Stories for April 2009

Thursday, April 30

Jobless Claims Fall, But Spending and Income Ease

The number of workers filing new claims for unemployment benefits fell last week, but the weak job market continued to pressure incomes and spending in March, government data showed on Thursday.

Chrysler to File for Bankruptcy

Chrysler LLC is expected to file for bankruptcy on Thursday after talks to restructure its debt with lenders broke down, a government official said.

Ingram Outlook Cautious, Prospect of Stabilization

Santa Ana-based Ingram Micro Inc., the largest distributor of technology products, reported mixed first-quarter results and said it doesn't expect growth for months or until 2010. But the company doesn't "feel the market getting worse at this stage," Chie

Corinthian Colleges Beats Forecast, Ups Outlook; Management Shifts

The recession continues to be good to Santa Ana-based vocational school operator Corinthian Colleges Inc., which reported quarterly results Thursday that bested expectations and offered an upped outlook for the current quarter.

Exxon Profit Sinks on Slumping Oil Demand

Exxon Mobil Corp., the world's largest publicly traded company, posted a 58% drop in quarterly profit, missing Wall Street estimates, as the global recession sliced into demand for crude oil and depressed prices.

FDA Approves Botox Rival

The Food and Drug Administration has approved a rival to Botox, the blockbuster wrinkle-reducing drug from Irvine-based Allergan Inc.

First American Earnings Top Expectations, Revenue Down

Santa Ana-based title insurer and business data provider First American Corp. reported first-quarter earnings that beat analyst expectations on Thursday, thanks to big cuts in corporate expenses and an increase in loan origination and default-related tran

QLogic Results Fall Short of Expectations

Shares of Aliso Viejo-based QLogic Corp., a maker of electronics for data storage networks, slumped Thursday after the company reported results for the March quarter that missed Wall Street's expectations.

Wednesday, April 29

Broadcom Might Have to Up Hostile Bid for Emulex

Broadcom Corp. may have to up the ante for Emulex Corp., according to analysts.

Register Parent Company Gets Debt Reprieve

Irvine-based Freedom Communications Inc., parent company of the Orange County Register, said Wednesday a group of lenders extended until Dec. 31 a deadline for the company to meet credit terms it technically defaulted on in September.

BofA CEO Could Lose Chairmanship at Meeting

Bank of America Corp.'s embattled CEO, Kenneth Lewis, may have to give up the post of chairman as shareholders hold a referendum on his eight-year tenure as head of the largest U.S. bank.

Alliance HealthCare Rises on Results, Outlook

Newport Beach-based Alliance HealthCare Services Inc. posted a 26% higher first-quarter profit and reaffirmed its full-year revenue outlook on Wednesday.

Time Warner Profit Beats Street

Time Warner Inc. posted a stronger-than-expected quarterly profit, as a rise in cable networks revenue helped offset declines in advertising sales at its AOL Internet and Time Inc. publishing units.

QLogic Rallies on Takeover Rumors; Reports Results Thursday

Shares of QLogic Corp., the Aliso Viejo-based maker of electronics for data storage networks, jumped Wednesday on speculation that it could be a possible takeover target of EMC Corp.

Kaiser Aluminum Posts Lower Earnings; Sees Stabilization

Foothill Ranch-based Kaiser Aluminum Corp. posted lower first-quarter earnings as metal prices and demand slumped. But the company said it expects sales to stabilize.

Stocks Extend Gains as Fed Sees Recession Easing

The Fed confirmed what Wall Street has already concluded: The recession is starting to ease.

Aetna Posts Profit Gain, But Medical Costs Spike

Health insurer Aetna Inc. reported a slight rise in net income on Wednesday as membership increased, but it cited higher-than-projected medical costs in its commercial business that serves employers.

Tuesday, April 28

San Clemente Engineers Sell Unmanned Planes

Northrop Grumman Corp. has bought the unmanned plane unit of San Clemente-based Swift Engineering Inc.

Beckman Coulter Affirms Outlook; Shares Rise

Beckman Coulter Inc. on Tuesday affirmed its 2009 outlook and reported a first-quarter profit that beat expectations.

Pfizer Profit Beats Forecasts

Pfizer Inc. reported a better-than-expected first-quarter profit on Tuesday, as cost-cutting helped offset sharply lower sales of its Lipitor cholesterol fighter and its Chantix smoking-cessation drug.

Ceradyne Falls On Outlook

Costa Mesa-based body armor maker Ceradyne Inc. said it expects sales this year at the lower end of a previous forecast.

Sun Healthcare Q1 Profit Jumps 43%

Irvine-based Sun Healthcare Group Inc. on Tuesday reported first-quarter financial results that were generally in line with analysts' expectations.

Court Freezes Assets of California Financier

The Securities and Exchange Commission secured an emergency court order on Monday freezing the assets of California financier Danny Pang and two of his firms, accusing the Newport Beach resident of defrauding Asia-based investors of hundreds of millions o

Consumers, Home Prices Boost Recovery Hopes

Consumer confidence posted its biggest jump in more than three years in April while the slump in home prices showed signs of slowing in February, adding to hopes that the recession may be waning.

Chipmaker Mindspeed Rallies on Outlook

Shares of Newport Beach chipmaker Mindspeed Technologies Inc. rallied Tuesday, a day after the company gave an outlook for the current quarter that surpasses Wall Street's expectations.

Monday, April 27


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


Chairman, chief executive

My Big Fat Greek Honeymoon

Two local developers say they're still on schedule to open a mega-project in Carson in a few years, in the Real Estate column

Insurer Pacific Expands in Cypress, New Business Line

Pacific Pioneer Insurance Group recently moved to Cypress from La Mirada to accommodate its new division, in the Small Business column

Developers Pushing Big Development for 2012 Opening

Two local developers say they're still on schedule to open a mega-project in Carson in a few years, in the Real Estate column



OC 50 2009

Rising business stars, a lawyer to Donald Bren and a religious adviser to executives and presidents make up 2009's freshman class of OC 50

Employment Agencies Report Stabilization after Killer 2008

Local employment agencies saw a steep drop in revenue last year but are hoping the stabilization of the past few weeks marks a turning point


Councilman, city of Irvine


The Greater Los Angeles office market continues to slide. Plus: RE Charts.

Yale, Move Over: UCI Law's Bold Tuition Gambit

Yale, Move Over: UCI Law's Bold Tuition Gambit

Irvine Industrial Building Trades at Likely Discount

The recent sale of a big Irvine industrial building is a welcome sign for the area's sluggish industrial market

Allergan Ramps Up Ad Campaign of Latisse to Doctors

Allergan is gearing up an advertising launch for eyelash enhancer Latisse, in the Media & Marketing column,

Proposed Defense Cuts Could Cost Local Jobs

Boeing and its contractors across the county are bracing for potential cuts to one of its biggest government contracts here

Pimco Exec: Recession's End to Usher in New Era

Why Pimco's Mohamed El-Erian thinks the economy is headed toward a "new normal,"


Hirings, promotions and other moves at local businesses

Emulex's Outlook Short of Expectations; No Word on Broadcom Bid

Costa Mesa's Emulex Corp., a maker of electronics for data storage networks, on Monday gave an outlook for the current quarter that fell short of what Wall Street had been expecting.

Edwards Lifesciences Q1 Profit Beats Street

Irvine-based heart valve maker Edwards Lifesciences Corp. on Monday said its first-quarter profit rose 23%, surpassing analysts' expectations.

'Time For a Breather' with Quality Systems' Shares

An analyst recently downgraded Wall Street darling Quality Systems, in the Healthcare column

Newport Boat Show Saw Strong Turnout, Some Sales

There were signs of a rebounding economy at the Newport Boat Show last week, in the Marketplace column

Broadcom Getting $891M Qualcomm Settlement

Irvine-based chipmaker Broadcom Corp. and San Diego rival Qualcomm Inc. have struck a deal to end more than three years of legal sparring over cell phone chips with Qualcomm paying Broadcom $891 million over four years.


Vice president, general manager

CALENDAR April 27-May 6, 2009

April 27-May 6, 2009. A listing of events happening all around Orange County


Owner, president

Ireland Opens Trade Office, Sends No. 2

Ireland has opened a trade office in Irvine to drum up more investment from local companies,

Broadcom Might Have to Up Hostile Bid for Emulex

Broadcom may have to up the ante in play for Emulex

Clarient Projecting Profit after Debt Payoff

Clarient is shedding about $30 million in debt with an investment deal from a venture capital firm

Verizon Results Lifted by Wireless Growth

Verizon Communications Inc. posted higher-than-expected quarterly profit due to growth in cell phone customers, solidifying its market leadership following its acquisition of smaller rival Alltel.

Chrysler, Unions Make Progress as Deadline Nears

Automaker Chrysler LLC showed signs of progress with its unionized workers in its battle to stay alive on Sunday with just days left to complete deals to slash labor and debt costs or face bankruptcy.


Chairman, chief executive

GM to Slash Costs, Drop Pontiac

General Motors Corp. on Monday said it would cut debt, close plants, slash jobs and drop the Pontiac brand as part of a sweeping restructuring that would see the automaker emerge under the ownership control of the government and its major union.

Orange Maker of Filtering Software Buys Small Rival

Marshal8e6 recently bought a small company, in the Technology column


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


Chief mad scientist, chief visionary

Device Maker Visiogen Raises $40M in Funding

Visiogen Inc., an Irvine eye device maker, said Monday that it's raised $40 million in financing from new and existing investors.

Friday, April 24

Western Digital Slumps on Analyst Downgrade

Shares of Lake Forest's Western Digital Corp., a maker of disk drives, slumped Friday after an analyst downgraded the stock on concerns about demand.

Medical Device Maker Sets Up Shop in Aliso

Vertos Medical Inc., a venture-backed maker of devices that treat degenerative spinal diseases, recently moved its headquarters to Aliso Viejo from San Jose as it readies its first product.

3M Profit Falls 48%, Cuts 2009 Forecast

Diversified manufacturer 3M Co. reported a 48% drop in quarterly profit and cut its full-year earnings forecast, citing falling demand as its customers reduce inventories.

Local Aerospace Combo: Brea's IMS Co. Snags Irvine's Flight Deck

Brea-based IMS Co., a maker of portable in-flight entertainment players and related software, said Friday it acquired Irvine-based Flight Deck Resources Inc.

Manufacturers See No Quick Economic Rebound

More manufacturers are giving up the hopes they had for an economic rebound later this year.

Ford Shares Rise as Q1 Loss Smaller Than Expected

Ford Motor Co. posted a smaller-than-expected first-quarter loss and said it was on track to at least break even in 2011 and did not expect to seek government loans, sending its shares up more than 22%.

Thursday, April 23

Microsemi Results, Outlook in Line

Irvine chipmaker Microsemi Corp. reported lower quarterly sales and profits in line with Wall Street's modest expectations and offered more of the same in its outlook for the current quarter.

Software Startup EPS Corp. Nabs $30M Venture Round

Costa Mesa-based startup EPS Corp., which makes software that helps companies cut down on energy costs, said Thursday it landed a $30 million round of venture funding.

Global Slump Hurts UPS Profit

United Parcel Service reported a lower-than-expected profit and gave an outlook below analysts' views as the global economic downturn caused fewer packages to be shipped, sending its shares down more than 7%.

Obama to Prod Credit Card Firms on Fee Practices

President Barack Obama will weigh in on Thursday on the lending practices of credit card companies, an issue that has triggered an outcry from consumers hit with high fees and interest rates.

Western Digital Beats Expectations for March Quarter

Lake Forest-based disk drive maker Western Digital Corp. on Thursday reported March quarter results that were down from a year earlier but surpassed Wall Street's expectations.

Jobless Claims Rise, Home Sales Fall

The number of newly laid off workers filing claims for jobless benefits rose last week and sales of previously owned homes fell in March, data showed on Thursday, indicating the 16-month old recession was far from over.

Fullerton Economists Call For 'Great Recession'

The effects of the downturn may last a couple years making it a "Great Recession," California State University, Fullerton, economists said Thursday.

Wednesday, April 22

Morgan Stanley Posts Loss, Slashes Dividend

Morgan Stanley posted its second straight quarterly loss on Wednesday and slashed its dividend as real estate investment losses and a debt-related charge wiped out gains from its trading businesses.

Boeing Profit Narrows as Economy Hits Orders

Boeing Co. said its quarterly profit narrowed due to order deferrals by cash-strapped airlines but its shares rose as the planemaker did not increase cuts in production rates.

Feb. Home Prices Up, Down 6.5% in Year

Prices of single-family homes rose by a seasonally adjusted 0.7% in February from January but were down 6.5% from a year earlier, the Federal Housing Finance Agency said on Wednesday.

Big Apparel Maker nZania: Credit Crisis Casualty

Irvine apparel maker nZania LLC has shut down. The company, which had licensed or produced clothes under the brands Black Flys, Andy Warhol by Levi's, Disney and others, closed after a bank withdrew a credit line in September amid the financial meltdown.

Chip Rivals Broadcom and Qualcomm Said to be in Settlement Talks

Irvine-based chipmaker Broadcom Corp. is said to be in settlement talks with rival Qualcomm Inc. that would end more than three years of legal sparring over cell phone chip patents.

Conexant Rises After Shedding Last of Broadband Chip Unit

Shares of Newport Beach-based chipmaker Conexant Systems Inc. soared Wednesday after the company said it's set to sell the rest of its broadband chip product line to Fremont-based Ikanos Communications Inc. for $54 million.

Tuesday, April 21

Ambassadors Sells Travel Division

Newport Beach-based Ambassadors International Inc. has sold its travel and event division to a Milwaukee private equity fund for an undisclosed price.

UnitedHealth Profit Slips, But Results Beat Street

UnitedHealth Group Inc. posted sharply higher-than-expected quarterly profit on Tuesday, sending its shares up 4.5% as the insurer also retained more customers than anticipated.

Broadcom Makes $764M Hostile Offer for Emulex

Irvine chipmaker Broadcom Corp. came out early with first-quarter results Tuesday and a $764 million acquisition bid for Costa Mesa's Emulex Corp. that's set to have big reverberations in the county's technology industry.

Treasury Doesn't Need More Bailout Money: Geithner

The Treasury still has about $134.6 billion available in its coffers from last fall's bank bailout package and that should be enough for it to avoid asking Congress for more money, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said on Tuesday.

Update: Broadcom's McGregor Weighs In; Ball in Emulex's Court

The ball is in Emulex Corp.'s court. The Costa Mesa-based maker of electronics for data storage networks had confirmed it received the $764 million buyout offer made early Tuesday by Irvine-based chipmaker Broadcom Corp.

U.S. to Give Chrysler, GM New Aid

The Obama administration will make about $500 million available to Chrysler LLC through the end of this month as it seeks to reach an alliance with Fiat, and up to $5 billion through May to help General Motors Corp. restructure outside of bankruptcy, an i

Monday, April 20

Coveted Software, Early Break Spur Maker of Cell Navigation Software

A look into a maker of navigation software for cell phones,

Home Loan Modifiers Taking Office Space

OC's seeing another mortgage-related line of business pick up steam

Tech Startup Raises Venture Round

Tech Startup Raises Venture Round

Medical Device Maker Sets Up Shop in Aliso

A spinal disease device maker has moved its headquarters to Aliso Viejo


The economy has slowed the Inland Empire's office and industrial market, in Real Estate Watch

Broadcom Set to Report Results Early

All eyes are on Irvine-based chipmaker Broadcom Corp., which saw its shares slide Monday after rival Texas Instruments Inc. reported first-quarter earnings that beat Wall Street's expectations.


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

How the Rich Give: OC Community Foundation

A look inside the foundation where many of the county's wealthy channel their money

Edwards' VP Leads Device Makers' Japanese Relations

Edwards is taking on Japan's treatment of foreign medical device makers through a U.S. association, in the Healthcare column

Finance Exec Starts Newport Beach Firm to Monitor Money Managers

One new company sees opportunity in scandal

Valeant Paying $3.8M To Slim Down Offices

How Valeant's headquarters move is affecting the drug maker


Going Green Guide, Spring 2009

UPDATED: Autobytel Board Calls Buyout Offer 'Grossly Inadequate'

The board of Irvine-based Autobytel Inc. urged shareholders to reject the unsolicited $15.8 million buyout offer from a major shareholder of the automotive Internet marketing company.

Mini-Madoff? Pang Battles Allegations; Gaddi's New Gig

Mini-Madoff? Pang Battles Allegations; Gaddi's New Gig

Fortune 500: Western Digital Up, Broadcom Breaks in

Orange County's contingent on the 2009 Fortune 500 list of the nation's largest companies held steady at four, while the county lost one entry on the magazine's larger Fortune 1000 ranking.

Big Revenue Gainers Push Up Smaller Public Cos.

Several big gainers on this week's list of 50 smaller public companies helped drive an 8% revenue gain

Investment Firm Rumored to Be Buying 3161 Michelson

There's a new-to-OC suitor rumored to be looking to buy Maguire's trophy office tower in Irvine, in the Real Estate column

Irvine Startup Moving Social Software HQ to NorCal

An Irvine startup recently landed a second round of venture funding, in the Technology column

Venture Capitalists Invest $100M in First Quarter

Investments into local startups from venture capitalists totaled about $100 million for the first quarter, with healthcare receiving the majority of the money.

Big Apparel Maker nZania: Credit Crisis Casualty

NZania LLC appears to have shut down

PepsiCo Bids $6B for Bottlers

PepsiCo Inc. offered $6 billion to buy the remaining stakes in its two largest bottlers, Pepsi Bottling Group and PepsiAmericas Inc., as it seeks to cut costs and secure more control of its distribution.


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

Doner Survey: People Still Make Emotional Purchases

A survey conducted by W.B. Doner has shown that retail therapy is largely a thing of the past, in the Media & Marketing column

Bank of America Profit Rises, Credit Quality Sours

Bank of America Corp. said its purchase of Merrill Lynch & Co. helped quarterly profit more than double, but results included a big increase in troubled loans and the bank's shares tumbled 12%.

Zpizza Creator Overseeing 300 Franchise Stores Opening Soon

ZPizza plans to open 300 restaurants in the next five years


April 20-29, 2009 A listing of events happening all around Orange County


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

Oracle to Buy Sun Micro, Enters Hardware Market

Oracle Corp. plans to enter the computer hardware market by buying Sun Microsystems Inc. for more than $7 billion, swooping in after Sun's talks with IBM fell apart.


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

Friday, April 17

GM CEO Warns Bankruptcy More Probable

General Motors Corp. Chief Executive Fritz Henderson said on Friday the automaker could still restructure out of court, but warned it was more probable GM may need to seek bankruptcy protection to complete that process.

GE Profit Tops Forecast

General Electric Co. reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit as strength at its energy equipment business offset falling earnings at its hefty finance arm and the NBC Universal media unit.

Home Loan Modifiers Taking Office Space

Orange County's seeing another mortgage-related line of business pick up steam, thanks to the country's foreclosure crisis.

County Sees Monthly Job Gain in March; Yearly Loss Still Staggering

Orange County added jobs in March versus February but unemployment continued to climb as yearly job losses remained at a level not seen since the 1990s recession.

Citigroup Loss is Smaller Than Expected

Citigroup Inc. reported a smaller-than-expected first-quarter loss as cost-cutting and improved investment banking and trading results helped offset red ink from consumer banking and credit cards.

Thursday, April 16

Blizzard's Warcraft Boosts Outlook for Parent

The ongoing success of blockbuster online video game "World of Warcraft" by Irvine's Blizzard Entertainment Inc. is helping its parent project better-than-expected quarterly results.

ICU Profit Shoots Up 135%

San Clemente device maker ICU Medical Inc. on Thursday posted first-quarter results that beat Wall Street's expectations and maintained its full-year outlook.

Sunstone Hotel Buying Back Debt, Reworking Credit

San Clemente-based hotel owner Sunstone Hotel Investors Inc. offered investors an update on its operations for the first quarter as its struggles with the travel downturn and works to shore up its finances.

Jobless Claims Drop But Continued Claims at Record

The number of workers filing new claims for jobless benefits unexpectedly fell last week, government data on Thursday showed, but so-called continued claims rose to a fresh record as the recession bit.

JPMorgan Profit Tops View

JPMorgan Chase & Co. reported better-than-expected first-quarter profit as improved investment banking performance offset increased losses from credit cards and other consumer debt, sending its shares up as much as 4.5%.

General Growth Files for Bankruptcy Protection

General Growth Properties Inc., the second-largest mall owner, declared bankruptcy on Thursday in the biggest real estate failure in U.S. history.

Wednesday, April 15

AMR Reports Loss on Bad Economy

AMR Corp., parent of American Airlines, on Wednesday reported a quarterly net loss on weaker travel demand, although it was much smaller than expected.

Epicor Software Lands New Finance Chief

Irvine's Epicor Software Corp., a maker of business software for retailers and manufacturers, promoted one of its own as finance chief.

Home Prices Rebound by $15K in March

Orange County's median home price increased $15,000 in March, the second straight month that prices here have seen a monthly increase.

Irvine Financier Faces Questions Over Fund Empire

Danny Pang of Irvine-based Private Equity Management Group Inc. in Irvine faces questions about his resume and allegations he's run a Ponzi scheme, according to a Wall Street Journal story.

UBS Slashes 8,700 Jobs

UBS AG will cut 11% of staff as it tries to stem losses and client withdrawals, its new chief executive said on Wednesday, warning that Switzerland's largest bank still faces an uncertain future.

Fiat CEO Warns Chrysler Unions: Cut Costs Or We Walk

Fiat SpA's chief executive, facing a two-week deadline to work out a partnership with Chrysler LLC, warned the troubled U.S. carmaker's unions he would ditch the idea unless they agreed to cut labor costs.

Tuesday, April 14

Microsemi Slumps after Analyst Cuts Estimates

Shares of Irvine-based chipmaker Microsemi Corp. slumped Tuesday after an analyst downgraded the stock on concerns about weak demand in the aerospace industry and a lawsuit Microsemi is facing.

Retail Sales Show Recession Far From Bottom

Sales at retailers unexpectedly fell in March after two months of increases, a government report showed on Tuesday, dimming hopes the recession was close to hitting bottom.

Botox Rival Faces Marketing Delay

A potential rival to Irvine-based Allergan Inc.'s Botox wrinkle-reducing drug is facing a delay.

Goldman Sells Stock in "Duty" to Repay TARP

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. sold $5 billion of stock to help fulfill what it called its "duty" to repay a federal bailout, but the government fears a quick return of the funds would put other banks in a bad light.

Networking Startup Raises First Venture Round

Newport Beach-based InteliCloud Inc., a startup maker of data networking devices, said Tuesday it closed an initial round of venture funding from Aliso Viejo-based Media One Direct LLC.

Update: FDA Delays Decision on Botox Rival

Regulators have delayed approval of what would be the only rival to Irvine-based Allergan Inc.'s Botox as they continue talks about side effects of the wrinkle remover.

Bernanke Sees Signs of Economic Stability

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said Tuesday the latest figures on housing and consumer spending suggest a rapid contraction in the economy could be easing.

Monday, April 13


This past week's news from and other sources

Silver Star Rides Mixed Martial Arts Wave, Relocates

Silver Star Casting has outgrown its San Clemente offices and will be making a big jump to Irvine, in the Small Business column

Express Scripts to Buy WellPoint Prescription Unit

Express Scripts Inc. will buy health insurer WellPoint Inc.'s NextRx prescription business for $4.68 billion, giving the pharmacy benefit manager more leverage in driving down drug prices and in competing against its larger rivals.


SECURITIES GUIDE 2009. Investment Decision Making

Tenants Running Negotiations for Empty Office Space

Tenants Running Negotiations for Empty Office Space

Hotels Bear Brunt of Meetings Drop; Conventions Even

A look at how the AIG effect is hurting the local meetings market

Corporate Tech Spending Drop Steeper Than 2001's?

Company spending on technology goods and services is set to continue its downward slide this year, in the Technology column

QLogic Has Edge on Emulex in Network Race

QLogic has a tenuous lead on local rival Emulex in the race to market a new technology

Local Brokerages' Business Dropped $6 Billion in 2008

Local Brokerages' Business Dropped $6 Billion in 2008


Hirings, promotions and other moves at local businesses

Attentus Advisors Boasts Several Big Execs in its Ranks

A real estate management consulting company starting up in Irvine has some big names on its executive team, in the Real Estate column

FreeCreditReport's Quirky Jingles Hard to Live Down

A look at's ad campaign, in the Media & Marketing column

GM Shares Tumble as Bankruptcy Fear Grows

Shares of General Motors Corp. plunged 17% on Monday after a report that the Treasury is directing the automaker to lay the groundwork for a bankruptcy filing by June 1.

Fisker Raises $85M

Fsker Automotive Inc., a maker of hybrid electric sports cars, has raised $85 million in its fourth round of venture funding

Boeing Shares Drop as Cuts Seen Hitting Earnings

Boeing Co. shares sank more than 6% on Monday as analysts said cuts in production would hurt the plane maker's earnings this year.

Spectrum Takes On Challenged Cancer Drug Zevalin

Spectrum Pharmaceuticals is hoping to revive a well-traveled cancer drug it recently obtained sole rights to, in the Healthcare column


Fundraisers and charitable donations from companies and people


A listing of events happening all around Orange County

Rating Agency Reform

A look at rating agencies and their role in the financial meltdown, in Viewpoint

Big in Politics, Dykema's Foreclosure Co. Booms

DAY JOB. If you are a lender or a Republican hopeful, you probably know Dale Dykema

Venture Capital Conference Moves from L.A. to Anaheim

The Los Angeles Venture Association is bring its yearly conference to Anaheim next week

Building Bust

Commercial Construction Stalls: Good for Owners of Vacant Buildings, Bad for Employment

Seagate View Upbeat; Western Digital Reports Next Week

The key rival of Lake Forest-based Western Digital Corp. on Monday offered a better-than-expected outlook for the rest of the year, a week before Western Digital itself is set to report results and a forecast.

Allergan Prepares for Debut of Botox Rival

Allergan and a competitor are anxiously awaiting the FDA's decision on a Botox rival

Beard's Off, Now He Seeks Tax Cut; Recalling O'Neill

Beard's Off, Now He Seeks Tax Cut; Recalling O'Neill


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

Dodge Dealers Puts Land to Use as Racing Parts Store

Dodge Dealers Puts Land to Use as Racing Parts Store, in the Marketplace column

Broadcom Leads Chip Stock Rally

Broadcom is leading a surge in chip stocks

Pimco's Gross Ups Government Holdings

Newport Beach-based bond manager Bill Gross of Pacific Investment Management Co. has added government debt to his holdings, bringing it to its highest percentage in two years.

Real Estate Execs Join To Build Infill Houses

Two executives who rode the housing boom are starting a business building homes on land acquired at a discount during the downturn.


The mid-counties industrial market's central location has provided some insulation from the recession, in Real Estate Watch

Cucina Alessa Brings Tastes of Napoli to Newport Beach

The latest in OC's dining scene, in the Executive Dining column


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

Aging Boomers Spurring Dementia Care Company

An aging population is driving San Juan Capistrano's Silverado Senior Living


"Swoon," CD by Silversun Pickups; "Grace/Wastelands," CD by Pete Doherty; "The Planets are Blasted," CD by Boston Spaceships

Friday, April 10

Japanese Leader Unveils $150B Stimulus Plan

Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso unveiled a new stimulus package Friday, calling for 15 trillion yen ($150 billion) in government spending to lift the world's second-largest economy from a painful recession.

Banks Asked to Keep Quiet on Stress Tests

The Treasury Department is asking banks not to mention the regulatory "stress tests" as part of their first-quarter earnings results, according to a source familiar with government discussions.

Allergan Prepares for Debut of Botox Rival

Executives at Irvine-based Allergan Inc. and a rival maker of a wrinkle-removing drug might have a few worry lines popping up on their foreheads on Monday.

Broadcom Leads Chip Stock Rally

Shares of Irvine-based Broadcom Corp. have broken out of a six-month funk, outpacing a larger rebound among chipmakers.

Recession to End in H2 But Unemployment to Rise: Survey

The economy is set to emerge from recession in the second half of this year as consumer spending and the housing sector recover, but unemployment will rise well into 2010, according to a survey.

Thursday, April 9

Moody's Strips Berkshire Hathaway of Top Rating

Moody's Investors Service cut its credit ratings on Berkshire Hathaway Inc. from Aaa, the top rating, saying the recession and investment losses at insurance operations of investor Warren Buffett's holding company reduced its ability to support funding ne

Microsoft Ordered to Pay $388M to Irvine Software Maker Uniloc

A judge has ordered Microsoft Corp. to pay $388 million in damages to Irvine's Uniloc USA Inc., a maker of network security software, after the software kingpin was found to have infringed on a Uniloc patent.

Costa Mesa Bank Passes on Federal Money

Costa Mesa-based bank Pacific Mercantile Bancorp said it has declined to accept a $25.5 million government investment.

Wells Fargo Shocks Market with Big Profit

Wells Fargo & Co. said it expects to post a $3 billion first-quarter profit, sending its shares soaring, lifting a wide range of stocks, and providing a welcome jolt to the troubled banking sector.

Wet Seal March Sales Fall 11.4%

Foothill Ranch-based mall retailer Wet Seal Inc. saw sales at stores open at least a year fall 11.4% in March, worse than the 10% drop Wall Street expected.

Toyota to Revamp U.S. Operations: Report

Toyota Motor Corp. plans to announce a major overhaul of its U.S. operations, bringing sales, manufacturing and engineering under one powerful executive, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Wednesday, April 8

Centex Deal To Boost Pulte in Orange County

Pulte Homes Inc.'s plan to buy Centex Corp. stands to boost the Michigan-based homebuilder's local operations.

Pulte to Buy Rival Centex for $1.3B

Pulte Homes, the fourth-largest homebuilder, said it would buy the third largest, Centex Corp, for $1.3 billion in stock as it looks to save costs and get through the housing downturn.

Western Digital Rises on Upgrade

Shares of Lake Forest-based disk drive maker Western Digital Corp. rose Wednesday after an analyst upgraded the stock on a more positive demand outlook.

Chrysler Working Around the Clock on Fiat Alliance

Chrysler is working around the clock to complete an alliance with Italy's Fiat SpA that would also result in a new board for the automaker, Vice Chairman Jim Press said on Wednesday.

Treasury to Extend TARP to Life Insurers: Report

The Treasury Department plans to extend the Troubled Asset Relief Program to certain life insurers, The Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday, citing people familiar with the matter.

Tuesday, April 7

Sales Likely Gloomy for Retailers

Major retailers likely ended March with lackluster sales as consumers put off Easter and Spring purchases for April.

Goldman CEO Says Financial Crisis "Deeply Humbling"

The chief executive of Goldman Sachs said on Tuesday that the economic crisis had been "deeply humbling" for financial firms, and that banks receiving taxpayer money need to pay back the funds as soon as possible.

Aliso Viejo Device Maker Raises $10M

Cianna Medical Inc., an Aliso Viejo maker of devices to treat breast cancer, said Tuesday that it completed a $10 million second round of financing.

Mortgage Delinquencies Soar

More consumers are falling behind on their mortgages, an indication that the housing market has yet to hit bottom, a top credit bureau executive told Reuters.

Irvine Chip Startup WiSpry Nabs $10M Funding

Irvine-based startup WiSpry Inc., which makes chips for cell phones, said Tuesday it raised $10 million in a third round of venture funding with the possibility of adding more.

Fisker Raises $85 Million,$179 Million to Date

Irvine-based Fisker Automotive Inc., a maker of hybrid electric sports cars, has raised $85 million in its fourth round of venture funding, the company said.

Monday, April 6

Ingram Lands Distribution Deal with Dell Line of PCs

Ingram Micro recently inked a deal with PC maker Dell, in the Technology column

Syspro's Growth Extends HQ Lease, Attracts Argyros

Syspro is keeping George Argyros as its landlord in Costa Mesa, in the Real Estate column


Hirings, promotions and other moves at local businesses






Medical testing, research products maker


Smaller industrial buildings are the hardest hit in West County, in Real Estate Watch.


Nursing home operator

Brothers Launch Latest Startup for Celebrity Ads

Orange County technology startup veterans Ryan and Chad Steelberg are at it again. Last year the brothers quietly started their fifth venture together, Irvine's Brand Affinity Technologies Inc.


Drug maker

Lennar Shares Details of Big Joint Ventures

Lennar's financial partners might see the slow OC housing market differently than it does,

Atwater Narrows Collection, Women's Line Held

Some young, local clothing companies talk about how they're weathering the economic storm, in the Apparel column


Clothing maker

Fund Operator Merkin Charged with Civil Fraud in Madoff Scheme

New York's attorney general brought civil fraud charges against hedge fund operator Ezra Merkin on Monday, saying he duped investors by secretly steering $2.4 billion in client money into Bernard Madoff's Ponzi fraud.

Report: Kingston Takes Stake in Taiwanese Memory Chipmaker

Fountain Valley's Kingston Technology Co., the biggest maker of memory products for computers and consumer electronics, has taken a small stake in a Taiwanese chipmaker, according to reports.

Executives' Q2 Outlook Sees Subtle Uptick

The economic outlook of local executives improved for the second quarter, reversing three quarters of worsening pessimism, according to a California State University, Fullerton, survey.

UCI's First Family

UCI's FIRST FAMILY. A profile of UCI Chancellor Michael Drake and wife, Brenda, in a Business Journal Couples feature,

Samueli Not on Thin Ice with NHL; Magic in OC

Samueli Not on Thin Ice with NHL; Magic in OC

Tourism Businesses Eye Disney to Save Summer

So goes Disney, so goes summer for OC

Western Digital Makes $65M Buy for Long Term

Western Digital's recent $65 million acquisition shows that it is planning for a sea change in its market.


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


Title insurer, business information



Ad Shops Launching Campaigns for Social Web Sites

Local marketers are grappling with how to use social networking, in the Media & Marketing column


Technology distributor

Consolidation Plays Out Among Public Cos.

Acquisitions and economic upheaval have made OC's largest public companies a smaller group than a year ago


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

Valeant Likened to "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition"

Why Valeant is like "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition," in the Healthcare column

Sun Shares Plummet After IBM Talks Collapse

Shares of Sun Microsystems Inc. tumbled 23% on Monday after the company rejected rival computer and software maker International Business Machines Corp.'s $7 billion offer.


A listing of events happening all around Orange County


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


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

Sallie Mae to Shift 2,000 Jobs to U.S. from Overseas

Student loan company Sallie Mae plans to move its overseas operations back to the United States, creating 2,000 domestic jobs, in what analysts called an attempt to curry favor with the Obama administration.

Giving the Homeless a Hand

A profile of the president of the Orange County Rescue Mission


This past week's news from and other sources

Texas vs. California

A local executive pits Texas against California, in Viewpoint

Sunday, April 5

Formative Real Estate Figure O'Neill Dies

Richard J. O'Neill, heir to one of the largest land holdings in Orange County, died early Saturday morning at the age of 85.

Friday, April 3

Well-Funded Oil Software Company Sees CEO Change, Layoffs

A low-profile but well-funded Newport Beach oil exploration software company has changed chief executives and laid off most of its workers, according to a report on an investing Web site.

Jobless Rate Highest Since 1983

The unemployment rate soared to 8.5% in March, the highest since 1983, as employers slashed 663,000 jobs and cut workers' hours to the lowest on record, government data showed on Friday.

Pimco Says Stock Rally Vulnerable Given Data

Credit markets are not showing the same optimism on the economy as equities, suggesting that the recession will run far longer than most expect, Mohamed El-Erian, the chief executive of bond giant Pacific Investment Management Co., said on Friday.

Pacific Sunwear Shareholder Drops Board Fight

Anaheim-based mall retailer Pacific Sunwear of California Inc. has headed off a looming board fight with takeover-minded shareholder Adrenalina Group of Miami.

Mitsubishi UFJ in Lead for Citi's Nikko Cordial

Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group is the front-runner to buy Citigroup's Japanese brokerage Nikko Cordial Securities in a deal that could be announced as early as May, a person familiar with the matter said on Friday.

Largest Public Companies Get Smaller With Buyouts, Failures

Acquisitions and economic upheaval have made Orange County's largest public companies a smaller group than a year ago, according to Business Journal's annual list appearing in Monday's paper.

Thursday, April 2

Wall Street Rallies on Mark-to-Market Easing

Stocks added to gains on Thursday after the board that sets U.S. accounting standards agreed to give banks more flexibility in applying mark-to-market accounting to their toxic assets.

Quality Rises on Upgrade

Irvine-based Quality Systems Inc.'s stock jumped on an analyst's upgrade and on Wall Street's larger upturn Thursday.

Accounting Rulemakers Ease Mark-to-Market

Accounting standard-setters bowed to congressional pressure on Thursday and allowed banks more flexibility to value toxic assets that have forced billions of dollars in writedowns.

Grubb & Ellis Plans $3B Healthcare Fund

Santa Ana-based Grubb & Ellis Co. is looking to raise more than $3 billion to buy healthcare-related real estate through a new fund.

G20 Strikes Trillion-Dollar Crisis Deal

World leaders agreed a trillion-dollar deal on Thursday to combat the deepest economic downturn since the Great Depression.

Kia Motors America Secures $305M Credit Line

Kia Motors America said it has arranged a $305 million revolving credit line with three U.S. lenders.

Wednesday, April 1

Homebuilder California Coastal Trades Lots To Cut Debt

Irvine-based homebuilder California Coastal Communities Inc. has taken another step to shore up its balance sheet as it weathers the housing downturn.

Private Sector Axes 742,000 Jobs in March

Job losses in the private sector accelerated in March, more than economists' expectations, according to a report by ADP Employer Services on Wednesday.

Plane Parts Maker Mexmil Bought

Santa Ana-based aircraft insulation maker Mexmil Co. is being bought by Triumph Group Inc. of Wayne, Pa., for an undisclosed amount.

New Century Trustee Sues KPMG for More Than $1B

The bankruptcy trustee of Irvine's New Century Financial Corp. is suing the defunct company's former accountant KPMG LLP, saying auditing errors led to the subprime lender's spectacular crash in 2007.

Factory Contraction Slows a Tad in March: ISM

Factory activity shrank in March, though at a slower pace than the previous month, suggesting the sector remains a drag on the economy, according to an industry report released on Wednesday.

Beckman Makes $17M Deal

Fullerton-based Beckman Coulter Inc. said Wednesday that it is buying a genomic service business for $17 million.

Mass. Regulator Charges Madoff Feeder Fund

Massachusetts' top securities regulator charged hedge fund firm Fairfield Greenwich Group with fraud for allegedly lying to investors about confessed swindler Bernard Madoff's phony management business.