Stories for October 2008

Friday, October 31

Sources: Google may Scrap Yahoo Deal

Google Inc. may decide to scrap its proposed partnership with Yahoo Inc. rather than accept government-imposed antitrust restrictions on it, according to two sources familiar with the companies' discussions.

Quiksilver's Rossignol Sale Set to Close at Drastically Reduced Price

Analysts and investors in Huntington Beach-based Quiksilver Inc. breathed a sigh of relief Friday as the clothing maker said the sale of its struggling Rossignol ski unit is set to close early next month, even if the company is getting a lot less in the d

Aeropsace Consultant SM & A; Being Acquired for $120 Million

Newport Beach-based SM & A;, an aerospace consulting firm, is being acquired by New York private equity firm Odyssey Investment Partners LLC for $119.6 million.

Gloomy U.S. Consumers Cut Spending, Japan Cuts Rates

Grim reports showing American consumers tightening their belts and the U.S. business outlook weakening deepened fears about global recession, while a Japanese rate cut on Friday did little to stem the bleeding in markets.

Medical Device Maker Raises $10M

Symphony Medical Inc., a Laguna Hills maker of heart failure treatments, said Friday it raised $10 million from its existing investors, according to venture capital news sources.

Advanced Medical Soars on Q3 Profit

Advanced Medical Optics Inc.'s shares surged Friday after the Santa Ana eye product company said it swung to a third-quarter profit from a year-ago loss.

Ford Analyst: October Sales Seen Lowest in Two Decades

Auto industry sales in October are expected to be at their lowest level in two decades under the pressure from the economic downturn and consumer sentiment, Ford Motor Co.'s U.S. sales analyst said on Friday.

Thursday, October 30

Standard Pacific Shares Slump After Q3 Results

Shares of Standard Pacific Corp. closed down 14% Thursday after the Irvine-based homebuilder reported third-quarter results late Wednesday that detailed an ongoing decline amid the housing downturn.

Conexant Lowers Outlook; Slower Sales Ahead

Shares of Newport Beach chipmaker Conexant Systems Inc. fell Thursday after the company lowered its outlook for the December quarter.

Economy Shrank in Third Quarter as Consumers Retreat

The economy shrank at a 0.3 percent annual rate in the third quarter, its sharpest contraction in seven years as consumers cut spending and businesses reduced investment in the face of rising fears that a recession was setting in.

CBS Posts $12.5 Billion Loss with Write-down

CBS Corp. reported a massive quarterly loss as the economic crisis and rapidly deteriorating advertising market tarnished the TV and radio broadcaster's results and prompted it to take a $14.1 billion non-cash charge.

First American Profit Lower Than Expected

Santa Ana-based First American Corp. on Thursday reported a worse than expected third-quarter profit before charges amid an ongoing slump in its core title insurance business.

CSUF: Economic Rebound in late 2009 or 2010

The economy won't rebound until late next year or early 2010, according to a forecast from California State University, Fullerton economists.

Beckman Maintains 2008 Outlook

Shares of Beckman Coulter Inc. were up Thursday as investors seemed to react positively to its third-quarter results and steady outlook.

Quest Software Rises on Q3 Results

Aliso Viejo-based business software maker Quest Software Inc. on Thursday posted third-quarter results that beat analysts' expectations.

Exxon, Shell Profits Soar, But Oil Dip Hits Shares

Exxon Mobil Corp. topped its own record for the highest ever U.S. quarterly operating profit and Royal Dutch Shell PLC earnings beat market forecasts on Thursday, helped by high oil prices and fatter refinery margins.

Wednesday, October 29

Treasury Invests in Little Saigon Bank But Not Downey

The Treasury Department's plan to invest in banks includes taking a stake in a small Little Saigon bank but so far excludes the largest troubled lender based here, Newport Beach-based Downey Financial Corp.

Epicor's Shares Slump on Q4 Outlook

Shares of Epicor Software Corp., an Irvine-based maker of business software for hotels, retailers and manufacturers, fell after the company lowered its outlook for the current quarter.

Durable Goods Orders Rise Unexpectedly

New orders for long-lasting manufactured goods rose unexpectedly in September by 0.8 percent, led by surging demand for defense goods and transportation equipment, the Commerce Department said on Wednesday.

Allergan Meets Profit Estimate, Sales Fall Short, Cautious Outlook

Irvine-based Allergan Inc. reported a third-quarter profit that met Wall Street expectations after spending cuts that helped offset lower than expected sales.

China Cuts Rates, Fed and Others Set to Follow

China and Norway kicked off the latest round of global interest rate cuts, with the United States expected to follow later on Wednesday as policy-makers tried to soften the world's economic downturn.

Fed Cuts Key Interest Rate Half-point to 1 Percent

The Federal Reserve has slashed a key interest rate by half a percentage point as it seeks to revive an economy hit by a long list of maladies stemming from the most severe financial crisis in decades.

Morgan Stanley Gathering Deposits, Eyes Bank Deals

Morgan Stanley, eager to secure more stable sources of funding in volatile times, said on Wednesday its brokerage division sold $3 billion in certificates of deposit during the past week as part of its broader plan to build up deposits.

Pacific Sunwear Rejects Upped Offer from Adrenalina

Anaheim-based Pacific Sunwear of California Inc. received and rejected another buyout offer from small retailer Adrenalina of Miami.

Tuesday, October 28

Ceradyne Plunges on Lower Profit, Outlook

Costa Mesa-based Ceradyne Inc., a maker of military and industrial ceramics, reported lower a third-quarter profit and cut its outlook for the rest of the year and 2009.

Beckman Reports, Reaffirms Outlook

Beckman Coulter Inc. on Tuesday reported a third-quarter profit in line with analysts' expectations.

Sources: GM, Chrysler Request $10 Billion in Aid

General Motors Corp. and Cerberus Capital Management have asked the government for roughly $10 billion in an unprecedented rescue package to support a merger between GM and Chrysler LLC, two sources with direct knowledge of the talks said on Monday.

Broadcom Ends Up Paying Less for AMD Unit

Irvine-based chipmaker Broadcom Corp. completed its buy of an Advanced Micro Devices Inc. unit for $141.5 million, or about 25% less than expected.

Epicor Software's Board Unanimously Rejects Buyout Bid

The board of directors at Irvine business software maker Epicor Software Corp. on Tuesday rejected for the second time a buyout offer by New York hedge fund Elliott Associates LP.

Blackstone Finalizes Apria Deal

Blackstone Group LP of New York on Tuesday completed its $1.7 billion buy of Apria Healthcare Group Inc., a Lake Forest home healthcare provider.

Consumer Confidence Slumps to Record Low

Consumer confidence plunged to a record low in October as a worsening financial crisis left Americans anxious about their jobs and pessimistic about future prospects, a report said on Tuesday.

Home Prices See Record Plunge

Prices of single-family homes plunged a record 16.6 percent in August from a year earlier and plummeted more than 30 percent in Las Vegas and Phoenix, Standard & Poor's said on Tuesday.

Monday, October 27


A local writer thinks John McCain is too old to be president, in Viewpoint

Home Sales Rise But Prices Fall

Sales of newly constructed single-family homes rose in September and inventories shrank as builders slashed prices to their lowest level in four years to move property as a financial crisis deepens.

'Smart' Robot Maker Opens Lake Forest Demo Room

A Lake Forest company is set to show off some of its "intelligent" robots, in the Technology column


OC's manufacturing and warehouse industrial market is sluggish, in Real Estate Watch

Show Me the Money

Local Universities Hold Fast to Fundraising Goals Despite Downturn in National Economy

Western Digital Slumps on Lower Analyst Price Target

Shares of Lake Forest-based Western Digital Corp., a maker of disk drives, slumped Monday after an analyst lowered his price target on the company's stock.

Irvine Co. Strikes Leases for 20 Pacifica's Fancy Floor

Irvine Co. is taking a different strategy with leasing, in the Real Estate column

Reader Letters

Letters to the Editor - Community Reinvestment Act Lending; Proposition 65

Budget Battle

Universities, K-12 Schools Sweat Out Budget Impasse, More Budget Woes Loom

Retailers Look To Get in on Heated Presidential Race

Retailers are using the presidential election to try to drum up business, in the Marketplace column

CenturyTel to Acquire Embarq in $5.8 billion Deal

Rural telephone company CenturyTel Inc. plans to buy its larger peer Embarq Corp. for $5.8 billion in stock in an effort to cut costs and stay competitive amid a decline in traditional phone lines.




Fundraisers and charitable donations from companies and people

Boost Mobile Aims to Grab Prepaid Cell Market Share

Boost Mobile is looking to grab market share as pay-as-you-go wireless service goes mainstream,

Medical Device Maker Ramps Up for Big Sales Push

USGI Medical is making a big push to sell its less-invasive surgical devices


A listing of events happening all around Orange County

Analysts: No Broadcom, Qualcomm Settlement

The jury's still out as to whether Broadcom and Qualcomm are likely to settle

Register Circulation Down

The Orange County Register newspaper saw one of the more marked declines in paid circulation in the past six months, according to figures from the Audit Bureau of Circulations released Monday.

Double Time

New leaders at Yamaha Corp. of America are looking to shake things up a bit

Masimo Beats Q3 Expectations

Masimo Corp., an Irvine maker of patient monitoring devices, said Monday that its third-quarter profit rose 90% from a year earlier, beating Wall Street's expectations.

More U.S. Banks Take Gov't Cash, G7 Frets About Yen

U.S. banks lined up for government cash, the Group of Seven expressed concern about the soaring Japanese yen, and countries in Asia and Europe took emergency actions to shore up their financial positions as the credit crisis threatened a deep global reces

Advanced Medical Wiping Slate Clean for '09 Marketing

Advanced Medical Optics is looking to shake up its marketing for 2009, in the Media & Marketing column

Students Turn to Career Center to Prepare for 'Real World'

Students Turn to Career Center to Prepare for 'Real World'. Career centers see slight drop in employers at job fairs

Allergan's Medical Cosmetics Feel Tug of Slowdown

Analysts and doctors say the weak economy is hurting demand for a major part of Allergan's business

Universities See Students Working Around Credit Crunch

Universities See Students Working Around Credit Crunch. Using scholarships, federal funds, schools' direct lending

Coastal Resorts Brace for Meetings Pullback

The St. Regis and other upscale resorts are bracing for an exacerbated downturn


Hirings, promotions and other moves at local businesses

Cost Clash

Although Kaiser Aluminum's stock has plummeted over the past few weeks, the company's chief executive says Wall Street has it wrong

Impac Starts Business, Subleases Office Space

Impac Mortgage has found a niche in helping banks sell off foreclosed homes


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

Allergan, Clinique Products Debut at Doctors' Offices

Allergan and Clinique have come out with a line of skincare products sold through doctors, in the Healthcare column,


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

Crimefighter Spitzer Aids Embattled Nick; OC's Star Lawyers

Crimefighter Spitzer Aids Embattled Nick; OC's Star Lawyers

Healthcare Divide: Insurers vs. Consumers

The reputation of healthcare stocks as a shelter in stormy times is holding up,sort of

MBA Programs Across SoCal See 5% Enrollment Uptick

Programs Across SoCal See 5% Enrollment Uptick. Weaker economy boosts student interest in new skills

Saturday, October 25


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

Friday, October 24

Home Sales Gain Biggest Since July 2003

Sales of previously owned homes rose 5.5 percent last month, the biggest gain since July 2003, and the inventory of unsold homes fell, a hopeful sign for a housing market mired in a long slump.

Impac Starts Business, Subleases Irvine Building

Irvine's Impac Mortgage Holdings Inc. has found a way to capitalize on the same foreclosed homes and empty office space that has pushed the demise of many of its colleagues during the past year.

Chrysler to Cut 25 percent of Salaried Jobs

Chrysler LLC is targeting a 25 percent reduction in salaried and supplemental workforce in response to the deepening slump in the auto industry amid declining consumer confidence.

Valeant Signs Marketing Deal With GlaxoSmithKline

Aliso Viejo-based Valeant Pharmaceuticals International said Friday that GlaxoSmithKline PLC is going to market Valeant's Diastat AcuDial seizure drug in the U.S.

Shares of Western Digital, Emulex Rise

Shares of two Orange County technology companies defied Friday's Wall Street downturn after reporting soild quarterly results and getting upgrades from analysts.

AIG Borrows $90.3 Billion from Federal Reserve

American International Group Inc., the insurer saved from bankruptcy by a federal bailout, has borrowed $90.3 billion from the Federal Reserve.

Thursday, October 23

Greenspan "Shocked" at Credit System Breakdown

Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan told Congress on Thursday he is "shocked" at the breakdown in U.S. credit markets and that he expects the unemployment rate to jump.

Foreclosures Up 21 Percent From Year Ago

Foreclosure activity in September rose 21 percent from a year earlier but fell by double-digits from the prior month as some state laws slowed the foreclosure process, according to a monthly report by research firm RealtyTrac.

Jobless Claims Advance More than Forecast

Workers lined up for jobless benefits in unexpectedly large numbers last week as the trauma in financial markets continued to hammer the economy, data showed on Thursday.

Ingram Micro Sees Weak Demand, Projects Slower Sales in Q4

Santa Ana's Ingram Micro Inc., the world's biggest distributor of technology goods, software and consumer electronics, gave a bleak outlook for the balance of the year and into 2009 on the heels of its third0-quarter results.

Emulex Beats Quarterly Expectations

Shares of Emulex Corp., a Costa Mesa-based maker of electronics for data storage networks, jumped Thursday after the company reported results for the September quarter that beat Wall Street's expectations.

Report: L.A.Times Considers Buying OC Register

The owner of the Los Angeles Times is considering buying the Orange County Register or combining some operations with the Santa Ana-based newspaper, according to a report in the Financial Times.

Wednesday, October 22

Wachovia Reports $23.9 billion Loss

Wachovia Corp. reported a third-quarter loss of $23.9 billion on Wednesday, a record quarterly deficit for a banking company in the global credit crisis, underscoring the challenges Wells Fargo & Co. faces when it acquires the big lender.

Lake Forest Video Game Maker Bought by Amazon

Lake Forest-based Reflexive Entertainment Inc., a maker of video games played on computers, was bought Wednesday by online retailer Inc. for undisclosed terms.

Mortgage Applications Sink to 8-year Low

Demand for applications to buy homes and refinance mortgages sank to the lowest level in nearly eight years, a trade group said on Wednesday, in the heart of a financial crisis that has sapped consumer confidence.

Downey Sees Better-Than-Expected Loss, Other Indicators Worsen

Newport Beach's Downey Financial Corp. reported a better-than-expected loss but several other indicators for the savings and loan operator worsened in the third quarter.

Broadcom Rises on Analyst Upgrade

Shares of Broadcom Corp., the Irvine-based maker of communications chips, jumped Wednesday after an analyst upgraded the stock.

Merck, Wyeth Shares Stumble on Drug Concerns

Merck & Co. said on Wednesday it will slash 12 percent of its workforce and tempered its long-range earnings outlook, and Wyeth announced a delay in its closely watched experimental Alzheimer's disease drug, highlighting some of the troubles facing the in

Tuesday, October 21

QLogic's Quartely Results Beat Expectations

QLogic Corp., a maker of electronics for data storage networks, posted results for the September quarter that beat Wall Street's expectations.

Edwards Quarterly Profit Up

Irvine heart valve maker Edwards Lifesciences Corp. said Tuesday that its third-quarter profit rose 13% from a year earlier, beating analysts' expectations.

Lilly to Take $1.4 Billion Charge Over Zyprexa

Eli Lilly and Co. will record a $1.4 billion charge because of probes into past marketing of its top-selling Zyprexa schizophrenia drug and is in advanced talks to resolve the investigations, the company said on Tuesday.

3M Posts Higher Quarterly Earnings

Diversified manufacturer 3M Co. reported a 10 percent rise in quarterly earnings on Tuesday and beat Wall Street's expectations, sending shares higher.

Pacific Sunwear Rejects Buyout Offer

Anaheim-based Pacific Sunwear of California Inc.'s board has rejected a longshot bid for the company by small retailer Adrenalina of Miami.

Broadcom Shares Rebound on Results, Talk of Reining in Costs

Shares of Irvine-based Broadcom Corp. rebounded in afterhours trading after the company reported third-quarter results that beat Wall Street's expectations and talked of reining in its costs.

Kerkorian Cuts Ford Stake, Says Could Sell All Shares

Billionaire investor Kirk Kerkorian lowered his stake in Ford Motor Co. to 6.1 percent and said he could sell the remainder of his shares in the No. 2 U.S. automaker.

Monday, October 20


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


This past week's news from and other sources

Sage Advice

Why Sue Swenson was tapped to run one of OC's biggest software makers

Prototype Family

Metalcrafters has made a name for itself making prototypes of planes, trains and automobiles

Hothand Capitalizes on Collegiates' Cell Phone Habit

A local company is capitalizing on students and their cell phones, in the Technology column

Slowdown Set to Test Global Law Firms Operating in County

How some of the biggest law firms are faring these days in a decidedly middle market OC,

Wet Products Started from College Thesis, Beach Fun

Wet Products grew from a college project to an estimated $10 million company, in the Small Business column

DeVry Looks to Grow in Healthcare Training With Local Acquisition

DeVry is looking to Mission Viejo's U.S. Education Corp. to gain a foothold in healthcare education

Maguire Properties Could Sell More Local Offices

Maguire Properties could be looking to unload more of its OC buildings

Buyout Bid for Struggling Pacific Sunwear

A Miami-based retailer has made a $296 million offer for Anaheim-based Pacific Sunwear of California Inc., a struggling seller of surf-inspired clothes at mall stores.

Buena Park Officials Give Retail Builders OK

A $55 million retail development got an initial green light from the city of Buena Park

It's Agreed: No Bren Name on UCI Law School

It's Agreed: No Bren Name on UCI Law School


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

Report: Merrill CEO Sees Thousands of Job Cuts

Merrill Lynch & Co. Chief Executive John Thain said he expects thousands of job cuts after the company is acquired by Bank of America Corp., Bloomberg News reported on Monday.


Commercial construction slowed in the third quarter, in Real Estate Watch. PLUS: CHARTS - Net Absorption; Vacancy Rates; Average Asking Lease Rates


Hirings, promotions and other moves at local businesses

Clothes Maker LRG Moves HQ to Irvine Spectrum

LRG has moved its headquarters from Lake Forest to the Irvine Spectrum

Nexus Quiet on Fate of Almost Finished Condo Towers

Nexus is keeping everyone in suspense about its plans for Skyline at MacArthur Place, in the Real Estate column

Il Fornaio Taps Morgan for Newport Beach Restaurant

Il Fornaio America has tapped Irvine's Morgan Marketing, in the Media & Marketing column

Office Market Buzzing On Big Fed Lease Talk

Commercial real estate circles are buzzing about the prospect of a big lease by a tenant on the frontlines of the financial crisis.

Fastest-Growing Public Companies 2005 to 2008

Capsules of the top 10 Fastest-Growing public companies by three-year revenue, Part 2.

Interbank Lending, Stimulus Provide Hope in Crisis

Interbank lending emerged from deep freeze and Fed chairman Ben Bernanke gave his blessing to a second government stimulus package on Monday, providing hope the world's financial crisis may be easing.



OC Home Prices Fall Again, Off 34% from Peak

Orange County's median home price dropped another $15,000 in September from August, although sales volumes continued their recent trend of improving over year-ago levels.


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

Planet Beauty: Cautious Expansion in Retail Downturn

Planet Beauty is steadily expanding its chain of cosmetic stores, in the Marketplace column

Subprime Auto Lenders Hunker Down As Investors Turn Away from Loans

The county's two auto financiers of buyers with imperfect credit are back in survival mode

Hyundai's Finance Arm Expanding, Weathers Auto Slump, Tighter Credit

The finance arm of Hyundai Motor America is looking to expand in a down market


A listing of events happening all around Orange County


A local real estate investor lays out a program to stabilize the economy, in Viewpoint

Smaller Group of Fast-Growing Public Cos. Sees Big Sales Gain

How OC's fastest growing public companies grew 93% in three years

Device Makers Step Up Lobbying Amid Focus on Costs

Medical device companies are working to make sure their products aren't targeted by campaign promises, in the Healthcare column

Bernanke Says Another Stimulus Plan May Be Warranted

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke told Congress on Monday that another wave of government spending may be needed as the economy limps through what could be an extended period of subpar growth.

Charlie Palmer Debuts with Value, Service

Fifi commends Charlie Palmer for bringing his restaurant to OC, in the Executive Dining column

Friday, October 17

Consultant's Bank Fund Takes Stake In Irvine Bank

Bank investor Carpenter Community BancFund has taken a majority stake in Irvine's Plaza Bank.

County Lost 29,600 Jobs in Sept. From Year Earlier

Orange County's job losses continued in September as employers shed 29,600 workers, a 2% decline from a year earlier, according to the state's Employment Development Department.

Valeant Receives $125M Payment

Valeant Pharmaceuticals International said Friday it received $125 million from a deal with GlaxoSmithKline PLC to develop an epilepsy drug.

Shuttering Downey Unit Accounted for 80% of Loans

A Downey Financial Corp. unit that funds loans from outside brokers and accounts for 80% of the saving and loan operator's loans is being closed, accoridng to a Bloomberg report.

Housing Market and Consumers on the Ropes

Consumer confidence suffered its steepest monthly drop on record in October and construction starts on new homes fell to a 17-1/2 year low the previous month, as the financial crisis sent shock waves through the economy.

U.S. and France to Meet on Financial Crisis

U.S. home construction fell to its worst level in 17 1/2 years in signs of a deepening world financial crisis on Friday, and President George W. Bush said it would take time for government interventions to take effect.

Report: Lehman Executives Including Fuld Subpoenaed

Prosecutors have subpoenaed a dozen executives of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. including Chief Executive Dick Fuld in connection with three grand jury probes investigating the fall of the investment bank, the New York Post reported.

Thursday, October 16

Edwards Loses Patent Case; Plans Appeal

Irvine medical device maker Edwards Lifesciences Corp. said Thursday that a German court found that Irvine-based CoreValve Inc. did not infringe on Edwards' German patent for a less-invasive heart valve.

U.S. Reports Grim Data, EU Vows to Shield Economy

Major U.S. banks reported huge losses and other companies painted a grim outlook for the battered U.S. economy on Thursday as European leaders vowed to shield their industries from the global crisis.

Citigroup Posts Loss Amid Credit Costs

Citigroup Inc., battered by the global credit crisis, posted its fourth straight quarterly loss on Thursday, hurt by more than $13 billion of credit costs and write-downs tied to complex and low-quality debt.

Volatile Fuel Puts Southwest, Continental into Loss

Volatile fuel prices caused losses at Continental Airlines and its low-cost rival Southwest Airlines in the third quarter as airlines struggled to adjust to wild swings in the cost of oil.

Endologix Gets $98M Buyout Bid

Endologix Inc., an Irvine medical device maker, has received an unsolicited $98 million buyout offer from Elliott Associates LP, a New York hedge fund that's also trying to buy Irvine's Epicor Software Corp.

Clean Energy Calls Off Acquisition

Seal Beach-based Clean Energy Fuels Corp., a provider of natural gas for fleets that's backed by T. Boone Pickens, has called off its plan to buy a Canadian maker of natural gas refueling equipment for $17 million.

ICU Beats Q3 Estimates, Ups Outlook

ICU Medical Inc., a San Clemente device maker, on Thursday posted third-quarter results that beat Wall Street expectations and upped its full-year outlook.

Microsemi Buys La Mirada's Babcock; Reaffirms Q3 Outlook

Irvine chipmaker Microsemi Corp. said Thursday it bought La Mirada-based Babcock Inc., a maker of power controllers and sensors for the military, for $20 million in cash.

Wednesday, October 15

TV Station Owner Acme Delisting from Nasdaq

Santa Ana-based Acme Communications Inc., an owner of television stations in midsize markets, plans to delist from Nasdaq as a way to save on costs related to being a public company.

Motorola Selling Anaheim Unit

Motorola Inc. is selling an Anaheim-based unit to France's Safran for undisclosed terms.

Coca-Cola Profit Tops View; Shares Rally

Coca-Cola Co. posted a better-than-expected quarterly profit on strong international demand that offset a drop in volume at home, sending shares of the world's largest soft-drink maker up 6 percent.

Hedge Fund Takes Epicor Offer to Shareholders

A New York hedge fund is taking its board-spurned offer for Irvine's Epicor Software Corp. directly to shareholders.

JPMorgan and Wells Fargo Post Lower Profits

JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Wells Fargo & Co. posted better-than-expected earnings on Wednesday despite higher credit losses, underlining their standing as among the strongest big banks in the battered U.S. financial sector.

Retail Sales, Inflation Fall; Factories Weak

Retail sales last month dropped the most in more than three years while a measure of New York state manufacturing hit its lowest since the index started in 2001, intensifying recession fears.

Tuesday, October 14

KDOC Cancels Local Morning News Program

Santa Ana-based TV station KDOC said Tuesday it is stopping production of "Daybreak OC," a morning news program focused on Orange County.

Pimco To Manage Fed's Commercial Paper Bailout

Newport Beach-based bond manager Pacific Investment Management Co. is set to handle money for the Federal Reserve's program to shore up corporate bonds.

J & J; Profit bBeats Forecast, Shares Rise

Johnson & Johnson, fueled by strong sales of consumer products and medical devices, reported third-quarter earnings that beat Wall Street expectations and lifted its shares more than 3 percent.

Samueli Appealing Judge's Plea Bargain Rejection

Broadcom Corp. cofounder Henry Samueli is appealing a judge's rejection of a plea deal that would spare him prison time for his role in backdated stock options at the Irvine chipmaker.

Bank Stocks Surge as Government Pumps in $250 Billion

Bank stocks soared on Tuesday after the government set plans to inject $250 billion into the battered sector, hoping to restore confidence after exposure to toxic debt pummeled share prices.

PepsiCo Profit Misses View, to Cut 3,300 Jobs

PepsiCo Inc. reported a quarterly profit that missed Wall Street forecasts and cut its full-year outlook as an economic slowdown flattened soft drink demand, sending shares down more than 10 percent.

Phone Makers Get Chip Ban Lifted in Broadcom Case

Two South Korean cell phone makers Tuesday won a lifting of ban on chips found to infringe on a patent from Irvine's Broadcom Corp.

Monday, October 13

Cheap Chic Shoemaker Eyes New Products Amid Retail Slump

Shoemaker Vybe has grabbed a small piece of the crowded shoe business


The Inland Empire's office and industrial markets are feeling the sour economy. PLUS: CHARTS - Net Absorption; Vacancy Rates; Average Asking Lease Rates

Charo Chicken Launches Web Marketing Campaign

Charo Chicken has launched a new marketing campaign, in the Media & Marketing column


A listing of events happening all around Orange County


Taxes and Jobs. There is little evidence that tax cuts automatically create jobs, or that tax hikes destroy growth.

Lamborghini Shows New Colors in Temporary Space

Lamborghini Orange County has opened a temporary "boutique" on Pacific Coast Highway, in the Marketplace column

Historical Perspectives

Local experts comment how the national financial meltdown ranks against the savings and loan crisis.

Financial Upheaval Keeping Real Estate Deals in Check

Financial Upheaval Keeping Real Estate Deals in Check. Buyers can't get loans for larger commercial deals

Homebuilders Could Look to Unload Land for Tax Advantages

Cash-strapped homebuilders and developers are looking at putting undeveloped lots up for sale

Business Journal List in Flux Amid Major Brokerage Buys

FINANCE: Stock brokers trading firms as dust settles on acquisitions

Analyst Takes Liking to Microsemi's Steady Business

Microsemi is a Wall Street darling, in the Technology column




Fundraisers and charitable donations from companies and people

Stock Brokerages Mixed as Change Plays Out Among Group

Stock Brokerages Mixed as Change Plays Out Among Group

Financing Proved Unworkable for Magazine Sale

Entrepreneur Media has pulled out of a sale after financing made it unworkable

Tenet Healthcare Concentrates on North County to Grow

OC's largest hospital operator is downsizing to grow

Surfwear Maker Doubles HQ Space in Irvine

In one of the larger leases this year, surfwear maker La Jolla Group is expanding its headquarters

Europe Bails out Banks, UK Wants New Bretton Woods

Governments across the world launched multi-billion dollar bailouts on Monday to shore up tottering global banks and Britain called for a new Bretton Woods agreement to reshape the world financial system.

Maker of Card Readers Relocates to Seal Beach

MagTek is moving its headquarters from Carson to OC

Advanced Medical Tops Among Locals in Monday's Wall Street Rally

The biggest local gainer in Wall Street's dramatic rebound Monday: Santa Ana-based Advanced Medical Optics Inc.

Thompson National Properties Takes Over Argus Realty

OC's second-largest tenant-in-common investor is being taken over, in the Real Estate column


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

Epicor Software Rejects Buyout Bid

Directors at Irvine's Epicor Software Corp., a maker of business software, said Monday they rejected a $556 million buyout offer made by New York hedge fund Elliott Associates LP.

MUFG Buys 21 Percent Stake in Morgan Stanley

Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc. said on Monday it bought a stake in beaten-down Morgan Stanley, though at more favorable terms, as the U.S. government reportedly offered to support the Japanese bank's investment.


Congressman Ed Royce talks about who's to blame for Fannie and Freddie

UCI Launches Big Drive with $405M And a Long View

UCI Launches Big Drive with $405M And a Long View

Hedge Fund's Offer for Epicor Surprises Some

Some are surprised by Epicor's recent buyout bid

Masimo Bets Hospitals $1M to Test Its, Nellcor's Devices

Masimo's long-running rivalry with Nellcor has flared up again, in the Healthcare column


This past week's news from and other sources

Off the Shelf

Display Boys is hired to turn grocery store staples into supermarket chic

Regulators Reject Bid to Limit Additions to Prop. 65

How changes to Proposition 65 can affect businesses, in Regulation Watch by Howard Fine

Domino Effect

Banks, Lenders Look to Shore Up Investments to Avoid Being Knocked Over by Credit Crisis

Edwards Surges on Valve Study Results

Irvine-based heart valve maker Edwards Lifesciences Corp. reported what it called positive results from two studies of a new type of valve that doesn't require major surgery.


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


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

GM Shares Rebound after Detroit Merger Reports

Shares of General Motors Corp. jumped almost 18 percent on Monday after reports the No. 1 U.S. automaker had been in merger talks in recent weeks with smaller rivals Ford Motor Co. and Chrysler LLC.

Back to the Future

Back to the Future - A local theater owner is out to renew movie night

Office Market Continued Slump in Third Quarter

OC's battered office market saw another quarter of rising vacancies and falling rents


Hirings, promotions and other moves at local businesses

Friday, October 10

Volcom Takes Wild Ride, Closes Up on Analyst Report

Shares of Costa Mesa-based Volcom Inc. took a wild ride with the market Friday, ending up more than 7% at the close of New York trading.

Greenspan Sees 1st Half 2009 Housing Recovery

Former Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan said the housing market will begin to recover in the first half of 2009, according to an article he wrote for Emerging Markets magazine published on Friday.

GE Profit Drop as Expected, Finance Unit a Drag

General Electric Co. reported a drop in quarterly profit that matched its recent warning to Wall Street, and the conglomerate said the global credit crunch and slumping economies would continue to take a toll on its hefty finance arm.

Q3 Office Market: Few Leases, Falling Rents, Big Landlord Concessions

A handful of high-profile leases couldn't stop the bleeding from Orange County's battered office market, which saw another quarter of rising vacancies and falling rents.

GM Says Bankruptcy is Not an Option

General Motors Corp. said it was not considering bankruptcy protection as market turmoil continues and Barclays Capital said on Friday that the company's cash needs were increasing.

Thursday, October 9

Jobless Claims Drop as Hurricane Impact Fades

The number of workers filing new claims for jobless benefits fell 20,000 last week, in line with forecasts, as the impact of hurricanes Gustav and Ike eased, government data on Thursday showed.

Pimco Looking To Manage Government Fund

Newport Beach-based bond manager Pacific Investment Management Co. is in talks to handle funds bought by the government's $700 billion bailout package.

Buyback Plan Helps Quest Software Defy Wall Street Selloff

One of the few stocks to fare well in Thursday's Wall Street selloff: Aliso Viejo-based business software maker Quest Software Inc.

Arbitrator Rules on Brandes, Irvine Smith Dispute

An arbitrator has ruled on a legal dispute between R.J. Brandes and Joan Irvine Smith over a South County horse exhibition center.

Advanced Medical Optics Cuts 2008 Outlook

Santa Ana-based Advanced Medical Optics Inc., a maker of eye surgery devices and contact lens solutions, lowered its outlook for the rest of the year amid a slowdown in laser vision correction surgeries.

ERA: Airline Bankruptcies Set to Double Over Winter

Airline bankruptcies around the world this year are set to double over the winter to at least 70, the director general of the European Regional Airlines (ERA) industry body said on Thursday.

Pressure on G7 After Muted Response to Rate Cuts

Finance ministers from the world's top economies faced calls on Thursday for united action after an emergency round of interest rate cuts and government support for ailing banks won only muted market support.

Wednesday, October 8

Wal-Mart, Warehouse Clubs Lead September Retail Sales

Discounters like Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and warehouse clubs performed well in September, while apparel retailers struggled as the economic slowdown prompted cash-strapped shoppers to be more thrifty, according to sales data released on Wednesday.

PacSun, Wet Seal Continue Slumps in September

A running slump at mall retailers Pacific Sunwear of California Inc. and Wet Seal Inc. continued in September as sales at stores open at least a year fell.

Broadcom Steps Up Legal Fight with Qualcomm

Irvine chipmaker Broadcom Corp. said Wednesday it filed a second lawsuit going after the way that rival Qualcomm Inc. does business.

NAR: August Pending Home Sales Jump 7.4 Percent

Pending sales of existing homes unexpectedly jumped in August to the highest level in over a year, data from a real estate trade group showed on Wednesday.

Fed, Central Banks Cut Rates

Central banks around the world cut interest rates in unison on Wednesday to try to limit economic damage from the worst financial crisis in 80 years.

Quest Software Gets New CEO, Smith Stays as Chairman

Aliso Viejo-based Quest Software Inc.'s longtime chief Vincent "Vinny" Smith stepped aside Wednesday to make way for Doug Garn, who's set to be the new chief executive at the maker of business software.

Tuesday, October 7

Gateway's Former Chief Lands Top Spot at Unisys

The former chief executive of Irvine PC maker Gateway Inc. landed a new gig as the top guy at another big tech name with local operations.

Greenberg Blames AIG Woes on Shorts, Accounting

A former chief executive of American International Group Inc. defended the insurer's risk management but said looser accounting and curbs to market short-selling could have saved it.

Irvine Company Hiring 1,200 for Pelican Hill

Irvine Company has hired 1,000 people with plans to add 200 more as it readies itself to open The Resort at Pelican Hill in Newport Coast next month.

Fed to Buy Massive Amounts of Short-term Debt

The Federal Reserve announced Tuesday a radical plan to buy massive amounts of short-term debt in a dramatic effort to break through a credit clog that is imperiling the economy.

Downey Looks To Sell HQ to Generate Cash

Struggling savings and loan operator Downey Financial Corp. is looking to sell the posh Newport Beach office buildings that long have served as its headquarters in an attempt to raise cash amid the ongoing financial crisis.

UK Banks in Government Funding Talks as Crisis Grips

Britain will hold more talks with banks this week over a possible multi-billion pound injection of public funds, industry sources said as the credit crisis tightened its grip on Europe's main financial center.

Monday, October 6


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

Some Video Game Studios Ditch Wacky Work Hours

Many OC video game developers have joined the 9-to-5 workforce, in the Technology column


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

Del Taco Head Plans To Leave in November

Lake Forest-based Del Taco LLC's president and chief operating officer, Shirlene Lopez, is leaving the Mexican fast food chain next month

Downey Looks To Sell HQ to Generate Cash

Downey Financial is looking to sell its posh Newport Beach office to raise cash


Hirings, promotions and other moves at local businesses

REAL ESTATE WATCH: The mid-counties market

The economy is taking a toll on the mid-counties industrial market, in Real Estate Watch. PLUS: CHARTS - Net Absorption; Vacancy Rates; Average Asking Lease Rates

Former Executive Sues Watch Maker Vestal Over March Firing

An executive change at Vestal Watch has sparked a contentious legal fight

Fed to Boost Auctions, Pay Interest on Reserves

The Federal Reserve on Monday announced a series of steps to funnel massive amounts of liquidity through clogged credit markets, including boosting the sizes of cash auctions and offering banks interest on reserves.

Fuld: SEC, Fed Aware of Everything at Lehman

The disgraced head of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. told Congress on Monday that banking regulators knew exactly how Lehman was pricing its distressed assets and about its liquidity in the months before its collapse.


A local lawyer has had enough of Congress' bickering. Commentary by Michael D. Capaldi

Regenesis Cleaning Up Big Engineering Firms' Projects

Regenesis Bioremediation Products is cleaning up environmental engineers' projects, in the Small Business column

STEC Ups Q3 Outlook on Stronger Demand

Santa Ana's STEC Inc., a maker of flash memory for industrial uses, upped its outlook for the current quarter, citing stronger demand from its server maker customers.

Quest Carving Niche Selling Software to Government Agencies

An acquisition by Quest has given it a new customer base

Westminster Mall Set to Unveil Makeover in November

Westminster Mall is planning to unveil its big upscale makeover, in the Marketplace column

Pelican Hill on Hiring Spree

Irvine Co. has gone on a hiring spree to ready itself for the opening of The Resort at Pelican Hill

Executive Outlook Stays Down for Fourth Quarter

A Cal State Fullerton survey finds that executive sentiment is at its lowest in five years

Deals Sweep Up Smaller, Midsize Makers of Chips

A wave of consolidation has shrunk the number of chipmakers in OC

Shareholders To Vote on $1.6B Apria Sale

Shareholders of Apria are set to vote this week on one of OC's biggest deals of 2008

Ista Gets Financing, Banking on Drugs in Development

Ista Pharmaceuticals has struck a financing deal and is hopeful three key products could get regulatory approval soon, in the Healthcare column

Arden Sells La Palma, Orange Office Campuses

Arden Realty has sold two of its largest OC office campuses in one of the biggest deals this year

Sources: Fed Moves to Broker Deal for Wachovia

The Federal Reserve is brokering discussions between Wells Fargo & Co. and Citigroup Inc. over which of the banks will buy Wachovia Corp.'s assets, people familiar with the matter said on Sunday.


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

Watson Looks to Sell Former Apria Tustin Building

Parker Properties landed its biggest tenant yet for 30 Enterprise, in the Real Estate column

Moorlach Rips Bailout, Paulson; Boone Pickens Teams with Agran

Moorlach Rips Bailout, Paulson; Boone Pickens Teams with Agran

French Handbag Maker Opens Newport Office

Handbag maker Sequoia Paris has opened its first U.S office and showroom in Newport Beach

Standard Pacific Downgraded on Expected Land Writedowns

Shares of Irvine-based homebuilder Standard Pacific Corp. fell Monday after an analyst said the stock's rebound has gotten ahead of itself with more big writedowns on land due this year and next.


A listing of events happening all around Orange County


This past week's news from and other sources

Ceradyne Gets $2.4B Army Order

Costa Mesa-based Ceradyne Inc., a maker of ceramic bulletproof vests, has received what it called its largest order to date, a $2.37 billion contract with the Army.

Commercial Printer Expands Offerings, Clients with Buy

Dot Printer made its first acquisition in 10 years

Freedom Names Publisher for Coast, Other Magazines

Freedom Communications has a new vice president and publisher of Coast magazine, in the Media & Marketing column



Friday, October 3

OC Congressional Members Stick to Guns on Revised Bailout

Revisions to the financial bailout plan did little to sway Orange County's congressional members, who held their votes from Monday's first pass at the plan.

Fast-Growing Private Cos. Honored

Fast-growing private companies,including a video game store franchisor, a flat TV seller and even a provider of healthcare to prison inmates,were honored at a cocktail reception in Irvine on Thursday by the Orange County Business Journal.

House Starts Debate on Bailout Bill

The House of Representatives started work on a $700 billion bailout package for banks, under pressure from all sides as the effort to head off a spreading financial crisis hung in the balance.

Downey Up On Bailout Hopes

Shares of Newport Beach-based Downey Financial Corp. surged as much as 35% Friday before settling at an 8% gain after Congress passed a bailout package that could prove to be the last hope for the mortgage lender.

Wells to Buy Wachovia for Over $16 Billion

Wells Fargo & Co. agreed to buy Wachovia Corp. for more than $16 billion, besting a government-backed Citigroup Inc. bid for some of its assets, in a deal that would catapult Wells Fargo to the top ranks of national consumer banks.

AIG to Sell as Many Assets as Needed to Pay Bailout

American International Group Inc., the insurer crippled by losses on bad mortgage bets, said on Friday it plans to sell as many assets as needed to repay up to $85 billion of borrowings from the government.

Congress Clears Hotly Contested Bailout Bill

Congress has passed complex and highly criticized legislation authorizing $700 billion in government money to shore up the nation's stressed financial industry.

Thursday, October 2

Auto Financier Consumer Portfolio Sells Loans

Auto lender Consumer Portfolio Services Inc. in Irvine announced Thursday that it sold $199 million worth of loans packaged as bonds to an affiliate of Citigroup Inc.

Report: Fed Officials Considering Further Rate Cuts

Federal Reserve officials are weighing further interest rate cuts, even if Congress approves a $700 billion financial industry bailout, because of a worsening economic outlook, the Wall Street Journal said on Thursday. A rate cut is still far from certain

Bailout Focus on House as Crisis Spreads

Shockwaves from the global credit crisis spread on Thursday, threatening industry and jobs worldwide and putting pressure on Congress to finish up a $700 billion bailout of the U.S. financial sector.

Reports: Western Digital May Buy Fujitsu Drive Business

Lake Forest-based Western Digital Corp. is reported to be in talks to buy the disk drive business of Japan's Fujitsu Ltd.

Weak Economy Pushes Jobless Claims to 7-year High

Tight credit is taking a toll on manufacturing and jobs.

Bailout Hopes Rise as More 'no' Votes Switch

Desperate to avoid another market-crushing defeat, House leaders won key converts Thursday to the $700 billion financial industry bailout on the eve of a make-or-break second vote.

Resources Connection Slumps on Concerns for Current Quarter

Shares of Irvine-based Resources Connection Inc., a provider of finance and other consultants to companies on a project basis, fell Friday on concerns about results for the current quarter.

Wednesday, October 1

Senate Urged to Back Revised Bank Rescue

The Senate prepared to vote Wednesday on a revised $700 billion plan aimed at halting the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.

GE Shares Tumble on Concerns About 2009 Earnings

Shares of General Electric Co. fell 8 percent on Wednesday after a stock analyst said the conglomerate may be set for a drop in profit next year.

Del Taco's President Leaves

Lake Forest-based Del Taco LLC's president and chief operating officer, Shirlene Lopez, is leaving the Mexican fast food chain next month, the company said Wednesday.

Factories Mired in Recession Levels, Jobs Weak

Factory activity shrank in September to its lowest since the 2001 recession, and private employers shed jobs for the third time in four months as the financial crisis tightened its grip on the world's largest economy.

Larry Dodge's American Sterling Raises Money for Bank

Foothill Ranch-based American Sterling Bank has received a third cash infusion to meet the demands of regulators, according to a report in the Kansas City Star newspaper.

Epicor Software Gets Buyout Offer

Shares of Epicor Software Corp., an Irvine-based maker of business software, soared Wednesday after hedge fund Elliott Associates LP made an unsolicited bid to buy the company, which has been struggling of late.