April 25 - May 1
Earnings Roundup: Walt Disney Co. reported second quarter net income of $229 million, compared with $259 million in the like year-earlier period. Revenues rose 8.1 percent to $6.3 billion. The Burbank-based entertainment company said the U.S.-led war with Iraq and fears of terrorism have hampered a number of its businesses, and said it has plans in place that will put the company in a "solid position" once the economy rebounds. Northrop Grumman Corp. reported first-quarter net income of $253 million, compared with a loss of $283 million for the like period a year ago. Revenue for the Los Angeles defense contractor rose 49 percent, to $5.9 billion. The company cited the performance of its TRW Inc. assets, which it acquired last year. Northrop raised its earnings guidance for 2003 to between $3.80 and $4.20 per share, up from prior guidance ranging from $3.65 to $4.15. Countrywide Financial Corp. reported first-quarter net income of $326.3 million, compared with $167.6 million for the like period a year ago. Loan fundings for the Calabasas-based mortgage lender rose 133 percent, to $102 billion. The company cited persistent low interest rates for the increase. Kilroy Realty Corp. reported first-quarter net income of $10.9 million, compared with $13.9 million for the like period a year ago. The Los Angeles-based real estate investment trust said revenues fell 6.9 percent, to $54.6 million. Ducommun Inc. reported first-quarter net income of $3.1 million, compared with $1.2 million for the like period a year ago. The Los Angeles-based aerospace manufacturer said revenue rose less than 1 percent, to $55 million. Diodes Inc. reported first-quarter net income of $1.9 million, compared with $208,000 for the like period a year ago. The Westlake Village-based semiconductor manufacturer said revenue rose 9.4 percent, to $29.5 million. PacifiCare Health Systems Inc. reported first-quarter net income of $70.8 million, compared with a loss of $858.8 million for the like period a year ago. Revenue for the Cypress-based health care company fell 4 percent, to $2.74 billion. IndyMac Bancorp, the Pasadena-based mortgage lender, reported first-quarter net income of $36.9 million, compared with $25 million for the like period a year ago.
Workers' Comp: California Gov. Gray Davis and Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi unveiled a package of workers' compensation reforms, including legislation introduced by Sen. Richard Alarcon, D-Van Nuys, to control fees charged by surgery centers. The package also contains a pilot program allowing employers to use their HMOs for workplace injuries and beefed up anti-fraud provisions.
For Sale: One year after taking the reins of Vivendi Universal, Chief Executive Jean-Rene Fortou made it official, telling shareholders of the French media giant that the company would unload its U.S. entertainment assets. The company may keep its music division, he said at a shareholder meeting in Paris, but would sell off Universal Studios, its computer games division and its theme parks.
Dead Signal: Hutchison Whampoa Ltd. scrapped a plan to acquire Global Crossing Ltd. because of a national security review, leaving partner Singapore Technologies Telemedia Pte to continue pursuing the $250 million transaction.
South Bay Split?: A state official recommended splitting the Westside's 310 area code and assigning a new 424 area code to cities in the South Bay. Citing projections that the 310 code would run out of phone numbers by the end of this year, a Public Utilities Commission administrative law judge proposed splitting the area code along Imperial Highway, with areas to the north retaining 310 and areas to the south taking the new 424 code. The proposal will go before Public Utilities Commission in the next couple months. PUC board member Loretta Lynch said she opposes a geographic split.
May 5 - 11
Earnings Updates: First quarter numbers are due from several local companies this week, including DaVita, HealthNet and Salem Communications on Monday (5th); THQ on Wednesday (7th); and Activision, IHOP and Public Storage on Thursday (8th).
State's State: Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi will be joined by Mayor James Hahn, California Business, Transportation and Housing Secretary Maria Contreras-Sweet, economist Donald Straszheim and a host of state officials to discuss the California economy at a roundtable hosted by Manatt Phelps & Phillips LLP on Tuesday (6th). For information: 310-552-6922 ext. 297.
Preservation Presentation: Robert F. Kennedy Jr., son of the late senator and an environmental lawyer, will appear at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium as part of the Distinguished Speaker Series on Wednesday (7th). His talk, "Our Environmental Destiny Protecting and Preserving the Environment," is open to the public, and tickets range from $28-$48 each. For information: 626-449-7360.
World Parley: World Trade Week kicks off Thursday (8th) with a breakfast at the Wilshire Grand Hotel downtown. The master of ceremonies will be Bryan Stockton, vice president of international at Mattel Inc. He'll be introducing keynote speaker Sergio Marchi, Canadian ambassador to the World Trade Organization. For information: worldtradeweek.com.
Walk of Fame: Nearly 70 local businesses will be touting their goods and services to 2,500 Southern California tourism industry professionals at the seventh annual Hollywood Tourism Expo on Thursday (8th). Presented by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, the one-day event will be held at the Roosevelt Hotel Hollywood. For information: 323-469-8311, ext. 14.
Sports Beat: A quiet week at home as the Dodgers head East to face the Mets in New York and Expos in Montreal. The end of the week sees the Avengers take on Colorado at Staples Center on Saturday (10th), which is also the date of the 10th Annual Revlon Run/Walk for Women.
Fourth and Long?: L.A. City Council's Ad-Hoc Stadium Committee holds a public hearing Monday (5th) to review the viability of sites put forward by the L.A. Community Redevelopment Agency for an NFL football stadium. The three sites in the running: the L.A. Memorial Coliseum, the area next to the Staples Center and the Union Pacific rail yard near the Los Angeles River. The hearing begins at 2 p.m. in the board room of the Coliseum.
Tune Town: Peter Barron, who heads label relations for MTV and has overseen videos for Nirvana and No Doubt, will receive an honorary award for creative excellence at the Music Video Production Awards Thursday (8th) at the Orpheum Theatre on Broadway.
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