Stories for December 2008

Wednesday, December 31

More Economic Pain Seen in 2009

Many investors said good riddance on Wednesday to one of the worst years on record and prayed that government rescue plans will pull the global economy out of its fierce tailspin later in the new year.

Stocks Rally To End Crushing 2008

Orange County stocks ended a horrible 2008 on Wall Street on a positive note.

Jobless Claims Drop by Much More Than Expected

The number of workers filing new claims for jobless benefits slumped 94,000 last week, government data on Wednesday showed, but seasonal factors were likely behind this unexpectedly large decline with the labor market remaining very soft.

Companies Temper Spending at CES

Hand-wringing over consumer spending may dull the glow of millions of new flashy gadgets on display at this year's International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

AIG Seeks to Ease Repayment Terms for Government Loan

American International Group Inc. is seeking to ease terms for repayment of a $60 billion government loan, according to media reports.

Tuesday, December 30

Wall Street Betting on Broadcom's Staying Power

Wall Street is betting that Broadcom Corp. will ride out the downturn with minimal bumping and bruising.

U.S. Puts up $6 Billion to Support GMAC

The Bush administration on Monday expanded its bailout of the auto industry, saying it was buying $5 billion in equity in auto and mortgage finance company GMAC and increasing a loan to General Motors by $1 billion.

S & P;: Home Prices Plunge Record 18 Percent in October

Prices of single-family homes in October plunged a record 18 percent from a year earlier, according to the Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices released on Tuesday that indicated a housing market in the throes of a deep recession.

Consumer Confidence at Record Low

Consumer confidence fell to a record low in December as the worst job market in 16 years hammered sentiment, the Conference Board said on Tuesday.

Del Taco Boss Eyes Doubling of Sales to $1B in Five Years

The future of quirky, Mexican-flavored burger chain Del Taco LLC now is in the hands of an ambitious Englishman.

Monday, December 29

Orangewood's Story One of Converging Passions, Efforts

A look at the business side of running a bustling, local nonprofit

'Dynamic Duo'

Jim and Kelly Mazzo are the Business Journal's first featured "Power Couple,"

Standard Pacific Stock Up on Analyst Upgrade, Acquisition Talk

Irvine-based Standard Pacific Corp. saw its shares close up 11% Monday after a Wall Street analyst upgraded its stock and suggested the company could buy assets of other homebuilders.

Aerospace Consultant SM & A; Wraps Up Sale

Newport Beach-based aerospace consulting company SM & A; wrapped up its sale to New York private equity firm Odyssey Investment Partners LLC for $119.6 million.

New Del Taco Boss Eyes Doubling of Sales to $1B in Five Years

The fate of Mexican chain Del Taco now is in the hands of a Brit

Analyst Bove: Banking Sector's Outlook Better Than Believed

The banking sector may be considerably stronger than what conventional wisdom suggests, and the decline in bank stock prices has been excessive as many of these stocks represent "excellent" values, according to veteran banking analyst Richard Bove.


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


Hirings, promotions and other moves at local businesses

Henry Samueli Presents for Broadcom at Analyst Day

Henry Samueli made a surprise appearance for Broadcom, in the Technology column

Memory-Making Meals from 2008's Top Restaurants

Fifi runs through some of her favorite dining experiences in '08, in the Executive Dining column

Wanted: Best Places to Work for Inaugural Business Journal List

Wanted: Best Places to Work for Inaugural Business Journal List

Banks Report $6 Billion in Q3 Trading Revenue

Commercial banks reported $6 billion of revenue from trading foreign exchange, interest-rate and other derivative instruments in the third quarter as credit spreads deteriorated and accounting rules inflated results, the Office of the Comptroller of the C

Wall Street Betting on Broadcom's Staying Power

Wall Street is betting that Broadcom will ride out the downturn with minimal bruising

Buchanan Street Plans to Invest with TCW Money

Buchanan Street Partners might find itself doing more investing in local distressed assets next year

Mitsubishi Mistimes Sizable Ad Campaign

Mitsubishi Motors' marketing campaign could be the victim of bad timing

Entrepreneur Settles 2 Trademark Infringement Suits

Entrepreneur Media recently settled two lawsuits, in the Media & Marketing column

Chip Startup Solarflare Raises $44 Million

Irvine chip startup Solarflare Communications Inc. last week said it raised $44 million in its fourth round of venture funding.


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

No Charges in Scuffle at Home of Ritz Owner; Rogers Tries Retirement

No Charges in Scuffle at Home of Ritz Owner; Rogers Tries Retirement

Great Race

A local company is growing with triathlons, marathons and other endurance events

Banking Bust Boom: FDIC Jobs Set To Be Lucrative, Contested

The FDIC is in the early stages of hiring for its new office in the Irvine


This past week's news from and other sources

Report: Lehman Bankruptcy Filing Wiped Out Billions

Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.'s emergency bankruptcy filing wiped out as much as $75 billion of potential value for creditors, The Wall Street Journal reported on Monday, citing an analysis by the bank's restructuring advisers.


Letters to the Editor. Cost-Cutting Concerns; Anaheim Meetings; Tribune Insight


The Business Journal asked a variety of OC executives about what they're doing to prepare for '09

Reports: Western Digital's Deal With Fujitsu Off

Western Digital Corp.'s proposed deal to buy Japan's Fujitsu Ltd.'s disk drive business is off, according to reports.


Hirings, promotions and other moves at local businesses

Chapman Forecast: Even Less Construction in '09

There's still development opportunity in build-to-suit projects, in the Real Estate column


West County industrial continues to hang in there. PLUS: CHARTS - Net Absorption; Vacancy Rates; Average Asking Lease Rates

New COO at Emulex Settles in to Position at Former Rival

A Q & A; with a local Emulex executive

This Time, Recession Rattles Hospital Execs

Why hospitals are nervous about the economic crunch


The Week's Best, Worst Performers; Roth OC50, Billion Dollar Club, OC Tech; Index Watch, 52-week Performance

PwC Report: Healthcare Set for a 'Watershed' 2009

A recent PricewaterhouseCoopers' report looks at pressing issues for health executives and policy makers, in the Healthcare column

Whoopi Touts Wonderland's Gingerbread on 'The View'

Wonderland Bakery's contest win on "The View" has been a boon for business, in the Marketplace column


Saving California with a Constitutional Cage Fight

Friday, December 26

Report: New York Times May Sell Red Sox Stake

The New York Times Co. is trying to sell its stake in the holding company of the Boston Red Sox baseball team, The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday, citing people familiar with the discussions.

Out Monday: Business Journal's 2009 Book of Lists

The 2009 Book of Lists,the Business Journal's annual compliation of our weekly lists,is included with Monday's edition of the paper for subscribers.

Amazon Claims Record Holiday Orders in '08 Season

Online retailer Inc. on Friday reported its best holiday sales season yet, even as sales and traffic at store chains were the weakest in decades, sending its shares up nearly 4 percent.

Retailers' Holiday Sales Plummet

Retailers' sales fell as much as 4 percent during the holiday season, as the weak economy and bad weather created one of the worst holiday shopping climates in modern times, according to data released on Thursday by SpendingPulse.

This Time, Recession Rattles Hospitals

Recessions usually don't rattle hospitals. But this one's different, according to hospital executives.

FDA OK's Allergan Eyelash Drug

The Food and Drug Administration has approved the use of an Allergan Inc. glaucoma drug as a cosmetic treatment to grow and thicken eyelashes, the Irvine drug maker said Friday.

Tuesday, December 23

Edwards to Disclose Relationships with Doctors

Edwards Lifesciences Corp. said Tuesday it is going to voluntarily disclose payments to doctors for consulting work starting in 2009.

FDA Approves Latest Beckman Diagnostic Machine

Fullerton's Beckman Coulter Inc., a maker of diagnostic testing machines for hospitals, other healthcare providers and researchers, said Tuesday regulators approved its latest device for analyzing blood cells in medical treatment and research.

Report: Consumers Still Shelling out for Botox

Never mind the economy, I want my Botox. It looks like people who want Irvine-based Allergan Inc.'s Botox wrinkle-smoothing injections and others are still shelling out the cash regardless of the economic meltdown, the Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday

Monday, December 22

ThalesRaytheon Wins $217M Army Deal

ThalesRaytheonSystems Co., a venture of Waltham, Mass.-based Raytheon Co. and France's Thales Group with its U.S. base in Fullerton, said Monday it was awarded a $217 million contract for its radars.

Chip Startup Solarflare Raises $44M Venture Round

Irvine chip startup Solarflare Communications Inc. on Monday announced that it raised $44 million in its most recent round of venture funding.

Toyota Sees First Operating Loss

Toyota Motor Corp. forecast a first-ever annual operating loss, blaming a relentless sales slide and a crippling rise in the yen in what it said was an emergency unprecedented in its 70-year history.

Creditor Buying Plant Grower Hines out of Bankruptcy

The largest unsecured creditor of bankrupt Irvine-based Hines Horticulture Inc. is buying the seller of plants and shrubs.

Mortgage Re-defaults Rising with No Sign of Slowing

The rate of home mortgage borrowers defaulting after their loans are modified is rising and shows no signs of leveling off, banking regulators said on Monday.

Reports: Tata to Inject "Tens of Millions" into Jaguar

India's Tata Motors Ltd. has agreed to inject "tens of millions" of pounds into Jaguar Land Rover to prevent an immediate cash flow crisis, the Financial Times reported on Monday.

Friday, December 19

Ceradyne Falls On Lowered Outlook, Downgrade

Shares of Costa Mesa-based Ceradyne Inc., a maker of bulletproof vests for the military, plunged Friday on lowered guidance and a downgrade.

Japan Cuts Rates; Pumps Funds to Fight Credit Crunch

The Bank of Japan cut its key policy rate to 0.10% on Friday, the lowest since 2006, and moved to pump funds into the market to ease a corporate credit crunch as the yen's rise and crumbling demand batter the economy.

Panasonic to Spend At Least $4.5B to Buy Sanyo

Panasonic Corp. said on Friday it would spend at least $4.5 billion to take control of smaller rival Sanyo Electric Co., creating Japan's second-largest electronics maker behind Hitachi Ltd.

November Sets New Job Loss High: 38,400

Orange County's running yearly job losses hit a high in November as employers here shed 38,400 workers, a 2.5% decline.

Kaiser Aluminum Closing, Scaling Back Plants

Foothill Ranch-based Kaiser Aluminum Corp. is closing an Oklahoma plant and scaling back another in Virginia.

Justice Department Sues to Block Microsemi Acquisition

The Department of Justice filed an antitrust suit late Thursday against Irvine chipmaker Microsemi Corp. claiming that the company's $25 million buy of Costa Mesa-based Semicoa Semiconductors Inc. in July creates a monopoly on certain types of chips.

Grocery Marketing Company Signs Big Irvine Office Lease

Irvine-based Advantage Sales and Marketing LLC, one of Orange County's largest privately owned companies, is moving its headquarters after signing a big lease for the new 18100 Von Karman office tower near John Wayne Airport.

Bush Announces $17B Auto Loan Program

President George W. Bush announced $17.4 billion in emergency loans to faltering carmakers on Friday in a dramatic step that would pull the industry from imminent collapse and save hundreds of thousands of jobs from falling victim to a deep recession.

Thursday, December 18

Ensign Slumps on Federal Search of Nursing Homes

Shares of Ensign Group Inc. fell early Thursday after the Mission Viejo-based nursing home operator said federal investigators searched a service center and six of its nursing homes as part of a Medicare billing probe.

Standard Pacific Taps Private Equity Exec as New CEO

Irvine-based homebuilder Standard Pacific Corp. said Thursday it named Ken Campbell president and chief executive, the third chief executive the company's had this year.

Quiksilver Jumps on Quarterly Results

Shares of Huntington Beach-based Quiksilver Inc. got a boost in afterhours trading Thursday after the maker of surf-inspired clothes reported quarterly earnings that beat Wall Street's expectations.

Qantas and British Airways Merger Talks Grounded

Australia's Qantas Airways and British Airways called off talks for a $6.4 billion merger, leaving the British carrier to consider other combinations with European peers as the sector grapples with falling demand and volatile fuel prices.

Alliance Imaging Backs 2008 Forecast, Sees Solid 2009

Newport Beach-based Alliance Imaging Inc., a provider of medical scanning and cancer treatment services, affirmed its 2008 outlook and forecast 2009 results in line or exceeding Wall Street's estimates.

Mindspeed Falls on Lowered Outlook

Investors dinged shares of Newport Beach-based Mindspeed Technologies Inc. after the chipmaker lowered its outlook for the current quarter.

Bush Won't Allow Disorderly Collapse of Autos: White House

President George W. Bush will not allow a "disorderly collapse" of the struggling automakers and is nearing a conclusion on if and how to provide them with financial aid, the White House said on Thursday.

Obama Names Regulator Schapiro to Lead SEC

President-elect Barack Obama on Thursday named longtime financial industry regulator Mary Schapiro to head the Securities and Exchange Commission amid calls for reform of the agency in the wake of a massive investment fraud scandal.

Wednesday, December 17

Congress Poised to Probe Madoff's Alleged Fraud

A key lawmaker says Congress will investigate the alleged $50 billion Ponzi scheme run by Wall Street money manager Bernard Madoff.

Western Digital Cutting 2,500 Jobs

Lake Forest's Western Digital Corp. said Wednesday it's set to slash some 2,500 jobs and cut executive pay in a bid to offset slumping demand for its disk drives.

OPEC Makes Deepest Oil Cut Ever to Rescue Prices

OPEC oil ministers agreed their deepest oil cut ever on Wednesday, slashing 2.2 million barrels per day from oil markets in a race to balance supply with rapidly crumbling demand for fuel.

Pacific Sunwear Suitor Seeks Meeting to Avoid Proxy Fight

Small retailer Adrenalina of Miami said Wednesday it wants to meet with Anaheim-based Pacific Sunwear of California Inc.'s chairman and chief executive to discuss a buyout and avoid a proxy fight.

Former Daily Pilot Veterans Starting Local Paper

Two former Daily Pilot veterans are looking to start a daily Internet publication along with a weekly print edition for Newport Beach and Costa Mesa.

Morgan Stanley Posts Loss on Writedowns

Morgan Stanley reported a much wider-than-expected quarterly loss on Wednesday as the credit crisis generated more writedowns and slashed fees from investment banking and brokerage.

Tuesday, December 16

OC Home Prices Slip to $400,000

Orange County's median home price fell another $20,000 to $400,000 in November, the lowest price the area's seen in more than five years.

Consumer Prices and Housing Fan New Economic Fears

Consumer prices plummeted again at a record pace and groundbreaking on new homes slumped to a new low in November as the recession-hit economy lost momentum, government reports on Tuesday showed.

Goldman Sachs Posts Loss, But Not As Bad As Feared

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. reported its first quarterly loss since going public nine years ago as plunging values of stocks, debt and real estate caught up with a Wall Street leader that until recently had sidestepped the worst of the crisis.

San Clemente Bank To Get Federal Investment

San Clemente-based Pacific Coast National Bancorp said Tuesday it received preliminary approval for a $4.1 million investment from the government.

Best Buy Beats Expectations and Offers Staff Buyouts

Best Buy Co. reported better-than-expected quarterly results on Tuesday and plans to offer employee buyouts and trim back store openings as consumers cut spending, sending shares up 17%.

Alliance Buys Scanning Company

Alliance Imaging Inc., a Newport Beach-based medical scanning company, said Tuesday that it bought Shared P.E.T. Imaging Inc. of Canton, Ohio, for $43 million in cash and debt.

Fed Cuts Target for Key Rate to Record Low

The Federal Reserve has cut its target for a key interest rate to the lowest level on record and pledged to use "all available tools" to combat a severe financial crisis and prolonged recession.

Beckman Bounces on Forecast

Fullerton-based Beckman Coulter Inc.'s shares were up Tuesday morning after the company reiterated its 2008 outlook and forecast a 10% profit hike in 2009.

Monday, December 15

Adrenalina Talks Buyout with Pacific Sunwear Shareholders

Small retailer Adrenalina withdrew its offer to buy Anaheim-based Pacific Sunwear of California Inc. on Monday but said it plans to take a buyout offer directly to shareholders at the struggling surf-inspired retailer.

Software Maker Quicksilver Gets Army's Gold Star

The Army has given Quicksilver Software an award, in the Technology column


The Week's Best, Worst Performers; Roth OC50, Billion Dollar Club, OC Tech; Index Watch, 52-week Performance

Economic Slowdown Stands to Catch up to Tourism in 2009

Economic Slowdown Stands to Catch up to Tourism in 2009

Report: Western Digital Leader To Buy Fujitsu Drive Business

Lake Forest-based Western Digital Corp. is a leading candidate to buy the disk drive business of Japan's Fujitsu Ltd.

Treasury Says Still Sifting Automakers' Data

A Treasury Department spokeswoman said on Monday that department officials were reviewing information from the auto industry and no decisions had been made yet about a rescue plan.


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

Tempered Growth for Tech's Twin Pillars

Tempered Growth for Tech's Twin Pillars

The Big Question: Will Banks Be Lending?

The Big Question: Will Banks Be Lending?

2007 Stock Star Masimo Feels Wall Street Tug

The bloom is off the rose for Masimo's stock performance

Exports Set to Stay Flat as Dollar Rises

Exports Set to Stay Flat as Dollar Rises

Looking Ahead

LOOKING AHEAD - The good news: Economists see a better 2009 than 2008 for Orange County. The bad news is things won't feel a whole lot better.

Hoag Memorial Shifts Expansion Focus to Irvine

Hoag Hospital is putting an expansion in Newport Beach on hold

Owners Look to Sell Struggling Buena Park Downtown

Struggling Buena Park Downtown could be a blank canvas for potential buyers, in the Marketplace column

Downturn Set To Take Toll

Downturn Set To Take Toll

UnitedHealth Expects up to 6% Drop in '09 Enrollment

UnitedHealth Group is expecting a drop in its 2009 commercial health plan enrollment, in the Healthcare column

Street Surfing Board Draws Interest to Fight Obesity

A local company is behind a board that fuses skateboarding, snowboarding and surfing, in the Small Business column

$8B Available in '09 For Small Businesses

There's still plenty of loans available for small businesses to buy office and industrial condominiums

Fed to Press Rates Toward Zero

The Federal Reserve is expected to drop interest rates close to zero on Tuesday, but anticipated remarks on unconventional methods to dispel a year-old recession are what will really matter.

Corinthian Colleges Shares Fall After Downgrade

Shares of Corinthian Colleges Inc. fell about 7% Monday after an analyst downgraded the stock from buy to hold.

UCI Law Prof Takes on Zell; Choco & Anteater

UCI Law Prof Takes on Zell; Choco & Anteater

State Budget Fallout, Legal Proceedings Will Set Tone for 2009

State Budget Fallout, Legal Proceedings Will Set Tone for 2009

Two Tech Stocks Take a Beating on Lowered Q4 Outlooks

Shares of two local tech stocks slumped Monday after the companies lowered their outlooks for the current quarter.


This past week's news from and other sources

Medical Scanner Eyes Hospital Outsourcing

InSight could benefit from the down economy

Pacifc Sunwear Fetches Less for Anaheim Warehouse

OC's real estate players are trying to figure out how to turn pain into profit in 2009, in the Real Estate column

REAL ESTATE WATCH: Los Angeles County

Los Angeles' office and industrial markets are as weak as they were in 2001. PLUS: CHARTS - Net Absorption; Vacancy Rates; Average Asking Lease Rates


A listing of events happening all around Orange County

Brandes' Clothing Co. Ends Licensing Deal

BB Dakota is making many changes now that it's outgrown a business partner

More Pain Due, Opportunity for Distressed Deals

More Pain Due, Opportunity for Distressed Deals


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


BOMA GUIDE - 2008. Building Owners and Managers Association. Continuing to Provide Concrete Solutions to the Orange County Real Estate Industry

More Banks Reveal Exposure to Madoff Scandal

Banks and investment funds across the world lined up on Monday to admit investing billions of dollars in the companies of Bernard Madoff, whom U.S. authorities accused of masterminding a massive fraud.

Drawn Out Deal Done, IBM Absorbs Telelogic

IBM and Telelogic have finally waded through all of their red tape

Bottoming Out.

Bottoming Out. Worst Downturn in Years Set to Continue, With Subtle Easing

Key Year for Hospitals, Products; Some Await Consumer Return

Key Year for Hospitals, Products; Some Await Consumer Return

Marshall Continues Yamaha Ad Work, Awaits Cuts

The U.S. motorcycle division of Japan's Yamaha Corp. is expected to cut its advertising for 2009, in the Media & Marketing column

Friday, December 12

Retail Sales See Longest Decline in 16 Years

Sales at retailers fell for a fifth straight month in November, the longest decline in at least 16 years, as gasoline sales tumbled by a record amount, according to government data on Friday.

Focus Back on Washington in Auto Bailout Saga

The Bush administration warned on Friday that the economy could not withstand the collapse of the auto industry and said it might be willing to provide emergency funding to bail out the automakers, a day after Congress failed to pass a bill doing the same

Commerce Energy Turns Shares Over to Lenders

Two lenders of Tustin-based Commerce Energy Group Inc. are taking over all shares held by the company after it defaulted on loans.

Bernard Madoff Arrested Over Alleged $50B Fraud

Bernard Madoff, a quiet force on Wall Street for decades, was arrested and charged on Thursday with allegedly running a $50 billion "Ponzi scheme" in what may rank among the biggest fraud cases ever.

2009 Preview: Tough, But Better Than 2008

The good news for 2009 is that economists see a better year than 2008 for Orange County. The bad news is things might not feel a whole lot better.

Land Brokerage Winding Down Operations

Irvine-based O'Donnell/Atkins, California's largest and best known land brokerage for much of the past decade, is winding down most operations amid the ongoing real estate downturn.

Thursday, December 11

Jobless Claims Hit 26-Year High

The number of workers filing new claims for jobless benefits surged to a 26-year high last week as employers tightened their belts to help weather what many fear will be a deep, long recession.

Sunstone Holds Outlook

San Clemente-based hotel owner Sunstone Hotel Investors Inc. reaffirmed its 2008 outlook but said it has seen several key indicators worsen as hotels show "cyclical weakness" along with the economy.

Wall St Flat as Energy Shares Offset Automakers

Stocks fought back from early losses to trade little changed on Thursday as energy shares advanced on a bullish forecast for oil, offsetting concern about the fate of an automakers bailout snarled in the Senate.

Boeing Delays 787 Again

Boeing Co. on Thursday pushed back the schedule for its troubled 787 Dreamliner by several months due to a strike by its machinists and persistent problems putting together its newest aircraft model.

Masimo Rises on Pending Addition to S & P;

Shares of Irvine medical device maker Masimo Corp. rose Thursday on news that the company is being added to Standard & Poor's MidCap 400 stock index.

Edwards Sees Higher 2009 Profit

Edwards Lifesciences Corp. said Thursday that it expects a larger profit in 2009 on slower sales growth.

Santa Ana's Hirsch Electronics Acquired

Santa Ana's Hirsch Electronics Corp., a maker of security systems for computer networks and buildings, was bought by Germany's SCM Microsystems Inc., a maker of smart card readers.

Wednesday, December 10

Office Depot to Close 126 Stores

Office Depot Inc. said on Wednesday it plans to close 126 stores and may restructure businesses as the economic downturn cuts demand from small businesses and retail customers for office supplies.

Broadcom Eyeing Acquisitions in Down Market

Broadcom Corp. Chief Executive Scott McGregor told investors Wednesday the Irvine-based communications chipmaker is scouting potential acquisitions to add to its numerous product lines.

Valeant Paying $285M for Skin Drug Maker

Aliso Viejo-based drug maker Valeant Pharmaceuticals International is paying $285 million for a Northern California maker of drugs to treat acne and other skin conditions.

China Slows, Europe Contracts as U.S. Auto Deal Near

China vowed renewed measures to revitalize its economy on Wednesday after exports tumbled and domestic demand shrank, with bleak figures from Europe showing how badly its major trading partners were faring.

"Conceptual Agreement" Reached on Auto Aid

Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid announced on Wednesday a bill to provide $15 billion in short-term loans to the ailing auto industry had essentially been completed, but the White House said some details still had to be settled.

Pacific Sunwear Shareholder Sells Stake

A sizable shareholder in Anaheim-based Pacific Sunwear of California Inc. has sold most of its stake in the struggling surf-inspired retailer.

Tuesday, December 9

Retailer Boot Barn Buys 14 Stores

Orange-based Boot Barn Holding Corp., a western shoe and clothing retailer, has acquired 14 stores in Wyoming and Nevada from BTWW Retail L.P. of Dallas, the company announced Tuesday.

White House and Democrats Edge toward Auto Bailout Deal

The White House and Democrats in Congress were edging closer to a deal on Tuesday on rescuing the struggling auto industry, with negotiators trying to agree on the wording of a $15 billion bailout bill.

Chapman 2009 Forecast: First Half Decline, Then Rebound

Economic recovery won't be on the horizon until the end of next year, according to Chapman University's annual economic forecast held Tuesday.

Sony to Cut 16,000 Jobs, Slash Costs

Japan's Sony Corp. said it will cut 16,000 jobs, curb investment and pull out of businesses to save $1.1 billion a year as the financial crisis ravages demand for its electronics products.

Report: Western Digital Leader to Buy Fujitsu Drive Business

Lake Forest-based Western Digital Corp. is a leading candidate to buy the disk drive business of Japan's Fujitsu Ltd. in a deal that could be worth more than $600 million.

Ford Discusses Volvo Sale to China Changan: Report

Ford Motor is in talks to sell its Volvo car business to its China partner Changan Automobile Group, the National Business Daily reported on Tuesday, citing an unnamed source at the Chinese company.

Oil Change Chain EZ Lube Files for Bankruptcy

Santa Ana-based oil change chain EZ Lube LLC has filed for bankruptcy protection.

Monday, December 8


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


"Leaving Iowa" at the Laguna Playhouse until Friday

Wall Street's Meltdown Pares Stocks by Billions

The county's largest publicly traded companies have lost more than $30 billion in market value this year

Trial by Fire

Epicor Software's chief executive has faced a trial by fire since coming on board earlier this year

Antonello's Owner Talks About Coping With Economy

The owner of Antonello's talks about how he's coping with the economy, in the Executive Dining column

How We Did

Special Report,How the Business Journal did with our predictions for the companies, people and government agencies to watch in 2008.


This past week's news from and other sources

McDonald's Nov Sales Up

McDonald's Corp. posted higher November sales at restaurants open at least 13 months, helped by an extra weekend, while the strengthening dollar pressured international sales, especially in Europe.

Tribune Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

Tribune Co filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Monday, according to a court filing.

2008's One of Worst Years for Local Auto Dealerships

October was another bad month for OC's auto dealers, in the Marketplace column

Register Starts Site To Book Print Advertising Online

The Orange County Register is taking a hands-off approach to advertising, in the Media & Marketing column

Sales Through June Foreshadowed Mall Slowing

Sales at local malls were flat for the 12 months through June

Multi-Fineline Electronix Buying British Keypad Maker

M-Flex is buying a small British maker of high-tech keypads, in the Technology column


Fundraisers and charitable donations from companies and people


The Week's Best, Worst Performers; Roth OC50, Billion Dollar Club, OC Tech; Index Watch, 52-week Performance

Allergan Up on Drug Nod, Takeover Buzz

Shares of Irvine drug maker Allergan Inc. rose Monday on news that regulators favorably reviewed its eyelash-growing drug as well as takeover speculation.

Jones Day Inks Lease At 3161 Michelson

Jones Day has signed a big lease


A listing of events happening all around Orange County

OC Drug Makers Disagree with E & Y; Financial Survey

A survey says that large drug makers still plan to spend money on research and development, in the Healthcare column

Falling Aussie Dollar To Help Billabong Profits

The weak Australian dollar stands to boost Billabong USA's sales and profits

Affliction Hires 11 Execs to Diversify Clothes

Edgy clothing maker Affliction has hired a group of seasoned apparel industry executives

Dow Chemical to Cut 5,000 Full-time Jobs

Dow Chemical Co. said on Monday it would close 20 facilities, divest several businesses and cut 5,000 jobs, or 11 percent of its global workforce, in response to the global economic slump.

Broadcom Shares Fall on Lowered Q4 Outlook

Shares of Irvine chipmaker Broadcom Corp. slumped after the company lowered its outlook for the current quarter.


Opera Pacific closes. Letter to the Editor

Housing Slump Takes Toll on Brokerage

O'Donnell/Atkins is in the midst of "significant downsizing" and isn't going after new business

Thompson To Start Non-Traded REIT Targeting Retail

The former chairman of Grubb & Ellis has another real estate investment offering in the works, in the Real Estate column

REAL ESTATE WATCH: South Orange County

Vacancy levels in South County's office market are slipping, while retail and industrial space is holding up, in Real Estate Watch. PLUS: CHARTS - Net Absorption; Vacancy Rates; Average Asking Lease Rates

O Canada: OC Deals Head North; UCI Name Tags

O Canada: OC Deals Head North; UCI Name Tags




Hirings, promotions and other moves at local businesses

Friday, December 5

Ingram Micro Names New Finance Chief

Santa Ana's Ingram Micro Inc., the biggest distributor of technology products, software and consumer electronics, promoted one of its own as finance chief.

Advisory Panel Approves Allergan Drug for Cosmetic Use

A glaucoma drug from Irvine-based Allergan Inc. that grows, thickens and darkens eyelashes is safe and effective enough to be sold for cosmetic use, a regulatory advisory panel said Friday.

Microsemi Board Shows Support for CEO

Shares of Irvine chipmaker Microsemi Corp. recovered Friday as Wall Street seemed pleased that the company's board is backing Chief Executive Jim Peterson, the subject of an ongoing controversy over his education background.

Late Mortgage Payments and Foreclosures Hit Record

Late mortgage payments and the rate of home loans in foreclosure rose to record highs in the third quarter, threatening to escalate as the recession erases jobs and further strains homeowners, the Mortgage Bankers Association said on Friday.

Job Losses Worst Since 1974 as Downturn Deepens

Employers axed payrolls by 533,000 jobs in November, the most in 34 years and far more than expected, government data on Friday showed, as the year-old recession hammered every corner of the economy.

Detroit Bailout Drive Sputters on Capitol Hill

The auto industry's drive for a $34 billion emergency taxpayer bailout was stuck in neutral on Friday as the chief executives of Detroit's Big Three began a second day of testimony on Capitol Hill.

Thursday, December 4

AT & T; to Cut 12,000 Jobs and Slash Spending

Top U.S. phone company AT & T; Inc. said it would eliminate 12,000 jobs, or about 4 percent of its workforce, a fresh wave of cuts to cope with an economic downturn that has exacerbated a decline in traditional phone sales.

Number of Workers on Jobless Rolls at 26-year Peak

The number of workers on jobless benefits rolls hit a 26-year high last month, although initial claims dipped last week, data showed on Thursday, underscoring the rapid deterioration in the labor market.

PacSun, Wet Seal Sales Dive in November

The county's two mall retailers saw November same-store sales plunge, though Anaheim-based Pacific Sunwear of California Inc. did better than Wall Street had expected while Foothill Ranch-based Wet Seal Inc. fared worse.

Hospital Operator Picks CEO

Santa Ana-based hospital operator Integrated Healthcare Holdings Inc. said Thursday it named Kenneth Westbrook as its president and chief executive.

GM Pledges Faster Cost-cuts in Return for Bailout

General Motors Corp. pledged to Congress on Thursday that it would accelerate labor and other cost cuts and try to reduce its mountainous debt in return for a government bailout.

Hospital Company Names New CEO

Santa Ana-based hospital operator Integrated Healthcare Holdings Inc. said Thursday that it named Kenneth Westbrook as its new president and chief executive.

Wednesday, December 3

Private Sector Sheds 250,000 jobs in November

Private employers cut 250,000 jobs in November, the most in seven years, a report by a private employment service said on Wednesday.

Newport Beach Bank To Get Federal Investment

Newport Beach based Commerce National Bank is set to receive a $5 million investment from the government to stimulate lending.

Grubb & Ellis Claims Victory in Board Battle

A trio of existing Grubb & Ellis Co. directors appears to have been re-elected by shareholders of the Santa Ana-based real estate brokerage and investor, thwarting an attempt by former chairman Tony Thompson to rejoin the board along with two hand-picked

Kia U.S. Plant On Schedule

South Korea-based Kia Motors Corp.'s first U.S. plant in Georgia is proceeding on schedule and will open as planned late next year.

Survey: Rich Investors Most Bearish Ever

Millionaires' investment outlook became the gloomiest on record last month thanks to the deteriorating economy and plunging stock prices, a survey said on Wednesday.

Sage Software Sees Lower Revenue, Profits, Job Cuts

Sage Software Inc., the Irvine-based maker of business software and a unit of Britain's Sage Group PLC, saw sales and profits dip for the 12 months through September.

Report: Paulson Debates Next $350B in Bailout

Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson is debating whether to ask Congress for the next $350 billion in the $700 billion bailout, the Wall Street Journal reported on its Web site.

Tuesday, December 2

Ford Sees at Least Breakeven in 2011

Ford Motor Co. said on Tuesday it expects overall and North American automotive business pretax results to break even or be profitable in 2011.

Hyundai Nov. Sales Slump

Fountain Valley-based Hyundai Motor America Inc.'s auto sales slumped to the lowest level in more than three years in November.

Quest Software Settles Options Probe with SEC

Aliso Viejo-based Quest Software Inc. is just around the corner from ending its long stock options ordeal.

Sears Holdings Posts Loss, Sets Store Closures

Sears Holdings Corp. reported a wider-than-expected quarterly loss on Tuesday as the weak economy hurt sales at its U.S. Kmart and Sears, Roebuck divisions, and said it may close additional stores.

Bargain-hunters Fail To Save Retail Sales

Bargain-hunting holiday shoppers did not save retail sales in November, which will likely represent a second straight month of declines for the industry.

Irvine Device Maker Cuts Jobs

Biolase Technology Inc., an Irvine dental device maker, said Tuesday that it is finishing up a 20% cut of its U.S. workforce in order to save money.

Monday, December 1

Retail Stocks Fall on Holiday Shopping Worries

Key retail stocks fell on Monday as investors feared that deep discounts offered by stores during the year's first holiday shopping weekend could sap profits and would not save a bleak season.

Cabinet Deal

Ron Simon has struck his second big deal for a maker of household cabinets

City of Orange Reviews CHOC's Tower Expansion

The fate of CHOC's $595 million expansion is now in the hands of the city of Orange

Family Tragedy Spawned Maker of Health Massagers

Medi-Rub Corp. thinks it has the answer for people with poor blood circulation and sore feet, in the Small Business Column

Allergan, Skin Filler Makers Wary of FDA Panel Report

The FDA has raised concerns about skin fillers, in the Healthcare column

Appeals Court Sides With Broadcom, But Narrows Lower Court Ruling

A federal appeals court Monday sided with Broadcom Corp. in a legal battle with Qualcomm Inc. but said a lower court went too far when it ruled two Qualcomm patents invalid.




How a local business owner survived the fires

Ford Reviewing Volvo Options, Including Sale

Ford Motor Co. said it will review strategic options for its Volvo brand, including the possible sale of the Sweden-based premium auto division, sending Ford shares up 8 percent on Monday.


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


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

ISM: Manufacturing Sags to Weakest Since 1982

Factory activity fell in November to its weakest since the 1981-1982 recession, according to an industry report released on Monday.

Newly Bought Juxt to Grow Marketing Co.'s Web Ads

George P. Johnson has acquired Juxt Interactive, in the Media & Marketing column

Olen Signs Two Leases for Pointe Brea Office Campus

Olen Properties' big Brea office campus has survived the fires and possibly the subprime mortgage mess, in the Real Estate column


The Week's Best, Worst Performers; Roth OC50, Billion Dollar Club, OC Tech; Index Watch, 52-week Performance


Hirings, promotions and other moves at local businesses

Contentious Board Fight Comes to Head at Grubb

One of the noisier board fights OC has seen in years comes to a head this week

Auto Dealers Look for Help

Auto dealers are hoping that the stalled $25 billion bailout of domestic automakers will be revisited soon, in the Marketplace column

Philatron Founder Attracts Father, Sons to Business

Philatron Founder Attracts Father, Sons to Business

Valeant Pharmaceuticals Reports Good Hep C Test Results in Trial

Valeant Pharmaceuticals International said last week that mid-stage clinical trial results for a hepatitis C drug candidate were encouraging.

Bad Loans Bring Downey's End After Lending for More Than Five Decades

An analysis of how Downey Financial failed

Chip Startup Chief Changes Focus to USB

In less than a year, Symwave's chief executive has overhauled the chip startup

Chipmaker Revenue Growth Seen Stalling in Q4, 2009

The economic downturn is likely to hit chipmakers hard, in the Technology column


A bank that survived the Depression is awarded the Family-owned Business Longevity Award

J & J; Buying Key Allergan Rival in Medical Cosmetics

Johnson & Johnson is paying $1.1 billion for a key rival of Allergan Inc. in a big shot across the bow to the Irvine maker of medical cosmetic products.


OC's industrial market continues to feel the ripple effect of a slowing economy. PLUS: CHARTS - Net Absorption; Vacancy Rates; Average Asking Lease Rates

Quiksilver Outlook Dims

Quiksilver's Rossignol debacle could force it to sell itself, or worse


A listing of events happening all around Orange County

Farmers & Merchants Withstood Depression, Gains in Financial Crisis

A bank that survived the Depression is awarded the Family-owned Business Longevity Award

JoeyJean Reinvents Fanny Pack for Practical Mothers

APPAREL: Carlile's products inspired, managed by family


This past week's news from and other sources

UST Global Makes Internal Changes for 2010 Public Offering

The bear market and a shaky economy aren't swaying UST Global from its plans to go public

Screening Obama Job Candidates; Bren Adds Another Hotel Star

Screening Obama Job Candidates; Bren Adds Another Hotel Star

Parenting Skill

Couple Strives to Raise Son, Publishing Company with Same Level of Dedication

Anaheim Bathtub Maker Closing Texas Plant

Lasco Bathware Inc., an Anaheim-based maker of bathtubs, showers and whirlpool tubs, is closing a plant near Austin, Texas, and laying off 100 workers.

Healthcare Seen Taking Back Seat to Economy

Politicians on both sides say Obama has bigger fish to fry than healthcare reform

Married to the Business

Lawyer-Turned-Drywaller Winsor Steps in as Chief Executive of 70-Year-Old Raymond Group