OCBJ WEEKLY LISTSABOUT THE LISTS: Click on a headline for a summary and analysis of a weekly List (each story includes a FREE download for paid subscribers)
40 Biggest Combine For $474M in Local Work
Orange County’s architecture firms combined for a 9.1% increase in local billings this year following a modest 1.6% increase in local billings last year, and are on track to return to the 13% surge they had in 2013.
Increase Total By 1.7% Following 1.5% Decrease
Orange County’s top engineering firms with headquarters or significant operations here have recovered from a 1.5% drop in billings last year, posting a 1.7% increase in local billings during the 12-month period ended June 30.
18 Biggest Companies Add Just Nine Employees
Employment at the county’s largest contract electronics makers was flat over the past 12 months, despite steady sales growth in the industry worldwide.
Firm Uniquely Emphasizes Office Design, Worker Space
Hyundai Capital America is often identified locally in connection with the large, transparent building next to the San Diego (405) Freeway in Irvine known as The Michelson.
Dollar Value Up 16.2% After 29%, 20% Increases
Orange County’s largest tenant-improvement contractors continued their growth trend last year but slowed in all aspects, including local revenue and number of employees.
A diversity of business sectors, ample capital held by investor groups, and demographic factors are some key drivers behind a robust mergers-and-acquisitions scene in Orange County. The fast pace of M&A activity means professional services providers, such as accountants, are in high demand to carry out sound due-diligence procedures and provide guidance. The Business Journal’s Jane Yu asked local accounting firm executives to share their thoughts on M&A activity in Orange County, as well as to discuss expectations for future trends and client concerns. Here are edited excerpts of their responses:
Employment Up 4.4%, Top Spots Unchanged
Orange County’s largest accounting firms combined to grow the sector’s local workforce by about 4% over the past year, marking the fourth straight year of modest gains.
27 Firms Eke Out 1% Gain to 1,551 Jobs Here
The pace of employment growth at Orange County’s top management consulting firms slowed over the past year, driven primarily by job cuts at the biggest.
Orange County’s biggest women-owned businesses generated $3.5 billion in revenue last year, notching a 5.6% increase and extending a streak of gains to five years.
More Than $70M in Sales To A-List Customers
Priti Sharma moved to Chicago from India at age 16 and at the time had no idea that she would one day own a multimillion-dollar company.
At least 8 Active OC Firms Chart Their Own Courses
Orange County’s private equity scene covers a wide range of industries and market segments, a reflection of the diversity in characteristics and specialties of the investment firms here.
100% Hike in Dollar Volume, 60% Increase Last Year
The biggest venture capital firms in Orange County continued to increase their investments in local companies, though the pace of growth slowed compared with a year earlier.
Special Report: Centerpiece of July 6 edition
Is your company women-owned? The Business Journal wants to hear from you.
FINANCE: Value rises 52%; number of loans up 35%
Small-business lending in Orange County rose substantially in recent months, according to this week’s Business Journal lists based on information from the U.S. Small Business Administration.
Biggest Here Eke Out Modest Gain, Employ 7,991
The largest software makers in Orange County added jobs for the fourth straight year, albeit at a slower clip.
Trend Affects Company Image, Viability, Execs Say
Chief financial officers are increasingly becoming an essential part of the conversation about data security, a topic much discussed today as businesses rely more on collection and analysis of “big data” for various aspects of their operations.
THE LIST: IFE sector offsets cuts at top-ranked Boeing
Employment at Orange County’s largest aerospace and defense contractors was roughly flat for the third straight year.
Special Issue: List will be centerpiece of June 22 edition
The Business Journal is preparing its annual list of privately owned companies for publication in June.
Industry Execs Caution on Trade-Off of Privacy
The chief marketing officer of the future could look more like Star Trek’s Captain Kirk than the guys from the “Mad Men” show.
Newcomers Help Boost List’s Total, Account for 40%
Orange County’s largest advertising agencies posted an estimated 9% gain in revenue last year, enough to push the group over the $1 billion benchmark.
Use of Data to Help Clients Refine Targets One Key
The largest commercial printers based in Orange County combined for $585 million in revenue last year, a 7.5% increase from their total in 2013.
Drugmaker’s Sale Brings Much of Big Lift; Edwards, Broadcom Chip In; HCP Moves In
Orange County’s 100 biggest public companies combine for more than $207 billion in market capitalization, a gain of 62% from a year earlier.
Grow on Economy, Buys, Expanding Services, Goats
The largest environmental consultants with offices in Orange County billed $602 million in 2014, an 8% jump over last year’s $556 million.
Value Doubled, Even Without $70B+ Sale of Drugmaker
Orange County-based companies were buyers and sellers in 303 corporate mergers and acquisitions in 2014, a year of robust local deal activity that involved slightly fewer deals and many more dollars.
Claim Center Stage With Inviting Decor, Food, Drink
Having a glass of wine with friends is no longer the cutting-edge trend. We are now having cocktails.
Irvine Ranch, Pavilion Park, RMV Counter Nat’l Trend
Sales at Orange County’s best-selling masterplanned residential developments showed no signs of slowing last year and are poised for more growth this year, despite a cooling trend across much of the country.
Less Risk, Fast Sales Appeal to Publicly Traded Firms
Orange County’s largest masterplanned developments are driving a bulk of the recent new-home sales in the region, but plenty of builders are also finding success buying land for residential projects off the beaten path.
Healthcare is more often being delivered outside of traditional hospital walls, a trend that has been driven to some degree by the Affordable Care Act, as well as by technological improvements. Orange County hospitals are no stranger to the shift. The Business Journal’s Vita Reed talked to several hospital executives to discuss outpatient offerings and their purposes. Edited excerpts of their answers follow.
28 on List Have Second Down Year in a Row
Pretax profits dropped steeply at Orange County’s largest hospitals during the past year.
Law Requires the Hospitals To Assume Social Obligation
More than a few of Orange County’s prominent hospital operators deliver something in addition to their standard healthcare: “community benefits.”
43 Combine for $84.1 Billion, Mirroring Year-Earlier Rise
Commercial banks in Orange County continued to grow local deposits, notching another 8% increase over the year through June for a total of $84.1 billion.
Attorneys Work With UCI Program to Boost Fine Arts
Put together a few attorneys sharing a passion for the arts and a local university that fosters artistic talent, throw in some creative thinking and readiness to provide support, and you’ll get Off-Center, a collective launched by a committee of local lawyers and educators in concert with University of California-Irvine’s art department.
Headcount Up 3.2%; More Make List Due to Growth
The biggest law firms in Orange County grew their workforces in 2014, breaking a two-year streak of cuts in attorney headcount.
Much of this week’s issue is dedicated to a look back at 2014, which has proved to be a remarkable year in many respects for the community of business in Orange County (see overview, page 1; coverage by industry, pages 5 through 18).
Plenty of Business Backers for Santa Ana School’s Focus on Arts, Academics, Dual Immersion
The idea of charter schools was little-known concept in Orange County in 1999, recalls Susan Mas.
Every Category Is Higher, Including Costs, Clients
More people needed a lift last year, and local donors and charitable organizations responded with more money and more people to offer help.
NONPROFITS: Program adapts to schools’ needs
She was about 10 years old, a painfully shy girl with huge brown eyes and a mop of shiny brown hair. She had a nice smile—when it could be coaxed to appear.
NONPROFITS: Operates 20 parks in region, three in OC
It could be hard to imagine what it must be like to escape one terrible situation, only to be trapped in a nearly identical situation a short time later.
RETAIL: 32 biggest combine for $7.3 billion
Taxable sales at the top 32 shopping centers in Orange County grew for the fifth straight year, but at a slower pace, according to this week’s Business Journal list.
Fletcher Jones No. 1 Again; Several Dealerships Sold
Orange County’s car culture continues to keep pace with the revved-up national market.
6 With U.S. Headquarters Here Combine to Employ 2,279
The six automakers with U.S. operations based in Orange County combined to employ 2,279 workers here, 3.2% more than a year earlier, according to this week’s Business Journal list.
ECONOMY: Top 79 combine for 258,796 jobs, 17% of county’s total
Orange County’s biggest employers grew their combined workforce by 1% in the past year, a modest but steady pace of growth for the fourth straight year.
23 Together See 35% Rise To $18.5 Billion In Year
Orange County-based commercial banks have notched the biggest year-over-year asset growth in the ongoing economic recovery and even since the few years prior to the recession.
Group’s Assets to $16.9B, Despite Declines for Most
Orange County’s credit unions built assets at a faster clip over the past year, when the biggest of the group pulled most of the gains.
Biggest Here Combine for 4,735 Positions
The largest chipmakers in Orange County cut jobs in the past year as a major restructuring, Chapter 11 bankruptcy, and two sales stunted growth.
Public Cos. Combine for 24% Hike to $83B in Sales
The latest batch of Orange County’s fastest-growing public companies kept pace with last year’s mix, combining for a 24% growth rate on revenue.
Why Fast-Growing Companies Matter to Local Economy
Fast growth matters. Having a deep pool of fast-growing public companies is a plus on many fronts for Orange County’s economy and community.
TRI Pointe’s Revenue Jumps 1,621%—Before Big Buy From Weyerhaeuser
If you think TRI Pointe Homes Inc.’s revenue growth over the past 24 months is eye-opening, just wait until next year.
Cryoport Gets Goods There Cold, Grows Revenue by Nearly 400%
Cryoport Inc.’s chilly business is fueling red-hot sales growth.
Reps Jump 3.4%, Overall Staff Down 5% at Top 23
Orange County’s financial advisory firms combined to deepen the pool of registered advisers here while reducing the size of their overall employment bases.
Trend Comes With Economic Recovery
Enrollment in master of business administration programs serving Orange County fell 11% over the past year while the number of graduations was up at some schools.
Credit some of Orange County’s biggest insurance brokers with quick adjustments to shifts in California’s corporate landscape.
Says Unique Identity Makes It Stand Out From Crowd
Stantec Consulting Services Inc. was able to put its best foot forward when competing for business this year, thanks to a major rebranding effort initiated by its parent, Stantec Inc. in Edmonton, Canada.
Rome & Associates Built On Telecommunications Work
Jeffrey Rome never thought when he got his degree in architecture that he’d spend most of his time designing wireless networks. Now, some 24 years later, 90% of billings at his Jeffrey Rome & Associates Inc. firm come from projects for major telecommunications companies such as AT&T, Crown Castle International Corp. and Verizon.
Combine For 1% Jump To $417 Million Locally
Orange County’s architecture firms combined for a 1.6% increase in local billings, modest growth after last year’s 13% surge.
39 Bring in $2.8 Billion In OC-Generated Billings
The top engineering firms with headquarters or significant operations in Orange County ended a three-year streak of gains with a 1.5% drop in local billings during the 12-month period ending June 30.
$5.5B Gain in 2 Years for 174 Fastest Growers Based in OC
There’s no shortage of numbers available to put some punch into this week’s coverage of the fastest-growing private companies based in Orange County.
Driver Urban’s Revenue Jumped 25,402% to $131.3M
Driver Urban had three things working for it in 2012 when it spun off from a large construction company—it entered the marketplace at the right time, at the right price, and with the right expertise.
$4.3B Revenue Increase Spread Over 13 Largest Fast Growers
Far fewer but much bigger. That’s one way to sum up the biggest of the fastest-growing private companies based in Orange County—13 companies that combined for $16.1 billion in revenue, a 37% jump.
73 Companies Combine for $2.2 Billion in Revenue
The 73 fastest-growing private companies in Orange County with revenues between $10 million and $100 million collectively grew their combined top line by 76.1% over the past two years to $2.2 billion.
Companies Under $10M Mark on Revenue Combine for 100% Jump
The fastest-growing companies in Orange County with revenues of less than $10 million combined to nearly double their sales over the past two years to $399 million.
Edwards, Endologix Among Big Gainers on Consultant List
Irvine-based medical device makers Edwards Lifesciences Corp. and Endologix Inc. are vastly different when it comes to revenue and profit, but they both rank among the top 10 hirers in the medical technology field over the past five years, according to a recently released report.
Allergan Leads the Way With 2,400 Local Workers
Irvine-based Allergan Inc. is the runaway leader on the Business Journal’s annual list of drugmakers based in Orange County or with sizable local operations.
Biggest Here Combine For Workforce of 2,728
Local employment growth has evaded Orange County’s largest contract electronics makers for another year, despite a boost in global sales for the industry.
40 Give $33M Locally Last Year, Down 9.3% From ’12
Private foundations based in Orange County gave $156.2 million overall based on their most recent data compared to $128.7 million a year ago—21.4% higher—but their local giving was down, according to data compiled by the Business Journal.
Foundations, Firms’ Charity Arms Give 3.1% More OC Cash
Total cash giving by 35 corporate foundations and company charitable arms active in Orange County dropped 6.4% from a year ago. But discounting two major, one-time giving efforts in 2012 from the largest giver on that year’s list, Wells Fargo & Co. there was a fractional boost for the year—the fourth straight of positive increases, the Business Journal’s list shows.
Combine for 1% Increase To About 3 Million Residents
Orange County cities continued growing last year, combining for a net 1% increase in population to about 3 million.
630 Jobs Lost As Verizon, Time Warner Cut Costs
Two cost-cutting moves fueled a significant drop in local employment among Orange County’s largest telecommunications companies in the past year.
Kaiser Leads HMOs List, Anthem OC’s Biggest PPO
Health maintenance organizations had a year of growth in Orange County.
Delta Dental Plans Still At Top of List of 13 Plans
Managed dental care plans saw a slight drop in their Orange County membership during the past year.
MEDIA: New clients, more social media work drive gain
The biggest public relations firms based in Orange County combined to employ 416 staffers as of July, a 7.5% year-over-year increase.
Orange County’s wealthiest person has been putting a fair amount of his fortune back into his business over the past year—but we’re figuring that he’s still likely to have seen a boost to his bottom line of about $1 billion.
Markets Cooperate as Entries Tally $54B
All the ingredients pointed to another good year for the richest residents of Orange County: an extraordinarily strong run in stocks, continued briskness in the commercial and residential real estate sectors, and some surprising resilience in the bond market.
Annual Survey Delved Deeper With Employers, Workers
The latest batch of Orange County’s best places to work earned the distinction after a heightened research process.
Renovations, New Construction Emphasize Open Design
Look to the lobbies of Orange County’s newest and most recently redesigned hotels to see the hospitality industry’s latest generation of interior design on display.
26 Firms Combine for $677 Million in Revenue Last Year
Orange County’s tenant-improvement industry posted its strongest year in more than a decade last year, buoyed by a spate of new construction work in addition to plenty of renovations at existing properties.
Gains Represent Third Year of Local Staff Jumps
Orange County’s top accounting firms combined to grow their local offices by 4%, continuing a run of employment gains for the third straight year.
Regulatory Changes, Plus Acquisition Fuel Increase
Orange County’s top management consulting firms grew their local offices by 25% over the past year, the highest rate since a recovery in hiring began in 2011.
Yard House USA Inc. is the second-fastest growing restaurant chain in the country, according to Nation’s Restaurant News.
The Business Journal is looking for Orange County-based companies that have seen their yearly sales grow rapidly from mid-2012 to mid-2014 for our annual list of fastest-growing privately held companies.
Female-Owned Businesses Top $3B, 26,000 Jobs
Orange County’s biggest women-owned businesses combined to grow revenue by 7% last year, notching a fourth-straight year of top-line gains for a total of $3.1 billion.
DINING: Biggest based here top $14 billion in sales
Orange County’s 30 largest restaurant chains grew sales 3.4% to surpass $14 billion in systemwide sales last year, reflecting an industry trend of modest overall improvements as the economic recovery continues.
Biggest Here Notch 7% Revenue Gain to $71B
Orange County’s biggest private companies got bigger in a continued run of revenue and employment gains.
Private Companies Plow Ahead
Orange County’s biggest private companies got bigger in a continued run of revenue and employment gains.
Six Firms Finish 1.6M SF, More Than Double Last Year
The opening of new headquarters for two of Orange County’s better-known companies helped the area’s commercial development sector top a square footage mark not seen in six years.
Revenue of 27 Biggest Decreases About 11%
A significant increase in the backlogs of Orange County’s largest commercial construction companies didn’t immediately translate into more work for them last year.
Field’s OC Deals Would Have Dropped Without It
Orange County’s top venture capital firms combined to invest $79 million in local companies last year, a 60% increase from a year earlier.
Largest Based Here Bring In About $9B in Revenue
The 49 largest apparel companies based in Orange County raked in roughly $9 billion in sales, a 9.2% increase from a year ago, according to this week’s Business Journal list.
Industry Employment, Though, Essentially Flat
Dirt’s turning at a rapid clip for Orange County’s hotel landscape, and there may be no other local company that reflects that activity more than R.D. Olson Construction.
SERVICES: Select Staffing’s 7 OC offices combine for top spot
Orange County’s largest employment agencies collectively had $815 million in local revenue last year, a slight dip that broke a three-year streak of gains.
Newcomers Reflect Growth of Services
Call it 10%—that’s about the turnover rate for this year’s OC 50, the Business Journal’s annual inventory of influence.
Combine for $152.6M in Larger Pool of 265 Loans
The pace of small-business lending in Orange County jumped over the past year, according to this week’s Business Journal lists based on information from the U.S. Small Business Administration.
Add 223 Local Positions for Biggest Jump in 3 Years
Orange County’s largest software makers added 223 jobs in the past year, up 2.8% from a year ago.
4.7% Jump Reverses Loss; 5 Add, 8 Cut, 2 Flat
The largest computer products makers in Orange County posted strong employment gains during the past year as local acquisitions helped fuel growth.
Reverse Employment Dip, Adding 147 Local Jobs
Employment at Orange County’s largest aerospace and defense contractors was about flat over the past 12 months, an improvement from slight job loss last year.
Top Agency With $57.9M, Jobs Up 4.4% to 1,713
Orange County’s advertising agencies posted an estimated 5.7% gain in revenue last year as clients opened their wallets on marketing budgets.
Top of List Little Changed, Mergers in Bottom Half
Orange County-based commercial printers brought in $558.7 million in revenue last year, a 3.9% increase over 2012, according to this week’s Business Journal list.
ECONOMY: Allergan No. 1 again; Western Digital adds $9.6B
Orange County’s largest publicly traded companies combined for a cool $20 billion boost to their market valuations over the past year, thanks to strong gains by Allergan Inc. and Western Digital Corp., the largest representatives of the local healthcare and technology sectors.
About $18B In Sales, Leases Result In Nearly 14% Jump
Orange County’s largest commercial brokerages continued to benefit from investor interest in local properties in 2013, and to a lesser extent, tenant demand.
Two Dominate, Group Combines for 8.7% Jump
A flurry of large office purchases by institutional investors, a smattering of development, and new out-of-town accounts helped boost the bottom lines of Orange County’s largest commercial property managers last year.