Stories for May 2005
Tuesday, May 31
Irvine-based Quest Software Inc. is buying Vintela Inc. of Lindon, Utah, for $56.5 million, the company said Tuesday.
The Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday that the jury instructions were flawed in overturning the conviction of onetime accounting giant Arthur Andersen for the destruction of documents related to Enron Corp.
San Clemente-based ICU Medical Inc. plans to move production of its medical devices from Orange County to a newly acquired plant in Utah, the company said Tuesday.
Sunglasses maker Oakely Inc. on Tuesday released a new version of its sunglasses with a built-in digital music player.
Shares of Autobytel Inc., which links car buyers to dealers online, surged nearly 19% Tuesday on news that it named a chief financial officer and brought its past-due financial statements up-to-date.
Insurer American International Group Inc., which is being sued by U.S. regulators over an accounting scandal, said on Tuesday it had overstated net income for the past five years by $3.9 billion, or 10%.
The Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday that the jury instructions were flawed in overturning the conviction of onetime accounting giant Arthur Andersen for the destruction of documents related to Enron Corp.
U.S. consumer confidence rose in May with concerns about jobs and the economy easing, a report said on Tuesday. The Conference Board said its gauge of sentiment rose to 102.2 from a revised 97.5 in April.
European Union trade chief Peter Mandelson will announce on Tuesday that the bloc is reopening its World Trade Organization case over state support for U.S. aircraft maker Boeing, an EU official said.
Aliso Viejo-based Fluor Corp. was tapped by Saudi Arabia's Saudi Basic Industries Corp. to build water and power supplies for a petrochemical complex.
Advanced Medical Optics Inc. of Santa Ana said Tuesday that it wrapped up its $1.3 billion cash and stock buy of Visx Inc.
Peregrine Pharmaceuticals Inc. on Tuesday got the go-ahead from the Food and Drug Administration to start clinical trials on its Tarvacin drug for chronic hepatitis C infection.
The number of math and science teachers trained by the University of California would quadruple over the next five years under a new program announced Tuesday by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Panasonic Corp. of North America has sold its 540,000-square-foot office and distribution campus in Cypress in one of the biggest industrial deals of the past few years.
Monday, May 30
Youth Tips From Eldon and Donald; Iseman's Defenders
Bluewater Grill's wild salmon special is running out, in the Executive Dining column
The Register has beaten back the Times in OC, though both papers have seen big circulation declines
The Business Journal's 11th annual Women in Business award winners
Nexus has more plans in the Platinum Triangle, in the Real Estate column
Japan's Great Laundry debuts at The Lab, in the Marketplace column
State Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi is about to make his workers' comp rate cut recommendation,
A Stradling, Yocca partner was named to the Orange County Superior Court bench
Panasonic sold its Cypress facility in one of the biggest industrial sales in the past few years
Printers reported a second consecutive year of revenue gains
Gateway's looking for ways to challenge Dell, HP, in the Technology column
A branding nightmare: Federal bureaucrats now count Orange County under L.A.'s metropolitan statistical area, a Viewpoint
Bright Now Dental has traded hands between private equity firms
Retail development is picking up for the first time in a couple of years. PLUS: CHART - Net Absorption; Vacancy Rates; Average Asking Lease Rates
UCI researchers used an IntraLase device to develop a corneal transplant technique, in the Healthcare column
Printing companies see the Internet and higher paper costs as a threat
Kohl's is eager to get a piece of Quiksilver's Hawk line, in the Media & Marketing column
John Parker, a 77-year-old development veteran, is taking a step back from the family-owned company he founded
Friday, May 27
Fannie Mae, the largest home funding company, said on Friday its mortgage portfolio fell by an annualized 16.3% in April, its sixth straight monthly drop.
U.S. consumer spending growth slowed in April, rising a slimmer-than-expected 0.6%, but shoppers got a little more for their money as inflation eased a bit, a government report showed on Friday.
Foothill Ranch-based Wet Seal Inc.'s store-closing efforts look to be paying off. The teen retailer said Friday its first-quarter operating loss narrowed to $6.8 million on a 3.9% rise in sales to $103.8 million.
The dollar held near a seven-month high against the euro on Friday on solid U.S. growth figures and expectations that France would say "Non" to an EU constitution in an upcoming referendum.
Irvine-based New Century Financial Corp. said Friday it plans to buy Royal Bank of Canada's U.S.-based RBC Mortgage Co. in a bid to expand beyond subprime lending.
Preparing graduates for the local workforce and building business ties are key goals of the incoming chancellor of the University of California, Irvine.
San Clemente-based Sunstone Hotel Investors Inc. has agreed to buy hotels in downtown Washington, D.C., and Cerritos for $187 million in cash and debt.
Thursday, May 26
New York authorities on Thursday filed a civil lawsuit against insurer American International Group Inc., its former chief executive, Maurice "Hank" Greenberg, and his chief financial officer, saying they committed fraud and manipulated the books
Hong Kong Disneyland doesn't open until September, but officials are already talking about expanding the theme park.
Advanced Medical Optics Inc. of Santa Ana said its $1.3 billion cash and stock buy of Visx Inc. is set to close in the next few days.
Innovative Surgical Products Inc., a contract medical device maker, is moving from Santa Ana to a bigger and newly renovated facility in Tustin.
Ruth Ko once performed with Don Ho at Disneyland. On Thursday, the publisher of Orange Coast magazine shared the stage with six other businesswomen award winners.
Toll Brothers Inc., a builder of luxury homes, on Thursday reported that quarterly profit more than doubled on strong demand and rising prices, and raised its full-year earnings forecast.
Ketchup maker H.J. Heinz Co. on Thursday said it plans to sell some of its international businesses, including a line of prepared vegetables, as it focuses on larger and more profitable brands.
The University of California didn't pick a local to head UC Irvine, though it did tap one of its own. Michael V. Drake, University of California's vice president for health affairs, was named chancellor of UC Irvine on Thursday.
Donald Bren on Thursday pledged an extra $20 million and created a trust for a sprawling land preserve that stretches from the hills to the Pacific Ocean.
The U.S. economy grew more vigorously in the first quarter than first thought, expanding at a 3.5 percent annual rate, the government said on Thursday in a report showing fewer imports of goods and services than estimated a month ago.
DynTek Inc. said Thursday that Steven J. Ross, chairman, chief executive and president of the Irvine-based technology consulting and services company, has resigned to pursue other opportunities.
Wednesday, May 25
Home Depot Inc. could lay off up to 57 workers at a division office in Orange, the company said.
Costa Mesa-based Experian Information Solutions Inc. is set to break from its British parent, but how and when isn't entirely clear.
Sales of new U.S. homes rose unexpectedly in April, climbing 0.2% to a fresh record, a government report showed on Wednesday.
It's a go, but at a higher price. An affiliate of Santa Ana's First American Corp. said Wednesday it reached an agreement to buy the title company's credit information unit for $570 million in an all stock deal.
3F Therapeutics Inc., a Lake Forest heart device maker, has received $6 million in "insider" commitments toward a $20 million round of venture financing.
Applications for home mortgages increased last week amid a rise in purchasing and refinancing activity as mortgage rates eased, an industry group said on Wednesday.
Santa Ana-based Bright Now Dental Inc., a dental practice management company, has traded hands between private equity firms.
Ford Motor Co. said on Wednesday it would spend up to $1.15 billion to bail out auto parts supplier Visteon Corp., allowing its former subsidiary to slash costs by unloading unprofitable plants and 17,400 highly paid employees.
A U.S. judge ordered jurors on Wednesday to keep deliberating in the trial of former HealthSouth Corp. Chief Executive Richard Scrushy, accused of orchestrating a $2.7 billion accounting fraud at the medical rehabilitation firm.
Oil hovered just below $50 a barrel on Wednesday, holding gains of more than a dollar this week, but expectations of another rise in U.S. fuel inventories restrained buying.
Boeing Co. has responded to Pentagon criticism of the company's work on a multibillion dollar communications system, saying it hopes to find a "realistic plan" for addressing performance concerns.
New orders for U.S.-made durable goods jumped more than expected in April, but after a big rebound in transportation orders was stripped out, they registered a surprise drop, a government report showed on Wednesday.
Brea-based Apani Networks closed $16 million in a second round of funding, the company said on Wednesday.
Newport Beach's William Lyon Homes Inc. said it has formed a special committee to consider Chairman William Lyon's proposal to take the company private.
Toshiba Corp. has been ordered by a California jury to pay $84 million in punitive damages to Lexar Media Inc. for stealing trade secrets, taking Lexar's total award in the case to $465 million.
Tuesday, May 24
The market-regulating U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has uncovered a $48 million budget shortfall on its own books, prompting a key lawmaker to seek an investigation, officials said on Tuesday.
Orange County's housing market may be showing some signs of cooling. The median price of OC existing homes sold in April rose at a 5.7% clip to $682,000, versus a year earlier, the California Association of Realtors reported Tuesday. That was lower than t
Sales of existing U.S. homes surged 4.5% in April to a record high of 7.2 million, and home prices posted the biggest annual gain in almost a quarter century, the National Association of Realtors said on Tuesday.
Policy-makers at the U.S. Federal Reserve noted "a discernable upcreep" in inflation measures recently, which made them conclude risks from accelerating prices were on the rise, minutes from their May 3 meeting showed.
A unit of billionaire U.S. investor Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc. has agreed to buy U.S. electricity firm PacifiCorp for $5.1 billion from British utility Scottish Power PLC. The acquisition is Buffett's largest since he bought reinsurer Genera
Botox, the flagship drug of Irvine-based Allergan Inc., may help treat some overactive bladder conditions, according to a study released Tuesday.
Credit Suisse First Boston upgraded shares of Newport Beach-based Conexant Systems Inc. on Tuesday, from "underperform" to "neutral."
Fitch Ratings on Tuesday cut General Motors Corp.'s debt ratings to "junk," becoming the second agency to rate the world's largest automaker below investment grade as high gasoline prices erode its Sport Utility Vehicle sales.
Coach Inc. on Wednesday said quarterly profit would likely beat expectations, helped by strong sales of specialty handbags for the fall season, and three top executives including its chairman signed extensions to stay with the company through August 2011.
Shares of Irvine-based Diedrich Coffee Inc. fell 3.6% Tuesday after the company said it received a Nasdaq delisting notice.
Monday, May 23
Amerikan Project, one of Orange County's "buzz" apparel brands, is on the hunt for a chief executive, in the Media & Marketing column
Oil eased on Monday as OPEC's president said he saw no need to rein in output and oil major Total said it would restart its French refineries after unions ended a strike.
California Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi is set to recommend in the next week cuts of up to 22% in premiums that employers pay for workers' compensation insurance.
Disneyland has launched the careers of many executives
Hit by plunging sales in the United States and Japan, Mitsubishi Motors Corp. sank deeper into the red last year and projected another year of loss on Monday as it struggles to patch up its brand image, Reuters reported.
Hilton Hotels has issued a request for proposals to agencies as it reviews creative and media duties for its flagship brand and the Hilton family of hotels, the client confirmed. Interpublic Group's Foote, Cone & Belding has handled the business for seven
The Irvine Company is seen buying Verizon Wireless' Spectrum campus
A look at the frustration small-business owners have in lining up healthcare coverage for their workers.
Hospitals are going to school on hiring amid stricter nurse-patient ratios
The buzz at E3 Expo,the big daddy of video game trade shows,was more intense than ever
Beanbag seller LoveSac has settled in at the Irvine Spectrum center, in the Marketplace column
The University of California, Irvine's new chancellor is set to be named Thursday. The University of California is set to hold a regents-only meeting in San Francisco Thursday to review President Robert Dynes' final recommendation and compensation.
Two local drug makers are taking their products to the mall
State-funded stem cell research should be watched closely, a Viewpoint by Michael Arnold Glueck and Robert J. Cihak
The Irvine Company soon may be asking, "Can you hear me now?" Sources said the developer is close to buying the five-building Irvine Spectrum office campus of Verizon Wireless, a unit of New York-based Verizon Communications Inc.
Advanced Medical and eyeonics could benefit from Medicare cataract surgery coverage, in the Healthcare column
Data storage software is the talk of technology, in the Technology column
Fifi bids farewell to a couple of favorites, in the Executive Dining column
Autobytel Inc., which links car buyers to dealers online, said Monday the Nasdaq National Market's listing council is set to review a decision to extend the company's deadline for filing past-due financial reports.
The low-rise office market is playing catch-up with high- and mid-rise space. PLUS: CHART - Net Absorption; Vacancy Rates; Average Asking Lease Rates
Westminster Superstore made a big debut on Little Saigon's supermarket scene
Campbell Soup Co. on Monday posted a higher quarterly profit, helped by its strongest sales of condensed soup in many years, as well as demand for Pepperidge Farm cookies and crackers and Godiva chocolates.
Irvine-based Quest Software Inc. said Monday it closed its acquisition of privately held Imceda Software Inc.
One drawback of the tenant-in-common strategy: It's hard to get out of the pool, in the Real Estate column
Saturday, May 21
Havas' Euro RSCG is in final negotiations with Ford Motor Co.'s Irvine-based Jaguar unit to handle creative chores on its $100 million global account, sources told AdWeek. Jaguar's former ad shop, Irvine's Young & Rubicam Brands, was eliminated earlier.
Friday, May 20
Maytag Corp., one of the premier brand names in America for nearly a century, but struggling recently with sagging market share and profits, said on Thursday it agreed to be acquired for $1.125 billion by investors led by private equity firm Ripplewood Ho
American shoppers will pay higher prices but the U.S. trade deficit with the rest of the world won't fall if China revalues its yuan currency as the Bush administration wants, Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said on Friday.
America West Holdings Corp. and a group of investors would buy bankrupt US Airways Group Inc. in a bid to compete with low-cost rivals under a merger plan.
New Century Financial Corp. could have a fight on its hands. Hedge fund manager Greenlight Capital Inc. of New York has taken a shot at the Irvine-based subprime mortgage lender, saying New Century's executives haven't done enough to boost its stock.
Orange County's unemployment rate fell to 3.5% in April, down from 4.2% a year ago and 3.8% in March, the state Employment Development Department said Friday.
The buzz at E3 Expo,the big daddy of video game trade shows,was more intense this year than in recent years.
Thursday, May 19
Dermacia Inc., a Newport Beach maker of cosmetic and skincare products, has raised $10 million in funding, the company said Thursday.
The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment insurance fell 20,000 last week, the government said on Thursday, more than Wall Street economists had expected.
Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan took aim on Thursday yet again at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac while other U.S. central bankers spoke about bank regulation. None discussed the current economy.
Defense contractor Titan Corp. is holding negotiations about being acquired by L-3 Communications Holdings Inc., sources familiar with the situation said on Thursday, sending Titan's shares up 7.6%.
BSH Home Appliances Corp. is acquiring the distributor of its upscale home appliances in the Southwest.
British engineering firm Invensys PLC, parent of three Orange County software companies, reported solid operating profits and better-than-expected cash flow and debt levels on Thursday, sending its stock up 8% in London despite deeper annual losses.
Wayne Inouye has Irvine-based Gateway Inc. to himself now with word Thursday that founder Ted Waitt is retiring as chairman.
Dermacia Inc., a Newport Beach maker of cosmetic and skincare products, has raised $10 million in funding, the company said Thursday.
Boise Cascade Co.'s decision to cancel an initial public offering due to adverse market conditions shows investors are souring on deals providing quick returns to private equity investors, analysts said.
Santa Ana-based First American Corp. said Thursday it doubled its stock buyback plan to $200 million.
DuPont Co. on Thursday said a federal grand jury is seeking documents on a chemical used to make Teflon nonstick coatings that has been the subject of safety concerns.
Wednesday, May 18
The Bush administration is pressuring China to let the yuan rise against the dollar partly to mollify Capitol Hill and wants action within the next few months, U.S. Treasury Secretary John Snow said on Wednesday.
Los Angeles Mayor James Hahn on Tuesday became the first sitting L.A. mayor to lose a re-election bid since Tom Bradley ousted Sam Yorty 32 years ago, losing to city Councilman Antonio Villaraigosa in a lopsided vote.
The U.S. is expanding the list of clothing and textiles from China that will be hit with emergency import restrictions to protect U.S. producers, the Commerce Department said on Wednesday.
Canada's largest drug maker, Apotex Inc., was given another chance in its bid to invalidate a patent held by Irvine-based Allergan Inc. for its anti-inflammatory eye drug Acular.
Soaring food and energy costs pushed U.S. consumer prices up a hefty 0.5% in April, but prices were surprisingly tame outside those volatile areas, holding steady for the first time in 1-1/2 years, a government report showed on Wednesday.
Paper and forest products company Boise Cascade Co. on Wednesday slashed the expected price of its planned initial public offering to $17 to $19 per share, from $24 to $26 per share.
China on Wednesday dismissed U.S. criticism of its fixed currency peg and attacked European and U.S. steps to curb Chinese textile exports as unfair, Reuters reported.
Irvine-based Gateway Inc. nabbed a $45 million computer pact with the University of Arizona, the company said Wednesday.
Surging food and energy costs pushed U.S. consumer prices up a hefty 0.5% in April, but prices were unexpectedly tame outside those volatile areas, holding steady for the first time in 1-1/2 years, a government report showed on Wednesday.
Shares of Autobytel Inc., which links car buyers to dealers online, rose nearly 10% Wednesday after the company said Nasdaq gave it more time to file past-due financial reports before it's bumped from the exchange.
Greg Spierkel, Ingram Micro Inc.'s incoming chief executive, said the technology products distributor is seeing slower going in Europe, a trend that's likely to persist for the near term.
The auditor of Garden Grove's DPAC Technologies Corp. has some doubts about the electronics maker's viability.
Tuesday, May 17
Spectrum Pharmaceuticals Inc., an Irvine-based drug maker, said Tuesday that it acquired a license for a drug that treats brain cancer.
Hewlett-Packard Co. on Tuesday posted a higher quarterly profit as the No. 2 computer maker saw revenue rise across all its businesses. Shares rose more than 3% in after-hours trade, even though HP's profit forecast for the current quarter was on the low
Top home improvement chain Home Depot Inc. on Tuesday reported a 14% rise in first-quarter profit as installation and appliance sales rose, and said it would close nearly a third of its upscale Expo design stores.
Producer prices moved up a steep 0.6% last month, above analysts' expectations, as energy, tobacco and vehicle prices all shot higher, a government report showed on Tuesday.
Housing starts surged 11% in April, topping expectations, as ground-breaking on both single-family and multifamily homes recovered after a plunge in March, a Commerce Department report showed on Tuesday.
Standard & Poor's lobbed another in a long line of fiscal haymakers at Delphi Corp. on Tuesday, pushing the auto-parts maker's $4 billion in debt deeper into the junk category.
Collins & Aikman on Tuesday became the latest auto parts maker to topple into Chapter 11 bankruptcy, reflecting the increasingly dire financial situation for companies heavily dependent on ailing domestic automakers.
Irvine-based American Sporting Goods Inc., an upscale athletic shoe and apparel maker, said Tuesday it bought And 1 in a deal that nearly doubles its size.
Fidelity National Financial Inc., the nation's largest title insurance company, said Tuesday said it would undergo a reorganization that would establish itself as a holding company with publicly traded and privately held subsidiaries.
Monday, May 16
George Argyros, former U.S. ambassador to Spain, is making his first big real estate play here since returning in the fall
There's been big price appreciation for Stadium Gateway in Anaheim, in the Real Estate column
ABOUT THE LIST - Private companies have kept employment stable in the past year despite big sales gains
A Florida jury Monday ruled in favor of investor Ronald Perelman in his legal battle with Morgan Stanley and decided he's entitled to $604 million in damages. Morgan Stanley immediately said it will appeal the verdict.
Toyota boosts production to ease a Prius shortage, in the Marketplace column
United Parcel Service Inc. on Monday said it agreed to acquire Overnite Corp. for about $1.25 billion in cash to expand its ground freight services in North America.
Irvine video game maker Blizzard Entertainment Corp. said Monday it completed buying Swingin' Ape Studios Inc., an Aliso Viejo-based game company Blizzard hired nearly a year ago to help develop a highly anticipated game.
Widow Sues Stepson Over Vitamin Estate; Grant Exits Deloitte
Irvin Aerospace is looking to the military and NASA for a sales rebound
Limited Brands Inc. on Monday reported a 76% drop in first-quarter profit because of "embarrassing" sales at its Express clothing chain as a focus on older shoppers backfired, and warned that second-quarter earnings would miss Wall Street expectations.
The dollar rallied to a seven-month high against the euro on Monday after a run of surprisingly upbeat data eased worries that the U.S. may not attract enough capital to fund its huge external deficit.
One of Britain's biggest retailers could be setting the stage for what could be one of Orange County's largest public offerings.
The sale of Fluor's Aliso Viejo building couldn't come at a better time,
Apria's chief executive is passing the reins of the Republican New Majority, in the Healthcare column
Retired Irvine Company executive Richard "Dick" Sim has resigned from the board of the Great Park Corp., leaving in his wake a withering critique of the process for remaking the former El Toro Marine base.
The news came as San Francisco's public employee pension fund said it had filed a lawsuit against the insurer for violating federal securities laws and causing the fund to lose $4 million.
Irvine-based nursing home operator Sun Healthcare Group Inc. said Monday it agreed to acquire New Mexico's Peak Medical Corp. in a stock deal worth $150 million.
Paper company Boise Cascade, which was recently part of OfficeMax Inc., is expected to price its initial public offering later this week as underwriters on the deal delayed the IPO.
Former Irvine Co. executive Dick Sim has several recommendations for the Great Park oversight board, which he quit
A hush wine dinner is set to feature California flavors, in the Executive Dining column
Home prices continue to rise in Orange County, but not as quickly. The median price of a home sold in the county reached a new high of $576,000 in April, La Jolla-based market-tracker DataQuick Information Systems said Monday.
The California Chamber of Commerce has a list of 41 "job killer" bills, in State of the State
High-Rise Rents Up 20% Since 2003; PLUS: CHART - Net Absorption; Vacancy Rates; Average Asking Lease Rates
The outlooks for Emulex and QLogic are diverting, in the Technology column
Friday, May 13
George Argyros, former U.S. ambassador to Spain, is making his first big real estate play here since returning to Orange County in the fall.
The dollar vaulted to a seven-month high against the euro and three-month peaks versus the Swiss franc and sterling on Friday after recent robust U.S. data boosted the country's economic prospects, traders said.
Irvine-based Aktino Inc. recently closed $16 million in a second round of funding.
Supporters of Naval Weapons Station in Seal Beach got a brief scare Friday morning when some media outlets wrongly reported the base is closing.
Tustin-based Cherokee International Corp. saw its shares fall nearly 20% Friday after the company reported lower profits and sales.
U.S. technology stocks rose on Friday after an upbeat outlook from Dell Inc. eased investor worry about weakness in that sector, while a weaker-than-expected gauge of consumer sentiment weighed on the Dow.
U.S. consumers felt less upbeat in early May as persistently high gasoline prices and worries about the job market took their toll on confidence, a report said on Friday.
Thursday, May 12
The number of Americans filing new claims for jobless compensation rose unexpectedly last week to its highest level in a month, a government report showed on Thursday.
Dell Inc., the world's largest personal computer maker, said on Thursday PC sales in April overcame weakness earlier in the quarter, fueled by strong growth in European markets and Japan.
Officials at Orange County's two active military bases may not sleep well tonight. The Pentagon is expected to release on Friday its nationwide list of bases it wants to close.
Irvine-based subprime lender ECC Capital Corp. is feeling the squeeze from investors and competitors.
Anaheim-based retailer Pacific Sunwear of California Inc. reported quarterly results on Thursday that cheered investors, a week after disappointing them with a drop in April same-store sales.
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. on Thursday reported a weaker-than-expected profit and said second-quarter results would miss Wall Street forecasts as steep energy prices and cool, wet weather cut spring sales.
Average U.S. interest rates on 30- and 15-year mortgages rose for the first time in the last six weeks, but mortgage finance company Freddie Mac said on Thursday rates will hover near historic lows despite the increase.
Costa Mesa-based Commerce Energy Group Inc. said Thursday that Robert Perkins has replaced Ian Carter as chairman.
Irvine's Toshiba America Information Systems Inc., the U.S. division of Tokyo-based Toshiba Corp., bought a hard drive design center in Fremont, the company said Thursday.
Target Corp. on Thursday reported a 26% jump in quarterly profit, helped by higher prices and earnings from its credit card operations.
Oil prices tumbled to a three-month low on Thursday as dealers turned their attention to swelling U.S. crude inventories and signs of slower global demand growth.
Wednesday, May 11
The U.S. posted a greater-than-expected $57.71 billion budget surplus in April, the largest monthly surplus in three years, as tax receipts swelled, the Treasury Department said on Wednesday.
Applications for home mortgages increased last week amid a robust uptick in purchasing and refinancing activity, an industry group said on Wednesday.
Santa Ana-based Corinthian Colleges Inc. asked for more time to file its quarterly results on Wednesday as Irvine's Autobytel Inc. asked for a filing extension to avoid delisting.
Walt Disney Co. posted a 30% rise in quarterly earnings on Wednesday driven by its studio, which produced the sleeper movie hit "The Pacifier" and distributed the animated blockbuster "The Incredibles."
The parent of Newport Beach-based Pacific Life Insurance Co. made official its bid for Seattle's Boullioun Aviation Services on Wednesday.
China has not changed its currency policy, the central bank said on Wednesday, after financial markets were jolted by a report in the nation's top newspaper that predicted the yuan would be revalued next week.
The trade deficit narrowed unexpectedly to $55.0 billion in March in the largest drop in over three years, as exports hit a record and imports from China declined, a government report showed on Wednesday.
J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.'s chief financial officer said on Wednesday trading conditions in the second quarter have been "tough" so far, echoing a similar assessment made by another top Wall Street executive a day earlier.
Tuesday, May 10
Fluor Corp. Chief Executive Alan Boeckmann spent much of a conference call Tuesday saying the company's pending move to Texas has more to do with customers and less to do with Orange County's shortcomings.
Fluor Corp., Orange County's third-largest public company by sales, said Tuesday it's moving its headquarters from Aliso Viejo to Texas by early next year.
Raytheon Co. and the North American unit of Europe's largest defense contractor, EADS, on Tuesday said they would team up to compete for the U.S. Army's new cargo aircraft program.
Oil prices rose above $52 a barrel Tuesday as fears about inadequate refining capacity and strong demand later in the year countered the effect of ample supplies for now.
Irvine-based CorVel Corp. said its profit and sales fell in the quarter and 12 months ended March 31. But Wall Street ignored the bad news, sending the company's shares up 8% to in early trading Tuesday.
William Lyon Homes Inc. on Tuesday reported a 33% jump in earnings in the first quarter from a year ago. But the good news stopped there.
Irvine-based Zetera Corp., a maker of software that helps consumer electronics access and store data over the Internet, received $13.5 million in its first round of funding from venture investors, the company said Tuesday.
Toll Brothers Inc., a builder of luxury homes, on Tuesday said the number and value of contracts signed in its fiscal second quarter rose sharply as demand surged throughout most of the U.S.
Monday, May 9
ABOUT THE LIST - No Debuts, Steady Employment and a Few Less Rooms Mark Hotel Scene
Orange County should take a close look at what's happening to San Diego's finances by John M. W. Moorlach
Apparel makers haven't seen a big impact from the end of import quotas
Electronics used in radios to find downed military pilots have an Anaheim unit of defense contractor L-3 Communications Inc. under a criminal probe that's touched on two other local circuit board makers.
DB Studios has had a nice ride on surfwear's back, in the Media & Marketing column
Landlords take hold of the office market, in the Real Estate column,
Stocks stayed close to unchanged on Monday as investors welcomed a small burst of big-ticket merger news, but kept a wary eye on high oil prices.
Aliso Viejo-based Johnny Rockets Group Inc. said Monday it has struck franchise deals that could bring 125 new restaurants for the retro-themed burger chain.
Circ Down, Smiles Up at Register; 'Duke' Cashes In
Volcom's "Wooly" Woolcott is following his buddy Bob McKnight of Quiksilver to Wall Street
Billionaire investor Kirk Kerkorian on Monday launched an offer to buy up to 28 million shares of General Motors Corp. common stock for $31 each.
Tourism's Come a Long Way Since Disneyland in the 1950s
The Irvine Company is said to be ready to return to high-rise office building, with twin 14-story towers planned for the Irvine Spectrum, according to city and real estate sources.
IntraLase hit a milestone with its first profitable quarter, in the Healthcare column
The Irvine Company's planning to build twin office towers in the Spectrum
Bad press hasn't fazed Ameriquest Mortgage. Market conditions are another matter
Retail is the most active sector for construction; PLUS: CHART - Net Absorption; Vacancy Rates; Average Asking Lease Rates
Fletcher Jones has come down with a case of "affluenza," in the Marketplace column
Mitsubishi Motors North America confirmed it has awarded creative duties on its $200 million ad account to New York's BBDO. Cypress-based Mitsubishi and BBDO had been in protracted discussions on the account, sources told BrandWeek.
Oil prices held above $51 on Monday and OPEC's president said the cartel will keep pumping near full tilt, ignoring its system of formal production quotas.
Walt Disney Co. dissident shareholders and ex-directors Roy Disney and Stanley Gold on Monday sued the company, claiming it made false statements about its chief executive search to dissuade them from offering an alternate slate of directors.
After a Solid Rebound in Tourism, Hotels Pursue Renovations, Growth
Turner New Zealand has some special wines to uncork, in the Executive Dining column
2000 anyone? Interchange's swoon brings back dot-com memories, in the Technology column
Sunday, May 8
The Allergan Foundation on Monday gave $2 million to the University of California, Irvine, to advance eye research and treatment.
Friday, May 6
Buena Park's Knott's Berry Farm had its lowest attendance level in the first quarter because of the Southern California's wet winter, owner Cedar Fair LP said Friday.
U.S. employers created a surprisingly large 274,000 new jobs in April and added more workers in each of the two prior months than first thought, the Labor Department said on Friday in a report that eased fears about economic growth.
Medicare's a business worth staying in, even with recent government reimbursement cutbacks. So says Lawrence Higby, chief executive of Lake Forest-based Apria Healthcare Group Inc.
Costa Mesa-based Anna's Linens, a bed and bath retailer targeting ethnic shoppers in urban areas, has filed to go public in a stock offering that could raise $69 million.
General Electric Co. on Friday said it was restating earnings from 2001 through the first quarter of 2005 after an internal audit found that its accounting for certain financial transactions did not comply with accounting standards.
Blue chips were higher at midday on Friday, boosted by a sharp rise in Honeywell International Inc., on market talk that United Technologies Corp. had renewed its interest in buying the rival aerospace and industrial conglomerate.
The British pound edged lower on Friday, a day after Prime Minister Tony Blair's Labour Party won a historic third term in power, albeit with a weaker majority.
Thursday, May 5
Irvine-based New Century Financial Corp. said Thursday its income before taxes fell 42% in the first quarter from a year ago. But the subprime mortgage company still came out ahead of what analysts were expecting on net income.
DDi Corp. said Thursday it planned to close two facilities and consolidate some operations in Anaheim amid a soft market for printed circuit boards.
Luxury and teen-oriented retailers on Thursday reported better-than-expected April sales, while discount chains sputtered as record-high gasoline prices and unusually chilly weather curbed consumer spending.
U.S. business productivity growth accelerated unexpectedly in the first quarter but not enough to cover rising labor costs, which picked up and provided a sign of building price and profit pressures.
Aliso Viejo-based QLogic Corp., a maker of gear for data storage networks, beat Wall Street's profit expectations on Wednesday for the quarter ended April 3 but left analysts wanting more with its outlook for the June quarter.
Orange County's retail world was turned on its head Thursday as long-sizzling Pacific Sunwear of California Inc. reported a decline in April same-store sales and struggling Wet Seal Inc. reported a sharp spike.
Business productivity growth accelerated unexpectedly in the first quarter but labor costs picked up, according to a government report on Thursday that suggested a slight rise in profit and price pressures.
Merck & Co. Inc. on Thursday named a company insider to replace embattled Chief Executive Raymond Gilmartin, a move that was greeted with little enthusiasm by investors who had hoped for a high-profile outsider to turn the drugmaker around.
In a one-two punch for financial markets, Standard & Poor's cut General Motors Corp.'s and Ford Motor Co.'s debt ratings to junk status on Thursday, citing brutal global competition and flagging sales of the automakers' most profitable vehicles.
The dollar steadied near a seven-week low against the yen on Thursday amid speculation of a possible Chinese revaluation soon and concerns about U.S. economic prospects ahead of jobs data on Friday.
Newport Beach-based Conexant Systems Inc. said Friday it will pay Texas Instruments Inc. $70 million to settle a long-running patent dispute.
Cooper Cos. warned Thursday that its 2005 revenue wouldn't meet expectations, but reaffirmed its profit guidance.
Wednesday, May 4
Irvine-based Quest Software Inc. reported higher sales and profits for the first quarter on Wednesday but said sales and profits for the current quarter could be at the low end of Wall Street expectations.
International Business Machines Corp. said on Wednesday it would cut up to 13,000 jobs, primarily in Europe, as part a global cost-cutting plan that will result in a pre-tax charge of $1.3 billion to $1.7 billion.
Billionaire Kirk Kerkorian's investment company on Wednesday offered to buy a large minority stake in General Motors Corp. at a premium to the struggling automaker's depressed stock price.
The Treasury said it is considering whether to resume selling 30-year bonds, a security it eliminated four years ago and vowed not to bring back.
Some big Wall Street banks have recently started to bet that China may move soon to allow its currency to trade more flexibly, as global policymakers have stepped up the rhetorical pressure.
Santa Ana's Advanced Medical Optics Inc., a maker of eye surgery and contact lens products, said Wednesday it is exercising an option to acquire startup Quest Vision Technologies Inc.
Wet Seal Inc.'s comeback bid got some financial backing. The teen retailer said late Tuesday that it closed its $31 million stock sale.
Growth in the vast U.S. services sector slowed in April, consistent with a soft patch in the economy linked to high energy prices, a report showed on Wednesday. Separate reports showed housing remains strong, with weekly mortgage applications higher and m
Shares of Anaheim-based Multi-Fineline Electronix Inc. fell nearly 26% Wednesday after the company gave a weaker-than-expected outlook for the June quarter.
Applications for home mortgages increased slightly last week amid a modest uptick in purchasing and refinancing activity, an industry group said on Wednesday.
Newport Beach-based Nationwide Health Properties Inc. said Wednesday it bought out a partner from a chain of nursing homes.
Tuesday, May 3
The U.S. Federal Reserve nudged interest rates up on Tuesday for an eighth straight time, nodding to mounting inflation pressures but still confident it can contain them with "measured" increases.
Weekday circulation of the Los Angeles Times fell 6.5% in the six months ending March 31 from the same period a year ago, while the Orange County Register and other regional newspapers reported mixed figures, according to data released Monday.
General Motors Corp. and Ford Motor Co. on Tuesday reported lower April U.S. vehicle sales as high gasoline prices, and ebbing demand for their once profitable SUVs, caused them to lose traction again to foreign competitors.
U.S. blue chip stocks ended a choppy session little changed on Tuesday, after the U.S. Federal Reserve nudged interest rates higher for the eighth straight time, and retained its vow for "measured" increases.
Orange County-based automakers reported higher April auto sales on Tuesday, except for Cypress-based Mitsubishi Motors North America Inc., which continues to wrestle with steep sales declines.
China's trade minister said on Tuesday that Beijing wanted to be careful about adjusting the value of the yuan currency but he said the country was already taking steps to curb the sharp rise in textile exports to rich nations.
BMW's first-quarter pretax profit fell 4.6%, the largest premium carmaker said on Tuesday, as the weak dollar and the changeover in its key 3-Series car dragged on its core automotive result.
Gordon Shaw, a retired University of California, Irvine physicist whose Irvine-based Music Intelligence Neural Development Institute attracted support from big-name technology executives, died at his Laguna Beach home last week.
Monday, May 2
Birtcher got permission to go ahead with a shopping center in Costa Mesa, in the Real Estate column
Profiles of the county's most influential people in GOVERNMENT & INSTITUTIONS
Aliso Viejo-based Datallegro Inc. said Monday it closed its second round of funding, this one worth $15 million.
Volcom Inc., an edgy maker of clothes for surfers, skaters and wannabes alike, has filed for a public offering that could raise $86 million.
The governor is losing support among Republicans, in State of the State by Howard Fine, Los Angeles Business Journal
PacifiCare's considering where to put a new drug distribution center, in the Healthcare column
Times aren't getting any easier for circuit board makers. Santa Ana-based TTM Technologies Inc. said Monday its net income missed estimates during the first quarter as falling prices squeezed profits.
February auto sales slumped in OC, in the Marketplace column
Nortel Networks Corp. , one of the largest telecom equipment suppliers, said on Monday that its fourth-quarter earnings fell steeply on falling sales as it struggled to recover from an accounting scandal.
Profiles of the county's most influential executives, business owners and others in TECHNOLOGY
An Anaheim White House event is helping Caterina's Club, in the Executive Dining column
Lockheed Martin Corp. and Boeing Co. said on Monday they planned to combine their government rocket launch businesses in a 50-50 joint venture to be called United Launch Alliance.
Call it a holy land sale. Crystal Cathedral Ministries is selling the southern tip of Rancho Capistrano, its grassy campus retreat, according to the church.
Verizon Communications Inc. won its 10-week battle for MCI Inc. on Monday, as Qwest Communications International Inc. withdrew its $9.9 billion bid after MCI accepted Verizon's $8.5 billion offer.
An accounting review, management shift and potential stock delisting. It's not surprising that Autobytel Inc. has named a new chief executive.
Stussy's in a legal spat with Fresh Jive over a T-shirt parody, in the Media & Marketing column
Santa Ana-based Powerwave Technologies Inc., a maker of amplifiers for wireless phone networks, said it turned a first-quarter profit versus a loss a year ago, thanks to recent acquisitions.
Sunstone's Sutton Place buy brings a new name to OC: Fairmont
Quiksilver's biggest task yet is to make its Rossignol acquisition work
Construction spending jumped a surprisingly large 0.5% to a record high in March as home building also hit record levels, a government report showed on Monday.
It's hard to figure where MSC stands in its accounting review, in the Technology column
Beckman Coulter made its first acquisition under Scott Garrett
Knott's Berry Farm heiress Marion Knott gave $700,000 to Newport Beach Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian's nursing education.
Commerce Energy nabbed an L.A. school contract but is waiting for help on the legislative front
Mark Chapin Johnson has sold his company to AmerisourceBergen
The American Stock Exchange said on Monday that Peter Quick has resigned as president, effective immediately, after five years in the position.