Review & Preview

Earnings Reports: Metro-Goldwyn-Meyer Inc. reported a net loss of $121.8 million, compared to a loss of $61.3 million for the like period a year ago. Revenues rose to $336.9 million from 274.9 million the year earlier. Ticketmaster, which sells tickets and operates an online dating service, reported second-quarter net income of $14.7 million, compared with a net loss of $29.5 million for the like period a year ago. Second-quarter revenues were $212.5 million, up from $187 million. 99 Cents Only Stores Inc. reported second-quarter net income of $13.5 million, compared with $10.9 million for the like period a year ago. Sales for the City of Commerce-based discount chain rose 23 percent, to $167.9 million. Avery Dennison Corp. reported second-quarter net income of $73.8 million, compared with $59.8 million for the like period a year ago. The Pasadena-based maker of labels and adhesive products had sales of $1.05 billion vs. $960.8 million. Unocal Corp. reported second-quarter net income of $114 million, compared with $247 million for the like period a year ago. The El Segundo-based oil company saw revenues fall 39 percent, to $2.4 billion. Occidental Petroleum Corp. reported second-quarter net income of $240 million, compared with $473 million for the like period a year ago. Revenue for the Los Angeles-based oil company fell 18 percent, to $3.1 billion. Activision Inc. reported second quarter net income of $20.7 million, compared with $29,000 for the like period a year ago. Sales for the Santa Monica-based video game developer rose to $191.3 million from $110 million. Jakks Pacific Inc. reported second-quarter net income of $7.8 million, compared with $6.9 million for the like period a year ago. Revenue for the Malibu-based toy maker rose 13 percent, to $79 million. Jakks also announced it had fired 48 employees, or 15 percent of its workforce, to reduce costs. Wellpoint Health Networks Inc. reported second-quarter net income of $170.7 million, compared with $99.9 million for the like period a year ago. Revenue for the Thousand Oaks-based health provider rose 37 percent, to $4.2 billion.



Review Renewed: Regulators said they had again taken up the proposed purchase of Hughes Electronics by EchoStar Communications Corp. The Federal Communications Commission halted its review four months as it awaited additional information from both companies, which they have now filed. The FCC tries to complete license transfer reviews within 180 days and had stopped the clock for the EchoStar deal on the 77th day.

Phone Ruling: A state administrative law judge gave tentative approval to Pacific Bell to sell long-distance service in California, but the ruling contained several restrictions on how the company must operate. Pacific Bell, a unit of SBC Communications, said it would work with the Public Utilities Commission to resolve the judge's criticisms, especially regarding high-speed Internet services.



NBC-Universal?: NBC Chief Executive Robert Wright said the network would be interested in buying or merging with Vivendi Universal SA's U.S. entertainment assets. Analysts and investors have speculated that Vivendi may sell Universal Studios and Universal Music Group as a way of paring down $17 billion in debt. Universal executives, including Barry Diller, were in Paris to meet with top Vivendi officials.



Fed OK: U.S. regulators have approved Amgen Inc.'s Aranesp drug to treat anemia in cancer patients. Aranesp, which is a longer lasting form of the Thousand Oaks-based company's older anemia drugs Epogen and Procrit, was launched last year as a treatment for patients with chronic kidney disease. Amgen reported second-quarter net income of $412 million, compared with $322 million for the like period a year ago. Revenue increased 27 percent, to $1.2 billion.

Preview

Earnings Updates: Among the companies set to release financial results this week are Mercury General, eUniverse, Hilton Hotels, IHOP, ArtistDirect, Capstone Turbine, DaVita, Tekelec, Fremont General and Walt Disney. Reflecting ongoing weakness in the advertising market and a generally ailing entertainment sector, Disney is expected to post earnings of 17 cents per share, compared to 29 cents for the like-year earlier period.



Sports Talk: The business of sports will be the topic of a KFWB-AM "Power Breakfast" on Thursday (1st) at the Westin Boneventure. Moderated by KFWB anchor Bret Lewis, panelists will include Dodgers President Bob Graziano and Anschutz Entertainment Group President Tim Leiweke. Program begins at 7:30 a.m.



Fore!: The Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce sponsors its chamber Golf Classic on Monday (29th) at the Sherwood Country Club. Events begins at 11 a.m. Call 213-580-7524.

Tennis Anyone?: The world's top women players get going on Sunday (4th) at Manhattan Country Club in Manhattan Beach for the JPMorgan Chase Open presented by Audi. Among those scheduled to play: defending champion Lindsay Davenport, Serena Williams, Jennifer Capriati and Martina Hingis. Action concludes on Aug. 11.



Job Numbers: With the markets in such flux, July's unemployment data, due out on Friday (2nd), will be closely watched. June's jobless rate stood at 5.9 percent. State and county data is due out the following Friday.



Redecorating Tips: Run out of ideas about how to make that kitchen a little bit cheerier or a lot more functional? Go to the annual Home Remodeling and Decorating Show at the L.A. Convention Center this weekend (2nd-4th) where hundreds of vendors will be offering advice and selling their products.



Neighborhood Parley: The first Congress of Neighborhood Councils in the city of L.A. takes place Saturday (3rd) at the Universal Hilton. Representatives from the city's 39 certified neighborhood councils, as well as citizens from other areas of L.A. interested in forming their own councils, will gather to network. The congress is open to members of neighborhood councils or are in the process of forming one.



Insight: Pam Cohen Kalafut, co-author of "Invisible Advantage: How Intangibles Are Driving Business Performance," speaks at a roundtable sponsored by Cap Gemini Ernst & Young on Wednesday (31st). The event begins at 6 p.m. at the Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles.

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