Stories for March 2010

Wednesday, March 31

Resources Connection Posts Smaller than Expected Loss

Shares of Irvine-based Resources Connection Inc., a provider of accountants, lawyers and other professionals to companies on a project basis, reported a smaller than expected quarterly loss Wednesday while sales came in shy of expectations.

Energy Software Maker Files $25M IPO

Costa Mesa-based Energy & Power Solutions Inc., which helps companies cut energy costs and reduce emissions, has filed plans to raise up to $25 million in an initial public stock offering.

Tuesday, March 30

Debt Rater Fitch Raises Allergan Outlook

Allergan Inc., the Irvine-based maker of Botox and other drugs, had its outlook raised Tuesday by Fitch Ratings Inc.

Irvine Medical Device Maker Raises $14M

Reverse Medical Corp., an Irvine-based maker of devices for treating strokes, said Tuesday that it raised $14 million in a second round of venture funding.

Irvine's Microsemi Picks up Chipmaker White Electronic for $100M

Irvine-based Microsemi Corp., a maker of chips for military, aerospace and industrial uses, said Tuesday it agreed to acquire White Electronic Design Corp. for $100 million.

Aliso Viejo Software Startup Raises $2M

Aliso Viejo-based software startup Smish said Monday it raised $2 million in a round of funding from an undisclosed investor.

Monday, March 29

Conexant Ends $26M Land Deal in Newport Beach

Newport Beach-based chipmaker Conexant Systems Inc. said it has pulled out of a $26 million deal to sell buildings and land next to its headquarters.

Retailer Wet Seal Hit by Convicted Hacker in 2008

Foothill Ranch-based Wet Seal Inc. said Monday it was one of several retailers hacked in 2008 by a credit card data theft ring whose leader was sentenced to prison last week.

Sunday, March 28

Extron Electronics Nabs Unit of Burbank’s Electrosonic

Quartics Sets Up Systems Engineering Shop in Shanghai; RFaxis Adds Cisco Veteran to Board

Anaheim’s Extron Electronics earlier this month acquired a division of Burbank-based Electrosonic, in the Technology column by Sarah Tolkoff

Casanova Pendrill Donating Time to U.N. Water Project

Newport Shop Shoots Spots for Allergan, Fletcher Jones; M Magazine Hires Associate Publisher

Casanova Pendrill has once again teamed up with the United Nations Children’s Fund, in the Media and Marketing column by Michael Volpe

AROUND THE COUNTY

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

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PEOPLE

Hirings, promotions and other moves at local businesses

Blue Horseshoe Loves ...

Wealth Managers Back in Stocks, Commodities, Real Estate; Some Shun Bonds

With Wall Street now in a yearlong rebound, wealth managers have adjusted their strategies.

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Angels Preview

For the first time in years, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim’s dominance of the American League Western division isn’t a sure thing.

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Hong Built Online Game Company on Asian Model

Profile of the Business Journal’s Excellence in Entrepreneurship award winner: Joshua Hong, K2 Network

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REAL ESTATE DEALS

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

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Healthcare’s Day of Infamy

VIEWPOINT

A local medical doctor believes that Congress’ healthcare reform will go down in infamy

REAL ESTATE WATCH: RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT SPACE

Research and Development Space Saw Slow End to 2009

Research and development space saw a slow end to 2009, in Real Estate Watch

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Stoneridge Expands Acquisition Targets to Ariz. Hotels

KBS Investment Trust’s Snapping up Properties; 360 Commercial, Arden Bring on Directors

Stoneridge Capital is expanding the scope and picking up the pace of its investments, in the Real Estate column by Mark Mueller

Valeant Acquires in Brazil, Analyst Sees More Deals

Vertos Reports Results on Study of Spinal Device; Grubb Buys Medical Space in New Orleans

Valeant Pharmaceuticals International is continuing its global shopping, in the Healthcare column by Vita Reed

NEWS OF THE WEEK

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

Former Surfer Quinn Brought Experience, Backers to Clothing Co.

Profile of the Business Journal’s Excellence in Entrepreneurship award winner: Dean Quinn, O’Quinn Clothing

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Entrepreneur’s Software Had Hand, er, Foot in Nike’s Air Jordan Shoes

Profile of the Business Journal’s Excellence in Entrepreneurship award winner: Shawn McGuan, LifeModeler

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Subprime Auto Loans Coming Back to Life

FINANCE: Executive starting new company, others see bounce in Q4

Are subprime auto loan makers back in business?

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Airport Executive Hangar Scrapped for Now

AVIATION: Blacklash more than expected; developer could revisit

TRAVEL: Plans for the luxury corporate-jet hangar at John Wayne Airport have been put on hold

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Back to Business For Henry, Broadcom; Fairgrounds Update

OC INSIDER Column by Rick Reiff

Invensys Consolidates Local Companies, Sets Up Texas HQ

Britain’s Invensys has consolidated operations here

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Healthcare Reform: Gains, Hits Locally

HEALTHCARE: Insurers see most changes; some taxes; more insured

GOVERNMENT: What healthcare reform means for the local business community

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Kim, College Buddies Found Bascom, 10 Cos.

Calling on Friends

Profile of the Business Journal’s Excellence in Entrepreneurship award winner: David Kim, Bascom Group LLC

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Partners Sold Auto Dealers on Operations Software

Calling on Friends

Profile of the Business Journal’s Excellence in Entrepreneurship award winner: Jonathan Ord, DealerSocket Inc.

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Judge OKs Olenicoff’s Claim, UBS Set for Trial

FINANCE: Case could be heard in Santa Ana; other lawsuits expected

UBS bank’s next big battle looks likely to be fought in OC

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Top Wealth Managers Manage $8B for Wealthy, Other Clients

FINANCE: Advisers find place in new era; diversified investing tacks

Those on the Business Journal’s list of top wealth managers report that they’ve made it through two tumultuous years of investing without severe slippage in clients or returns.

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TOP Wealth Managers

A look at the 11 wealth managers on the Business Journal’s list. Includes the 2010 OC's Top Wealth Managers list for download (pdf)

Friday, March 26

Resources Connection Up on Upgrade

Shares of Irvine-based Resources Connection Inc., a provider of accountants, lawyers and other professionals to companies on a project basis, jumped Friday after an analyst upgrade.

Feb. Unemployment Back Below 10%; Job Losses Moderate

Layoffs in February pulled back from a surge in January as the county’s unemployment rate returned to below 10% last month, according to the state Employment Development Department.

Wet Seal Up After Results, Forecast

Shares of Foothill Ranch-based Wet Seal Inc. were higher Friday, a day after the mall clothing retailer reported a better than expected profit and offered an outlook in line with expectations.

Thursday, March 25

Yearly FanFest BlizzCon 2010 Stays in Anaheim, Bumped to October

Irvine’s Blizzard Entertainment Inc., the world’s top maker of online video games, said Thursday its yearly fanfest is set to stay in Anaheim.

Hotel Owner Sunstone Upgraded

San Clemente-based hotel owner Sunstone Hotel Investors Inc. on Thursday was upgraded by a Wall Street analyst citing an increase in business travelers and better prospects for the industry.

Business Booster Groups Combine

Aliso Viejo-based Octane, a booster group that supports Orange County technology and medical startups, said Thursday it combined with the Orange County Venture Group.

Clean Energy Takes Over Northeast Natural Gas Stations

Seal Beach-based Clean Energy Fuels Corp., which runs natural gas fueling stations for fleets of taxis, buses and other vehicles, is taking over operation of 13 stations in New York, Massachusetts and Rhode Island, the company said Thursday.

Wednesday, March 24

Valeant Sells Patents to Seattle-Area Drug Developer

Aliso Viejo-based Valeant Pharmaceuticals International has sold patents related to DNA to a Seattle-area biotechnology company.

Costa Mesa's Triangle Square Mall Sees Ownership Change

Costa Mesa’s Triangle Square mall has seen a change in its ownership.

Kaiser Aluminum Raising $142M in Debt Offering

Foothill Ranch-based Kaiser Aluminum Corp. expects to raise $142 million in a debt offering with the proceeds set to go toward refinancing a credit line and buying back some of its stock.

Tuesday, March 23

Home Prices Inch Up $2,000 in February

The median price of an existing Orange County home inched up nearly $2,000 in February from January, the California Association of Realtors said on Tuesday.

Beckman Coulter Shares Fall on Test Warning

Shares of Brea-based Beckman Coulter Inc. were down sharply Tuesday, a day after the company said issues with a profitable heart disease test could impact its 2010 results.

Monday, March 22

Former Epicor Exec Takes CEO Post in Bay Area

A former executive from Irvine business software maker Epicor Software Corp. landed a chief executive gig in Northern California, according to a report.

Moody’s Raises Rating on Skilled Healthcare

Skilled Healthcare Group Inc., a Foothill Ranch-based nursing home operator, got its credit rating upgraded Monday by Moody’s Corp.

Chinese Game Operator Acquires Irvine's Red 5 Studios

Irvine’s Red 5 Studios Inc., a maker of online games started by former workers of Blizzard Entertainment Inc., said Monday it was acquired by a Chinese video game developer and operator for around $20 million.

Sunday, March 21

Ad Agency Y&R Reworks Irvine Office to Focus on Digital

MARKETING: Office takes over some accounts, sees others shift

Young & Rubicam has reorganized its Irvine office to focus on the Internet

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Volcom Weathers Slump, Eyes Bigger Market Slice

APPAREL: Market, retailer issues linger, but co. better off than others

Volcom is looking to emerge from the downturn with a big goal in sight

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Analyst: Spectrum Pharmaceuticals “Underappreciated”

Report: TriZetto Behind Payment Snag in Wisconsin; Abbott’s Tecnis Lens Approved by FDA

Spectrum Pharmaceuticals recently got a nod from an analyst as an “underappreciated” stock, in the Healthcare column by Vita Reed

Ingram Micro, Experian Other Human Resources Execs Honored

EMPLOYMENT

A Canadian credited with bringing a global outlook to Santa Ana’s Ingram Micro was honored last week as 2009 Human Resources Executive of the Year

PEOPLE

Hirings, promotions and other moves at local businesses

NEWS OF THE WEEK

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

Global Investor Eyes Newport Expansion

FINANCE: Euro Pacific looks to add bankers, brokers, others

A stock brokerage and investment advisory firm run by economist Peter Schiff has moved to new offices within Newport Beach with plans to hire

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Latest Sale Closes in Maguire’s Purging of Offices

REAL ESTATE: Griffin Towers $90M deal marks biggest in 9 mos.

Maguire still is making news in the local office market

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Costa Mesa Homes Test Fledgling Rebound

REAL ESTATE: Builders remain cautious in Costa Mesa, elsewhere

A new project in Costa Mesa is one of a handful that will test the housing market’s fledgling turnaround

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In Case You Missed It: We’re in Recovery

ECONOMY: County nearing a year of growth; employment lags

OC’s economy is approaching a full year of recovery, though that may not mean much if you’re still looking for a job

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Dunn Enough?

Footballer, Minister Runs for State Office on Minority Outreach, Stronger Business

GOVERNMENT: As a candidate for California secretary of state, Damon Dunn is a Republican Party dream

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Drug Maker To Initiate Hiring Later This Year

HEALTHCARE: Dendreon plans to hire hundreds at Seal Beach site

An update on Dendreon, a cancer drug developer that set up shop in Seal Beach last year

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Ad Agencies See Slight Drop in OC Billings, Employees

ABOUT THE LIST - ADVERSITING AGENCIES

The largest advertising agencies here saw billings drop last year. Includes the 2010 OC's Largest Advertising Agencies list for download (pdf)

Ethics and Social Media

VIEWPOINT

Ethics in the social networking era, in Viewpoint

Big Brother

Advertisers Looking to Tap into GPS Services, Social Media to Reach Individual Consumers

Marketers hope to track a consumer’s every move in the not too distant future

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Shopping Around

Ad Agencies Vie for New Business, Old Accounts

advertising shops are encouraged that this year is shaping up better than the last

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REAL ESTATE DEALS

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

REAL ESTATE WATCH: NORTH & CENTRAL ORANGE COUNTY

Fourth Quarter Market Conditions Didn’t Improve in North, Central County

Fourth quarter market conditions didn’t improve in North County and Central County, in Real Estate Watch

Newport OKs Tesla’s Request, Dealer Lease Expected

Lamborghini Hunting for Permanent OC Home; Costco Coming to Huntington’s Bella Terra

Tesla Motors may be one step closer to selling its $100,000 electric sports cars in Newport Beach, in the Marketplace column by Sherri Cruz

Bacchus, Union Bank at Odds Over Office Values

Fullerton Apartment Complex Sells for $16.1 Million; 3000 the Plaza Sees Pick-up in Sales

Bacchus Development and its primary lender can’t agree on the value of Irvine Spectrum office condominiums that the bankrupt company is trying to sell, in the Real Estate column by Mark Mueller

QLogic Continues Sales Hiring With Japanese Addition

OptionEase Hires Software Head; Acer Grabs No. 2 Spot; Analyst: Conexant Moves Positive

QLogic is continuing its yearlong push to beef up its sales staff, in the Technology column by Sarah Tolkoff

Characters From Kia Commercial Take on Life of Own

Pacific Picks Up Another Allergan Account; Tech Shop Serves Up Pizza with Press Release

A group of misfit toys that debuted in a Kia Super Bowl commercial is providing some extra mileage for the automaker, in the Media and Marketing column by Michael Volpe

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Friday, March 19

Feb. Auto Sales Rise as Luxury Rebounds, Hyundai, Kia Fall

Orange County auto sales appeared to return to normal historical pattens in February as sales rose 6% from a year earlier, according to an industry report.

Irvine's Netlist Raises $14M in Stock Sale, Shares Tumble

Shares of Irvine’s Netlist Inc., a maker of specialized memory products for computers that’s in the midst of reworking its business, slumped Friday after the company said it raised $14 million in a stock sale.

Broadcom's Shares Upgraded on CEO McGregor's Bullish Outlook

Irvine-based Broadcom Corp., a maker of communications chips, on Thursday was upgraded by a Wall Street analyst after its chief executive said he expects sales to outpace the market.

Valeant Buys Brazilian Drug Maker, Plant

Valeant Pharmaceuticals International said Friday it's buying an undisclosed Brazilian drug maker for $28 million.

Thursday, March 18

Argyros Joins Pacific Mercantile Board

Real estate developer and investor George Argyros has joined the board of the parent company of Costa Mesa-based Pacific Mercantile Bank, the county’s largest homegrown bank.

Wednesday, March 17

Software Maker, Clothing Designer, Other Entrepreneurs Honored

Entrepreneurs who were bruised by the recession but emerged stronger were honored Wednesday at the Business Journal’s ninth annual Excellence in Entrepreneurship Awards in Irvine.

Tuesday, March 16

Home Prices Fall in Feb., Sales Rise

Orange County’s median home price dropped $3,000 in February from January despite seeing an increase in sales.

Biolase Dental Laser Cleared; Shares Rise

Shares of Irvine-based medical device maker Biolase Technology Inc. shot up Tuesday after regulators cleared its latest dental laser.

First American Hires Execs, Buying Rest of Subsidiary

First American Corp. continues to shore up plans to separate its title insurance business and information services unit with the appointment of executives and plans to absorb all of another subsidiary.

FDA Warns Ista on Marketing of Flagship Drug

The Food and Drug Administration has sent a warning letter to Irvine-based eye drug maker Ista Pharmaceuticals Inc. about advertising for its flagship product.

Monday, March 15

Device Maker SenoRx’s CEO Dies

SenoRx Inc., an Irvine medical device maker, said Monday that Chief Executive Lloyd H. Malchow died Sunday. Malchow, who was 56, had been undergoing cancer treatment.

Anaheim's Extron Electronics Picks Up Product Line

Anaheim’s Extron Electronics Inc., a maker electronics for projector systems used in classrooms, boardrooms and auditoriums, said Monday it acquired a division of Burbank-based Electrosonic Inc.

Sunday, March 14

Waking Up

Mergers and Acquisitions Market Shows Signs of Resurgence, Driven by Interest in Healthcare

A look at why mergers and acquisitions are starting to come out of the woodwork

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Mazda’s $150M Yearly Ad Work Up for Grabs

MARKETING: Doner plans to defend, loss would be sizable

Mazda North American Operations in Irvine has put its $150 million yearly advertising account up for grabs

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LG-Led Venture Buys Networking Gear Maker, Eyes Expansion

A venture of South Korea’s LG Group has bought a spinoff of Irvine’s SMC Networks

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Aliso Offices Go Back to Lender

REAL ESTATE: RREEF turns over buildings, details undisclosed

A pair of Aliso Viejo offices has seen a change in ownership after one of the country’s largest real estate investors opted to turn over the keys to its lender

Sun Also Rises

Cautious Bank Expands in Meltdown’s Fallout

Sunwest Bank is turning up the heat on its competitors

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Broadcom Invests in Processor Chip Maker

Irvine-based Broadcom Corp. made an investment in a San Jose startup maker of processor chips.

Swallows, Investors Return to South OC; Busy Wedding Season

OC INSIDER Column by Rick Reiff

Tallest Condos Sold, Now Priciest Apartments

REAL ESTATE: Essex completes Santa Ana’s Skyline buy for $128M

The largest apartment sale seen in OC in years is another busted condominium project

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Latest Reform Spares Nursing Homes For Now

HEALTHCARE: Proposal doesn’t squeeze payments; adds regulations

Nursing home operators dodged a bullet in the newest version of proposed healthcare reform

Roth Conference on Rebound; Billy Idol

FINANCE: ’80s rocker said to be headlining; attendees up from ’09

Roth Capital opens its yearly three-day Roth Orange County Growth Stock Conference with more global flavor and an eye on better economic times

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Blizzard Offshoot Adjusts to Video Game World’s New Normal

TECHNOLOGY: Crazy Pixel works on games, other animation

A look at yet another offshoot of Irvine’s Blizzard Entertainment

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NEWS OF THE WEEK

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

PEOPLE

Pacific Life Names Brown Executive Vice President

Hirings, promotions and other moves at local businesses

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Social Investors Mix Passion, Money

FINANCE: They say returns can be just as good, with social benefit

A look at some local social investors: people who hope to better the world while still making a profit

Japanese Anime Game Company Trying Hand at DVD Sales

ENTERTAINMENT: NIS hopes to defy genre’s downturn in U.S.

A company that takes Japanese games and customizes them for the U.S. is looking to do the same for DVDs

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EVENTS

Directors Honored

Scenes from business, social, charity and other events

KUDOS

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

Hyundai Gets Stand-Ins for Jeff Bridges in Oscars Ads

Workforce Magazine Moving from Irvine to Chicago; Johnson Gray Lands Wolfgang Puck

Hyundai Motor America found itself in a bind during the Academy Awards ceremony earlier this month, in the Media and Marketing column by Michael Volpe

Report: Drive Maker Rally May Be at Peak of Run-Up

January Sales Could Lead Chipmakers to Up Outlooks; Broadcom Saves Irvine Science Fair

One analyst sees disk drive makers hitting a wall this year after a big stock run-up in the past year or so, in the Technology column by Sarah Tolkoff

Mussallem Turns Over Trade Group Reins to Mazzo

Edwards’ UCI Presentation Changes Analyst’s Mind on Taxing Devices for Healthcare Reform

AdvaMed again has tapped an OC medical device executive as its leader, in the Healthcare column by Vita Reed

Grubb Names Co-Managers for Local Brokerage Offices

Storage Space Investor Buys in New Jersey, Florida; Paul’s TV Strikes Big Lease with Hager

Grubb & Ellis is revamping management of its brokerage operations in Newport Beach and Anaheim, in the Real Estate column by Mark Mueller

REAL ESTATE WATCH: MANUFACTURING and WAREHOUSE

Manufacturing and Warehouse Market Saw Tough Fourth Quarter

The manufacturing and warehouse market saw a tough fourth quarter, in Real Estate Watch

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REAL ESTATE DEALS

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

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Congress Giving Toyota a Fair Shake?

VIEWPOINT

Congressman John Campbell thinks Toyota’s recent troubles are deja vu all over again, in Viewpoint

Afterhours, BlackBerrys optional

LIVING

With Saint Patrick’s Day on Wednesday, you may be looking for some places to get your Irish on. In that light, here is a list of a few pubs that offer Irish brews, food and music.

Good Values

Public Companies Have Seen a Run-Up in Value, Set Benchmark for Potential M&A Deals

Why rising company valuations aren’t expected to deter potential buyers

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Private Equity Spending Again, Targeting Smaller Cos.

FINANCE: Pent-up demand likely to increase deals by end of this year

The encouraging signs are for private equity investments

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Women-Owned Businesses Took Another Hit in 2009

ECONOMY: In-N-Out buoys group; overall revenue drops 10%

The county’s largest women-owned businesses saw another down year. Includes the 2010 OC's Top Women-Owned Businesses list for download (pdf)

Friday, March 12

Newport Beach Clears Way for Tesla Dealership

San Carlos-based Tesla Motors Inc. may be one step closer to opening a dealership in Newport Beach.

District Attorney Files Lawsuit against Toyota

Prosecutors for Orange County plan to file a lawsuit on Friday against Torrance-based Toyota Motor Sales USA Inc., the Japanese automaker's U.S. sales and marketing arm, because of continuing problems with Toyota vehicles.

Shares of Quiksilver Surge, PacSun Slumps

The big local names in surf-inspired clothes took different paths on Wall Street Friday a day after reporting quarterly results.

Thursday, March 11

Pacific Sunwear Warns of Big Loss

Anaheim-based mall clothing retailer Pacific Sunwear of California Inc. beat Wall Street expectations with results for its recently ended quarter but sent investors selling with its outlook for the current quarter.

Quiksilver Results Better Than Expected

Huntington Beach-based clothing maker Quiksilver Inc. reported a smaller than expected loss Thursday and beat sales expectations for its recently ended quarter.

More Bidders Could Emerge for Hospital Operator’s $74M Debt

A court-appointed receiver who is selling loans made to Santa Ana-based hospital operator Integrated Healthcare Holdings Inc. said he has entered agreements with about 11 potential additional bidders.

Pacific Life Reports Higher Assets, Revenues

The county's largest private employer improved its financial position in 2009.

Clean Energy Jumps After Results

Shares of Seal Beach-based Clean Energy Fuels Corp., which runs natural gas fueling stations for fleets of taxis, buses and other vehicles, rose Thursday a day after the company reported a smaller than expected quarterly loss.

Wednesday, March 10

Bren Leads OC Billionaires On Forbes List

Local Contingent Remain As Staples

Local businessmen, led by Donald Bren, again make Forbes' latest list of the world's top billionaires.

Disney Adds Fan Show in Anaheim

Walt Disney Co. is bringing another fan convention to Anaheim.

Unemployment Breaks 10%, Layoffs Surge in Jan.

Orange County unemployment broke the 10% mark in January as yearly layoffs hit their highest level since the peak of the recession in spring 2009.

Regulators OK New Botox Use

The Food and Drug Administration said it has approved Botox, a drug made by Irvine-based Allergan Inc., for treating upper-limb muscle spasms.

Tuesday, March 9

QLogic Rises on Takeover Chatter

Shares of Aliso Viejo-based QLogic Corp., a maker of electronics for data storage networks, rose Tuesday on Wall Street chatter that it’s a possible takeover target.

Green Mountain Extends Diedrich Buyout Offer

Vermont-based Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc. has extended its offer to buy Irvine-based coffee seller Diedrich Coffee Inc. after running into regulatory issues.

Court Approves Freedom Communication Reorganization

The U.S. Bankruptcy Court approved a revised reorganization plan for the bankrupt parent company of the Orange County Register on Tuesday.

Monday, March 8

Quiksilver Up on Upgrade, Signs of Industry Turnaround

An analyst upgraded her rating on Huntington Beach-based clothing maker Quiksilver Inc. Monday on signs of a turnaround in sales at mall and other stores.

Broadcom Invests in Server Chip Maker

Irvine-based Broadcom Corp. has made an undisclosed investment in a San Jose startup maker of processor chips for servers.

Sunday, March 7

Office Leases Pick Up as Owners Get Aggressive on Rents

REAL ESTATE: Some distressed property buyers have wiggle room

A look at more aggressive leasing practices for offices in Irvine

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PEOPLE

Hirings, promotions and other moves at local businesses

Mixed Bag

2009 Sales Still Down, But Retail and Apartment Deals See Boost, Larger Tenants Take Space

The pace of blockbuster property sales continued its slump in 2009

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Dollars and Scents

Company Lands Canned Air Fresheners on Big Store’s Shelves

A look at Irvine’s California Scents in a Designed in OC feature

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REVIEW

BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells through March 21, $10 and up

BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells through March 21, $10 and up

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Poverty in OC

VIEWPOINT

Orange County United Way thinks local residents need to step up when it comes to fighting poverty, in Viewpoint

REAL ESTATE DEALS

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

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Jan. Auto Sales off 3% in Sign of Impending Recovery

Toyota Dealers Working Overtime, Face Fallout; Fashionista Quits Job for Her Online Boutique

Sales of new autos in the county fell 3% in January from a year earlier, in the Marketplace column by Sherri Cruz

AROUND THE COUNTY

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

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SunCal Cos.’ Bay Area Base Redevelopment in Jeopardy

360 Commercial Adds Steve Economos, Team

SunCal Cos. is searching for a “Plan C” to push ahead on the massive redevelopment plan it has in the works for the Bay Area, in the Real Estate column by Mark Mueller

Analyst: Doctors ‘Encouraged’ by New Heart Valves

Grubb & Ellis Buys Medical Office Building; Former OC Device Maker Gets FDA Warning

Less-invasive replacement heart valves from Edwards and rival Medtronic got a thumbs-up late last month from an analyst, in the Healthcare column by Vita Reed

Local Chipmaker Nabs $15 Million in Venture Round

Software Maker 3Tera Bought by CA; Broadcom, Others Pledge to Hire Grads, Back Startups

Newport Media recently landed $15 million in a round of venture funding, in the Technology column by Sarah Tolkoff

GIVING

Fundraisers and charitable donations from companies and people

NEWS OF THE WEEK

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

Anaheim Lures Other Comic-Con, Going After Big San Diego Show

City’s Become ‘Accidental’ Hub for Fan Fests

TOURISM - Anaheim is becoming fan fest central

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Title Insurers See 56% Jump; Driven by Uptick in Refinancing

Largest Cos. Bracing for Tough Years Coming As Higher Mortgage Rates May Tamp Business

A list of the largest title companies operating here. Includes the 2010 OC's Largest Title Insurers list for download (pdf)

Birtcher to Head Napa Distressed Home Reseller

REAL ESTATE: Small public co. plans to target Chinese investors

One of OC’s best-known commercial real estate developers is looking to try his hand as a seller of distressed homes

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Newport Land Sells At Discounted Price

REAL ESTATE: 2 owners spilt plots, propose scaled-back retail

A Newport Beach retail site has traded hands at an expected discount

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Rise in Bad Loans Raises Questions for Two Little Saigon Banks

First Vietnamese American Bank and Saigon National Bank recently scored poorly in a test of their bad loans and real estate against their cash reserves

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Analysts: Broadcom Chips Attract Chinese Co.?

TECHNOLOGY: Street excited about potential third big customer

An update on Broadcom’s push to be a major baseband chip supplier to the world’s top cell phone makers

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Hyundai, Kia Look To Build on Toyota Woes

Has the missteps taken by Toyota added fuel to Hyundai and Kia’s fire?

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Mattress Maker Mounts Turnaround

MANUFACTURING: Custom Comfort flirted with bankruptcy

Two years of lagging sales didn’t bring an end to a local mattress maker

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Healthcare Executives Could Vie for Hospital Operator’s $74M Debt

An update of the soap opera behind hospital operator Integrated Healthcare Holdings

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Experian Uses Celebs in Web Videos to Reinforce Name

Suzuki Starting Critical Push for Sedan; Morgan Marketing Builds Unit Around Test Kitchen

Experian Americas is doing a social media campaign featuring celebrities, in the Media and Marketing column by Michael Volpe

Friday, March 5

Conexant Slumps on Stock Sale

Shares of Newport Beach-based chipmaker Conexant Systems Inc. slumped Friday, a day after the company said it raised about $52 million in a recent stock offering.

Analyst Upgrades Allergan

Shares of Allergan Inc., the Irvine maker of Botox and other drugs, rose Friday after an analyst upgraded them.

Thursday, March 4

Nationwide Buys Five More Medical Buildings

Nationwide Health Properties Inc. of Newport Beach said this week that it bought five additional medical office buildings, including two in Orange County.

Chipmaker Mindspeed Looking to Raise $18M in Stock Offering

Newport Beach-based chipmaker Mindspeed Technologies Inc. said Thursday it’s looking to raise around $18 million in a public stock offering.

Wet Seal Sees First Monthly Sales Gain in More Than Year

February sales at Foothill Ranch-based mall clothing retailer Wet Seal Inc. rose an unexpected 4.7%, surprising analysts who were projecting a decline.

Wednesday, March 3

Conexant Selling Nearly $250M Worth of Bonds, Stock

Newport Beach-based chipmaker Conexant Systems Inc. said Wednesday it is selling nearly $250 million worth of bonds and stocks to pay off debt due in 2026.

Allergan Licenses Potential Drug to Bristol-Myers

Irvine-based Allergan Inc. is licensing a potential pain drug for the body’s nervous system to Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. in a deal that could be worth more than $400 million.

Tuesday, March 2

Kofax Hires Investment Banker

Irvine’s Kofax PLC, a maker of software that helps businesses cut down on paper and data entry, said Tuesday it has hired an investment bank as its financial adviser and broker.

Monday, March 1

Valeant Buys Skin Cream Rights

Aliso Viejo drug maker Valeant Pharmaceuticals International said Monday that it’s spending $12 million for the rights to a wrinkle-reducing skin cream.

Bulk Buyers, Doctors, Committees Behind Billions in Hospital Buying

HEALTHCARE: Few do own buying; doctors push for latest gear

A look at how medical devices get into local hospitals

Peet's Again Extends Rival Diedrich Buyout Offer

Emeryville-based Peet’s Coffee & Tea Inc. has extended for a second time its offer to buy Irvine-based coffee seller Diedrich Coffee Inc. in the hopes a rival buyout bid is derailed by regulators.

KUDOS

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

Sunstone Just Beats Street’s Expectations

San Clemente-based hotel owner Sunstone Hotel Investors Inc. last week reported a fourth-quarter profit slightly ahead of Wall Street’s expectation while revenue came in just shy.

PEOPLE

Hirings, promotions and other moves at local businesses

NEWS OF THE WEEK

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

Roth Sees Surge with China, Wall St. Jump

FINANCE: Early 2010 work up three times from ‘dismal’ year ago

The county’s largest homegrown bank has seen the values of its deals triple from last year

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Teridian Pegs Growth on Electricity Meter Chips

TECHNOLOGY: Chipmaker now among largest in county

Chipmaker Teridian is in a growing market and is evaluating a public offering

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FIFI's BEST

Fifi Chao summarizes her annual feature, with Chef of the Year and other interesting round-ups of dining possibilities.

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Logistics Co. Set to Expand, Hire in Fullerton

REAL ESTATE: South Coast moving into Smurfit site in April

A South Bay trucking company has acquired an empty Fullerton warehouse where it plans to relocate its headquarters

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Hyundai Holds Steady as Automakers Cut 250 Jobs in Past Year

AUTO: Epic downturn brings cuts; subtle 2010 industry recovery seen

ABOUT THE LIST: The strongest automakers with operations in OC held steady in the past year as others cut jobs. Includes the complete list for download (pdf).

On Deck: Redoing Angel Stadium, Again; Top Toshiba Field

OC INSIDER Column by Rick Reiff

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Life After Crash for Private Equity

FINANCE: Deals slowed in 2009 but didn’t stop; $4B-plus in 2 years

Private equity deals continued flowing in OC in the past two years

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Auto Dealers See Sales Fall 19%

Worst Drop in Years; Used Cars Held Up OK

ABOUT THE LIST: Every local auto dealer that reported numbers to the Business Journal saw a decline in sales in 2009. Includes the 2010 OC's Largest Auto Dealers list for download (pdf)

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One Year Out

Mazzo’s Focal Point Shifts from Wall Street to Chicago

It’s been a year since Abbott Laboratories bought Advanced Medical Optics

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Aliso Viejo Software Startup 3Tera Bought

A startup maker of cloud computing software was acquired last week by technology services kingpin CA Inc.

STEC Seeks To Diversify After Big EMC Pullback

TECHNOLOGY: Stock plummets on outlook; co. eyes sales to others

STEC has to diversify or wait out its main customer’s inventory glut after a tough first quarter outlook

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First American Reverses Loss, Updates Spinoff

First American Corp. reported a profit and sales in line with Wall Street estimates last week and said it hopes to complete a long-planned spinoff by June 1.

Ruling Winds Down ‘Roxy’ War

APPAREL: Quiksilver, rival both claim qualified wins; back to 2004

Quiksilver saw an appeals court reverse a ban against a rival clothing maker, but it says it still came out ahead in the ruling

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Loving the Lounge

Local Restaurants Offer Deals, Stylish Digs for Diners in the Bar, Lounge

Vignettes on upscale lounges, bars and happy hours with inexpensive menus.

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Chef of the Year

K’Ya’s Chef Connole Churns Out Cheap Plates, with Global Flavors

Fifi Chao’s pick for Chef of the Year

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Return of Real Estate Finance

VIEWPOINT

One local executive thinks he is seeing the return of real estate finance

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REAL ESTATE WATCH: AIRPORT

Airport Area’s Industrial Market Sees More Positive Signs than Office

The airport area’s industrial market is seeing some positive signs, in Real Estate Watch

REAL ESTATE DEALS

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

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Shea Properties Makes Moves In and Out of Orange County

Huntington Co. Has Big Plans for High-Rise in Hanoi; Santa Ana Shopping Center Acquired

The commercial real estate arm of J.F. Shea has made some moves lately, in the Real Estate column by Mark Mueller

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Cosmetic Stimulus: Botox Coupon, One-Shot Juvéderm

Drug Maker Radient Outlines Plan to Stave Off Delisting; Avanir Gets Expanded Drug Patent

Allergan is hoping to continue spurring sales of medical cosmetics with its own stimulus package, in the Healthcare column

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Integrien Names Former FileNet CEO Roberts to Board

WiSpry Nabs Patent for Chip Technology; Netlist Hires Head of Research and Development

A local software startup added an OC software veteran to its board, in the Technology column by Sarah Tolkoff

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‘Got Milk’ Marketer Starts 2010 Hispanic Ad Campaign

AlPunto: Rice Campaign With Univision Weather Girl; Casanova Does Youth Exercise PSA

California Milk Processor Board is starting its latest Hispanic marketing campaign, in the Media and Marketing column by Michael Volpe

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