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The latest in the devolution between Irvine-based

In-N-Out Burgers Inc.

and its ousted executive Richard Boyd is a cross-complaint for wrongful termination, defamation and breech of contract, among other issues, filed Wednesday in Los Angeles Superior Court.


In December, Boyd filed six cases in the Los Angeles Superior Court's civil and probate divisions related to three Snyder family trusts. He is co-trustee on several family trusts held for In-N-Out matriarch Esther Snyder's sole heir, 23-year-old Lynsi Martinez. Boyd claimed that Martinez was trying to oust him and speed her own succession. In-N-Out countered by first suing Boyd for fraud and then terminating him as part of a monthly board meeting in late January, from which he said he was excluded.


- DirecTV Group Inc. said it expects to have 18 million subscribers by the end of 2008, an increase of about 3 million from the 15.1 million it reported at the end of 2005. Chief Executive Chase Carey told analysts at a conference in New York that the El Segundo-based company is in line for "profitable growth" through 2006 and that he expects cash flow of $3 billion by 2008. Carey also said DirecTV's average revenue per user is growing at about 5 percent per year and forecast it would hit $81 in 2008, from $70 in the most recent quarter.


- KB Home expanded its agreement with Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc. to design and create more Martha Stewart-inspired neighborhoods in communities around the country. In October, Stewart and KB Home struck a deal to extend her housewares brand into the houses themselves, with the first 650 model homes in Cary, N.C., set to open on March 12. The second community is due to open in Atlanta in late spring 2006. Additional developments are planned for Houston; Charlotte, N.C.; Las Vegas; Southern California; and Orlando and Daytona Beach, Fla. In total, the number of lots to be developed in these markets is more than 1,800, with the communities expected to open within the year.


The contract also calls for Stewart to create a line of interior and exterior home products, called Martha's Choices, which will be available by spring 2007 exclusively to KB Home buyers.


- Standard & Poor's Ratings Services cut its ratings outlook on Activision Inc. to negative from stable, reflecting profitability challenges associated with the video game console transition and the underperformance of two key titles "True Crime: New York City" and "GUN" over the holiday season. At the same time, S & P; affirmed its "BB-" corporate credit rating on the company.


S & P; said the demand for current-generation console titles was weak in the Santa Monica-based video game publisher's third quarter as consumers continued to wait for next-generation consoles to become available before making significant purchases of new titles. Heightened competitive pressure also drove down the price of many top-selling games to $39.99 from $49.99. Activision is likely to resume its revenue and profit growth in 2007, when new consoles will be available and in sufficient quantity, S & P; said.

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