THURSDAY

Chatsworth-based Iris International Inc. , a manufacturer and marketer of automated IVD urinalysis systems, said Thursday that it entered into a contract with the Mayo Foundation for the company's full line of products. Under terms of the four-year contract, which carries a one-year extension option, Mayo Clinic will utilize iQ200 Systems and iQ Body Fluids Modules, consumable products, reagents and service agreements at its outpatient and inpatient facilities in Rochester, Minnesota; Jacksonville, Florida; and Scottsdale and Phoenix, Arizona. Mayo provides clinical care to more than half a million people each year.

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Calabasas-based homebuilder Ryland Group Inc. said on Wednesday that that it sold $250 million of 6.875 percent senior notes due 2013 pursuant to a shelf registration statement on file with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The offering was led by Citigroup Global Markets Inc. and UBS Securities LLC as joint book-runners. Moody's Investors Service assigned a Baa3 rating to the issue, and affirmed Ryland's senior unsecured rating of Baa3 and senior subordinated debt rating of Ba2. The ratings outlook is stable.

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Los Angeles-based National Lampoon Inc. and New York-based Ckrush Inc. on Thursday announced a media alliance to capitalize on new cross-platform entertainment for the highly profitable teen market. Under terms of the agreement, National Lampoon and Ckrush a producer and distributor of digital entertainment content, feature films and sports programming, will co-develop and distribute high-demand youth-oriented film titles through next-generation and traditional media platforms including home entertainment, pay-per-view, video-on-demand, digital downloads, pay cable, TV, and other channels of distribution.

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Pasadena-based Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. on Wednesday announced four contracts. In the first, a subsidiary company received a contract from the Virginia Department of Transportation, Richmond District, to perform construction engineering and inspection services. Officials did not disclose the value of this contract.

A subsidiary company will provide a range of professional services in a multidisciplinary framework contract from the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham Council in England. The contract, which began in April 2006, is for an initial term of four years. The Council is responsible for providing new schools, libraries, road maintenance, bridges, landscaping, lighting, signage, and drainage A Canadian subsidiary company received a contract to provide direct hire construction services at Suncor's oil sands facility in Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada. Officials did not disclose the value of the piping completion project, but the scope of work encompasses approximately 750,000 hours of field labor.

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Westlake Village-based semiconductor maker Diodes Inc. said Thursday that for the second time the company has been named among "The 100 Hot Growth Companies" in BusinessWeek magazine, scoring 52nd in the overall ranking in the June 2006 issue.

Companies on the list have revenues between $50 million and $1.5 billion, market capitalizations of $25 million or greater and prices of at least $5 per share. In addition, share prices for these companies must have appreciated 5 percent or more over the last 12 months in order to qualify for the list. Companies meeting these criteria were then ranked based on sales growth, earnings growth and return on capital over the last three years. Diodes performance in these three areas was average annual sales growth of 24.1 percent, average annual earnings growth of 85.4 percent and return on capital of 15.6 percent over the past three years.

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Pasadena-based Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. on Wednesday announced four contracts. A subsidiary company received a contract from the Virginia Department of Transportation, Richmond District, to perform construction engineering and inspection services. Officials did not disclose the value of this contract. A subsidiary company will provide a range of professional services in a multidisciplinary framework contract from the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham Council in England. The contract, which began in April 2006, is for an initial term of four years. The Council is responsible for providing new schools, libraries, road maintenance, bridges, landscaping, lighting, signage, and drainage. A Canadian subsidiary company received a contract to provide direct hire construction services at Suncor's oil sands facility in Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada. Officials did not disclose the value of the piping completion project, but
the scope of work encompasses approximately 750,000 hours of field labor.

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Wall Street Round-Up: Reliance Steel & Aluminum Co. has been added to the S & P; MidCap 400 GICS Steel Sub-Industry index. Molina Healthcare Inc. was rated "sector perform'' in new coverage by analyst James Naklicki at CIBC World Markets, with a price target is $37 per share. DTS Inc. was rated "buy'' in new coverage by analyst Barbara Coffey at Kaufman Bros., with a price target of $25 per share. Guess? Inc. was raised to "strong buy'' from "accumulate'' by analyst Eric Beder at Brean Murray Carret & Co., with a price target of $53 per share. DirecTV Group Inc. was downgraded to "neutral'' from "buy'' by analyst Thomas Eagan at Oppenheimer & Co., with a price target of $19 per share. THQ Inc. rated "buy'' in new coverage on Wednesday by analyst Colin Sebastian at Lazard Capital Markets, with a price target of $30 per share. Edison International was rated "in-line/cautious'' on Wednesday in new coverage by analyst Michael J Lapides at Goldman Sachs & Co.


TUESDAY

Los Angeles-based Gemstar-TV Guide International Inc. said its TV Guide SPOT video-on-demand service has reached approximately 20 million subscribers nationwide since its launch one year ago.


In addition to existing cable operator relationships with Comcast, Time Warner, Bright House and Insight Communication, the service launched this week with Adelphia and Cox Communications. It has also recently signed new distribution deals with Cablevision Systems and Charter Communications. Cheez-It brand, the advertising launch partner of TV Guide SPOT, has re-signed with the VOD network to execute a programming integration sponsorship of the weekly and daily editions of Watch This! In addition, Cingular also joins the network's line-up of promotional partners in a product integration sponsorship of TV Guide SPOT's music show, mVids.


"Our success in attracting both distribution partners and blue chip advertisers validates TV Guide SPOT's programming strategy, and also indicates that the VOD platform is gaining traction with viewers," said Dmitri Ponomarev, vice president, TV Guide SPOT. The VOD network has dedicated approximately 75 percent of its programming to original shows created specifically for on-demand viewers, as opposed to repurposed content.

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Gambro AB , the world's largest dialysis products producer, may lose an important supply agreement with El Segundo-based dialysis service provider DaVita Inc. because of a U.S. ban on imports of Gambro's dialysis monitors.


Stockholm-based Gambro, whose shareholders are considering a $5.4 billion bid (39.2 billion kronor) from Sweden's billionaire Wallenberg family, said it has 90 days to fix issues raised by DaVita, which said it had notified Gambro on May 29 that it was terminating the agreement. The supply agreement with DaVita was part of Gambro's 2004 sale of its U.S. kidney dialysis clinics to DaVita for $3.1 billion. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration last January banned imports of three Gambro dialysis monitors after the agency found manufacturing flaws at a Gambro plant in Italy.


Gambro said in a statement that it does not believe the company's performance to date has in any way resulted in a breach in the agreement with DaVita. "We view our relationship as a partnership and it is important to us that our arrangements will be mutually beneficial," said Chief Executive S & #246;ren Mellstig. "Gambro is committed to being flexible where possible to address the concerns voiced by DaVita."

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BentleyForbes , a Los Angeles-based commercial real estate investment and operations company, announced its purchase of Prudential Plaza, a landmark Chicago skyscraper campus. The approximately $470 million acquisition is the company's largest single-property acquisition to date and also marks the entry of BentleyForbes into the Chicago market.


The property features two iconic and historically significant office towers, built in 1955 and 1990 respectively, encompassing 2.2 million square feet on approximately 3.3-acres located in Chicago's East Loop submarket adjacent to Millennium Park, the 21st Century cultural heart of the city. BentleyForbes acquired the property from San Francisco-based Shorenstein Properties LLC, a leading sponsor of private real estate investment funds in the United States. The BentleyForbes acquisition team was lead by C. Shane Cates, managing director. The Chicago office of Eastdil Secured brokered the sale transaction, with a team led by Stephen Livaditis, managing director, representing both parties.

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