Stories for February 2006
Tuesday, February 28
Reinhold Industries Inc. said on Tuesday it is exploring strategic alternatives to enhance shareholder value, including a possible sale of the company, sending its shares soaring.
Google Inc. Chief Financial Officer George Reyes sparked more than a 10 percent sell-off in the Web search leader's stock after he cautioned online ad revenue growth could slow.
A mixed economic picture sent stocks tumbling, after investors were unnerved by weakness in home sales, consumer confidence and manufacturing.
The total economic output of hospitals and related services in L.A. and five surrounding counties is $85.5 billion, or 12.1 percent of the region's $708 billion economy, said a report released Tuesday.
The economy grew at an annual rate of 1.6 percent in the final quarter of last year, a mediocre performance that turned out to be better than first thought.
Sales of existing homes fell for a fifth consecutive month in January as the once-sizzling housing market cooled further.
The median price of an existing home in L.A. rose significantly from the year-earlier period in January and edged up slightly from December as homes sales declined sharply across Southern California.
Americans in February became less optimistic about the economy, sending a widely followed barometer of consumer sentiment below analysts' estimates.
Business Briefs: Reliance Steel, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, Jacobs, First Consulting Group, Cogent
Reliance Steel & Aluminum Co.'s subsidiary agrees to acquire certain assets of Flat Rock Metal Processing L.L.C., in a move expected to expand its processing capabilities, and other briefs about L.A. businesses.
Monday, February 27
Income from advertising circulars was among the few bright spots in the L.A. Times' latest monthly revenue report, and a recent national consumer survey gives one indication why.
Toni Erickson Knight's WorldLink acts as the intermediary between ad agencies that represent infomercials and the networks that air them.
Lowe's Cos. Inc. reported higher-than-expected earnings and gave a bullish outlook as renovations and commercial business fueled its strongest sales increase in years.
Title companies, many located in the Glendale area, are scaling back as the real estate market cools off.
The bounty from TV licensing rights to the Academy Awards provides the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences with the lion's share of its operating budget.
Otis Chandler, the former publisher of the Los Angeles Times who transformed his family's provincial, conservative newspaper into a respected national media voice, died early Monday. He was 78.
Thanks largely to its licensed characters, Ninja Jump Inc. has leaped toward the top of the inflatable bouncer industry.
Short takes on companies in and around Los Angeles.
Eli Broad's foundation is contributing $25 million to help launch a major stem cell research initiative at the University of Southern California
Guess Inc.'s fourth-quarter results should have been cause for celebration. But instead of uncorking the champagne, investors took a hammer to Guess shares.
DirecTV Group Inc. said Monday it agreed to buy back 100 million of its shares from General Motors Corp.'s pension funds for $1.55 billion, or $15.50 a share.
Robert Woolway has been in private equity on the West Coast for close to 24 years. But football was a big part of the life of Trinity Capital LLC's new senior managing director.
Los Angeles Councilman Tony Cardenas believes developers can build better crime-resistant residential and mixed-use projects.
Business interests are mounting opposition to legislative proposals for pollution controls at the ports.
More than half of all directors who took part in a recent survey would repeal or overhaul the landmark Sarbanes-Oxley Act.
Should the fact that the rich get richer ever have to be proven in a court of law, the Oscar gift bags could be Exhibit A.
The average price of a gallon of self-serve regular gasoline in the Los Angeles area fell for the third consecutive week, slipping 5.1 cents to $2.456 for the week ended Feb. 13.
Online job recruitment in the Los Angeles metropolitan area held steady in January as gains in legal and high tech hiring were offset by drops in health care and education.
For the first time, a redevelopment project is pitting neighbor against neighbor and raising concerns about the future of a new "western gateway" to the area.
A subsidy program to install solar panels on roofs is an unnecessary taxpayer subsidy to an industry that even environmentalists claim is already growing strongly.
Two L.A. bloggers have launched a campaign urging ConocoPhillips to keep using their distinctive orange Union 76 balls.
Companies in Commerce and Camarillo have gear aboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, which is now approaching the Red Planet.
The first wave of asbestos lawsuits targeted manufacturers and insurers. Next could be construction and installation companies many of which are in California.
All of us have the opportunity, the responsibility and the power to design the future Los Angeles.
French utilities Gaz de France SA and Suez SA announced details of their merger, designed to fend off a bid for Suez by Italian power company Enel.
Since Lotus Communications teamed up last year with ESPN's Spanish-language sports network, its stations that flipped to the all-sports format are experiencing intense advertiser interest
People across L.A. tell us how they do what they do.
The universal preschool initiative has caused a split in the business community in L.A. and across the state.
Do you enjoy going to the movies these days? The answer is probably not. Americans are not going to many movies.
President Bush has nominated Milan D. Smith Jr., a Torrance-based transactions attorney, for a seat on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Homestore Inc. may have put an end to four years of problems by capping the legal payments to a former executive.
Several billion-dollar deals and increased activity in the entertainment, health care and real estate sectors drove corporate mergers in January.
Sales of new homes fell for the second time in three months in January, providing more evidence that the nation's five-year housing boom is slowing.
Falling oil prices and strong earnings from Lowe's Cos. sent stocks higher Monday as investors regained optimism about corporate profits and the economy.
DirecTV Group Inc. is still struggling to get ahead of cable and telecom competitors that also want to become the one-stop shop for consumers' entertainment needs.
Klasky Csupo Inc., the animation studio behind several hit cartoon series, is trying to transform itself into an independent feature film company
The owners of the Aon Center are looking to convert 10 upper floors of the 62-story building into condominiums, according to sources close to the deal.
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa must be serious about his low-carb diet.
A Los Angeles father and son designed a hot red racer that now is being transformed into a hot "green" hybrid.
Northrop Grumman sells assets of its Litton assembly business, NBC Universal Television Group signs a deal to produce English versions of Spanish-language "telenovelas," and other briefs about L.A. businesses.
Energy futures fell after an announcement by the Islamic republic and Russia that they would establish a joint uranium enrichment venture.
Noted architect Ron Altoon shares his thoughts on the redevelopment of Grand Avenue and other L.A. urban renewal issues.
Friday, February 24
L.A. gas prices fell for the second week on Friday after six weeks of increases as refineries flooded the market with the last supplies of winter blend fuel, said the Automobile Club of Southern California.
Crude futures soared more than $2 after an attack on a massive oil facility in Saudi Arabia triggered worries about supply from the world's top crude producer.
British utility National Grid PLC is in talks with KeySpan Corp., offering a reported $7.3 billion in cash for the U.S.-based natural gas and electric utility.
Stocks finished mixed Friday as investors grappled with a terror attack against a Saudi Arabian oil processing plant and a surprising decrease in factory orders.
A group of seven private equity firms is close to making a bid for Dutch publisher and market research giant VNU NV for about 7.2 billion euros ($8.6 billion), the Wall Street Journal reported.
Orders to factories for manufactured goods fell by the largest amount in 5 1/2 years in January as demand for commercial aircraft suffered a big setback.
Time Warner Inc. said Ted Turner will leave the board at its upcoming annual meeting, marking the latest turmoil at the world's largest media company.
More than half of all directors who took part in a recent survey would repeal or overhaul the landmark Sarbanes-Oxley Act.
Thursday, February 23
The level of online job recruitment in the Los Angeles metropolitan area held steady in January according to a survey from MonsterWorldwide.com.
HealthSouth Corp. said it has agreed to pay at least $445 million to settle class-action lawsuits over its accounting and financial reporting.
An investigation of Fannie Mae points to its former finance chief and controller as mainly responsible for the accounting failures at the mortgage giant now struggling to emerge from an $11 billion scandal.
Hilton Group PLC changed its name to Ladbrokes PLC after finalizing the sale of its hotels business to its U.S. namesake, leaving the British company with just its gambling division.
CBS Corp. reported a fourth-quarter loss of $9.1 billion on charges to write down the value of its radio and television businesses, the media company said Thursday.
Business Briefs: Fox Cable Networks, Intermix, Hilton Hotels, Entravision Communications, Breeder's Choice, KB Home, Occidental Petroleum
Fox Cable Networks agrees to buy Turner South, a regional sports and entertainment channel, Intermix Media founder Brad Greenspan sues over the Web-site operator's acquisition by News Corp, and other briefs about L.A. businesses.
The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits dropped by a larger-than-expected amount last week, indicating the nation's labor market remains strong.
Stocks fell Thursday, with inflation concerns and a disappointing earnings report from Viacom Inc. prompting investors to collect profits.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's bounce in the polls after his State of the State speech last month has disappeared, according to a survey released Thursday by the Public Policy Institute of California.
Wednesday, February 22
The Port of Long Beach reported an 18 percent increase in loaded container traffic in January, led by a 22 percent surge in exports.
Moderate inflation and falling oil prices sent stocks higher as investors grew optimistic about an end to the Federal Reserve's interest rate hikes.
Ousted executive Richard Boyd sues In-N-Out Burgers for wrongful termination, defamation and breech of contract, DirecTV Group expects 18 million subscribers by 2008, and other briefs about L.A. businesses.
Consumer prices shot up in January at the fastest pace in four months as the cost of gasoline and electricity posted big gains.
Sprint Nextel Corp. reported Wednesday a 55 percent drop in fourth-quarter net income, dragged down by merger costs.
Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Roger Ferguson, the last Democrat on the central bank's board of governors, announced he is submitting his resignation, effective April 28.
News Corp. will launch a mini-network called My Network TV to supply shows for the 10 local TV stations the company owns that were left without programming after UPN announced it would close.
Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc. posted better-than-expected quarterly profit as increased advertising helped reverse a year-earlier loss.
Luxury home values rose to an all-time high in L.A. in 2005 on the strength of double-digit gains, but fourth-quarter appreciation slowed, according to a report released Wednesday by First Republic Bank.
IHOP Corp., Skechers USA Inc., 21st Century Insurance Group, Molina Healthcare Inc. and Thomas Properties Group Inc. were among the companies that reported earnings Wednesday.
Tuesday, February 21
The major market indices fell Tuesday as a stronger-than-expected increase in the Index of Leading Indicators cemented worries of another interest rate hike.
The Los Angeles County Federation of Labor chief is facing possible indictment for allegedly employing illegel union assistance during his 2003 Los Angeles City Council campaign.
Gas prices dipped slightly for the week in Los Angeles, which was the most expensive city for gas. California was the most expensive state.
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. said Tuesday its fourth-quarter earnings rose 13.4 percent after aggressive holiday advertising helped boost sales by 8.6 percent.
Men flocked to stores to buy suits and other tailored clothing last year, helping drive U.S. apparel sales up 4 percent overall, according to an industry study.
MeriStar Hospitality Corp. agreed to be bought by private equity firm Blackstone Group for about $2.6 billion, making it the latest deal in a spate of mergers in the lodging industry.
National Lampoon launches broadband channel, Assembly Speaker proposes bond cut, Tenet Healthcare settles Florida suit.
A gauge of future economic activity rose sharply in January, suggesting the nation's economy could see robust growth in the spring, a private research group said Tuesday.
Monday, February 20
Westinghouse Digital has become the fifth biggest seller of LCD televisions. It's strategy: be the low-price leader.
Oil prices rose more than $1 in response to militant action against oil pipelines in the Niger Delta that led to a 20 percent cut to Nigeria's oil production.
Nearly 3,600 Sikorsky Aircraft workers in Connecticut and Florida went on strike, blaming increased health insurance costs in the company's contract offer.
California property owners deserve strong protections that prevent local or state government from misusing their powers of eminent domain.
The Academy of Motion Pictures has purchased a Hollywood site that will become home to a $200 million museum of cinema history.
Planetwide Games Inc. has teamed up with the National Geographic Society to launch its Comic Book Creator software with National Geographic content.
Digital music executives, record company executives and Hollywood creative types are meeting this week to discuss the world of multiplatform entertainment.
Australia's Macquarie Bank Ltd. dropped its takeover bid for the London Stock Exchange PLC, announcing it will not increase its $2.6 billion offer.
With its latest makeover, the Luxe Hotel on Sunset Boulevard is keeping up with its upscale Bel-Air neighbors.
In his new position as the chief operating officer of SBE Restaurant Group, Arich Berghammer is working toward opening two restaurants in Los Angeles.
People across L.A. tell us how they do what they do.
Schering AG announced its biggest share buyback program to date and raised its profitability targets after a 30 percent rise in quarterly earnings.
American Pharmaceutical Partners Inc. won U.S. regulatory approval to market generic versions of a popular antibiotic, but an analyst downgraded its shares anyway.
One of the most potent tools of Los Angeles-area redevelopment agencies is coming under broad attack in Sacramento and Washington.
L.A.'s Kellie Johnson has become an influential figure as the voice of local industry on the Washington scene.
Health Savings Accounts are the most talked about vehicle in the trend toward consumer-driven health care. They can hold down costs for businesses, but the level of coverage is a question.
Minority businesses are gearing up to protect affirmative action rules that have favored them when seeking bids for government work.
The President's pals gets perks, like front-row seats at the Olympics.
The Pasadena-based engineering giant, has been riding a wave of corporate capital spending that has helped propel its stock up 40 percent in the last three months to record highs.
Mexican cement giant Cemex won a round in federal court this month in its fight against the city of Santa Clarita to operate a quarry in Soledad Canyon.
Wall Street is banking on generating revenue with the money workers place into Health Savings Accounts.
Chris Ohman favors HSAs, and Jerry Flanagan is a critic of the plans. They debate their views.
Developer M. David Paul & Associates Inc. has put a 1.4-million-square-foot portfolio of Burbank office buildings on the market that could fetch upwards of $600 million.
Whether property rights advocates are forced to pursue the initiative route is dependent on the willingness of the Legislature and municipal interests to accept meaningful reform.
The prevailing image of the high-powered female litigator often has her giving up on family for a dream job.
Wall Street analysts have been dinging LTC Properties, a Westlake Village-based real estate investment trust, for having a share price that's already overvalued.
Women's clothier BCBG has picked up another store chain by besting rival Wet Seal Inc. in a bankruptcy auction.
It's not Marvin Gaye and the Temptations: Two Korean radio stations are carving out their niche on the dial with a different sort of Seoul sound.
Santa Monica developer M. David Paul & Associates Inc. has put a 1.4-million-square-foot portfolio of Burbank office buildings on the market that could fetch upwards of $600 million.
SBE Entertainment, attempting to weave together a network of restaurants, clubs and hotels in L.A., has encountered fierce resistance to its Hollywood nightclub.
The Cheesecake Factory is launching a new line in its casual dining concepts, this one featuring Asian cuisine.
For local ex-politicos these days, the hottest landing spots are at the city's top law firms.
What happened to the networks? Why do they seem stuck in this slow, downward spiral?
Linda Livingstone, one of the rare woman deans of a major business school, has brought new programs to Pepperdine's Graziadio.
The founders of Mathnasium started with a storefront location in Westwood and now lead a growing franchise of math tutoring centers.
If you're a magazine publisher trying to reach 18- to 25-year-old females, who better to enlist than a group of 18- to 25-year-olds?
The past year dealt WPT Enterprises a tough hand, but the pioneering TV poker company is holding a couple of strong pocket cards.
A study shows the downtown construction boom should generate a total of 174,000 jobs and $25.9 billion in direct economic impact.
Friday, February 17
Gas prices in L.A. slipped on Friday from last week, giving motorists some relief from a trend of higher prices that lasted six consecutive weeks, said the Automobile Club of Southern California.
Bell Industries Inc. makes another appeal to Coast Distribution System Inc.'s board, expressing its desire to enter into good-faith negotiations to buy the company, and other briefs about L.A. businesses.
RadioShack Corp.'s fourth-quarter earnings dropped 62 percent and it plans to close 400 to 700 underperforming stores and distribution centers as part of a plan to improve its financial performance.
Consumer sentiment showed surprising weakness in early February on lower stock prices and a rebound in gasoline prices, a report showed on Friday.
Stocks slipped on Friday as weakening consumer confidence and a rise in wholesale prices prompted investors to take profits.
Northrop Grumman Corp., the world's largest shipbuilder, on Friday announced that Chief Executive Ronald Sugar will be paid $1.45 million in salary this year.
The Cheesecake Factory is aiming to capitalize on Americans' swelling appetites for imported flavors by launching a new line of Asian restaurants.
Delphi Corp. said it would delay filing court papers to void its labor contracts and to cut retiree benefits, citing progress in talks with unions and General Motors Corp.
Prices at the wholesale level rose moderately in January as a big drop in gasoline costs helped to offset price increases in other areas.
Mall operator Westfield Group will pick up three Los Angeles County department stores from Federated Department Stores Inc. as part of a 15-store deal.
Thursday, February 16
MySpace.com has established an exclusive partnership with mobile phone venture Helio to offer features of its social-networking Web site on Helio's service and cell phones set to launch this spring.
Jakks Pacific Inc. is sued for copyright infringement by Toronto-based toymaker Spin Master Ltd., Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa names his Homeland Security Advisors, and other briefs about L.A. companies.
Downtown has 154 projects costing $12.2 billion either recently completed, under way or in the planning stages, according to a study released Thursday by the Downtown Center Business Improvement District.
Stocks rose Thursday, buoyed by Hewlett-Packard Co.'s earnings, a surprising jump in home construction and more positive comments from the Fed.
DaimlerChrysler AG reported an annual and a fourth-quarter profit on improved results from its commercial vehicles unit and strong earnings at its Chrysler unit.
Ho Yang, the president and chief executive of Nara Bancorp Inc., resigned unexpectedly, the second management shake-up at the Korean-American bank in the past year.
Construction of new homes and apartments, defying forecasts of a housing slowdown, shot up in January at the fastest pace in more than three decades.
XM Satellite Radio Holdings Inc. posted a wider fourth-quarter loss, hurt by higher programing and marketing costs even as revenue more than doubled.
Reliance Steel & Aluminum Co., Guess Inc. and Youbet.com Inc. were among the companies that reported earnings Thursday.
Target Corp., helped by store expansion and improved sales at existing locations, reported a 14 percent rise in profits in the fourth-quarter.
Wednesday, February 15
DaVita Inc., Guitar Center Inc., Digital Insight Corp. and MRV Communications Inc. were among the companies that reported earnings Wednesday.
Guess Inc. said it was notified by the SEC that its chief operating officer may face civil charges for violating securities laws while working at his previous company, and other briefs about L.A. companies.
Prominent Hollywood lawyer Terry Christensen on Wednesday has become the first attorney to be indicted in association with former private detective Anthony Pellicano on charges including wiretapping and conspiracy.
A record plunge in output at the nation's utilities due to unusually warm weather in January led to a small decline in industrial production in January.
BlackRock Inc. is gaining control of the asset management arm of Merrill Lynch & Co. in a deal that creates a major money manager with $1 trillion in assets.
Stocks rose modestly Wednesday after investors hung on every word of new Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's testimony before Congress.
The price of oil fell by almost $2 a barrel after OPEC warned of weakening energy demand and the government confirmed domestic supplies of oil and gas are rising.
January home sales in Los Angeles plunged 11.4 percent from a year earlier and 23.6 percent from December, as many potential buyers decided to sit out the real estate market's off- season.
Platinum Equity announced plans to purchase PNA Group Inc., a steel products processor and distributor with annual revenue of $1.2 billion, from German travel and tourism giant TUI AG.
Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke said the U.S. economy was running so close to capacity that it faced heightened risks of an outbreak in inflation that could require higher interest rates to tame.
Tuesday, February 14
KB Home said the number of canceled home orders rose in the first two months of the year while net orders for new homes fell, which could force the company to adjust revenue projections if it continues.
After a lengthy search, the board of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California on Tuesday named the agency's own general counsel, Jeff Kightlinger, as its 13th general manager.
A drop in oil prices below $60 a barrel sent stocks soaring Tuesday, carrying the Dow 136 points higher and past 11,000 for the first time in a month.
Activision Inc. said it will cut more than 6 percent of its global work force amid struggles to weather a rocky transition to new video-game technology.
Boeing Co. on Tuesday said it may produce Air Force tankers in Long Beach, a move that could keep the factory there open past 2008, when the last C-17 cargo plane will be built, Bloomberg News reported.
Consumers boosted retail sales by a much larger than expected amount in January with sales outside of autos surging at the fastest pace in six years.
Oil prices sank below $60 a barrel Tuesday, and gasoline futures fell to their lowest price in almost a year as traders turned their attention to rising supplies.
Walt Disney Co.'s short-lived on-demand movie service, MovieBeam, relaunched Tuesday as an independent company, flush with $48.5 million in private equity investment.
Marsh & McLennan Companies Inc. reported profits of $35 million in the fourth quarter, an improvement from the year-earlier loss but below expectations.
Billionaire investor Warren Buffett will step down as a director of Coca-Cola Co. this year after 17 years on the board, the world's largest soft-drink maker said.
Macerich Co., Jakks Pacific Inc., Smart & Final Inc., Warner Music Group Inc. and Prospect Medical Holdings Inc. were among the companies that reported earnings Tuesday.
Monday, February 13
Churches, temples and mosques are buying up old supermarkets, theaters and strip malls but only a few banks specialize in such lending.
Agilent Technologies Inc. said its first-quarter profit ballooned, lifted by the sale of its semiconductor products business and its stake in Lumileds.
People across L.A. tell us how they do what they do.
Occupancy rates and room prices at Los Angeles hotels have soared to pre-9/11 levels.
The average price of a gallon of self-serve regular gasoline in the Los Angeles area fell slightly following two weeks of increases, slipping 2 cents to $2.550 for the week ended Feb. 13.
As film studios increasingly depend on overseas box office to meet profit expectations, public relations firm Rogers & Cowan has decided to open a UK film division.
Yash Gupta, departing dean of USC's Marshall School of Business, didn't seem to settle into life in L.A., and may be a victim of lower B-school ratings.
Elise Wetzel brought the franchising savvy she developed through her husband Rick's pretzel venture to the iSold It chain.
Tourism, construction, commercial aerospace manufacturing and business services are expected to lead job creation in Los Angeles.
Los Angeles County home values shed nearly six months worth of appreciation in January as the market continued a slide that shows no sign of ending soon.
Shares of BlackRock Inc. shot higher on Monday amid speculation the money management firm was involved in a deal with Merrill Lynch & Co.
If changes in regulations go forward, corporate logos and product placements could adorn stamps by mid-year. Stamps.com is generating some excitement.
For all the frothy blather about a housing bubble, it's hard to see where one really exists.
Hotel owners are gearing up for battle as they prepare to counter union efforts to organize workers at hotels near Los Angeles Airport.
CytRx Corp. is a biopharmaceutical company with an intriguing product pipeline that several years ago would have boosted its stock above its current $1.15 or so a share.
Oil futures fell and analysts said retail gas prices could soon dip below $2 a gallon in some parts of the country. But traders warned of an upturn in prices come spring.
A. Jerrold Perenchio's pending sale of Univision comes as the future of Spanish-language broadcasting in the U.S. is in question.
Not much snickering can be heard in Westwood over the upheaval at rival USC the Anderson School went through a rough patch of its own before the selection of July Olian.
Soaring property values mean that office tenants face tax hikes after their buildings have been sold.
Details about a terrorist plot to fly a jetliner into L.A.'s U.S. Bank Tower rattled nerves of some tenants, but downtown boosters said the news won't have a lasting impact.
The Grammy Awards may have drawn the most media attention, but the hottest ticket of the week was the MusiCares fundraising gala at the L.A. Convention Center.
Bob Spivak is stepping down from the helm of Grill Concepts Inc. after more than 20 years as chief executive.
Mercury General Corp., Learning Tree International Inc., WPT Enterprises Inc., DTS Inc. and Electronic Clearing House Inc. were among the companies that reported earnings Monday.
Executive Expression offers programs for smoothing out the accents of foreign executives.
Napster Inc. on Monday launched its mobile phone offering, Napster Mobile, with Ericsson. The service is available in markets in Europe, North America and Asia through agreements with local carriers.
Kayo's specialization in analysis of sales data provided by Wal-Mart has allowed the chain to go beyond meeting consumer demand to anticipating it.
Walt Disney Co.'s short-lived on-demand movie service, MovieBeam, is flickering back to life.
After years of life in a variety of places, Hana Hoffmann says she's settling down in L.A. with a job as senior manager in the assurance practice for Grant Thornton LLP.
The makers of the movie "Monster" allege they were shortchanged over Blockbuster rentals.
While much of the focus in the sensational Anthony Pellicano case centers on celebrities, the list of business figures allegedly targeted is also raising eyebrows.
The recent string of Metrolink commuter accidents has helped midwife Los Angeles' newest tort boutique.
Youbet.com completes its acquisition of privately held United Tote, Jamdat Mobile shareholders approve its $680 million sale to Electronic Arts, and other briefs about L.A. companies.
Select Resources helped City National executives pick the agency that will lead the campaign to communicate the bank's changing image.
Roche Holding AG said Monday it has stopped recruiting patients to test its cancer drug Avastin in late-stage clinical trials after the deaths of four patients.
Short takes on companies in and around Los Angeles.
Left Behind hopes to find success where major companies don't dare tread: in the realm of angels, the Apocalypse and other Christian themes.
The owner of shoe retailer FrontRunners Inc. has plans to open two to four more New Balance locations in the county.
Stocks ended lower Monday as a lack of economic news returned investors' focus to interest rates and inflation ahead of comments from the new Fed chairman later in the week.
Avery Dennison Corp. introduced its Generation 2 RFID inlays, which it says are finally at a price and quality that will bring them into mainstream use.
The military budget set to go before Congress could benefit L.A. companies because it shows a continuing shift toward a surgical strike model geared to fight terrorism.
Friday, February 10
The U.S. trade gap widened in December to the third-highest level on record and pushed the annual deficit to a record $725.8 billion, up 17.5 percent from 2004.
Consumers' confidence in the economy and their financial fortunes climbed to a 16-month high as better prospects for jobs and wages lifted people's spirits.
Crude futures dipped on reports of falling demand and bulging supplies, though oil prices hovered near $62 a barrel amid concerns about unrest in producing nations.
BP plc and Edison International subsidiary Edison Mission Group on Friday announced plans to build a $1 billion, 500-megawatt hydrogen-fueled power plant in Carson.
MGA Entertainment Inc., the maker of trendy Bratz dolls and a thorn in the side of Mattel Inc.'s Barbie empire, could go public as early as this year, according to a Bloomberg News report.
Stocks rebounded from an earlier decline to post gains Friday as investors looked past a mediocre outlook from Pfizer Inc. and a new record trade deficit.
Volkswagen may cut up to 20,000 jobs in the next three years in a sweeping restructuring program that could also lead to a reduction in production capacity.
Skechers USA Inc. on Friday raised its fourth-quarter profit and revenue outlook, citing better-than-expected sales growth.
Gas prices in L.A. inched up after soaring last week to mark the sixth week of increases, but they are expected to climb again at the end of February, said the Automobile Club of Southern California.
Thursday, February 9
Research In Motion unveiled a plan that it says will let its BlackBerry e-mail device work even if it loses a patent dispute, and said the workaround will prevent a shutdown of U.S. service.
Market momentum sagged after investor enthusiasm over a six-year low in unemployment claims and strong corporate earnings waned due to economic worries.
American International Group Inc. agreed to pay more than $1.6 billion to settle charges it used deceptive accounting practices to mislead investors and regulators.
Countrywide Financial Corp. said Wednesday that its mortgage volume rose 16 percent in January to $33 billion from a year earlier despite concerns of a downturn in the red-hot housing market.
Lions Gate Entertainment Corp., K-Swiss Inc., OSI Systems Inc., Image Entertainment Inc., United Online Inc., Alexandria Real Estate Equities Inc. and Farmer Brothers Co. were among the companies that reported earnings Thursday.
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa on Thursday overhauled the city's transportation commission, naming a diverse group to the 7-member board, including the daughter of a rival in last year's mayoral campaign.
The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits edged up slightly last week but remained at a level indicating a strong labor market.
The number of people who could afford median-priced homes in L.A. fell in December from a year prior but gained one percentage point from November, the California Association of Realtors said.
Barry Munitz, the embattled president and chief executive of the J. Paul Getty Trust resigned his post late Thursday, effective immediately in the wake of scandals at one of the world's richest art museums.
Inventories at wholesalers rose in December as automotive stocks rose and inventories of non-durable goods posted the largest monthly gain in five years.
Wednesday, February 8
CKE Restaurants says its January same-store sales rose 9.1 percent, Canon Communications' Chief Executive William Cobert will be stepping down, and other briefs about L.A. companies.
Napster Inc., Stamps.com Inc. and Earle M. Jorgensen Co. were among the companies that reported earnings Wednesday.
DirecTV Group Inc. on Wednesday swung to a fourth-quarter profit versus a year-ago loss, as subscriber growth and customer turnover rate improved.
GlaxoSmithKline Plc beat forecasts for 2005 profit and predicted earnings growth of about 10 percent this year, with momentum building in its pipeline of new drugs.
Nortel Networks Corp. reached a tentative agreement to pay $2.47 billion to settle two shareholder class-action lawsuits over the company's accounting scandal.
A drop in oil prices and strong earnings at PepsiCo Inc. and Cisco Systems Inc. sent stocks higher Wednesday, with the Dow surging more than 100 points.
Univision Communications Inc. on Wednesday confirmed it is mulling putting itself up for sale, in an auction worth nearly $10 billion that could have the country's media giants vying for a slice of the lucrative U.S. Hispanic market.
PepsiCo Inc. said earnings rose 13 percent as it benefited from an extra selling week and sales growth across its Frito-Lay, Quaker Foods and beverage operations.
Employers in L.A. will add 38,000 jobs to their payrolls in 2006, led by growth in aerospace, high technology, international trade and tourism representing a sluggish job growth rate of under 1 percent.
Tuesday, February 7
Van Nuys-based Easton Sports Inc and Riddell Bell Holdings on Tuesday announced an agreement to merge into a combined sports equipment company called Easton-Bell Sports Inc.
WPT Enterprises Inc. on Tuesday said it hired financial adviser Thomas Weisel Partners LLC to assist in exploring growth alternatives, including the sale or merger of its business.
Declining oil prices and weakness in other commodities sent stocks lower, as investors took profits and beat up the stocks that led Wall Street's early January rally.
Crude oil prices fell Tuesday as traders' fears eased over possible disruptions to the Iranian oil supply linked to its nuclear ambitions.
Toll Brothers Inc. slashed its forecast for home sales for the second time in three months, as first-quarter new orders fell 29 percent on slumping demand.
The Coca-Cola Co. reported Tuesday a 28 percent drop in fourth-quarter profit, but beat expectations when certain one-time items are excluded.
Computer Sciences Corp. on Tuesday said third-quarter earnings rose 29 percent on higher revenue from its federal government and U.S. commercial operations.
Cheesecake Factory Inc., Maguire Properties Inc., LTC Properties Inc. and Sport Chalet Inc. were among the companies that reported earnings Tuesday.
Occidental Petroleum Corp. said its fourth-quarter profit soared 55 percent, fueled by higher oil and gas prices and gains in production.
General Motors Corp. halved its dividend and slashed executive pay, cutting costs and seeking leverage for long-term changes in its labor contracts.
The former chief financial officer of Gemstar-TV Guide International Inc. agreed to pay nearly $1.4 million to settle SEC charges she participated in a scheme to defraud investors by inflating Gemstar's revenues.
Monday, February 6
The NFL's decision to televise games on its NFL Network is a boon to the Culver City-based TV studio.
Rob York began the New Year with a new adventure: the founding of his own retail and mixed-use development consulting firm, York Consulting Group LLC.
Chuck Champion, chief executive of Youbet.com Inc. wants to steer young online bettors toward the horse-racing track.
Toymakers are being pressured by the popularity of electronic products and retail consolidation, so the new owners of Imperial Toy Corp. know they'll have to make some changes.
Continuing its exodus from Westwood, the Mann Theater chain will not renew its lease on the landmark National Theatre when it runs out in August.
Audio houses are coming back from the setbacks of the recent do-it-yourself trend now that the widespread popularity of high-tech home theaters has raised the standards for sound.
The Los Angeles-based producer of the World Poker Tour and the eponymous TV show has been dogged by poor earnings and is in the shadow of an SEC investigation.
Kashwere couldn't keep up when Oprah Winfrey selected its robes as one of her choice products. Orders came in so fast it was like going to war, the company's owner said.
A smackdown has become more likely than a settlement in a long-running licensing tussle between video game publisher THQ Inc. and World Wrestling Entertainment Inc.
The Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce's inaugural dinner not only drew a larger crowd than the Golden Globes, it may have packed more star power.
Short takes on companies in and around Los Angeles.
Remo is taking a different approach to percussion and marketing: getting drummers together in circles. And it's not just for hippies.
Opponents of workers' comp reform are mounting a battle that could lead to a rollback of changes implemented after Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger took office.
Readers of the L.A. Spanish-language newspaper Hoy will get something extra in their weekend edition next month a new monthly sports magazine under a Fox Sports label.
Could a 100-foot robotic arm be the answer to the seemingly intractable pollution problem at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach? Ruben Garcia thinks so.
With a natural showcase of the Turin Olympics, Speedo is pushing its ice-wear in a drive to show it's not just a bathing suit company.
Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. aims to focus on capitalizing on its film library through distribution, particularly with its partner Showtime and the launch of a TV channel.
The Walt Disney Co. on Monday posted higher net income, reporting higher ad revenue at its media networks, increased attendance at its theme parks and improved sales in its consumer products unit.
Lafarge plans a $3 billion cash offer to buy the 46.8 percent it does not own in Lafarge North America Inc. to streamline its operations and enhance earnings.
There was a 33 percent increase in women-owned businesses in Los Angeles from 1997 to 2002.
Day-labor worker centers deserve our support, not the unfair and emotionally laden criticism of the minutemen and other vigilante groups.
Talbots Inc. agreed to buy J. Jill Group Inc. for about $517 million, trumping a bid by Liz Claiborne Inc., in a deal that creates the largest U.S. retailer catering to women over age 35.
Radlink has overcome resistance of doctors and hospitals to turn digital X-ray technology into a viable product.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's proposed $220 billion bond referendum earmarks $1.2 billion for courthouse overhauls, and Huntington Park and Long Beach are relatively high on the list.
Vivendi Universal SA agreed to pay $1.15 billion to Japan's Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. for full ownership of Universal Music Group and a bigger stake in NBC.
The average price of a gallon of self-serve regular gasoline in L.A. jumped for the second consecutive week after a slight dip the week before, rising 3.4 cents to $2.570 for the week ended Feb. 6.
Did the North American Free Trade Agreement result in a big loss of jobs? A new study by the Public Policy Institute of California has the answer: Nope.
Brokerage firms, banks and insurance companies are increasing the ranks of stockbrokers, which swelled 16 percent last year.
Few regions face the future with an asset as large and valuable as L.A.'s emerging Latino majority.
Citadel Broadcasting Corp. agreed to buy the bulk of Walt Disney Co.'s radio assets for about $2.7 billion, the companies said in a statement Monday.
Oil prices slipped when traders took profits after prices surged on fears that Iran might halt oil exports, and after a cold front in the Northeast was milder than expected.
How much is too much of a good thing? Hollywood may find out if residential conversion of office buildings makes a major change in the economic landscape.
Stocks ended a listless session little changed Monday as cautious investors found few reasons to put money into the market.
Christopher Thornberg left the world of academia to serve as senior economist at the Anderson Forecast.
People across L.A. tell us how they do what they do.
The site of a future large Warner Center residential complex has traded hands for close to $60 million.
Nissan Motor Co.'s North American unit will drop comprehensive health-care coverage for retired manufacturing workers age 65 and older, and other briefs about L.A. companies.
Activision Inc., MannKind Corp., Ixia, J2 Global Communications Inc. and Diodes Inc. were among the companies that reported earnings Monday.
Melt-in-your-mouth cough strips might make some money for the backers of InnoZen.
When Reliance Steel and Aluminum Co. agreed to purchase Earle M. Jorgensen Co. last month, it marked another consolidation in the industry.
Jeff Zucker, who was named the new chief executive of NBC Universal on Tuesday, has completed one of the most spectacular ascents of any recent media executive. Now for the hard part.
Toshiba Corp. said it was buying Westinghouse Electric Co., the U.S.-based unit of the British government's British Nuclear Fuels PLC, for $5.4 billion.
Friday, February 3
L.A. motorists endured a fifth week of increases at the pump as speculators bid up gasoline prices on the expectation they will be higher this spring, said the Automobile Club of Southern California.
The sizzling rate at which Hollywood office buildings are being converted into expensive residences is getting too fast for the city of Los Angeles and members of the local business community.
Falling consumer confidence and a smaller-than-expected rise in new jobs sent stocks lower for a second session Friday.
The pace of growth in the U.S. service sector slowed more than expected in January and new orders fell, as rising interest rates and elevated oil prices took their toll.
Consumers were not as upbeat in January as they were at the end of 2005 as higher oil prices offset the positive impact of a strong stock market and job market.
Maytag Corp., which has agreed to be acquired by rival Whirlpool Corp., on Friday reported a wider quarterly loss on weak demand for its Hoover vacuums.
America's factories saw orders rise by 1.1 in December, a good sign that manufacturing was humming along heading into the new year.
THQ Inc. reports third-quarter earnings, Paramount Pictures buys Kadokawa Holdings' stake in DreamWorks SKG, and Countrywide Financial Corp plans to sell five-year bonds in pounds.
Employers stepped up hiring in January, boosting payrolls by 193,000 and lowering the unemployment rate to 4.7 percent, the lowest since July 2001.
Thursday, February 2
The efficiency of U.S. workers rose in 2005 at the slowest pace since 2001 while a key gauge of wage pressures rose at the fastest pace in five years.
Ending its 15-year investment in Hollywood, Japan's Matsushita Electric sold its remaining 7.66 percent stake in Universal Studios Holding to Vivendi Universal in a deal worth $1.15 billion.
Prominent Los Angeles trial attorney Pierce O'Donnell pleaded no contest Thursday to charges that he laundered political contributions to former Los Angeles Mayor James Hahn.
Yash Gupta, the dean of the University of Southern California's Marshall School of Business on Thursday, resigned abruptly from his post after just 18 months.
Mattel Inc. on Thursday said it expects to cut over 200 positions nearly four months after merging its Mattel and Fisher-Price brands into one division called "Mattel Brands."
Three former executives at Berkshire Hathaway's General Re insurance unit and a former American International Group executive have been indicted by a federal grand jury on fraud charges.
Consumers armed with gift cards returned to stores in January, buying clearance and spring merchandise and giving many retailers a sales boost.
LAX has been awarded $56.5 million in federal grants to help pay to relocate one of the runways and soundproof neighboring homes, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta said Thursday.
The SEC filed an action in federal court to enforce subpoenas issued to a man who ran Doyle Brunson's Web site, where the professional poker player posted his $700 million bid for WPT Enterprises.
Investors concerned about inflation after a surprise jump in labor costs sent stocks lower Thursday. The decline came despite a drop in oil prices and positive employment news.
The L.A. Department of Transportation is sitting on at least $5.4 million in traffic mitigation funds collected from developers and another $7.8 million in parking revenues, said L.A. City Controller Laura Chick.
California Pizza Kitchen Inc., Pacific Energy Partners LP, Center Financial Corp., Magnetek Inc. and Qualstar Corp. were among the companies that reported earnings Thursday.
General Motors Corp. said on Thursday it would outsource up to $15 billion of information technology work as it tries to cut costs and restructure operations.
Wednesday, February 1
Hager Pacific Properties has sold the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza for about $136 million to Capri Capital Advisors LLC, a minority-owned firm that invests in African-American and Hispanic areas.
DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. said Wednesday it will start operating under its new seven-year distribution deal with Paramount Pictures beginning with its film, "Over the Hedge," to be released in May.
Construction spending climbed to an all-time high in December, helping to push building for all of 2005 to a record as well.
Boeing Co. reported that earnings more than doubled, topping expectations, and the aerospace company raised its profit outlook for 2006.
Burger King's parent company said it plans to sell shares to the public for the first time in the fast-food chain's 52-year history to recoup ground lost in fierce competition with its rivals.
Time Warner Inc. on Wednesday said fourth-quarter profit rose more than 20 percent on strong growth in advanced cable services and feature films. It also gave an earnings outlook in line with expectations.
CB Richard Ellis Group Inc., Health Net Inc., Nara Bancorp Inc. and Zenith National Insurance Corp. were among the companies that reported earnings Wednesday.
Superior Industries International Inc. said on Wednesday it is restructuring its Van Nuys manufacturing facility and will lay off more than half of its 635 manufacturing employees.
The Tribune Co., parent of the L.A. Times, said Wednesday that quarterly profit fell 38 percent, hurt by declines in ad revenue and circulation, as well as costs associated with staff cuts at the Times.
Stocks rose Wednesday after oil futures fell by more than $1 a barrel and Dow Jones Industrial Boeing Co. said its earnings had more than doubled.
Manufacturing activity grew at a slower pace in January than in the previous month, according to report Wednesday by a private research group.