Beach schools after their kids have moved on

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Platinum Triangle: Apartment Town

REAL ESTATE: Five-year mark sees rentals rule, big vision on hold

Anaheim’s Platinum Triangle is awash in apartments, but the big vision of five years ago is on hold

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Friday, October 16

Fast-Growing Private Cos. Honored

The top 10 companies on the Business Journal's 2009 list of 100 fast-growing private companies were honored for their eye-catching, two-year growth Thursday at an awards ceremony in Irvine.

BofA Swings to $1B Loss

Bank of America Corp. posted a $1 billion third-quarter loss as consumer credit woes eclipsed investment banking earnings, underlining why the bank remains on a government respirator and sending its shares down 4.2 percent.

Job Losses Continued in Sept. But Down From Recession Highs

Orange County's job losses continue to improve from their lows of the recession with 55,800 jobs lost in September from a year earlier.

Report: Construction to See 11% Rise in 2010

The construction industry should see modest gains in 2010, with the building of single-family houses, apartment buildings, highways and bridges on the rise, offsetting drops in commercial and manufacturing property, the Wall Street Journal said, citing an

Sunstone Ups Share Offering to $144M

San Clemente-based Sunstone Hotel Investors Inc. upped the amount of shares it plans to sell in an offering and priced them Friday to raise $144 million before fees.

Weak Sales Drag GE Shares

General Electric Co. posted revenue that missed Wall Street's expectations on Friday, overshadowing better-than-expected earnings and sending its shares down 5 percent.

Thursday, October 15

Southwest Posts Net Loss on Buyouts, Hedging

Southwest Airlines posted a third-quarter net loss on Thursday on charges for its employee buyout program and fuel hedging portfolio, and said it expected cost pressures to persist in the fourth quarter.

Citigroup Takes $8B in Credit Losses

Citigroup Inc. posted a quarterly per-share loss as it suffered $8 billion of credit losses, raising questions about when the bank can return to sustained profitability.

Western Digital Slumps on Downgrade

Shares of Lake Forest's Western Digital Corp., a maker of disk drives for computers and consumer electronics, slumped Thursday after an analyst downgraded the stock.

Clean Energy Building Ontario Airport Station

Seal Beach-based Clean Energy Fuels Corp., which runs natural gas fueling stations for fleets of taxis, buses and other vehicles, plans to build a station at LA-Ontario International Airport, the company said Thursday.

Goldman Profit Quadruples on Trading Gains

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. quarterly earnings nearly quadrupled, topping expectations, but its shares fell on disappointment that so much of the profit came from trading gains that might not be sustainable.

Wednesday, October 14

Intel Shares Up on Strong Results, Outlook

Shares of Intel Corp. rose 4 percent on Wednesday after analysts raised their price targets for the stock following a quarterly earnings report and revenue forecast that blew past expectations, giving investors hope of a tech sector recovery.

JPMorgan Shares Jump on Profit Surge

JPMorgan Chase & Co. quarterly profit rocketed to forecast-beating $3.6 billion as bond trading revenue surged, boosting optimism about a strengthening rebound in top Wall Street banks.

Abbott Profit Up on Humira Demand, Special Gain

Abbott Laboratories Inc. said its third-quarter profit rose 37 percent on strong demand for its Humira arthritis drug and nutritional products, as well as gains from a settlement with Medtronic Inc.

Lantronix Gets Nasdaq Delisting Notice

Irvine's Lantronix Inc., a maker of networking gear for industrial uses, on Wednesday received a delisting notice from the Nasdaq exchange after it failed to boost its stock above $1 per share.

JPMorgan Shares Jump on Profit Surge

JPMorgan Chase & Co. quarterly profit rocketed to forecast-beating $3.6 billion as bond trading revenue surged, boosting optimism about a strengthening rebound in top Wall Street banks.

Abbott Profit Up on Humira Demand, Special Gain

Abbott Laboratories Inc. said its third-quarter profit rose 37 percent on strong demand for its Humira arthritis drug and nutritional products, as well as gains from a settlement with Medtronic Inc.

Costa Mesa Banks Raising Funds Through Stock Sales

Costa Mesa-based bank operators Pacific Mercantile Bancorp and Pacific Premier Bancorp Inc. have announced plans to raise money through stock sales.

Intel Shares Up on Strong Results, Outlook

Shares of Intel Corp. rose 4 percent on Wednesday after analysts raised their price targets for the stock following a quarterly earnings report and revenue forecast that blew past expectations, giving investors hope of a tech sector recovery.

MSC.Software's Private Equity Parent Names New Executives

The new private equity parent of Santa Ana's MSC.Software Corp., said Wednesday it installed executives at the maker of simulation software for aerospace, military and industrial uses.

Construction Company Primoris Buys Texas Contractor

Lake Forest-based construction and engineering company Primoris Services Corp. said Wednesday it acquired a Texas contractor that specializes in water, utility and other projects.

Tuesday, October 13

Cisco to Acquire Starent Networks for $2.9B

Cisco Systems Inc. said it would buy wireless networking gear maker Starent Networks for $2.9 billion as it sees strong growth in demand for high-speed wireless service.

J & J; Profit Beats Estimates, Sales Fall Short

Johnson & Johnson posted weaker-than-expected quarterly revenue on Tuesday as sales of prescription drugs and cardiac stents disappointed, sending its shares down more than 2 percent.

Tentative Deal to Sell MedCap's Interest in Hospital Operator

A court-appointed receiver says he has a tentative deal to sell a healthcare financier's $55 million interest in Santa Ana-based hospital operator Integrated Healthcare Holdings Inc., according to court records.

Home Prices See Yearly Gain

Orange County's median home price last month saw its first yearly increase since August 2007.

STEC Shares Continue Pullback on Competition Worries

The highflying shares of Santa Ana-based STEC Inc. continued their month-long pullback on Tuesday.

Analyst: Pacific Sunwear CEO's Strategy Taking Hold

Shares of Pacific Sunwear of California Inc. jumped early Tuesday after an analyst said the company's turnaround strategy is showing signs of taking hold and the mall retailer could beat conservative expectations for the current quarter.

Source: Capmark Financial Bankruptcy Due Soon

Capmark Financial Group Inc., the commercial real estate company created through a 2006 leveraged buyout of certain GMAC assets, is preparing to file for bankruptcy possibly by the end of next week, according to a source with direct knowledge of the situa

Monday, October 12

Gates, Other Buffett Pals Party (Quietly); Baugh and Brown

OC Insider Column by Rick Reiff

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SunCal Projects at Stake in Court Hearing

REAL ESTATE: Lehman pursues rival plan in bankruptcy Court

A hearing this week could go a long way toward resolving issues surrounding 20 SunCal developments

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After Clunkers

Dealers Look To Own Incentives, Auto Show

A look at what dealers are doing in a post-Cash-for-Clunkers, post-auto-collapse world

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Banks Target New Hires with Established Business

FINANCE: Younger bankers vie for few jobs; buying failed banks

At a time when personal wealth has been dented and faith in financial institutions shaken, banks have two viable options for growth: buy other banks or hire bankers with a stockpile of clients.

Declaration of Independence

Financial Advisers Leaving, Laid Off from Wall Street Firms Joining Independent Companies

Many financial advisers are leaving the madness of Wall Street firms to set out on their own.

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KUDOS

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

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REAL ESTATE DEALS

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

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REAL ESTATE WATCH: THE MID-COUNTIES MARKET

Economy Takes Toll on Mid-Counties Industrial Market

The economy is taking its toll on the Mid-Counties industrial market, in Real Estate Watch

Anaheim Importer, Big Real Estate Investor, Hit Snag

Bay Area Engineering Consultant Renews Santa Ana Lease; Buena Park’s $7M Industrial Buy

An Anaheim importer of lawn, garden and other household products has made a lot of news with its real estate recently, in the Real Estate column by Mark Mueller

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T-Shirt Co. Plans To Hire 200 Employees

APPAREL: Hybrid picking up pieces of Quiksilver, nZania

Hybrid Apparel is relocating a Tustin warehouse

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Dealers Look to Keep Buzz Going at Annual Auto Show

Former Quiksilver Exec, OC Native Jason Bleick Opens Exclusive Boutique at Fashion Island

Dealers are looking to keep the buzz going at the annual OC Auto Show, in the Marketplace column by Sherri Cruz

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Ponzi Penalty

Financial Advisers Facing More Scrutiny, Lower Investments, Higher Regulatory Fees

Reeling from a lack of new investments and headline-grabbing scandals, local fund managers say things never have been tougher for their industry.

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German Co. Buys Smart Card Cos., Keeps Operations

Local.com’s Stock Runs Up on Growth, Rumors; Tech Evolution Awards Inaugural Event

The parent company of Hirsch Electronics is continuing its roll-up strategy, in the Technology column by Sarah Tolkoff

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Top Financial Advisers See Big Changes Amid Recession

Jobs Shrink 11% Amid Consolidation, Closures

Some dramatic changes played out on the list of the county’s largest financial advisers.

Buyer Beware

Banks Looking to Acquire Deposits from Failed Institutions Have Their Work Cut Out for Them

There’s a lot of work in store for those who are acquiring failed banks

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Irvine Co. Pushes Apartments on TV, Web, Store Fronts

Coast Does Print Redesign, Expands Web Site; Campy Rock Opera from “Got Milk” Board

Irvine Co. is stepping up advertising for its apartment division, in the Media & Marketing column by Michael Volpe

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Clean Energy Surges on Profit Prospects, Plans for Stations

FUEL: Cheap natural gas prices lift T. Boone Pickens company

Expansion and the prospect of profitability appear to be driving Clean Energy Fuels on Wall Street

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Nationwide Health Undecided About Reform Effects

UCI Participating in Decades-Long Breast Cancer Study, Brain Study Profiled in Mental Floss

An official at Nationwide Health Properties is on the fence about the effects of healthcare reform, in the Healthcare column by Vita Reed

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Restaurants See More Closures, Management Swaps

Balboa Bay Club Makes Oktoberfest a Cultural Joy; Hilton, Hush Show Off Renovations

The latest on OC’s dining scene, in the Executive Dining column by Fifi Chao

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Cheap Building Costs Pushing Expansion at Lazy Dog Cafe

Alice Supply Co. Launches Cool Home Tools; Accounting Co. Targets Dentists, Manufacturers

Lazy Dog Cafe is taking advantage of some of the cheapest building costs in years to open new restaurants, in the Small Business column

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PEOPLE

Hirings, promotions and other moves at local businesses

Eyeing the Prize

UC Irvine Hits Midpoint for Eye Institute Fundraising, Shoots for 2010 Groundbreaking

UCI is halfway through a fundraising goal to build an eye treatment and research institute

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NEWS OF THE WEEK

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

Habit Burger Chain Relocates, Eyes Push

RESTAURANTS: Former Mimi’s exec at helm; Santa Ana opening

A Santa Barbara burger chain is OC’s newest restaurant company

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Brokers Predict Office Market Closer to Bottom

REAL ESTATE: Third quarter saw rising vacancy, falling rents

OC’s office market probably hasn’t hit rock bottom yet, but industry officials think that day could be getting closer

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Analysts: Chipmakers To Beat Quarterly Expectations

TECHNOLOGY: Low inventory, pickup in ordering are good signs

Some on Wall Street say the second quarter will prove to be a good one for OC’s chipmakers

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REAL ESTATE DEALS

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

Cheap Building Costs Pushing Expansion at Lazy Dog Cafe

Lazy Dog Cafe is taking advantage of some of the cheapest building costs in years to open new restaurants, in the Small Business column

Disneyland President Named

A Walt Disney Co. veteran who was on hand for the opening of Disney's California Adventure is returning to run the company's Anaheim operations.

OCBJ SUPPLEMENTS and GUIDES

Healthcare Guide, Fall 2009

After Bidding War, MSC.Software Deal Set to Close Tuesday

The long-running bidding war for Santa Ana's MSC.Software Corp., a maker of simulation software for aerospace, military and industrial uses, is set to end on Tuesday with a whimper.

REVIEW

"Spamalot" is a lot of fun

Source: Blackstone Plans Portfolio IPOs

Private equity firm Blackstone Group is planning to list up to eight of its portfolio companies, according to a source who received a letter the firm sent to investors on Friday.

Dealers Look to Keep Buzz Going at Annual Auto Show

Dealers are looking to keep the buzz going at the annual OC Auto Show, in the Marketplace column

Declaration of Independence

Many financial advisers are leaving the madness of Wall Street firms to set out on their own.

Irvine Co. Pushes Apartments on TV, Web, Store Fronts

Irvine Co. is stepping up advertising for its apartment division, in the Media & Marketing column

Banks Target New Hires with Established Business

Younger bankers vie for few jobs; buying failed banks

SunCal Projects at Stake in Court Hearing

A hearing this week could go a long way toward resolving issues surrounding 20 SunCal developments

Analysts: Chipmakers To Beat Quarterly Expectations

Some on Wall Street say the second quarter will prove to be a good one for OC's chipmakers

MARKET WATCH

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

Gates, Other Buffett Pals Party (Quietly); Baugh and Brown

Gates, Other Buffett Pals Party (Quietly); Baugh and Brown

Clean Energy Surges on Profit Prospects, Plans for Stations

Expansion and the prospect of profitability appear to be driving Clean Energy Fuels on Wall Street

Top Financial Advisers See Big Changes Amid Recession

Some dramatic changes played out on the list of the county's largest financial advisers.

Brokers Predict Office Market Closer to Bottom

OC's office market probably hasn't hit rock bottom yet, but industry officials think that day could be getting closer

Housing Risks Still Lurk Even as Buyers Return

On the surface, a glimmer of confidence is returning to the battered housing market but investors and homeowners in California are bracing for another fall as emergency government support measures fall short or expire.

Eyeing the Prize

UCI is halfway through a fundraising goal to build an eye treatment and research institute

REAL ESTATE WATCH: THE MID-COUNTIES MARKET

The economy is taking its toll on the Mid-Counties industrial market, in Real Estate Watch

CALENDAR

A listing of events happening all around Orange County. Oct. 12-21, 2009

Survey: Worst of the Recession Over

The worst recession since the Great Depression has ended, but weak household spending as the labor market struggles to create jobs will slow the pace of the economy's recovery, according to a survey released on Monday.

Friday, October 9

Bernanke Sees Tighter Policies as Economy Heals

The Federal Reserve must continue to prop up the economy for an extended period but can't do so indefinitely for fear of triggering an inflationary surge, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke warned on Thursday.

Chevron Production Rises, Downstream Flat

Chevron Corp. said higher oil prices would lead to significantly better profits from exploration and production in the third quarter than the previous one.

SEC Eyes Inspection Review

The Securities and Exchange Commission has released a draft five-year strategic plan which includes an overhaul of the way it inspects investment advisors in the wake of the Bernard Madoff Ponzi scheme scandal.

FDA Declines Spectrum Request, Shares Fall

Shares of Irvine drug maker Spectrum Pharmaceuticals Inc. fell sharply Friday after a regulatory setback.

Kimberly-Clark Acquiring Device Maker I-Flow

Lake Forest-based I-Flow Corp., maker of a device to treat pain after surgery, is being bought by Kimberly-Clark Corp. as the diaper and Kleenex maker looks to boost its healthcare business.

Device Maker Endologix Sued by Rival

Endologix Inc., an Irvine medical device maker, is being sued by a rival for patent infringement.

Thursday, October 8

Edwards Building Plant in Utah

Edwards Lifesciences Corp., an Irvine heart valve maker, said Thursday that it will develop a new plant in Utah.

Alcoa Stock Up After Surprise Profit

Alcoa Inc. shares rose more than 4 percent on Thursday after the aluminum producer reported its first profit in a year in what Wall Street viewed as a bellwether of how industrial companies are recovering from the recession.

Wet Seal Sees Smaller Than Expected Sales Decline

Foothill Ranch-based mall retailer Wet Seal Inc. reported a smaller than expected decline in September sales at stores opened at least a year and reaffirmed its quarterly profit outlook on Thursday.

Marriott Sees Pricing Pressures Persisting in 2010

Marriott International posted a lower quarterly profit on Thursday and said pricing pressures would continue to erode margins next year, sending its shares down as much as 5.9 percent.

Morgan Stanley Back in Black, but Goldman Dominates

Morgan Stanley likely broke a string of three straight losses in the third quarter, while chief rival Goldman Sachs Group Inc. extended its dominance.

First American Ups Bid for Rest of First Advantage

Santa Ana-based First American Corp. said on Thursday it increased its offer to buy the remaining 20% of Poway-based First Advantage Corp. it doesn't already own for about $220 million.

HMO Stocks Drop After Reform Bill Budget Analysis

Shares of health insurers slumped on Thursday as analysts said a report issued on a key Senate healthcare reform bill should give the legislation a boost.

Broadcom Slumps on Analyst Downgrade

Shares of Irvine-based chipmaker Broadcom Corp. fell Thursday after an analyst lowered his rating on the stock on concerns about slumping demand for set-top TV boxes.

Wednesday, October 7

Costco and Family Dollar Beat Expectations

Family Dollar Stores Inc. and Costco Wholesale Corp. both reported better-than-expected quarterly profits on Wednesday and said sales improved in September from preceding months, boosting investor confidence in the discount retail sector.

Wet Seal Downgraded

Foothill Ranch-based mall retailer Wet Seal Inc. may have more work cut out for it in its turnaround efforts, an analyst said Wednesday.

Mortgage Applications Surge to 4-Month High

Mortgage applications surged last week to their highest since mid-May as consumers sought to take advantage of the lowest interest rates in months, data from an industry group showed on Wednesday.

Lehman Plan Ok'd; Impact Unclear for SunCal

A bankruptcy judge in New York has given the go-ahead for Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. to spend money on a reorganization plan that has entangled several projects with Irvine-based SunCal Cos.

Nursing Home Company Ensign Buys Properties in Texas, Utah

Ensign Group Inc., a Mission Viejo-based nursing home company, said Wednesday that it has bought a nursing home campus and a separate hospice in Texas and three nursing homes in Utah.

Report: Fannie, Freddie Plan to Aid Mortgage Banks

Government-controlled mortgage finance companies Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae are working on a program to help independent mortgage banks get access to short-term credit needed to make home loans, the Wall Street Journal said, citing people familiar with th

Tuesday, October 6

The Curious Case of Mindspeed on Wall Street

Shares of Newport Beach chipmaker Mindspeed Technologies Inc. surged Tuesday for the second time in three days.

Pepsi Bottling Profit Tops View, Sales Miss

Pepsi Bottling Group Inc. reported slightly-better-than-expected quarterly profit on Tuesday, but revenue fell short of Wall Street estimates, hurt by lower volume in the United States, Canada and Europe.

Boeing to Take $1B Charge for 747 Program

Boeing Co., its reputation tarnished by the troubled 787 Dreamliner program, said on Tuesday that it would delay the first flight and delivery of its 747-8 Freighter, news that further eroded the credibility of the world's No. 2 plane maker.

Emerson to Buy Avocent for $1.2B

Industrial conglomerate Emerson Electric Co. said it would buy network equipment technology provider Avocent Corp. for about $1.2 billion in cash to expand its business that ensures the stability of large computer systems.

Epicor Ups Profit Outlook, Reworks Credit Line

Irvine-based Epicor Software Corp. said Tuesday it has upped its third-quarter profit outlook and reworked a credit line.

Monday, October 5

No. 7 - Ista Pharmaceuticals Inc.

Ista Pharmaceuticals Inc.’s drugs are catching the eye of doctors.

No. 6 - Endologix Inc.

For a company that makes devices to stop ballooning blood vessels, Endologix Inc.’s revenue has seen a fair amount of inflation during the past three years.

No. 5 - Local.com Corp.

Irvine’s Local.com Corp. has found a way to attract online advertisers.

No. 4 - Clarient Inc.

Bringing advanced cancer testing to small towns and suburbs is paying off for Clarient Inc.

No. 3 - Spectrum Pharmaceuticals Inc.

It seems people like Spectrum Pharmaceuti-cals Inc.’s new personality.

No. 2 - Radient Pharmaceuticals Corp.

Radient Pharmaceuticals Corp., formerly AMDL Inc., has continued mining China and its 1 billion-plus population for growth.

No. 9 - Senorx Inc.

SenoRx Inc.’s focus on finding and treating breast cancer has paid off during the past three years.

Analyst: Broadcom Patent Infringement Case a Hard Sell

Now Independent Semicoa Gets $16 Million Investment; D-Link Continues Exec Hiring Streak

One analyst thinks Broadcom’s patent infringement claim against Emulex is a hard sell, in the Technology column

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Gross: Brace for Era of Lessened Returns

FINANCE: Bond king sees slower economic growth, more regulation

A look at a rare speech by Pimco’s Bill Gross

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Edwards Offers More on Survival Rates for New Valve

Setting It Straight: a Closer Look at CalOptima’s Mission; Allergan Strikes Promotion Pact

Edwards has released more study results for its Sapien less-invasive heart valve, in the Healthcare column by Vita Reed

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Environmental Investor Sail Raising Second Fund

FINANCE: $100M raised so far, goal of $250M for ‘clean tech’

A Costa Mesa venture capital firm is raising money for a second fund to target alternative energy startups

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RREEF Funds to Outsource All of Its OC Portfolio

Tradeshow Contractor Buys Brea Building; Plans for a Fullerton Industrial Site Still Up in Air

The county’s property management industry is set to see one of its biggest shake-ups in several years, in the Real Estate column by Mark Mueller

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REAL ESTATE DEALS

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

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REAL ESTATE WATCH: WEST ORANGE COUNTY

West County Industrial Market Feels Sting of the Recession

The West County industrial market is feeling the sting of the recession, in Real Estate Watch

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Travelogue

Managing Editor Julie Leupold’s trip to Rome, Athens, Cairo

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Knobbe Martens Continues Hiring Kick

LAW: Firm sees uptick in patent protection; eyes summer associates

Knobbe Martens is continuing to grow thanks to an uptick in patent and trademark work

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No. 1 - Peregrine Pharmaceuticals Inc.

Peregrine Pharmaceuticals Inc. doesn’t yet have a commercial drug on the market, but that hasn’t stopped it from growing.

Shoe Polish

Laguna Beach’s Auri Footwear Makes Name Among Stars, Gets Forbes Nod

A local company is taking a stab at the crowded shoe market with comfortable, stylish shoes

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No. 10 - Multi-Fineline Electronix Inc.

Sales at Anaheim’s Multi-Fineline Electronix Inc., a maker of specialized printed circuit boards for mobile devices, have been buoyed in part by continued demand for smart phones.

NEWS OF THE WEEK

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

Western Dig Returns to Irvine With Lease

REAL ESTATE: Move is largest local office lease in several years

Western Digital is returning to Irvine in the county’s biggest corporate relocation in two years

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British Consul Tries U.S. Healthcare; Execs See Slow Recovery

Inside OC Column by Rick Reiff

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GIVING

Fundraisers and charitable donations from companies and people

Baja Fresh Debuts Irvine Eatery as Model for 300

Mexican Chain’s in Multiyear Restructuring

David Kim is trying to breathe new life into a floundering Mexican restaurant chain

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AROUND THE COUNTY

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

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Economic Outlook Sees Big Jump

ECONOMY: Executives cautious but suggest recession’s worst is past

Economic expectations among local executives have jumped to a two-year high

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No. 8 - Diedrich Coffee Inc.

Diedrich Coffee Inc. has been on a caffeine-high this year after cutting loose its struggling coffeehouses to focus on its wholesale business.

Home Nursing Provider for Elderly Seeks Out Place in Health Reform

HEALTH: AccentCare has $200 million in sales, caters to seniors

Irvine’s AccentCare caters to sick and frail seniors who’d rather stay in their homes

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Developer Eyes Great Park, Investors for Irvine Water Park

RECREATION: Project could replace Wild Rivers; others OK’d

A local company is looking to build three water parks, including possibly one for the planned Great Park

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PEOPLE

Hirings, promotions and other moves at local businesses

Laura’s House Board: Real Estate Execs, Lawyers, a Survivor

NONPROFITS: Domestic abuse group board raises cash, awareness

A look at Laura’s House, a local nonprofit for domestic abuse victims and their children

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Character Development: Design Rules at Redesigned Paul Frank

APPAREL: Switch to licensing brings scaled down focus on design

Paul Frank is all about design these days

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Yamaha Narrows Marketing Spending to Bike Buffs

Yamaha Motor Corp. USA is shifting its marketing spending away from general consumers to focus on enthusiasts, in the Media & Marketing column

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Biotech Beachhead

Genetic Drug, Testing Cos. Drawn Here by Workers, Location

Three biotechnology companies recently have chosen OC to expand operations

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Home Nursing Provider for Elderly Seeks Out Place in Health Reform

AccentCare has $200 million in sales, caters to seniors

Report: Consortium Wants to Buy Volvo from Ford

A U.S.-led group has entered the race to buy Ford Motor Co.'s Volvo cars unit, the Financial Times reported, in a challenge to China's Geely Automotive which last month confirmed its interest in the loss-making Swedish carmaker.

Report: Brocade Puts Itself Up for Sale

Network equipment maker Brocade Communications Systems Inc has put itself up for sale and Hewlett-Packard Co is among the possible bidders, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday, triggering a 17 percent jump in Brocade shares.

READER LETTERS

Wild Lands Preferred

Public Company Growth Cools, Shrinking Fastest Contingent

Top 50 now top 41 as several fail to make growth cut

Character Development: Design Rules at Redesigned Paul Frank

Paul Frank is all about design these days

Edwards Offers More on Survival Rates for New Valve

Edwards has released more study results for its Sapien less-invasive heart valve, in the Healthcare column

RREEF Funds to Outsource All of Its OC Portfolio

The county's property management industry is set to see one of its biggest shake-ups in several years, in the Real Estate column

Laura's House Board: Real Estate Execs, Lawyers, a Survivor

A look at Laura's House, a local nonprofit for domestic abuse victims and their children

No. 9 - Senorx Inc.

SenoRx Inc.'s focus on finding and treating breast cancer has paid off during the past three years.

Gross: Brace for Era of Lessened Returns

A look at a rare speech by Pimco's Bill Gross

Baja Fresh Debuts Irvine Eatery as Model for 300

David Kim is trying to breathe new life into a floundering Mexican restaurant chain

AROUND THE COUNTY

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

Developer Eyes Great Park, Investors for Irvine Water Park

A local company is looking to build three water parks, including possibly one for the planned Great Park

Yamaha Narrows Marketing Spending to Bike Buffs

Yamaha Motor Corp. USA is shifting its marketing spending away from general consumers to focus on enthusiasts, in the Media & Marketing column

CALENDAR

A listing of events happening all around Orange County. Oct. 5-Oct. 14, 2009

British Consul Tries U.S. Healthcare; Execs See Slow Recovery

British Consul Tries U.S. Healthcare; Execs See Slow Recovery

MARKET WATCH

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

Analyst: Broadcom Patent Infringement Case a Hard Sell

One analyst thinks Broadcom's patent infringement claim against Emulex is a hard sell, in the Technology column

Western Dig Returns to Irvine With Lease

Western Digital is returning to Irvine in the county's biggest corporate relocation in two years

Report: BofA to Select Emergency CEO This Week

Bank of America Corp. plans to select an emergency chief executive officer this week if legal issues force Ken Lewis to leave before year-end, the Wall Street Journal said, citing a person familiar with the situation.

Quest's Shares Jump on Analyst Upgrade

Shares of Aliso Viejo's Quest Software Inc., a maker of business software, jumped Monday after the company was upgraded by an analyst on higher sales from the government.

Friday, October 2

Local.com Calls Microsoft Buy Report False

A report that Internet company Local.com Corp. is being acquired by Microsoft Corp. is false, the Irvine-based company said Friday.

Allergan Files Suit To Talk About Botox in Non-Approved Uses

Irvine-based drug maker Allergan Inc. has filed a lawsuit against the federal government to allow it to approach doctors who are using the drug for uses not outlined by the Food and Drug Administration.

Sept. Auto Sales Plunge; GM, Chrysler Hit Hard

Auto sales tumbled by 23 percent in September as showrooms emptied after the government-funded boom from the "cash for clunkers" program, with General Motors Co. and Chrysler hardest-hit.

Wal-Mart Sees Slow Business Recovery

Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the world's biggest retailer, sees a slow recovery from challenging U.S. business conditions, while its Asia operations are "a little better," its Chairman Rob Walton said on Friday.

Sept. Non-Farm Payrolls Fall, Jobless Rate Up

Employers cut a deeper-than-expected 263,000 jobs in September, lifting the unemployment rate to 9.8 percent, according to a government report on Friday that fueled fears the weak labor market could undermine economic recovery.

Wal-Mart Sees Slow Business Fcovery

Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the world's biggest retailer, sees a slow recovery from challenging U.S. business conditions, while its Asia operations are "a little better," its Chairman Rob Walton said on Friday.

Hybrid Automaker Fisker Addresses Critics

Irvine-based Fisker Automotive Inc. on Friday shot back at critics of a $529 million Energy Department loan landed last month, according to a report in the Detroit News newspaper.

Thursday, October 1

Grubb & Ellis Gets Debt Payment Reprieve

Santa Ana-based Grubb & Ellis Co. has reworked the terms of a potentially crippling credit line and is raising $5 million from its largest investor, the real estate brokerage and investor said Thursday.

Cisco Bets on Video Again with $3B Tandberg Buy

Cisco Systems Inc. has agreed to buy Norwegian videoconferencing company Tandberg for $3 billion in cash, its latest big bet that video will drive demand for its core data transmission gear.

Judge Rules BofA Suit Over Bear Loss Can Proceed

A federal judge said Bank of America Corp. may pursue a lawsuit accusing former Bear Stearns Cos. managers Ralph Cioffi and Matthew Tannin of lying in an attempt to prop up two failing hedge funds.

Hyundai, Kia Hold Gains After Cash for Clunkers Boost

Fountain Valley-based Hyundai Motor America Inc. and Kia Motors America Inc. of Irvine saw strong sales in September as many automakers saw business slip after the government-run "cash for clunkers" program proved to be short lived.

Sun Healthcare Acquires Hospice Company

Irvine-based nursing home operator Sun Healthcare Group Inc. made another move in an ongoing diversification by acquiring a Massachusetts hospice company.

Bernanke Backs Away from Regulation Revamp

The head of the Federal Reserve and a key lawmaker on Thursday backed away from a controversial provision of the Obama administration's financial regulation reform plan, saying new oversight by the Fed on "systemic risk" should be shared with other regula

Resources Connection Loss Bigger Than Expected

Irvine-based Resources Connection Inc., a provider of accountants and other professionals to companies on a project basis, reported a bigger than expected loss for its recently ended quarter.