Review: November 1 - 7

Bravo Deal: NBC will acquire Cablevision System Corp.'s Bravo cable network for $1.25 billion. Proceeds will be split between Cablevision and Santa Monica-based Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc., which own, respectively, 80 percent and 20 percent of Bravo. Cablevision has been looking for a cash infusion to reduce debt while NBC has wanted a cable channel where network shows might get additional airings. For the moment, Bravo programming isn't likely to change much because of existing contracts.



Deal Jeopardized: Syncor International Corp. said it may have made improper payments to health-care facilities in China and Taiwan. The Woodland Hills-based nuclear medicine provider said that the matter is being investigated by a committee of outside directors and a special counsel. The company also has notified the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Justice Department. The announcement came as Cardinal Health Inc. was about to acquire the company in a $1.1 billion deal. That deal is now on hold.



Earnings Roundup: Fox Entertainment Group Inc., News Corp.'s U.S. media and entertainment arms, reported first quarter net income of $214 million, compared with a net loss of $22 million for the like period a year ago. Revenues rose 13 percent, to $2.34 billion. First-quarter profit at News Corp. itself more than doubled on higher advertising sales at its U.S. television stations and cable networks, such as Fox News Channel. Dole Food Co. reported third-quarter net income of $14.7 million, compared with a net loss of $94.8 million for the like period a year ago. Revenue for the Westlake Village-based fruit and vegetable producer rose 3.8 percent, to $1.25 billion. Walt Disney Co. reported net income for the fourth quarter ended Sept. 30 of $222 million, compared with $53 million for the like period a year ago. Revenue for the Burbank-based entertainment company rose 15 percent, to $6.7 billion. Univision Communications Inc. reported net income of $20.3 million for the third quarter ended Sept. 30, compared with $6.9 million in the like period a year ago. Revenue for the Los Angeles-based Spanish language broadcaster rose 22 percent to $269.8 million.



Econ News: Cal State Fullerton's Southern California index of leading economic indicators fell by 0.45 percent in the third quarter, following a revised 0.61 percent drop in the second quarter. Three of the seven components measured showed declines in the third quarter, including a drop in the Pacific region consumer confidence index as measured by the Conference Board and an increase in unemployment over the past year. Meanwhile, California ranked sixth nationwide in the productivity of its workers, according to a Federal Reserve Board study. Alaska ranked first.

Amgen Questions: Shares of Amgen Inc. fell sharply when the Thousand Oaks-based biotechnology company postponed a Nov. 21 meeting with analysts and investors. The company said that the meeting was pushed back to Feb. 25 because it couldn't fully address various issues, including completion of a new manufacturing facility and a legal dispute with Transkaryotic Therapies Inc.



Center Deal: Shopping center operator Center Trust Inc. will be acquired by San Diego-based Pan Pacific Properties Inc. in a deal valued at $219 million in stock, plus assumed debt. The purchase ends a money-losing investment by Center Trust's largest shareholder, Lazard. The shopping centers held by Manhattan Beach-based Center Trust are located mostly in Southern California.



Charged: The California Public Utilities Commission approved a 2.7-cent-per-kilowatt hour surcharge to be placed on the bills of the roughly 27,000 companies and 58,000 residential customers statewide that signed contracts with third-party providers with lower wholesale rates during the summer of 2001. The surcharge is expected to raise $500 million a year to repay the state Department of Water Resources and the state's three investor-owned utilities for power purchased during the recent energy crisis.

Preview: November 11 - 17

Winding Down: The pace of earnings reports is starting to slow, with PS Business Parks, Lions Gate Entertainment, Macerich and Youbet.com set to release quarterly reports this week.



Holiday: Monday (11th) is Veterans Day (originally Armistice Day and originally set side to honor World War I veterans). Nowadays, alas, it's largely an excuse for a three-day weekend. Banks, schools and government offices will be closed, but most businesses, as well as the stock market, will be open.



Sports Beat: Before USC deals with UCLA, the Trojans must handle a tough Arizona St. team on Saturday (16th) at the Coliseum. UCLA is off this week. The Lakers are at home on Tuesday (12th) against Atlanta, Thursday (14th) against Golden State and Sunday (17th) against Houston. The Clippers are in Miami on Tuesday, then home against Orlando on Thursday, in Portland on Friday (15th) at Portland, and back at Staples on Sunday against Seattle. The Kings are away all week.



Vive La France: It's time for the first bottles of Beaujolais Nouveau to arrive in Southern California for the taste-testing tradition. The French-American Chamber of Commerce will be making the most of the celebration during a food and wine festival at the Skirball Cultural Center on Friday (15th) from 7-10 p.m. Tickets are $55 (includes food, wine and entertainment). For information: 323-651-4741.



Kids' Stuff: Stories about animals highlight the weekend entertainment (16th and 17th) at the Museum of Television & Radio in Beverly Hills as it presents the 11th International Children's Television Festival. The month-long event features children's television programming from around the world. In-between will be a live performance of the Japanese Festival Sounds, a group of percussionists. For information: 310-786-1000.



Well Dressed: In an effort to spur growth in difficult economic times, the city of Los Angeles and Fashion Business Inc. are sponsoring a free program on incentives available to garment companies on Tuesday (12th) at 8:30 a.m. at the New Mart, 127 E. 9 Street on the third floor. Information: (213) 892 1669.



Goin' East: On Saturday (16th), Mayor James Hahn an other top city officials will be leaving on a 10-day mission to Asia including stops in Seoul, Beijing, Tokyo, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Taipei to increase cooperation between those cities and Los Angeles, in addition to exploring business opportunities.

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