FINANCE

OC Unemployment Rises

Orange County’s unemployment rate rose to 3.1% in January compared with a revised 2.9% in December but well below the 4% reported in January 2017, according to the state’s Employment Development Department.

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Forbes Picks, Misses OC Billionaires on 2018 List

Thirteen members of the Business Journal’s annual OC’s Wealthiest report made this year’s Forbes list of global billionaires.

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El Pollo Loco Expands Delivery

El Pollo Loco Holdings Inc. (Nasdaq: LOCO) in Costa Mesa expanded delivery service, the second OC-based restaurant operator to do so in the last month.

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AutoGravity Signs TD Bank

Irvine fintech firm AutoGravity today said it signed TD Auto Finance, a subsidiary of TD Bank, to its mobile car sales app.

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Nicholas Donates $40K to UCI Crew

Broadcom Corp. co-founder Henry Nicholas is donating $40,000 to ensure the men and women crew teams at University of California-Irvine will participate in the 2018 American Collegiate Rowing Association National Championship Regatta in May in Georgia.

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Alliant Buys Portland Firm

Newport Beach-based Alliant Insurance Services Inc. said it acquired Portland-based Hecht & Hecht for its property and casualty insurance services. Terms of the agreement were undisclosed.

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Microsemi Sells for $10.15 Billion

Microsemi Corp. (Nasdaq: MSCC), an Aliso Viejo-based semiconductor maker, is selling itself for an enterprise value of $10.15 billion to Microchip Technology Inc. (Nasdaq: MCHP).

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Habit to Test Breakfast, Develop App, Kiosks

Habit Restaurants Inc. (Nasdaq: HABT) in Irvine will test breakfast menu items and develop a digital mobile app and a kiosk ordering system.

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New Boss at Accounting Firm RSM Itching to Grow

RSM US LLP named Paul Short as its new managing partner for its Irvine office.

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Disneyland Employees Report Low-Pay Hardships

A report released Feb. 28 says low wages paid to Disneyland Resort workers have led to homelessness, hunger and financial woes.

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El Pollo Loco Names Chief

El Pollo Loco Holdings Inc. in Costa Mesa said Bernard Acoca will replace Steve Sather as president and chief executive and take his spot on the fast food chicken chain’s board.

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Habit Revenue Up, Income Flat

Habit Restaurants Inc. in Irvine said fourth quarter and full-year revenue rose but net income for both periods was either down or flat.

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Microsemi in Play: Report

Aliso Viejo-based Microsemi Corp. is in “advanced talks” on a potential sale to Microchip Technology Inc., according to a Wall Street Journal report.

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Avid CFO Resigns

Biologics manufacturer Avid Bioservices Inc. announced Chief Financial Officer Paul Lytle resigned, effective May 24.

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UEI Shares Pop

Shares of Universal Electronics Inc. are up 25% in afternoon trading to a market value of about $784 million, with shares moving about three times higher than the average.

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Endologix CEO Out

Endologix Inc. Chief Executive John McDermott resigned.

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Sunwest Promotes Lappetito

Irvine-based Sunwest Bank promoted Carson Lappetito to president from his previous position of chief operating officer.

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BJ’s Beats; Revenue Up

BJ’s Restaurants Inc. (Nasdaq: BJRI) beat expectations on revenue and net income in its most recent quarter and its shares were up more than 10% in Friday trading.

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Laguna Hotel Sells for $21M

Laguna Riviera Beach Resort sold for $21 million, title transfers and CoStar Group information confirm.

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App-Based Temp Firm Gets CFO

ShiftPixy Inc. in January named Patrice Launay chief financial officer to replace Stephen DeSantis, who resigned in October.

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Alteryx Beats in Q4

Irvine-based Alteryx Inc. reported fourth quarter revenue and operating income that topped Wall Street expectations, with shares trading 17% higher after the release of the results.

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Taco Bell's $9.8 Billion Bests Burger King

Taco Bell systemwide sales rose 5% in 2017 to $9.8 billion, making it the fourth-largest U.S. restaurant brand by that metric, according to early numbers from Chicago-based food industry consultant Technomic Inc.

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Montage Sets Sonoma Details

A long-rumored Montage Hotels & Resorts property in wine country gets underway this spring for an expected 2020 opening.

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William Lyon Homes Pays $460M for Local Builder

William Lyon Homes said on Tuesday that it has agreed to buy fellow Newport Beach-based homebuilder RSI Communities, for $460 million.

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Nemus Raises $1.75M

Nemus Bioscience Inc. (OTCQB: NMUS) received a $1.75 million private placement from majority shareholder Emerald Health Sciences Inc. and other investors.

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