Orange County Business Journal

OCBJ WEEKLY LISTS

ABOUT THE LISTS: Click on a headline for a summary and analysis of a weekly List (each story includes a FREE download for paid subscribers)

Bundles Make Big Business for Maker of Security Systems

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.

By Kate Schwartz July 6, 2015 midnight share »

OC-Based Chains Serve Up 5.8% Increase in Revenue

Business is strong for Orange County-based restaurant chains, mirroring a year of eating heartily nationwide.

By Paul Hughes June 29, 2015 midnight share »

Private Cos. Set Pace on Jobs

The biggest private companies based in Orange County have been big on building the local workforce over the past year, adding jobs at a faster pace than the county’s overall economy.

June 22, 2015 midnight share »

OC Developers Double Down on Openings, Backlog

Orange County’s top commercial developers nearly doubled the number of completed projects in the region in the past year while pushing their backlog of active projects to a level not reached since the last real estate boom.

By Mark Mueller June 15, 2015 midnight share »

Smaller Projects Help Construction Firms Post Growth

Orange County’s largest commercial construction companies had solid growth in revenue, jobs, and work backlogs last year, despite a relatively small number of mega projects to call their own.

By Mark Mueller June 15, 2015 midnight share »

PE Firms Establish Niches in Quest for Portfolio Growth

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.

By Jane Yu June 8, 2015 midnight share »

More Deals, Smaller Checks on Local VC Landscape

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.

By Jane Yu June 8, 2015 midnight share »

Apparel Makers’ Workforce Levels Flat From Year Ago

The 51 largest apparel companies based in Orange County employed a local workforce of 10,148, according to this week’s Business Journal list. 

By Mediha DiMartino June 1, 2015 midnight share »
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Women-Owned Businesses Wanted for Annual List

Is your company women-owned? The Business Journal wants to hear from you.

By Dana Truong May 29, 2015 1:34 p.m. share »

Employment Agencies Continue Growth With 2% Jump

The largest staffing firms in Orange County combined for a modest increase in revenue last year, coming off a small dip in 2013.

By Jane Yu May 18, 2015 midnight share »

SBA Loans Jump, National Lenders Lead Way

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.

By Jane Yu May 4, 2015 midnight share »

Software Makers Grow Employment 4th Year Straight

The largest software makers in Orange County added jobs for the fourth straight year, albeit at a slower clip.

By Chris Casacchia April 27, 2015 midnight share »

Security Bigger Part of CFO Role as Big Data Grows

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.

By Jane Yu April 20, 2015 midnight share »

Ups, Downs Even Out as Aerospace Holds Steady on Jobs

Employment at Orange County’s largest aerospace and defense contractors was roughly flat for the third straight year.

By Chris Casacchia April 20, 2015 midnight share »

Private Companies Wanted for Annual List

The Business Journal is preparing its annual list of privately owned companies for publication in June.

April 20, 2015 midnight share »

Panel’s Prediction: Predictive on Rise

The chief marketing officer of the future could look more like Star Trek’s Captain Kirk than the guys from the “Mad Men” show.

By Mediha DiMartino April 13, 2015 midnight share »

Ad Agencies Top $1 Billion, Led by Gains at Top

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.

By Mediha DiMartino April 13, 2015 midnight share »

Printers Reach Beyond Paper, Ink for Revenue Gains

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.

By Mediha DiMartino April 13, 2015 midnight share »

Public Companies Pass $200B on Allergan Effect

Orange County’s 100 biggest public companies combine for more than $207 billion in market capitalization, a gain of 62% from a year earlier.

By Jane Yu April 6, 2015 midnight share »

Commercial Brokerages Post Fifth Year of Gains

A sharp increase in leasing activity, continued strength in the for-sale market, and the effects of industry consolidations propelled Orange County’s largest commercial brokerages to a banner year in 2014.

By Mark Mueller March 30, 2015 midnight share »

Environmental Firms’ Work Rose 8% Last Year

The largest environmental consultants with offices in Orange County billed $602 million in 2014, an 8% jump over last year’s $556 million.

By Paul Hughes March 23, 2015 midnight share »

Title Work Stumbles in 2014 as Interest Rates Top 4%

Business for Orange County’s largest title insurers plummeted last year as refinance activity significantly declined.

By Mark Mueller March 16, 2015 midnight share »

Allergan Purchase Pushes M&A Past $90B in 2014

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.

By Jane Yu March 9, 2015 midnight share »

Largest Minority-Owned Businesses Top $14B in Sales

The largest minority-owned businesses with headquarters in Orange County combined for $14.4 billion in revenue last year, a 9% increase over 2013.

March 9, 2015 midnight share »

Upscale Bars Offer Comfort, Sociable Dining Alternative

Having a glass of wine with friends is no longer the cutting-edge trend. We are now having cocktails.

By Fifi Chao March 2, 2015 midnight share »

Mastering the Plan: Share Sales Rise for OC’s Big Three

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.

By Mark Mueller February 23, 2015 midnight share »

Infill Projects Keep Big and Small Builders Busy

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.

By Mark Mueller February 23, 2015 midnight share »

Q&A

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.

By Vita Reed February 9, 2015 midnight share »

Big Hospitals’ Profits Drop 21% in Year Through Sept.

Pretax profits dropped steeply at Orange County’s largest hospitals during the past year.

By Vita Reed February 9, 2015 midnight share »

Community Benefits a Must for Private Nonprofits

More than a few of Orange County’s prominent hospital operators deliver something in addition to their standard healthcare: “community benefits.”

By Vita Reed February 9, 2015 midnight share »

Banks, Thrift Expand Orange County Deposits by 8%

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.

By Jane Yu February 2, 2015 midnight share »

Legal Pros Focus on Fine Arts, Plan UCI Collaboration

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.

By Jane Yu January 19, 2015 midnight share »

Law Firms Add Attorneys After Two Years of Cuts

The biggest law firms in Orange County grew their workforces in 2014, breaking a two-year streak of cuts in attorney headcount.

By Jane Yu January 19, 2015 midnight share »

New Yorker’s OC Junket Puts Jannard in YouTube Picture

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).

By Jerry Sullivan December 15, 2014 midnight share »

El Sol’s Sunny Mission

The idea of charter schools was little-known concept in Orange County in 1999, recalls Susan Mas.

By Kim Haman December 8, 2014 midnight share »

Orange County Nonprofit Groups Have Year of Growth

More people needed a lift last year, and local donors and charitable organizations responded with more money and more people to offer help.

By Paul Hughes December 8, 2014 midnight share »

How South Coast Repertory Works Neighborhoods

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.

By Kim Haman December 8, 2014 midnight share »

Caritas Turns Mobile Homes Into Upward Mobility

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.

By Kim Haman December 8, 2014 midnight share »

Sales Up 2.3% at Biggest OC Shopping Centers

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.

By Mediha DiMartino December 1, 2014 midnight share »

Auto Dealers Sales Stay Hot; Near $5B on 6.3% Increase

Orange County’s car culture continues to keep pace with the revved-up national market.

By Mediha DiMartino December 1, 2014 midnight share »

Automakers Ride Strong Sales, Boost Jobs by 3.2%

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. 

By Mediha DiMartino December 1, 2014 midnight share »

Biggest Employers Churn Out Another Modest Increase

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.

By Jane Yu November 24, 2014 midnight share »

Banks Post Biggest Jump in Assets Since Predownturn

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.

By Jane Yu November 17, 2014 midnight share »

Biggest Credit Unions Account for Bulk of Growth

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.

By Jane Yu November 17, 2014 midnight share »

Mixed Backdrop as Chipmakers Cut Local Jobs by 2.5%

The largest chipmakers in Orange County cut jobs in the past year as a major restructuring, Chapter 11 bankruptcy, and two sales stunted growth.

By Chris Casacchia November 10, 2014 midnight share »

Fastest Growers Keep Pace

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.

By Jane Yu November 3, 2014 midnight share »

Need for Speed

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.

By Jane Yu November 3, 2014 midnight share »

Much Bigger Homebuilder

If you think TRI Pointe Homes Inc.’s revenue growth over the past 24 months is eye-opening, just wait until next year.

By Mark Mueller November 3, 2014 midnight share »

Cold Heat

Cryoport Inc.’s chilly business is fueling red-hot sales growth.

By Vita Reed November 3, 2014 midnight share »

Financial Firms Add Advisers, Cut Total Workforces

Orange County’s financial advisory firms combined to deepen the pool of registered advisers here while reducing the size of their overall employment bases.

By Jane Yu October 27, 2014 midnight share »

MBA Programs Combine To Post 11% Decrease

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.

By Paul Hughes October 13, 2014 midnight share »

OC Insurance Brokers Aim for Middle to Offset Corporate Migration

Credit some of Orange County’s biggest insurance brokers with quick adjustments to shifts in California’s corporate landscape.

By Jane Yu October 6, 2014 midnight share »

Rebranding Puts Consulting Firm on Path of Growth

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.

By Mediha DiMartino September 29, 2014 midnight share »

Focus on Wireless Networks Looks Like Good Call

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.

By Mediha DiMartino September 29, 2014 midnight share »

Architecture Firms’ Billings Up, Jobs About Flat

Orange County’s architecture firms combined for a 1.6% increase in local billings, modest growth after last year’s 13% surge.

By Mediha DiMartino September 29, 2014 midnight share »

Engineering Firms’ Revenues Drop After 3-Year Jump

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.

By Mediha DiMartino September 29, 2014 midnight share »

How Fast Is $18.7 Billion?

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.

By Jerry Sullivan September 22, 2014 midnight share »

Conditions Drove Contractor’s Meteoric Trajectory

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.

By Mediha DiMartino September 22, 2014 midnight share »

Little Big List

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.

By Jane Yu September 22, 2014 midnight share »

Midmarket Movers

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.

By Jane Yu September 22, 2014 midnight share »

Double Time

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.

By Jane Yu September 22, 2014 midnight share »

OC Medical Device Makers Rank High for New Hires

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.

By Vita Reed September 15, 2014 midnight share »

10 Biggest Drugmakers Combine for 1% Job Growth

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.

By Vita Reed September 15, 2014 midnight share »

Contract Electronics Makers’ Job Count Flat Again

Local employment growth has evaded Orange County’s largest contract electronics makers for another year, despite a boost in global sales for the industry.

By Chris Casacchia September 8, 2014 midnight share »

Private Foundation Giving Up Overall, Down in OC

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.

By Paul Hughes September 1, 2014 midnight share »

Corporate Giving Generally Up Fourth Year Running

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.

By Paul Hughes September 1, 2014 midnight share »

OC Cities Post Population Growth, Irvine Up Nearly 5%

Orange County cities continued growing last year, combining for a net 1% increase in population to about 3 million.

By Jane Yu August 25, 2014 midnight share »

Telecoms Drop Employment After 2 Years of Gains

Two cost-cutting moves fueled a significant drop in local employment among Orange County’s largest telecommunications companies in the past year.

By Chris Casacchia August 25, 2014 midnight share »

HMOs’ Membership Up, PPOs’ Numbers Down 3%

Health maintenance organizations had a year of growth in Orange County.

By Vita Reed August 18, 2014 midnight share »

Dental HMO, PPO Memberships Drop 1% to 2M-Plus

Managed dental care plans saw a slight drop in their Orange County membership during the past year.

By Vita Reed August 18, 2014 midnight share »

Public Relations Firms Combine for 7.5% Jobs Increase

The biggest public relations firms based in Orange County combined to employ 416 staffers as of July, a 7.5% year-over-year increase.

By Mediha DiMartino August 11, 2014 midnight share »

OC’s Wealthiest

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.

August 11, 2014 midnight share »

No Summer Swoon for Wealthiest

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.

By Jerry Sullivan August 4, 2014 midnight share »

Best Companies Rise to Top With Closer Look

The latest batch of Orange County’s best places to work earned the distinction after a heightened research process.

By Jane Yu July 28, 2014 midnight share »

Hotels Get Creative With Modern Looks for Lobbies

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.

By Mark Mueller July 21, 2014 midnight share »

Tenant-Improvement Firms Ride Upturn for 29% Jump

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.

By Mark Mueller July 21, 2014 midnight share »

Accounting Firms Tally Up 4% in OC Staff Increases

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.

By Jane Yu July 14, 2014 midnight share »

Management Consultants Grow OC Workforces 25%

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.

By Jane Yu July 14, 2014 midnight share »
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Report: Yard House Tabbed For Growth

Yard House USA Inc. is the second-fastest growing restaurant chain in the country, according to Nation’s Restaurant News.

By Paul Hughes July 8, 2014 10:48 a.m. share »
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Fastest-Growing Private Companies Wanted for Annual List

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.

July 7, 2014 10:06 a.m. share »

Women’s Work: Revenue Growth, New Hires

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.

By Jane Yu July 7, 2014 midnight share »

Business Still Warm for Restaurant Chains

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.

By Paul Hughes June 30, 2014 midnight share »

Private Companies Plow Ahead

Orange County’s biggest private companies got bigger in a continued run of revenue and employment gains.

By Jane Yu June 23, 2014 midnight share »

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.

By Jane Yu June 23, 2014 midnight share »

Developers Exceed Post- Recession Mark for First Time

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.

By Mark Mueller June 16, 2014 midnight share »

Backlogs Yet to Boost Construction Firms’ Top Lines

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.

By Mark Mueller June 16, 2014 midnight share »

Versant Leads 60% Jump in Local VC Investments

Orange County’s top venture capital firms combined to invest $79 million in local companies last year, a 60% increase from a year earlier.

By Jane Yu June 9, 2014 midnight share »

Apparel Makers Grow Sales, Local Workforce Flat

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. 

By Mediha DiMartino June 2, 2014 midnight share »

Hotel Construction, Remodeling in High Gear

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.

By Kari Hamanaka May 27, 2014 midnight share »

3-Year Streak of Gains Ends for Employment Agencies Here

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.

By Jane Yu May 19, 2014 midnight share »

Another Shift for OC 50

Call it 10%—that’s about the turnover rate for this year’s OC 50, the Business Journal’s annual inventory of influence.

By Jerry Sullivan May 12, 2014 midnight share »

Biggest SBA Lenders Notch 14% Increase in OC

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.

By Jane Yu May 5, 2014 midnight share »

Software Makers Continue Streak of Job Gains

Orange County’s largest software makers added 223 jobs in the past year, up 2.8% from a year ago.

By Chris Casacchia April 28, 2014 midnight share »

Computer Products Makers Increase Local Employment

The largest computer products makers in Orange County posted strong employment gains during the past year as local acquisitions helped fuel growth.

By Chris Casacchia April 28, 2014 midnight share »

Aerospace, Defense Contractors Back to Even on Jobs Here

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.

By Chris Casacchia April 21, 2014 midnight share »

Ad Agencies’ Revenues Up 5.7% on Client Spending

Orange County’s advertising agencies posted an estimated 5.7% gain in revenue last year as clients opened their wallets on marketing budgets.

By Mediha DiMartino April 14, 2014 midnight share »

Commercial Printers Grow Revenue 4% to $558.7M

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.

By Mediha DiMartino April 14, 2014 midnight share »

Top Public Cos. Total $134B on 18.7% Gain in Market Cap

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.

By Mark Mueller April 7, 2014 midnight share »

Big-Dollar Sales Drove Brokerage Gains Last Year

Orange County’s largest commercial brokerages continued to benefit from investor interest in local properties in 2013, and to a lesser extent, tenant demand.

By Mark Mueller March 31, 2014 midnight share »

Property Managers Build Portfolios in Brisk Market

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.

By Mark Mueller March 31, 2014 midnight share »