Stories for August 2010

Tuesday, August 31

Irvine Software Startup Integrien Being Bought by VMware

Irvine-based Integrien Corp., a maker of software for online transactions, is set to be acquired by Palo Alto’s VMware Inc., a leader in virtualization software.

Valeant, Glaxo Say Epilepsy Drug May Be Delayed

Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, an Aliso Viejo-based drug maker, said Tuesday that it may have to wait another three months for a regulatory review of its epilepsy drug candidate.

Quest Software Hit with Countersuit in Patent Case

Aliso Viejo-based Quest Software Inc., a maker of business software that helps companies be more efficient, got slapped with a countersuit after it filed patent infringement complaints against two competitors late last week.

Skilled Healthcare Shares Rise on Settlement Talks

Shares of Foothill Ranch-based Skilled Healthcare Group Inc.’s stock shot up after a court hearing set for Tuesday was pushed back as the company continues talks on settling a potentially crippling lawsuit it lost in July.

Monday, August 30

Skilled Shares Fall on Mistrial Denial

Foothill Ranch-based Skilled Healthcare Group Inc.’s shares took a double-digit drop in Monday trading on news of a judge’s denial of its request for a mistrial in a potentially crippling lawsuit it lost in July.

Grubb & Ellis Apartment Unit Strikes $182M Deal

An investment offshoot of Santa Ana-based Grubb & Ellis Co. said on Monday it is under contract to buy nine apartment complexes in North Carolina, Tennessee and Texas and a related property management business for $182 million.

Intel Seeks to Close Mobile Gap with Infineon Unit

Chipmaker Intel Corp. is to buy German chipmaker Infineon Technologies AG's wireless unit for $1.4 billion as it seeks to claw its way into the booming smartphone market, reducing its reliance on personal computers.

3M to Buy Cogent for More Than $900M

Diversified manufacturer 3M Co. on Monday said it agreed to buy Cogent Inc. for more than $900 million, paying a nearly 18% premium for the biometric identification systems company.

Genzyme Rejects Sanofi-Aventis Offer

Biotechnology company Genzyme Corp. said Monday it rejected Sanofi-Aventis SA's $18.5 billion buyout offer because it undervalues the company.

Sunday, August 29

Solar Power Shines; Extended Forecast?

ECONOMY: Panel installations bringing construction work; boom fueled by rebates

Makers and installers of solar panels are making a big push into Orange County

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Standard Pacific Buying San Diego Land for $150M

Axxcess Capital To Focus on Services, Asset Management; CT Realty Buys I.E. Warehouse

Irvine’s Standard Pacific is planning to buy a San Diego home development that could cost close to $150 million, in the Real Estate column

Last at Bat?

Decision Time for Winning But Struggling Baseball Team

This might be the last season for minor league baseball team The Orange County Flyers as attendance lags

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Nuclear Startup: Well Funded, Low Profile

ENERGY: Tri Alpha has raised $100M, but nobody’s talking

Tri Alpha Energy in Foothill Ranch has raised more than $100 million but remains a mystery

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FDA Petitions for 23% More Funds

The FDA has requested more funding from the government

Relaxing the Rules?

Proposed Changes to FDA Device Approvals Could Speed Process for Local Makers

Biotechnology/Biomedicine—Proposed changes to FDA regulations could make approvals for local device makers easier

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Q&A with James Mazzo, head of Abbot Medical Optics and chairman of AdvaMed, a Washington, D.C.-based lobbyist for device makers.

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Drug Makers Added 6% More Workers in Past Year

HEALTHCARE: Top cos. getting boost from newcomers

ABOUT THE LIST: The county’s drug makers increased hiring by 6% last year, reversing a 10% loss from 2008. Includes the 2010 OC DRUG MAKERS List for download (pdf)

Device Makers Continue Hiring with a 3% Uptick in Workforce

HEALTHCARE: List buoyed by Applied, Bausch, Edwards

ABOUT THE LIST: OC device makers increased hiring by 3% last year.

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Oaktree Affiliates Make Buying Push in County

REAL ESTATE: L.A. private equity targets distressed assets

Oaktree Capital Management recently took ownership of a five-story office building in Irvine

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“Walking with Dinosaurs” at Anaheim’s Honda Center, Wednesday through Sept. 5 Tickets: $34 to $92

A look at “Walking with Dinosaurs: The Arena Spectacular,” starting this week at Anaheim’s Honda Center

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Airport Area Still Seeing Lagging Toll of the Recession

Leases and sales in the greater airport area still are sluggish in the second quarter, in Real Estate Watch


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

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

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Octane Conference Draws Execs, Startups, Investors

Grubb & Ellis Fund Buys Hospitals; FDA Holding Town Hall on Medical Device Regulations

Medical device makers and investors are gearing up for Octane’s annual forum in October, in the Healthcare column

Marketer Leaves Hyundai for GM, Joining Colleague

Suzuki Pushes Social Media in Bid to Reverse Slump; RiechesBaird Opens New York Office

Hyundai has lost marketing head Christopher Perry to General Motors’ Chevrolet, in the Media and Marketing column

Mindspeed Announces Board Member, Design Win

Western Digital Starts Irvine HQ Relocation; WebVisible Expands in India, Adding Workers

Mindspeed added Robert Conrad to its board earlier this month, in the Technology column


Fundraisers and charitable donations from companies and people

Fundraisers and charitable donations from companies and people


Office Building, Retail Renovation Under Way in Laguna Beach

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

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This past week’s news from and other sources

This past week’s news from and other sources

Investors Wary of STEC’s Competition, Drop in Business

Santa Ana flash memory drive maker STEC is losing market share to its competitors

Bottled Water Hopeful Gets Wahlberg Star Power Push

Actor Is Investor, Director, Key Cheerleader

Huntington Beach-based bottled water maker AquaHydrate has a big backer

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Vizio: From Low Cost to High-Tech

TECHNOLOGY: Supply chain issues push shift in sales strategy

Flat TV maker Vizio is changing its business strategy

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Call Her ‘Hey You’ Fiorina; Pros At Pelican Hill?

OC INSIDER Column by Rick Reiff

Beckman Soul Searching After Recall

HEALTHCARE: Revised test now in clinical trial; projected return in 2010

Beckman Coulter is working hard to fix problems with its heart disease test

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Loan Issue Freezes Construction on Pelican Hill Estate

Construction has stopped on Villa Del Lago, OC’s most expensive home, but developers say it’s still marketable

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Friday, August 27

Report: Ingram Micro Scouting Acquisitions

Santa Ana’s Ingram Micro Inc. is on the prowl for more acquisitions, according to a recent report.

Imports Drag Second-Quarter Growth Lower

Economic growth was revised down to a sluggish 1.6% annual rate in the second quarter, dampened by the largest increase in imports in 26 years, the government said on Friday.

HP Raises 3PAR Offer to $2B, Trumps Dell Bid

Hewlett-Packard Co raised its offer for 3PAR Inc. to $2 billion, once again topping Dell Inc.'s bid and showing it had plenty of ammunition in the bidding war for the data storage company.

Intel Warns of Revenue Shortfall on Weak PC Demand

Intel Corp. on Friday warned that third-quarter revenue could fall short of its own estimates by more than $1 billion on weaker-than-expected demand for personal computers.

Thursday, August 26

Jury Rules for Bren in Child Support Suit

A Los Angeles jury Wednesday ruled in favor of Irvine Company’s Donald Bren in a dispute over child support for two adult children he had out of wedlock.

Emulex Promotes COO Benck to President

Costa Mesa’s Emulex Corp., a maker of electronics that speed up the flow of data on corporate storage networks, promoted its operations chief to the No. 2 spot.

Mortgage Rates Decline to Lowest on Record

Mortgage rates fell in the latest week to the lowest on record and posted their ninth drop in the last ten weeks, Freddie Mac said on Thursday.

Novartis to Push Ahead With Disputed Alcon Buyout

Swiss drugmaker Novartis AG is pushing ahead with its contentious buyout of Alcon Inc. minority shareholders after completing its acquisition of stock from Nestle SA to get control of the eyecare group.

Jobless Claims Fall but Still Elevated

New claims for unemployment benefits fell more than expected last week but remained too high to signal a material shift in a weak labor market that is constraining economic growth. Moves to Larger Irvine Space Corp., which runs a search engine for finding local businesses, said Thursday it relocated its headquarters to a larger space in Irvine.

Wednesday, August 25

Toll Brothers Posts Profit for Q3

Toll Brothers Inc. said Wednesday that it posted a profit in its fiscal third quarter, as the luxury homebuilder snagged important tax benefits and posted fewer write-downs.

Sanofi Won't Go Above $70/Share for Genzyme

Sanofi-Aventis SA is not willing to pay more than $70 per share for U.S. biotech Genzyme Corp. and may look at alternative targets, Bloomberg reported on Wednesday, citing sources familiar with the matter.

Home Refinancing Demand Up, Rates Hit New Lows

Mortgage applications rose last week as record low rates lifted demand for home refinancing loans to its highest level in over 15 months, a development that could provide a much-needed jolt to the economy.

West 49 Shareholders Sign Off on Acquisition by Billabong

Shareholders of West 49 have approved the sale of the company to Irvine’s Billabong USA, which faced a brief contest to acquire the Canadian retailer in July.

Analysts Weigh in on Pacific Sunwear Results

Shares of Anaheim-based Pacific Sunwear of California Inc. saw a small bounce Wednesday morning as analysts weighed in on the company’s latest quarterly earnings.

Tuesday, August 24

Chipmaker Eyes Growth as Videos Gain Favor in Devices

Quartics’ Chips Improve Video on Computers, Phones, TVs; Set to Announce Customer Wins

Irvine chip startup Quartics expects to turn a profit next year after a couple years in the trenches.

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More Losses for Pacific Sunwear; Licensing Deal with Mossimo's Modern Amusement

Shares of Anaheim-based Pacific Sunwear of California Inc. slumped after the mall retailer reported a bigger than expected quarterly loss and warned of more red ink for the current quarter.

Home Prices Fall $3,500 in July, Sales Lag

The median price of an existing Orange County home slipped by nearly $3,500 in July from June, while sales declined almost 15% from a month earlier, the California Association of Realtors said Tuesday.

Existing Home Sales Dive to 15-Year Low

Sales of previously owned homes took a record drop in July to their lowest pace in 15 years, suggesting further loss of momentum in the economic recovery.

Fed's Evans Says Double-Dip Risk Has Risen

The risks of a double-dip recession have risen in the last six months, Chicago Federal Reserve Bank President Charles Evans said on Tuesday.

72% of Americans Very Worried About Jobs

Almost three-quarters of Americans are very concerned about unemployment and more people now disapprove of President Barack Obama than approve of him, a Reuters/Ipsos poll showed on Tuesday.

Quiksilver Sees Debt Rating Lifted a Notch

Debt from Huntington Beach-based Quiksilver Inc. is a little less junky after the debt rating arm of Moody’s Corp. upped its rating on Quiksilver one notch after the clothing maker completed a swap of stock for debt earlier this month.

Celebrity Endorsement Company Brand Affinity Raises $20M

Irvine-based Brand Affinity Technologies Inc., an advertising startup with technology that aims to automate celebrity endorsement deals, said Tuesday it raised $20 million in a third venture funding round.

Monday, August 23

Analysts Weigh In on Troubled Corinthian

Embattled vocational school operator Corinthian Colleges Inc. on Monday saw one analyst downgrade his rating on the company’s shares while another cut his price target.

Potash Pursues Deal with Possible White Knights

Canada's Potash Corp. has been in contact with China's Sinochem and other possible counter-bidders as it fights off an unwanted $39 billion takeover offer from BHP Billiton.

HP Launches $1.6B Bid for 3PAR

Hewlett-Packard Co. offered $1.6 billion for 3PAR Inc. on Monday, topping technology rival Dell Inc.'s deal to buy the data storage company and potentially sparking a bidding war.

AIG Pays Back $4 billion of Loan

Bailed-out insurer American International Group Inc. said on Monday it paid back nearly $4 billion in loans in its single largest cash payment so far to reduce its debt to taxpayers.

Sunday, August 22


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

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

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Lawsuit State


Letter to the Editor

Industrial Market Showing Signs Of Improvement


The industrial market appears to finally be on the upswing

Retail Space at a Standstill due to Lackluster Demand


Lower demand for retail shop space caused a decline in retail sales in the second quarter

Office Market Still Challenged, But Showing Improvement


The office market is starting to see some relief after feeling the brunt of the recession

'Scarcity Premium’

Investors Looking to Buy Apartment Complexes Are Finding Them in Short Supply

Investors may be looking to buy apartment complexes again, but owners aren’t quite ready to sell.

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Hotels Values Are Down, But Lack of Supply Halts Sales

REAL ESTATE: Lenders hold on to, see more distressed hotels

Banks are holding on to hotels, despite a large decline in value

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KBS Buys Texas Apartments; Pension Money Flows

Steadfast Fund Buys Illinois Apartments; RiverRock Tapped for Phoenix Industrial Portfolio

Newport Beach’s KBS Realty picked up an apartment complex in Texas, in the Real Estate column

Blogger: Allergan Has Growth, Acquisition Potential

ICU Medical’s Latest Connector Designed To Address Regulatory Concerns About Infections

Allergan has a fan at investor website Seeking Alpha, in the Healthcare column

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Active Ride Tries Out Socially Conscious Store Section

Retailers Make Back-To-School Moves; County’s Auto Sales Recovering Faster Than Nation

Active Ride Shop is creating space in its stores for nonprofits and charities, in the Marketplace column

Analyst Gives Props to Netlist on Emerging Turnaround

Broadcom Gets Another Independent Director; Solarflare, WiSpry Add Engineering, Sales VPs

Netlist in Irvine is turning business around with a new business strategy, in the Technology column

Kia Playing Off Hamsters with Online Video Contest

Mazda Agency Makes Creative Hire; Traffik Looks To Revive Sausage Seller Jody Maroni’s

Kia is hosting an online video contest to promote the Kia Soul, in the Media and Marketing column


This past week’s news from and other sources

This past week’s news from and other sources

PR Shops Hiring As Clients Come Back

ABOUT THE LIST: OC’s top public relation agencies are hiring again after a tough 2009. Includes the 2010 OC PUBLIC RELATIONS FIRMS List for download (pdf)

KOCE-TV in Middle of KCET, PBS Standoff

MEDIA: KOCE may be urged to become full regional PBS affiliate

Local public TV station KOCE is caught in the middle of a financial tug of war between PBS and KCET

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Rodnick: Financier Built, Sold Geneva, Successor Company

IN PASSING: Deal maker had sharp mind for cards, boating

Local business financier Richard Rodnick passed away at age 81

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Thrifty Mindset Spurs Furniture Co.’s Hiring

ECONOMY: Technigroup of Singapore adding 60 in Anaheim

Local budget furniture maker Technigroup USA plans to go on a hiring spree in the next few months

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Aging Joints Spur Maker of Knee, Other Braces

HEALTHCARE: VQ projects $60M plus in sales, big growth

Irvine’s VQ OrthoCare is expecting big growth as an alternative to surgeries and drugs for an aging population

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Paul Frank Buy: Julius Meets Power Rangers

APPAREL: Designers staying here, business operations to L.A.

Paul Frank is set to be bought by Saban Brands but will keep its design team in OC.

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Irvine Company Looking To Buy?

REAL ESTATE: New executive team to run investment group

Irvine Company is beefing up its executive ranks to prepare for a big acquisition push in the coming months.

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Backpack, Electronic Case Makers Competing

Back to Shopping?

Local backpack and electronic case makers are competing for a foothold in a crowded industry.

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Retailers Cautiously Upbeat for Back-to-School

Back to Shopping?

Orange County retailers expect to see higher sales during this year’s back-to-school season

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Saturday, August 21

Forget Roach Coaches, Food Trucks Are Cool

DINING: Gourmet trucks create Web buzz; crepes, chipotle dogs

Gourmet food trucks are making a foray into Orange County.

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Friday, August 20

Billabong USA Recovery Plays Out in Parent's Annual Results

Sales and profits stabilized at Irvine-based Billabong USA in the past 12 months with signs of a turnaround since January, Australian parent company Billabong International Ltd. reported Friday.

Employers Cut Jobs in July, Unemployment Up

The county’s job market took a step backward in July as employers cut jobs on a monthly basis for the first time in 2010 since January.

Dell, HP Shake Off Slowdown Fears

Dell Inc. and Hewlett-Packard Co. dismissed worries about weakening technology demand, reporting broad-based strength from corporate customers and only hints of weakness from consumers.

Potash Hunt for Richer Bid May Lead to China

Potash Corp. searched for a white knight on Friday, likely to spark interest in China, as BHP Billiton formally launched it $39 billion hostile offer for the world's largest fertilizer firm.

Retirement Fund Withdrawals Rise in Downturn

A record number of workers are tapping into their retirement accounts to make it through the economic downturn, Fidelity Investments found in a survey released on Friday.

Corinthian: Profit Shortfall, Weak Outlook as Regulation Threat Looms

Embattled vocational school operator Corinthian Colleges Inc. saw its shares plunge Friday after reporting a profit that fell short of expectations and issuing a weak forecast weighed down by the threat of government regulation.

Thursday, August 19

Metagenics Buys Irvine Supplement Maker

San Clemente-based vitamin maker Metagenics Inc. said Thursday it is buying Catalina Lifesciences Inc. of Irvine for an undisclosed price.

Wet Seal: Mixed Results, Tepid Outlook, More Stores Planned

Foothill Ranch-based mall retailer Wet Seal Inc. reported mixed results for the recently ended quarter and offered an outlook for the current one that was below what Wall Street had been expecting.

Intel to Buy McAfee for $7.68B

Intel Corp. said it would buy security software maker McAfee Inc. for $7.7 billion to capitalize on rising demand from consumers for better protection of their laptops, smartphones and tablets.

First Niagara to Buy NewAlliance for $1.5B

First Niagara Financial Group Inc. said it will buy NewAlliance Bancshares Inc. for $1.5 billion in cash and stock to boost its presence in the New England region.

Jobless Claims at 9-Month High

New claims for unemployment benefits unexpectedly climbed to a nine-month high last week, yet another setback to the frail economic recovery.

Wednesday, August 18

County's Largest Bank Sees Quarterly Losses, Raises $13M Cash

The parent of Costa Mesa’s Pacific Mercantile Bank, the largest homegrown bank in the county by assets, took a major writedown in the second quarter as it concluded raising $12.6 million in cash.

Vizio Narrows Gap with Samsung for Q2 TV Market Share

Irvine-based Vizio Inc., which designs and markets digital TVs and related accessories, was hot on the tail of South Korea’s Samsung Electronics Co. for market share during the second quarter.

Leadership Fears Shade HP, Dell Earnings

Hewlett-Packard Co., which dazzled Wall Street with rock-steady performance during Mark Hurd's five-year reign, faces the difficult task this week of reassuring investors it can sustain that showing as competitors search for openings.

Target Same-Store Sales Weak

Discounter Target Corp. posted uninspiring results while BJ's Wholesale Club Inc. missed Wall Street profit estimates and cut its full-year forecast, sending shares in both companies lower.

GM to List on NYSE, TSX

General Motors Co. will list its shares on the New York Stock Exchange and Toronto Stock Exchange after its initial public offering, a source familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.

Tuesday, August 17

Home Prices Increase $5,000 in July, Sales Fall

Orange County’s median home price inched up $5,000 in July from a month ago, but sales levels fell by nearly 26%, loosing the boost of federal home buyer tax credits.

Obama Wants New Model for Fannie, Freddie

The Obama administration called for "fundamental change" at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, but a long, politically explosive debate lies ahead on the future of the bailed-out mortgage finance giants and housing policy.

Reynolds to Buy Hefty Maker Pactiv for $6B

Reynolds Group Holdings Ltd. plans to buy Hefty bag maker Pactiv Corp. for about $6 billion, further consolidating the competitive food packaging industry and uniting two iconic brands under one banner.

Home Depot 2Q Profit Rises; Cuts Revenue Outlook

Hot weather kept gardeners indoors and economic uncertainty still had professional builders holding back during the second quarter, Home Depot said Tuesday.

Media Mogul Saban Acquires Paul Frank

Saban Brands LLC has acquired Costa Mesa-based Paul Frank Industries Inc. and plans to keep its creative team here.

Monday, August 16

Sunstone Acquires Miami Hotel

San Clemente-based hotel owner Sunstone Hotel Investors Inc. has acquired the Royal Palm hotel in Miami Beach.

Irvine Chip Startup WiSpry Nabs Another $6M

Irvine-based chipmaker WiSpry Inc. tacked on another $6 million as part of an ongoing venture funding round, according to reports.

Homebuilder Mood Sours

Homebuilder sentiment fell for a third straight month in August to its lowest level in nearly 1-1/2 years, pointing to a weak housing market as the economic recovery loses steam.

Novartis Inches Towards Closure of Alcon Deal

Swiss drugmaker Novartis AG moved another step closer to securing its buyout of Alcon Inc. after shareholders of the eyecare group voted Novartis-nominated directors onto the Alcon board.

Dell to Buy Storage Company for $1.15B

Dell Inc. plans to buy data storage company 3PAR Inc. for $1.15 billion in cash, expanding its cloud computing business to compete with other technology services companies like IBM Corp.

Corinthian Slumps on Loan Repayment Data

Shares of Santa Ana-based vocational school operator Corinthian Colleges Inc. plunged Monday after a report showed few of its students are repaying federal loans, putting future aid in jeopardy.

Sunday, August 15

Blizzard Provides Needed Boost for Parent Company

Smith Micro Adds Verizon Vet as Director; Software Startup Hires Executives, Gets Funding

Blizzard shattered sales records with its latest release, in the Technology column

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Slow Ride

Duffy Boats Are Way of Life; Prius of Newport Harbor

A look at Duffy electric boats, and why they’re so popular in OC

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Sun Healthcare Moves Closer to Split

HEALTHCARE: Stock sale, debt offering prelude to spinoff

Sun Healthcare is making moves to spin off its real estate holdings into a public company

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Clean Tech Dominates Q2 Funding at $130M

FINANCE: Sector manages to top healthcare; $35M for Fisker

Local clean technology companies were the top pick for venture capitalists in the second quarter

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Building Products Maker: Slump Brings Bankruptcy

Longtime OC concrete manufacturer Universal Building Products has filed for bankruptcy

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Beyond Roxy: Quiksilver Does Juniors Line

APPAREL: More fashionable clothes make up in-between line

Quiksilver is coming out with a new line geared toward women in their early 20s

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Half of Local Banks Profitable; One Sale in Works

FINANCE: Sale of troubled bank in Little Saigon awaits FDIC OK

Some OC banks still are struggling with problem loans and profitability

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Homebuilders Differ On Land Strategies

REAL ESTATE: William Lyon, Standard buying in California

Homebuilders Standard Pacific and William Lyon Homes are preparing for a rebound in the market in very different ways

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Agendia’s Agenda

Cancer Testing Co. Expands Lab, HQ Space; Plans Diversified Tests to Stave Off Competition

Cancer test company Agendia has moved into a bigger laboratory in Irvine

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Chipmakers’ 2010 Outlook Hampered by Supply, Demand

TECHNOLOGY: Analysts wary of electronics sales, supply glut

Supply issues and weakening demand are causing chipmaker stocks to nosedive.

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This past week’s news from and other sources

This past week’s news from and other sources


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

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

Employers May Focus More on Wellness To Curb Costs

Tenet Sees Drop in Admissions with Fewer Baby Deliveries; Healthcare Fund Buys in Idaho

Controlling costs brought on by healthcare reform might fall to employers, in the Healthcare column

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Office Investors Paying More for Fully Leased Buildings

Costa Mesa Building Goes to the Dogs; Lincoln Property Forms Brokerage Team in Santa Ana

Palo Alto’s Menlo Equities snapped up its second Irvine office building, in the Real Estate column

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Retail Investment Coming Back Up, Still Sensitive to Economic Moves

The local retail space market appears to be improving but still is fragile, in Real Estate Watch

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

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

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Luxury Magazine Launching New Title in November

Del Taco Adds 39 Cent Tacos into Fast Food Deal Mix; Mazda2 Hosting Facebook Game

Jolie Adams is starting a luxury lifestyle magazine called Bask, in the Media and Marketing column

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RE Slump’s Silver Lining: Lower Taxes; Governor Moorlach?

OC INSIDER Column by Rick Reiff

Storied Meeting Planner

JNR’s Jalet Was Big in Vegas, Now Runs $25M Incentive Company

A profile of JNR’s James Jalet

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Group Business Coming Back, Big Events Draw People

MEETINGS: Hotels cutting requirements to lure meetings

Group business making a slow recovery

Hotels See Uptick in Occupancy, Hesitant to Raise Rates

HOSPITALITY: Analysts expect price hike end of year

Hotel occupancy coming up, but rates are slow to move

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Film Festival

Inaugural Event Looks to Bring Guests, Revenue to Shops at Anaheim GardenWalk

The city of Anaheim is planning its first film festival

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Travel Agencies Saw 14.2% Drop in Business in 2009

ECONOMY: 2010 showing improvement, led by leisure

ABOUT THE LIST: Local travel agencies have seen a drop in business. Includes the 2010 OC TRAVEL AGENCIES List for download (pdf)

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Comic-Con Impact

Anaheim Vying for Big Show; San Diego Not Giving Up Annual Boon Without a Fight

The Anaheim Convention Center is making a bid for Comic-Con to move to OC from San Diego

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A list of conventions, trade shows, consumer shows and events scheduled from now through the middle of 2011.

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County’s Second Five Guys Burgers Being Built in Huntington Beach

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

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Friday, August 13

AgBank Greenshoe Brings $22B IPO Record

Agricultural Bank of China's initial public offering hit a record $22.1 billion on Friday, after it exercised an over-allotment option in full, two banking sources said.

IBM to Buy Marketing Software Co. Unica

IBM Corp. said on Friday it will buy marketing software firm Unica Corp. for about $480 million in cash to expand its business software and technology services, sending Unica shares up 117 percent.

Retail Sales Tepid but Sentiment Finds a Footing

Retail sales rebounded in July but showed hints of lingering economic softness, as did inflation data showing underlying price pressures stuck at their lowest level since the 1960s.

Nursing Home Operator Sun Healthcare Prices Stock Offering

Irvine-based nursing home operator Sun Healthcare Group Inc. said Friday that it priced a public stock offering that could net it $195 million to $225 million.

Thursday, August 12

El Pollo Loco CEO Leaving for Red Robin

The chief executive of Costa Mesa-based El Pollo Loco Inc. is leaving to join Colorado’s Red Robin Gourmet Burgers Inc. as the Mexican restaurant chain continues to struggle with falling sales.

Troubled Little Saigon Bank Set To Be Sold to Philippines Company

First Vietnamese American Bank in Westminster, which has been struggling with bad loans and regulatory scrutiny, is on the verge of being acquired by a large Philippines company.

Cisco Shares Fall on Weak Revenue Outlook

The company posted fourth-quarter revenue below expectations and forecast weaker-than-expected first-quarter revenue, raising fears that the budding recovery in technology spending could be upset.

GM Posts Largest Quarterly Profit Since 2004

General Motors posted its biggest quarterly profit in six years on Thursday, a day ahead of an expected IPO filing that will clear the way for the government to relinquish its majority stake in the top U.S. automaker.

Jobless Claims Jump Shows Labor Market Ailing

The number of workers filing new claims for unemployment insurance unexpectedly rose last week to its highest level in close to six months, a fresh signal of a weak jobs market.

Wednesday, August 11

FDA Panel Signs Off on Valeant Epilepsy Drug

Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, the Aliso Viejo-based drug maker, said Wednesday that ezogabine, a drug it’s developing to treat epilepsy, got a regulatory nod.

REI Moving Store from Santa Ana to The Market Place

Seattle-based Recreational Equipment Inc., which runs a chain of camping and outdoor sports stores, is moving a store from Santa Ana into expanded space at The Market Place in Tustin.

Analyst Bearish on Chip Sales, Broadcom Slumps

Shares of Irvine-based chipmaker Broadcom Corp. slumped Wednesday after a slew of Wall Street analysts projected slowing chip sales ahead.

Stocks Retreat as Fed Grows More Cautious

Stocks and interest rates tumbled Wednesday as investors around the world took an bleaker view of the economy.

GM Results to Show Gain Over Q1

General Motors Co. is preparing to report second-quarter results that will show a substantial gain over the first quarter in a report it will use to bolster its bid to return to capital markets and pay back taxpayers, two people familiar with the matter said.

Fortress to Buy Most of AIG Consumer Finance Unit

American International Group Inc. said on Wednesday it will sell most of its consumer finance unit to Fortress Investment Group and take a $1.9 billion pre-tax loss due to the sale.

Tuesday, August 10

Western Digital Slumps on Downgrade, Demand Concerns

Shares of Lake Forest’s Western Digital Corp., the top maker of disk drives for computers, servers and consumer electronics, slumped Tuesday after an analyst cut his estimates for the company and downgraded its biggest rival.

Stocks Cut Losses on Fed's Economic Stimulus Plans

Stocks have had a partial comeback after the Federal Reserve said it would take small steps to stimulate the economy.

Pimco: Risk of Deflation is Rising

The United States faces a rising risk of deflation that could bolster prices of safe-haven government bonds, while hurting the prices of real estate and stocks, the world's biggest bond fund management company said on Tuesday.

Disney Q3 Earnings Beat Street

Hit movies and a recovering ad market boosted Walt Disney Co. results above Wall Street's expectations, following in the footsteps of several other media companies that have surpassed forecasts.

Dollar Advances Before Fed as Investors Trim Shorts

The dollar rose across the board on Tuesday as investors scaled back expectations the Federal Reserve would announce further aggressive easing measures to prop up a softening economic recovery.

Pentagon to Shut Military Command and Cut Jobs

The Pentagon, trying to free up cash in the face of a yawning deficit, unveiled a series of cost-cutting measures on Wednesday that will shed thousands of jobs and shut down an entire military command.

Productivity Falls, Fed Mulls Stimulus

Business productivity fell for the first time in 1-1/2 years in the second quarter and labor costs hardly rose, according to government data that underlined the halting pace of economic recovery.

Grubb Reports Lower Loss as Deals Pick Up

An improving commercial real estate market helped Santa Ana-based Grubb & Ellis Co. report a narrowed second-quarter loss and higher revenue.

Monday, August 9

Quiksilver Trades Shares for $140M in Debt

Huntington Beach-based Quiksilver Inc. said Monday it completed an exchange of shares for $140 million in debt in a move that stands to bolster the clothing maker’s once crippling balance sheet.

Drug Maker Spectrum’s Net Loss Narrows

Spectrum Pharmaceuticals Inc., an Irvine drug maker, on Monday reported a narrowed second-quarter loss.

Skilled Healthcare Shoots Up on Mistrial Motion

Shares of Foothill Ranch nursing home company Skilled Healthcare Inc. rose Monday after it filed a motion for a mistrial and new trial in a potentially crippling lawsuit it lost in July.

Goldman Posts 10 Days of Trading Losses in Second Quarter

Sluggish markets and the May 6 flash crash pinched even trading highflier Goldman Sachs Group Inc. in the second quarter, according to the company's quarterly report filed on Monday.

Chrysler Posts Quarterly Loss as Sales Lag

Chrysler Group LLC posted a quarterly net loss on Monday, underscoring the pressure on the smallest automaker from a slack economy and an aging product line-up.

Skype Files for IPO of Up to $100M

Internet-based phone service Skype filed with regulators on Monday to raise up to $100 million in an initial public offering of American Depositary Shares.

Sunday, August 8

Forget Q2 Results, Q3 Outlook: Botox News Grabs Focus

Stock prices rose on rumors that Allergan’s Botox could get FDA approval by the end of the year


IN THE HEIGHTS until Aug. 15, Orange County Performing Arts Center

Reviews of “In the Heights,” now playing at the Orange County Performing Arts Center, and the Bluebird Canyon martini at French 75

Finding the Right Prescription for Health Insurance

CaliforniaChoice’s Ron Goldstein thinks a public-private partnership is the best way to create government-mandated health insurance exchanges

HMOs See Steady Enrollment, PPOs Register 5% Drop

HEALTHCARE: Still sluggish economy credited for no growth

ABOUT THE LIST: Enrollment for HMO insurers held steady, while enrollment for PPO insurers fell. Includes the 2010 OC HMOs List for download (pdf)

Dental Insurers See Membership Shoot Up, Carried by No. 1

HEALTHCARE: Delta Dental retains top spot with 48% jump

ABOUT THE LIST: Local dental providers saw an increase in enrollment last year. Includes the 2010 OC DENTAL HMO/PPOs List for download (pdf)

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Medical Offices Seeing More Leasing, Discounts on Sales

REAL ESTATE: Vacancy drops to 11.6%, besting overall market

OC’s medical office market is still leasing space, albeit at a discounted rate

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Quality, Hospitals Could See Bump for Electronic Records

HEALTHCARE: Incentives stand to up demand for medical software

Federal incentives to switch to electronic medical records could bring more business for the county’s software companies

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Tenants Taking Advantage of Deals for Office Space

OC landlords continue to offer concessions and reduced rates in the airport area, in Real Estate Watch

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

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

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SunCal’s N.M. Land Out of Bankruptcy, in Receivership

Grubb & Ellis Adds Desper, Wilder; New Orange Construction Consultants: Nelson+Okerlund

SunCal’s largest property is no longer in foreclosure, but that doesn’t mean the developer will get to keep it, in the Real Estate column

June Caps Six Months of Higher Sales for Auto Dealers

Lamborghini Newport Beach Expanding Again; Fashion Island Store Openings, Expansions

Local automakers saw an increase in sales for the first half of the year, with the biggest jump in June, in the Marketplace column

Disney Ups Social Media Marketing for Theme Parks

DGWB Pitches Bananas at Night; Software Maker Smith Micro Hires Public Relations Agency

Disney is planning a social media campaign for its Anaheim theme parks, in the Media and Marketing column

Cancer Testing Company Clarient Swings to Q2 Profit

UCI-Developed Stem Cell Trial Resumes; Okapi Portfolio Company Sold for $105 Million

Aliso Viejo’s Clarient saw second-quarter results that beat Wall Street’s expectations, in the Healthcare column

Quest Software Back To Buying with Two Recent Deals

Parallax Capital Acquires Seattle-Based Co.; UST Global Looking to Triple India Workforce

Quest Software bought two companies in the last month, in the Technology column

Regulators Lift Order on Irvine’s Plaza Bank

State and federal regulators have lifted a restriction on Irvine’s Plaza Bank that was issued more than a year ago.

Wells Names Market President, Shifts Commercial Bankers

FINANCE: Myers public face for No. 2 bank here, $15B in deposits

Wells Fargo promoted local banker Rob Myers to head up its OC region


This past week’s news from and other sources

This past week’s news from and other sources

Mazda Mounts Big Push for Little Car with Latest Rollout

AUTO: Subcompact in growing market; streamlines global lineup

Mazda North American is hoping the smallest vehicle in its lineup will pack a big punch

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Fading Products Drag Down Conexant’s Outlook

TECHNOLOGY: New markets seen spurring sales later this year

Newport Beach’s Conexant surprised Wall Street with a disappointing outlook for the current quarter

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Software Push Behind Ingram Micro Buys

TECHNOLOGY: Eyeing data center boom, cloud computing

Ingram Micro is buying companies in a bid to be a bigger player in software distribution

It’s Official: Wirta Running Bren’s Key Group; Tiger Talks

OC INSIDER Column by Rick Reiff

Beckman Signs Pact with Canadian Health Provider

Beckman Coulter Inc. said last week it signed a five-year contract with a Canadian healthcare company

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Edison Unit Strikes Santa Ana Lease

REAL ESTATE: 85,340 square feet taken in move from Irvine tower

A unit of Edison International is moving its headquarters to Santa Ana from Irvine

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The Real Reform

Insurance Cos., Businesses, Hospitals Navigate New Law’s Intricacies Before 2014 Deadlines

Local businesses and hospitals in OC are figuring out what healthcare reform means for them

Syspro: One Product, Independent Streak

TECHNOLOGY: Selling not an option for software maker

Costa Mesa’s Syspro Impact Software has no plans to change its simple business model anytime soon

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Ask the Experts

Q&A with local healthcare executives

Who’s Your Padre?

Moorad Defies Odds with Winning Team, Low Payroll

Newport Beach resident and Padres owner Jeff Moorad is enjoying a winning baseball season, without spending big bucks

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Friday, August 6

Sunstone Results Show Signs of Hotel Industry Rebound

San Clemente-based hotel owner Sunstone Hotel Investors Inc. topped Wall Street expectations with a key profit measure and a gain in revenue as life appears to be returning to the industry. Continues To Slump on Critical Story; Company Says Short Sellers Behind Criticism

Shares of Corp. plummeted for the third day Friday after a website published a critical story about the Irvine-based operator of a search engine for finding local businesses.

AIG Beats Street and Starts Talks on Government Exit

American International Group Inc.'s quarterly results topped Wall Street's expectations on Friday, and the insurer said it had started talks on repaying one of the biggest taxpayer bailouts.

BP Cements Gulf Oil Well Ahead of Permanent Plug

BP PLC finished pumping cement into its ruptured oil well in the Gulf of Mexico on Thursday to seal off the source of the world's worst offshore spill, paving the way to permanently plug the blow-out later this month.

EU's $580B Safety Fund Up and Running

A European Union financial stability fund with the potential to raise up to 440 billion euros ($580 billion) to help EU countries weather debt problems is now fully operational, officials said on Friday.

Thursday, August 5

Emulex's Quarterly Results In Line, Shares Slump

Shares of Costa Mesa’s Emulex Corp., a maker of electronics for data storage networks, fell on Thursday after the company reported results for the June quarter that were roughly in line with Wall Street’s expectations.

CoreLogic Debuts with Q2 Profits of $24M, Below Expectations

Santa Ana-based real estate data services provider CoreLogic Inc. posted a profit of $24.4 million in its first quarterly results as an independent company, less than half as much as it earned a year earlier and about $5 million below Wall Street expectations.

Surprise Rise in Jobless Claims Casts Pall on Economy

New claims for unemployment benefits unexpectedly rose last week to the highest level since early April, highlighting a weak labor market and the fragile economic recovery.

Mortgage Rates Hit Record Lows

Mortgage rates fell in the past week to the latest in a series of record lows amid concerns about the state of the economy, according to a survey released on Thursday by Freddie Mac.

Beckman Coulter Signs Contract with Canadian Health Provider

Brea-based Beckman Coulter Inc. said Thursday that it signed a five-year contract with a Canadian healthcare company that could be valued at $25 million to $30 million.

Post Office's Quarterly Loss Hits $3.5B

The Postal Service was $3.5 billion in the red for the April through June period.

Wet Seal Sees Fourth Consecutive Drop in Same-Store Sales

Foothill Ranch-based mall retailer Wet Seal Inc. reported a decline in July sales that was worse than analysts expected.

Wednesday, August 4

Breast Cancer Testing Company Agendia Moves to Irvine

Agendia BV, a Dutch breast cancer testing company, has moved its U.S. headquarters to Irvine from Huntington Beach.

Smith Micro's Results Beat Street on Profits, Sales In Line

Shares of Aliso Viejo-based Smith Micro Software Inc., a maker of software for cell phones and other mobile devices, on Wednesday reported second-quarter results that topped Wall Street’s profit expectations and were in line on revenue.

William Lyon Homes Swings to Loss

Newport Beach-based William Lyon Homes Inc. posted a $4.5 million loss in the second quarter, a reversal from the $39.4 million in profits the homebuilder reported a year earlier.

Sunstone Looking to Acquire San Diego’s Manchester Grand Hyatt

San Clemente-based hotel owner Sunstone Hotel Investors Inc. is looking to acquire the 1,625-room Manchester Grand Hyatt in downtown San Diego.

Toyota Lifts Guidance but Cautious for Q2 and Beyond

Toyota Motor Corp.'s biggest quarterly profit in two years and a hike in its annual forecasts failed to allay concerns about the strength in the yen, weak margins and a faltering market.

Barnes & Noble Shares Soar on Sale Plans

Barnes & Noble Inc. shares soared 21% on Wednesday after the struggling bookseller said it was up for sale and could get a bid from its founder to go private.

Intel Settles Charges That it Stifled Rivals

Intel Corp. has agreed to stop using threats and bundled prices to hamper competition, settling charges that it illegally abused its market dominance in microprocessors, the Federal Trade Commission said on Wednesday.

Tuesday, August 3

Hyundai, Kia Lead On July Sales

Fountain Valley-based Hyundai Motor America and Irvine’s Kia Motors America Inc. again led local automakers with big gains in July sales as part of a larger industry rebound.

STEC's Outlook, Q2 Results Top Expectations

Shares of Santa Ana’s STEC Inc., a maker of flash memory drives used in corporate data centers, jumped on Tuesday after the company reported second-quarter results and an outlook for the current quarter that surpassed Wall Street’s expectations.

GM July U.S. Sales up 5%

General Motors Co. posted a 5% gain in July U.S. sales on Tuesday which it said underscored evidence of progress in the year since its emergence from a government-funded bankruptcy.

Proctor & Gamble Profit Misses on Marketing New Items

Household products maker Procter & Gamble Co. posted lower-than-expected quarterly profit as higher spending on marketing more than offset sales growth, and its shares fell more than 5%.

Pfizer Profit Beats, Reassures on Long-Term View

Pfizer Inc. posted higher-than-expected quarterly results and stood by its longer-term profit view, allaying investor concern over looming generic drug competition and lifting its shares 5%.

Blizzard's "StarCraft II" Shatters Sales Records

Irvine-based online game developer Blizzard Entertainment Inc. said it shattered sales records with last week’s release of its latest game, “StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty.”

Profit Up, Revenue Down in First American's Quarterly Results Debut

Santa Ana-based title insurer First American Financial Corp. reported a better than expected second-quarter profit as revenue fell short of expectations.

Monday, August 2

Santa Ana's Powerwave Slumps on Sales Outlook

Shares of Santa Ana’s Powerwave Technologies Inc., a maker of antennas, filters and other cell phone tower gear, fell Monday after the company reported mixed results for the second quarter and gave a cloudy sales outlook for the current quarter.

Valeant Beats Street, Boosts 2010 Guidance

Valeant Pharmaceuticals International on Monday posted second-quarter results that surpassed analysts’ expectations and raised its full-year profit outlook.

HSBC, BNP Profits Beat View After Bad Debts Tumble

HSBC and BNP Paribas, two of Europe's top three banks, trumped earnings forecasts after bad debts fell sharply, more than offsetting slowing investment banking growth and lifting both shares.

Manufacturing Grows for 12th Straight Month

The manufacturing sector grew in July at its slowest pace this year, according to an industry report on Monday, but at a rate that was slightly stronger than expected.

Citi Sees Sanofi Paying $74-77 Per Share for Genzyme

Sanofi-Aventis SA is likely to be the sole buyer for Genzyme Corp. and end up paying $74 to $77 a share, or $19.7-20.5 billion, for the rare diseases specialist, according to Citigroup analysts.

Allergan Profit Tops Forecasts; Investors Look Past Cautious Outlook, Seize on Botox

Irvine drug maker Allergan Inc. reported a second-quarter profit that topped Wall Street expectations and offered a cautious outlook for the current quarter and rest of the year.

Sunday, August 1

Wealthiest Here Count $40B; Tech Drives Rebound

A rebound in technology boosted the overall wealth of OC’s richest

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Those estimated to be worth $100 million or more, though an exact number is hard to pin down

Those estimated to be worth $100 million or more, though an exact number is hard to pin down

Profiles of OC's Wealthiest - 25 - 32

Profiles of the top 25-32 wealthiest people in the county.

Profiles of OC's Wealthiest - 13 - 24

Profiles of the top 13-24 wealthiest people in the county.

Rebound in Tech Fortunes Boosts Wealthiest; Valued at $40B

ABOUT THE LIST: The 32 richest people here saw an estimated 8% rise in wealth in the past 12 months to a collective worth of $40 billion, according to this week’s Business Journal list. Includes the 2010 OC's WEALTHIEST List for download (pdf)

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Profiles of OC's Wealthiest - The Top 12

Profiles of the top dozen wealthiest people in the county

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The Weekend Wealthy

Orange County is a second (or even third or fourth) home for many. They come here for the weather, beaches, shopping and dining.

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This Time Around

Real Estate Downturn Plays Out on Wealth, But Nothing Like 1990s

The down real estate market has affected some of the county’s wealthiest, but it could be wors

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Southern California’s Wealthiest

Bren Leads Pack; L.A. Tops in Billionaires; Reshuffling in San Diego

OC’s Donald Bren takes the top spot for the wealthiest man in Southern California, beating out others in Los Angeles and San Diego counties

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Big Week: True Food Kitchen Opens; Summer Dinner Series

Raya, Stonehill Tavern on Must-Taste List; Sapphire Chef Expands School Lunch Program

True Food Kitchen opens this week at Fashion Island in Newport Beach, in the Executive Dining column

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REAL ESTATE WATCH: High-rise office space

High-Rise Office Space Still Hurting, But Seeing Optimism from Tenants

OC’s high-rise office market still is struggling, but conditions have improved from a year earlier, in Real Estate Watch


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

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

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Studley: Office Leasing Up in Q2, Availability Shrinks

Steadfast Starts Offering for Trust; Newman Garrison Gets Approval for Buena Park Housing

The office market saw more activity in the second quarter than it has for the past few years, in the Real Estate column

Chapman’s Brandman Ramps Up Advertising Campaign

M Magazine Taps Orange Coast Exec for Marketing; Lages & Associates Adds Accounts

Chapman University’s Brandman University is launching its first solo advertising campaign, in the Media and Marketing column

Analyst: UnitedHealthcare To Survive, Thrive on Reform-++

Masimo, Hygia Reach Undisclosed Settlement On Labeling, Patent Infringement Lawsuit

United Healthcare stands to benefit from the recently enacted healthcare reform bill, in the Healthcare column

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Little Luxuries

Wealthy’s Spending Is On a Slow Uptick

The county’s richest are starting to spend again, but many still are looking for deals

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Foothill Ranch Software Co. Buys Telecom Technology

‘World of Warcraft’ Movie Moving Ahead Slowly; Irvine’s Integrien Picks Up Another Patent

Applied Voice & Speech Technologies in Foothill Ranch bought some assets from a Canadian software company, in the Technology column


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

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

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This past week’s news from and other sources

This past week’s news from and other sources

City National Brings On Comerica Bankers

FINANCE: Move part of push for rich clients here by CEO with ties

City National Bank recently brought on three private bankers in an effort to expand its services for local wealthy clients

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Maker of Lens for Focusing Up Close To Start Selling Abroad

HEALTHCARE: AcuFocus flush with funds; reading glasses killer?

Irvine’s AcuFocus is gearing up to start selling its replacement eye lens in Europe and Asia

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Donald Bren’s Tax Refund Stolen in Bizarre Fraud Case

Irvine Company’s Donald Bren was a recent victim of identity theft

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Former Fremont Closing Down Anaheim Hills HQ

FINANCE: Ex-subprime lender now run from Sherman Oaks

Signature Holdings plans to move former operations of Fremont General to Sherman Oaks

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In-N-Out Heiress Takes on President Role

DINING: Martinez leads Texas expansion; age, gender stand out

Heiress Lynsi Martinez has taken over as president of In-N-Out and is leading the expansion plans

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Callahan Called by Grieving Widow; Receiver for State?

OC INSIDER Column by Rick Reiff

Irvine Software Maker Buy to Double its Size

TECHNOLOGY: Vision Solutions spent $242M for Double-Take

Irvine’s Vision Solutions inked a nearly $250 million deal that will double its size

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Mazda’s New Ad Shop To Hire in Irvine

MARKETING: Britain’s WPP shopping for space, 100 workers

Britain’s WPP will open an office in Irvine after winning an advertising account with Mazda North American

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