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Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Aurelio Munoz ruled in favor of ousted

In-N-Out Burgers Inc.

executive Richard Boyd today, throwing out charges of breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty. Still standing are charges from the burger chain of fraud and embezzlement, which Boyd's attorney Philip Heller said he would ask the court to dismiss. A trial is set for Oct. 17.


On Monday, another Los Angeles Superior Court judge issued an order suspending Boyd from his trusteeship of three trusts established for the burger chain's family. Both sides claimed they prevailed. In-N-Out said in a statement that it was the first step in removing Boyd from the trusts. Boyd can now pursue a civil claim against the company, Heller said.


- IRIS International Inc. said its recently announced $10.1 million acquisition of Leucadia Technologies Inc. is expected to cut full-year earnings by 6 cents per share to about 45 cents per share. Analysts on average expect 2006 earnings of 48 cents per share. The Chatsworth-based manufacturer of IVD urinalysis system reaffirmed its 2006 revenue guidance of $72 million to $76 million.


In a statement on Tuesday, IRIS said the acquisition includes a cash payment of $3.1 million and about $7 million in IRIS common stock. The acquisition of the Carlsbad-based molecular diagnostics company brings with it diagnostic products that include applications for breast cancer and HIV, which are seen as beneficial as IRIS taps into the $1.5 billion molecular diagnostics market, one of the most profitable IVD segments.


- CKE Restaurants Inc. reported a 5.8 percent gain in March same-store sales for the Carpinteria-based company's Carl's Jr. and Hardee's restaurants, bolstered by product promotions. For the four weeks ended March 27, same-store sales for Carl's Jr. were up 4.3 percent, while Hardee's jumped 7.2 percent. For the year to date, same-store sales rose 6.5 percent, with Carl's Jr. up 7.2 percent and Hardee's up 5.7 percent.


Consolidated revenue for the period was $97.9 million, with Carl's Jr. and Hardee's bringing in $47.2 million and $47.3 million, respectively.


- Hot Topic Inc. said its comparable store sales fell 12.7 percent for the five weeks ended April 1. Net sales for March totaled $59.3 million, down 1 percent from a year earlier. Quarter-to-date same-store sales were up 2 percent to $107.7 million and same-store sales were down 10.9 percent, the City of Industry-based mall retailer said in a statement.


As a result of the lower sales, Hot Topic now expects a first-quarter net loss of 1 cent to 4 cents per share, reflecting a comparable store sales decline in the mid- to high-single-digit range for the quarter.


- Walt Disney Co. unveiled Disney Mobile, a cell phone service that gives parents the ability to limit when and how children can use the phones as well as the numbers they are allowed to dial. The clamshell-shaped phones for children will come equipped with a camera, messaging features and various ring tones and content; phones made for parents will be configured with additional functions, such as a Global Positioning System that can locate the phones on a digital map. The controls will also be accessible via the Disney Mobile Web site.


Handsets will start at $59.99 when purchased with a two-year service agreement. The wireless service will launch in June.

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