Stories for July 2008

Thursday, July 31

IndyMac Lays Off 110

IndyMac Federal Bank, which was seized July 11 by federal regulators, said Thursday that it has laid off about 110 employees.

Dodgers Land Manny Ramirez

Major League Baseball slugger Manny Ramirez has been traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers today in a three-team deal with the Boston Red Sox and the Pittsburgh Pirates, according to baseball sources.

Disney Shares Decline on Slow Ad Spending

A day after posting strong second quarter earnings, shares in Walt Disney Co. lost nearly 5 percent after the entertainment company said ad sales have slowed in recent weeks.

Head of Hollywood Crews Union Expected to Resign

Thomas C. Short, the controversial head of the union representing Hollywood's film and TV crews, is expected to resign as early as today.

FDA Puts New Restrictions on Amgen's Aranesp

Aranesp, biotech giant Amgen Inc.'s once-highflying anemia drug, took another hit Wednesday when the Food and Drug Administration ordered new restrictions on the way physicians prescribe it to cancer patients.

Tetra Tech Surges on Strong Q3

Tetra Tech Inc. posted strong third quarter earnings Thursday, beating Wall Street estimates and sending shares up more than 13 percent.

California Pizza Kitchen Shares Dip on Downgrade

Shares in gourmet pizza chain California Pizza Kitchen Inc. fell nearly 10 percent early Thursday after an analyst downgraded shares in the company, saying lower consumer spending and higher costs could present a problem.

Wednesday, July 30

Disney Posts Strong Quarter on Theme Parks, Retail Revenues

Walt Disney Co. said Wednesday that third-quarter profit rose 9 percent as traffic at its theme parks as well as increased ad revenues from its ESPN network helped the company weather the tough U.S. economy.

Shares in Chad Therapeutics Jump on FDA Device Approval

Shares in medical device maker Chad Therapeutics Inc. soared more than 60 percent Wednesday after the Chatsworth company said it received clearance from the FDA to market its proprietary sleep disorder diagnostic system.

MGA Seeks Mistrial Ruling

MGA Entertainment Inc. filed a request in Riverside federal court Tuesday, asking a judge to grant its request for a mistrial in the company's legal battle with Mattel Inc. over the popular Bratz dolls.

DreamWorks Q2 Beats Estimates, But Shares Drop on Downgrade

After posting disappointing second quarter earnings, shares in DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. dropped big Wednesday morning.

Tribune Picks Brokers to Sell Newspaper Buildings

Two New York commercial real estate brokerages have been selected by Tribune Co. to market the Los Angeles Times' main office downtown and Tribune Tower in Chicago to potential buyers, the company said Tuesday.

CBRE Shares Socked By Poor Q2

Shares in the world's largest real estate broker CB Richard Ellis Group Inc. plunged more than 20 percent early Wednesday after the firm posted disappointing second quarter earning.

THQ Posts Loss, Gloomy Forecast

THQ Inc. on Wednesday reported a wider first-quarter loss as it spent more to develop games. It also lowered its annual guidance.

Tuesday, July 29

Trucking Group Files Lawsuit Against 'Clean Truck' Program

The American Trucking Association on Monday filed a lawsuit against the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach over elements of their controversial truck replacement programs.

Maguire To Add Four to Board

Maguire Properties Inc. said Tuesday that it plans to add four directors to its board in keeping with an agreement with its second-largest shareholder, JMB Capital Partners.

Charges Weigh Down DineEquity Earnings

Shares in DineEquity Inc. dropped 5 percent early Tuesday after the casual dining chain said it swung to a loss in the second quarter due to hefty charges related to buying and franchising the Applebee's chain.

Penalty Set if Grand Ave. Delays Continue

The joint city-county board overseeing the much-delayed, $3-billion Grand Avenue project established financial penalties Monday that the developer must pay if ground isn't broken by February.

Dockworkers, Shippers Reach Tentative Labor Pact

West Coast dockworkers and some of the world's largest shipping lines said Monday that they tentatively agreed to a new six-year contract.

LAX Settles Fee Dispute

Los Angeles airport officials on Tuesday announced that they agreed to cut or delay millions of dollars in fees for foreign airlines flying into Tom Bradley International Terminal at LAX.

Northrop Posts Strong Q2 as Defense Building Stays Strong

Northrop Grumman Corp. posted an 8 percent increase in second-quarter profit as sales jumped 10 percent thanks to strong performance in its shipbuilding sector.

5.4 Earthquake Shakes L.A. Area

A 5.4 magnitude earthquake shook parts of Southern California, reports are priliminary but no major injuries or damage have been reported.

Monday, July 28

Networks in 'Family' Way With New Judge Program

First, there was "Divorce Court," the iconic 1959 black-and-white TV show featuring actors as litigants. Then, in the 1980s, came "The People's Court," which turned the camera on retired judge Joseph Wapner.

Toyota Cuts Sales, Output Targets

Toyota Motor Corp. on Monday trimmed its world-wide annual sales forecast as demand for its trucks and sport-utility vehicles continues to crumble in the U.S.

Maguire Posts Wider Loss

Maguire Properties Inc. reported a greater loss for its second-quarter Monday as the real-estate downturn in Southern California and an impairment charge for the pending sale of a property hurt Downtown's biggest landlord.

Hard Drive

NBC Universal's proposed North Hollywood TV studio has drawn the ire of traffic-wary neighbors.

Street-Level Debacle

South L.A. has been asked to bear the financial and safety burdens of the proposed above-ground Expo Line train, according to Damien Goodmon.

Amgen Shares Jump on Osteoporosis Drug

Shares of Amgen Inc. gained nearly 13 percent on Monday in reaction to strong indications that it will win FDA approval for its osteoporosis drug.

Shoring Up America's Oil

Charles Crumpley says it's time for Californians to rethink their

California's Green Code Builds Bridges to Business

It's not often that business groups applaud California regulators adopting "first in the nation" environmental standards, but that's precisely what happened earlier this month when the California Building Standards Commission adopted the nation's first st

Clothing Campaign Dresses Up as Film Promotion

In Justin Timberlake's latest starring role, he plays a denim-clad rebel from Tennessee who takes his girlfriend Birdie on a Bonnie-and-Clyde-style crime spree.

Grocers Pursue Incentives to Open in South L.A.

Grocery chains are pursuing more city incentives to site stores in South L.A.

Aviation Enthusiast Touches Down in World of Web 2.0

As a child, emerging technology expert Jason Wang literally had high career aspirations.

Homebuilder's Poor Quarter Can't Shake Analysts' Confidence

Analysts see a solid foundation under homebuilder Ryland despite a dismal quarterly report.

Amgen Shares Gain on Better-Than-Expected Q2

Shares in Thousand Oaks-based biotech company Amgen Inc. closed up more than 12 percent Monday after the company reported profit that exceeded Wall Street's expectations.


Business news from around L.A. .County.

NetSol Gains on Robust '09 Outlook

NetSol Technologies Inc. said Monday that it anticipates fiscal 2009 sales to grow as much as 35 percent compared with the previous year, sending shares up more than 10 percent.

Beaming With Pride

El Segundo-based DirecTV hopes to gain ground on cable with the launch of video-on-demand services.

Making Case to End Lawyers' Stranglehold on Legal System

Godfrey Harris makes his case for ending lawyers' longtime stranglehold on the legal world.

Ducommun Posts Strong Q2

Ducommun Inc. said Monday that its second-quarter profit jumped 28 percent thanks to strong product sales.

Working It

Company employees team up to rock out in Fortune Magazine's Battle of the Corporate Bands.

Applebee's Merger Tough to Digest

Did DineEquity put too much on its plate with the struggling Applebee's chain?

L.A. Lawyer Game for Working Beijing Olympics

Kelly Crabb is Beijing-bound, but the Los Angeles entertainment lawyer isn't going on vacation.

Teledyne Shares Dip After Downgrade

Shares in aerospace and energy contractor Teledyne Technologies Inc. were down almost 10 percent on Monday after an analyst downgraded shares in the firm.


Hirings, promotions and kudos

War Games: Army Lures Civilians

In the Tweety Bird section of the parking lot at an amusement park here, visitors are trying a new attraction. They jump into Humvees or Black Hawk helicopters and use fake firearms to hunt down "genocidal indigenous forces." They shoot at huge video scre

Veterans Stay On Course

Wayne Ratkovich, who heads the local real estate developer Ratkovich Co., served in the Army. What's more, James Phelan, the company's chief financial officer, and Ratkovich's son, Milan, who is the company's development manager, both served in the U.S. M

Vegan Writes New Veggie Tale With Delivery Service

Vegin' Out does healthy business delivering and shipping vegan meals to its customers.

LAX's Landing Fee May Take Off

Airlines would pay more to land at Los Angeles International Airport under a proposal set for consideration on Monday.

Performance Academy Acts on Hollywood Site

The American Musical and Dramatic Academy has signed a 12-year lease valued at more than $13 million for an entire 1928 Hollywood apartment building that was recently renovated.

Truckers Shifting Into Legal Gears

The American Trucking Association said it will file suit to stop the ports' truck replacement programs.

Ex-Model, Former Boyfriend Battling for 'Bikini'

Ex-model Victoria Vogel is fighting a former boyfriend in court over copyrights to swimsuit modeling show "Bikini Destinations."

Private Life

Donald Rice, secretary of the Air Force under President George H.W. Bush, currently pilots Santa Monica drug developer Agensys Inc.

Security Company Fighting City Hall

Security firm Wackenhut claims that complaints about its performance are part of a drive to organize its guards.

Friday, July 25

First Regional Shares Plunge on Poor Earnings

Shares in First Regional Bancorp plunged more than 30 percent early Friday after the bank company reported a quarterly loss and said it was forced to set aside $45 million in loan-loss provisions.

Industry Group to File 'Clean Truck' Lawsuit

After months of idle threats, a powerful trucking industry group said it plans to file a lawsuit next week against the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach in an attempt to stop their controversial truck replacement programs.

Reliance Scuttles Stock Offering

Reliance Steel & Aluminum Co. said Friday that it has decided to cancel the offering of 6.75 million shares due to "market conditions."

City National Reports Profit Decline

City National Corp. posted a 40 percent decline in second-quarter profit late Thursday as the bank company set aside $35 million to cover potential losses from loans.

Big Movers

After getting off to a great start (gaining almost 5 percent by mid-week), the Los Angeles Business Journal's index of the 200 largest public companies settled down and finished up 1.6 percent for the week.

East West Posts Loss, Gives Glum Outlook for '08

East West Bancorp swung to a second quarter loss as the bank company's provision for bad loans soared, leading it to forecast a weak second half.

Navy Nixes More Pricey Destroyers

In a cost-cutting move, the U.S. Navy has decided to scale back construction of the Zumwalt-class destroyers, which are built by Los Angeles-based Northrop Grumman Corp. and General Dynamics Corp.

Ixia Shares up on Strong Earnings

The Calabasas-based network infrastructure systems maker Ixia on Friday posted increased profit and sales for the second quarter.

MTA to Seek Sales Tax Hike for Transit

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority board on Thursday voted overwhelmingly to seek a half-cent-on-the-dollar sales tax increase that could raise $30 billion to $40 billion for transit and highway projects, including the first link of a long-awaited

Burkle, Ovitz Settle Dispute

Former Hollywood superagent Michael Ovitz and billionaire investor Ron Burkle settled a lawsuit last weekend involving online business investments, according to Bloomberg News.

California Adopts Stiff Pollution Rules for Ships

California regulators adopted the world's toughest pollution rules for oceangoing vessels Thursday, vowing to improve the health of coastal residents and opening a new front in a long battle with the international shipping industry.

Shares in Reed's Gain on Kroger Deal

Reed's Inc. shares got a boost Friday after the all-natural drink maker said that Kroger Supermarkets agreed to carry Reed's products in 815 locations across the country.

MGA To Seek Mistrial in Bratz Case

MGA Entertainment said Friday that it will seek a mistrial in its legal dispute with Mattel Inc over the popular Bratz dolls.

Thursday, July 24

Former L.A. Commissioner Wong Convicted

Former L.A. city commissioner Leland Wong was convicted Thursday on 14 felony charges stemming from a probe into alleged "pay-to-play" corruption practices during the administration of former Mayor James Hahn.

Ryland Shares Stung After Widened Q2 Loss

Shares in struggling homebuilder Ryland Group Inc. dropped early Thursday after the company reported a quarterly loss that exceeded analysts' estimates.

Shares in Teledyne Jump on Q2 Earnings, Upped Guidance

Shares in Teledyne Technologies Inc. jumped more than 10 percent early Thursday as the company reported that it beat second-quarter expectations and upped its annual guidance.

Skechers Posts Disappointing Q2 Results; Shares Take a Hit

Shares in shoe retailer Skechers USA Inc. were hit Thursday after the company posted lower-than-expected earnings and forecast third-quarter results below Wall Street's estimates.

Grand Jury Investigating Countrywide, IndyMac, Others

A federal grand jury in Los Angeles has begun probing three of the nation's largest subprime mortgage lenders in the clearest sign yet that prosecutors are investigating whether fraud and other crimes contributed to the mortgage debacle.

Oxy Profit Surges as Production, Oil Prices Jump

Occidental Petroleum Corp. posted a 63 percent leap in second quarter profit Thursday as production increased and crude oil prices climbed above $140 a barrel for a time.

Housing Bill Heads to Senate; Bush Withdraws Veto Threat

The House approved a sweeping plan to ease the country's most serious housing crisis since the Great Depression by providing aid to homeowners facing foreclosure and a federal backstop for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

FCC Set to Approve XM-Sirius Deal

A majority of commissioners at the Federal Communications Commission have reached a deal to approve Sirius Satellite Radio Inc.'s long-pending purchase of XM Satellite Radio Holdings Inc.

Wednesday, July 23

First California Financial Group Misses Estimates

The parent of First California Bank reported Wednesday second quarter net income of $1.3 million, three cents below Wall Street estimates of 14 cents per share.

Jakks Lowers Expectations Due to Increasing Costs

Shares in toy maker Jakks Pacific Inc. dipped early Wednesday after the company lowered its fiscal 2008 earnings guidance due to rising raw material prices and other costs.

Approval for Amgen's Clotting Drug Gets Clogged

Biotechnology firm Amgen Inc. said Wednesday that the Food and Drug Administration will not issue a decision this week on whether to approve a blood-clotting disorder drug.

FirstFed Reports Improved Loan Performance

Shares of FirstFed Financial Corp. surged more than 75 percent Wednesday after it reported a fall in the number of non-performing home loans.

Preferred Bank Reports Earnings Drop; Shares Swoon

Shares in Preferred Bank Inc. tumbled more than 25 percent early Wednesday after the bank company posted a 94 percent dip in second-quarter profit due to a surge in loan loss provisions.

Center Financial Shares Fall on Earnings

Shares of Center Financial Corp. dropped in after-hours trading Wednesday despite posting better-than-expected second quarter earnings.

Tuesday, July 22

FDIC Seeking Fast IndyMac Sale

IndyMac Bancorp Inc., the third-largest bank ever to be taken over by U.S. regulators, will be sold "as soon as possible," FDIC Chairwoman Sheila Bair said Tuesday in an interview.

Exiling the Happy Meal

With its proposed ordinance seeking to restrict the growth of inner-city fast-food restaurants, Los Angeles is tapping into a tougher attitude toward fast food that is emerging at city halls around the country.

POM Wins Suit

A Los Angeles federal judge has awarded POM Wonderful $1.5 million in damages in a fraudulent advertising lawsuit it filed against Purely Juice Inc., a Newport Beach company.

'Girls Gone Wild' Mogul Denies Guilt in Tax Case

"Girls Gone Wild" video mogul Joe Francis denied felony tax evasion charges in a Los Angeles court, claiming that he was a victim of abuses in an Internal Revenue Service whistle-blower program.

State Fines Southland Car Washes

The State Division of Labor Standards Enforcement has issued 47 citations totaling $356,200 in fines in Los Angeles and Orange counties in its latest crackdown on area car washes.

Zenith National Reports Sharply Lower Profits

Zenith National Insurance Corp. reported Tuesday its second quarter net income fell 57 percent as the workers' compensation insurer was buffeted by increased industry competition.

Committee Approves South L.A. Fast Food Moratorium

A Los Angeles City Council committee approved a one-year moratorium Tuesday on new fast food restaurants in South Los Angeles, paving the way for the full Council to vote on the matter later this summer.

Jacobs Profits Rise on Revenue Growth

Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. said its fiscal third-quarter earnings rose nearly 50 percent on new business in the oil and natural gas industry, and that it may earn more this year than earlier forecast.

Avery Expects Economy Will Lower 2008 Profits

Avery Dennison Corp. warned that a slower economy would cut its 2008 results, even though second quarter profit rose 7 percent bolstered by an acquisition.

Monday, July 21

Northrop Gains U.S., Turkish Contracts

Northrop Grumman Corp. said that it has won a U.S. Navy contract to develop a data link for real-time battle information at sea that it values at as much as $218 million.

Pasadena Feels Fallout From IndyMac; Burbank Buoyant

Major events in commercial and industrial real estate across the L.A. region.


China's expanding middle class is the target market for vintner Beverly Hills Purveyors.

Grounds For Feud

Workers' coffee breaks have stirred the pot at the ports as labor and management try to finalize a new contract.

General Contractor Announces Trio of Contracts

Tutor-Saliba Corp. said that it has been awarded contracts for three large construction projects worth a combined $291 million, including two in Los Angeles County.

Los Angeles in Limbo

Lending institutions' lack of liquidity has the local market in limbo, according to P. Jacob Yadegar.

Region Rattled by Bankruptcy of Developer's Parent

Major events in commercial and industrial real estate across the L.A. region.

Boom Time Wanes as Class A Asking Rents Fall 50 Cents

Major events in commercial and industrial real estate across the L.A. region.

L.A. Public Equity Firms to Collaborate

Los Angeles private equity firm Gores Group has announced a strategic partnership with the Four Star Group to acquire businesses in the aerospace, defense and homeland security sectors.

State Manufacturing Growth Stalls

California manufacturing growth stalled out in the second quarter as job losses mounted and commodity prices rose, according to a survey released Monday

Triathletes Power Up Hybrid Vehicle Promotion

Torrance-based Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc. has signed on as a sponsor for a triathlon series to promote its hybrids.

Landlords Left Wanting as Subprime Lenders Fall

The subprime mortgage meltdown continues to cause collateral damage, including a depression of large office markets such as Orange County, where many major lenders were located.

Capstone Turbine Targets Profit by 2012

Capstone Turbine Corp., whose miniturbine powers buses being tested by New York City Transit as a fuel-efficient alternative, may boost sales 66 percent this year and be profitable by 2012, Chief Executive Darren Jamison said.


News about Los Angeles-area business people and professionals.

Piece of the Action

Boutique firm Boombang works on clients' projects in exchange for a piece of a finished product's sales.

Beverly Hills Car Rental Service Fancies Big Apple

Beverly Hills Rent-A-Car is Big Apple bound with an offering of glamorous vehicles, California-style.

Working It Out

Lucie Barron didn't have a legal background when she launched dispute resolution business ADR Services.

L.A. Tries to Lure Comic-Con From San Diego

Los Angeles and Las Vegas are actively trying to lure the wildly successful Comic-Con trade show and fandom event away from the San Diego Convention Center, where the show is booked through 2012.

IndyMac Born and Died in Countrywide's Shadow

More than two decades in the making, IndyMac Bancorp's story is coming to a close just weeks after that of its former parent.

Discount Clothing Maker No Longer Fit for Nasdaq?

The slowdown in consumer spending has clothing maker Tarrant Apparel Group facing delisting from Nasdaq.

Web Widget Lets Users Keep a Line on Social Sites

Joining online social networks is easy. Keeping up with all of them can be a pain.

A Severe Case of Disconnect

Three weeks after the expiration of their contract, the Screen Actors Guild and the studios appear to be living on different planets.

Strength of Submarket Fades but Asking Rates Remain High

Major events in commercial and industrial real estate across the L.A. region.

Smaller Sites Keep Vacancies Down Despite Slow Port Scene

Major events in commercial and industrial real estate across the L.A. region.

Asking Rents Inch Up, Vacancies Spike in Slow Market

Major events in commercial and industrial real estate across the L.A. region.

Corridor Steers Clear of Trouble Plaguing Most Submarkets

Major events in commercial and industrial real estate across the L.A. region.

Urban Zones Rising From Ashes

Thanks to high gas prices, L.A.'s urban communities are staging a comeback, writes Kofi Sefa-Boakye.

SAN GABRIEL VALLEY: Negative Net Absorption in Once-Tight Submarket

Major events in commercial and industrial real estate across the L.A. region.

A New Lease on Life

Developers are diving into L.A.'s healthy medical office market.

Office Space on Rise as Area Enters 'Slow Leasing Cycle'

Major events in commercial and industrial real estate across the L.A. region.

Reality TV Provides Boost to Location Productions

Reality television production appears to be about the only real bright spot for below-the-line workers in the local entertainment industry. Reality programming was just about the only primetime content shot on location in Los Angeles for the first two qua

'Chimps' Moves Into First Space

Victory was in the stars as L.A.-based Vanguard's "Space Chimps" beat the similarly simian-themed "Enos" to theaters.

IndyMac Looks Like a Tough Sell

Experts see little that will attract buyers' attention in the assets of failed lender IndyMac.

Operator of Radiation Centers Reels in Partners

Vantage Oncology Inc. announced that it has completed seven new partnerships involving 10 cancer treatment facilities around the country, and secured a $100 million credit facility that will support the company's growth.

Fruitful Break From VICA

When news surfaced last week that Brendan Huffman was stepping down as president of the Valley Industry and Commerce Association at the end of the year, he expected to use the intervening months to look for his next opportunity.

Area Tenants Stay Put but Turn to Subleases to Shed Space

Major events in commercial and industrial real estate across the L.A. region.

State's Quake Safety Law Has Construction Rolling

California's seismic standard law has spurred construction in the medical sector.

In the Swim?

City of Commerce-based Speedo has been making waves in competitive swimming with its record-busting LZR Racer suit.

High Demand but High Costs for Medical Office Construction

Code requirements make medical office buildings costly.

Countrywide Still Casts Shadow Over Submarket

Major events in commercial and industrial real estate across the L.A. region.

Gas Prices Add Fuel to Fire of Airline Rivalry

Airline Qantas' supremacy over the L.A.-Sydney route faces a challenge from Virgin Blue subsidiary V Australia.

L.A. Firms See Jump in Venture Investments

A large investment in a renewable energy firm helped Los Angeles-area companies record a 33 precent jump in venture capital funding in the second quarter, bucking the national downward trend, according to research firm Dow Jones VentureSource.

Long Beach REIT Paces Medical Office Market

Long Beach REIT has a winning prescription with its medical properties.

Reservations About Eating Out Knock Stock of Applebee's Parent

Ihop and Applebee's parent DineEquity was left holding the check as investors ran out on the chain.

Entertainment Firms Boost Eastern Submarket

Major events in commercial and industrial real estate across the L.A. region.

Heartbeat of Los Angeles

Charles Crumpley lists the people and places that keep the heart of L.A. beating.

Record-Breaking Growth Rate Loses Industrial Strength

Major events in commercial and industrial real estate across the L.A. region.

Friday, July 18

L.A. Company Buys Bay Area Podcast Firm

Los Angeles multimedia technologies holding company ViewPartner said Friday that it had acquired PodTech Network, a social-media company for developing, producing, and distributing podcasts for company Web sites.

Countrywide Filing Shines Light on Loans

An amended complaint filed by the California attorney general related to a suit against Countrywide Financial Corp. sheds new light on the poor quality of loans the company was planning to sell to investors.

United Online To Pay More Cash for FTD

United Online Inc. has exercised an option in its $434 million acquisition of FTD Group Inc. that not only will save the online service money, but puts more cash in the hands of the florist chain's shareholders upfront, the companies said.

Big Movers

Despite a steady barrage of bad economic and financial news, the Los Angeles Business Journal's index of the 200 largest local public companies eked out slight gains last week, gaining 1.81 percent to end at 133.09.

Blue Cross, Blue Shield Agree to Fines

California regulators have fined two of the state's largest health insurers a combined $13 million, with Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield of California also agreeing to offer new coverage to former members whose plans were canceled after they became ill.

L.A. County Unemployment Rate Hits 7%

L.A.'s economy appears to have slipped into recession as the unemployment rate hit 7 percent, according to figures by the state Emploment Development Department.

Oxy Expands Share Buy-Back Program

Occidental Petroleum Corp.'s board has approved the repurchase of 20 million more shares of the company's common stock, bringing the total authorized shares to 95 million.

Mattel Stock Jumps on Earnings, Verdict

Shares of Mattel Inc. jumped 13 percent Friday on better-than-expected second quarter earnings and the El Segundo toymaker's victory in the Bratz doll case.

Napster Takeover Prospects Grow

Napster Inc., the Los Angeles-based Internet music pioneer whose shares have plunged 95 percent in six years, has become takeover bait for hedge funds zeroing in on a cash hoard exceeding the company's market value.

Writer's Strike Impacted Emmy Nods

The hangover from last year's writers strike is reflected among the winners and losers in this year's Emmy noms derby.

Thursday, July 17

Blue Shield Sued Over Policy Practices

Los Angeles City Atty. Rocky Delgadillo contends Blue Shield of California has illegally rescinded the coverage of more than 850 policyholders since 2002.

IndyMac Withdrawals Hit $1 Billion This Week

Depositors have pulled roughly $1 billion from IndyMac Bank since the failed thrift opened Monday under federal control, an FDIC official indicated Thursday

Reliance Falls on Lower Q3 Outlook

Reliance Steel & Aluminum Co. posted second-quarter earnings that slightly beat Wall Street forecasts, but its shares slid on the company's forecast for a softer third quarter.

ValueClick Lowers 2008 Expectations

Internet advertising company ValueClick Inc. cut its full-year forecast due to weak advertising spending, causing the stock price to drop to its 2004 level.

Activists Want L.A. To Pressure Grocery Owners

An activist group has called for Los Angeles elected leaders to enact "basic standards" for grocery store operation in the city.

Mattel Wins Bratz Case

A federal jury in Riverside has ruled in favor of Mattel Inc. on several counts in a copyright infringement case that has pitted the El-Segundo based company against rival MGA Entertainment Inc.

IndyMac Failure May Prompt Rush to Reduce Bank Deposits

IndyMac Bancorp Inc.'s collapse may spur withdrawals from banks ranging from First BanCorp in Puerto Rico to Los Angeles-based Nara Bancorp Inc. as customers trim accounts below the $100,000 limit on deposit insurance.

SAG Concerns Stall Feature Film Activity

With little certainty about when the contract stalemate between the Screen Actors Guild and the majors will end, the employment picture for thesps has turned into a tale of two cities -- one hopping with TV lensing activity, the other slowing to a crawl

Wednesday, July 16

Report Predicts L.A.'s Economy Will Continue to Slow

L.A. County's economy won't go into a recession but it'll be a close call. So says the latest prediction, from the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp.

Upbeat Earnings Report Boosts Bank Stocks

Banking and finance shares across Southern California and much of the country were boosted Wednesday on news of Wells Fargo & Co.'s better-than-expected earnings.

Judge Rejects Living Wage Injunction

A federal judge has rejected the Los Angeles Airport Hilton's bid to block the city from imposing a living wage on airport area hotels.

IndyMac Confusion Fuels Customers' Anger

Depositors of failed IndyMac Bank this week are enduring long waits in the summer heat, with crowds becoming irate at several branches and customers with large accounts complaining of serious problems in getting their money.

IPC Prices Offering

IPC The Hospitalist Co. announced a public offering of 3.5 million common shares at $18.50, a 1 percent discount on the stock's Tuesday closing price.

Countrywide's New Owner Takes Ratings Hit

The credit rating of Bank of America Corp., which has absorbed troubled mortgage lender Countrywide Financial Corp., has been downgraded to A+ from AA by Fitch Ratings because of concerns about increased losses from both credit card and home equity lendin

FBI Probing IndyMac for Possible Fraud

IndyMac is under investigation by the FBI for possible fraud in connection with its home lending operations, according to Associated Press reports citing an unnamed law enforcement official.

Lionsgate to Provide Film, TV Content to YouTube

YouTube and Lionsgate Entertainment have made a deal under which Lionsgate will make scenes from its film and television assets available on a branded YouTube channel.

Tuesday, July 15

Northrop Wins Large Maintenance Contract

Northrop Grumman was among 12 companies selected by the U.S. Air Force to provide maintenance and repair services valued at as much as $10 billion.

Nordstrom Coming to Revamped Santa Monica Mall

Macerich Co. said that upscale retailer Nordstrom will become a new anchor at Santa Monica Place after the mall reopens following its top-to-bottom facelift.

Mall Owner Gets Financing Topping $1 Billion

Mall owner Macerich Co. said it has closed five major loan financings and committed to a sixth financing for a total of $1.05 billion.

Bill Would Toughen State Regulators' Hand

California doctors won a victory against health insurers in Sacramento when the Assembly approved a bill to toughen the state's power to fine insurers for failing to pay medical bills.

Air Tanker Contract Pits Airbus Against Boeing

Whatever the outcome of the reopened $35 billion competition for midair refueling tankers, there will be winners and losers on both sides of the Atlantic.

IndyMac Kicked Off NYSE

The New York Stock Exchange has suspended listing of IndyMac's common stock, citing its "abnormally low" price in the wake of the bank's seizure by federal regulators last week. to Widen Market with Avery Partnership and Avery Dennison Corp. have announced a strategic, co-branded service that will enable customers to print official U.S. postage using on industry standard Avery self-adhesive labels.

Enova Warns of Slower Business

Shares of Enova Systems Inc. fell after the company said it expect to expects orders for its electric vehicle drive systems from a major customer in the United Kingdom to drop "significantly'' this year and next.

SAG, Studios Agree to Meet

In a sign that the Screen Actors Guild may be willing to step out of stall mode, negotiators for the guild and the majors have agreed to a meeting on Wednesday afternoon.

Monday, July 14

L.A. Philanthropy Gets Shot in Arm

Now that he's about to be worth more than $5 billion, Patrick Soon-Shiong is looking to his new role: helping fund improved medical care for Angelenos.


Kudos, hirings and promotions.

Lawyers Hold Court at Staples

For one day last week, summer associates and lawyers in the Los Angeles office of Sidley Austin LLP got to feel like basketball greats.

Merger Talks Push Beverage Company Shares Into Cycle of Swings

Drink maker Hansen Natural's shares have been bubbling up and then fizzling out for two months.

Lawmakers Need to Have Tunnel Vision on Subway to the Sea

It is quite possible to find funding for L.A.'s Subway to the Sea, writes Harold L. Katz.

Show Biz Daily Employees Not Immune to Paper Cuts

The Hollywood Reporter is fresh off a redesign, but its new look couldn't prevent the publication from announcing the latest in a round of media layoffs.

Unfortunate Run of the Mouth

Charles Crumpley faults Sen. Charles Schumer for fostering panic among depositors, hurting IndyMac's fragile condition.

Activist Groups Challenge Rail Yard's Expansion

Environmental groups have derailed Union Pacific's plan to expand capacity near the ports.

U.S. Customs Shelves Plan to Hike Import Duties

Under pressure from major importers and business groups and finally Congress the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency has dropped its plan to increase import duties.

IndyMac, Fannie-Freddie Woes, Hit Local Stocks

Regional bank stocks took a beating Monday on the heels of Friday's federal seizure on Pasadena mortgage lender IndyMac Bancorp. as investors worried other financial institutions could follow.

Boeing May Protest If Tanker Terms Altered

Boeing Co. said it may protest any changes to the U.S. Air Force's $35 billion aerial tanker tender, which would further delay an order that's being rerun after it was awarded to Northrop Grumman Corp. using Airbus SAS planes.

Fuel-Efficient Cars in High Rental Demand

Car rental companies are getting caught short as demand for smaller vehicles soars. The industry's economic model has been turned on its head as more customers reject gas-guzzlers.

Seed of Radical Concept

L.A. has the perfect place for new parkland above the 101

Legal Stays

Downtown hotels target trial teams with special rates and amenities like 'war rooms.'

Uncooked Seafood With Italian Accent Scales L.A.

Crudo, uncooked seafood with an Italian twist, is earning a name for itself in Los Angeles.

Up the Down Staircase

Why some of L.A. County's public companies thrived amid the economic slowdown.

Local Firms Beef Up Staff for Employment Cases

As plaintiff's lawyers continue to file wage and hour class-action suits against employers, firms are beefing up their labor and employment capabilities.

Amgen Settles J & J; Suit

Amgen Inc. said that it will pay Johnson & Johnson $200 million to settle litigation that alleged discounts offered by Amgen to cancer clinics violated antitrust laws.

Bollywood Bridge

Producer Ashok Amritraj's film fund and TV show are aimed at building India-Hollywood bridges.

Domestic Partner Rights Unfazed by Gay Marriage

Homosexual couples in California will retain access to domestic partner benefits regardless of gay marriage's fate.

L.A. Times Publisher Out

Los Angeles Times Publisher David Hiller resigned on Monday after a 21-month tenure that included the departure of two Times editors and plans for the sharpest staff and production cuts in the newspaper's history amid a continuing slide in advertising rev

Activists Challenge Rail Yard Expansion Near Ports

A bid by railroad titan Union Pacific Corp. to double the capacity of its main rail yard near the ports is running into resistance from environmental and health groups, and the community.

SAG Stays in Stall Mode

Amid the town's growing consensus that the Screen Actors Guild is not going to strike, SAG is staying in stall mode.

Abraxane Approved for Use in China

Abraxis BioScience, Inc. said it has received approval from Chinese regulators to market its Abraxane cancer drug in that country for the treatment of metastatic breast cancer under certain conditions.

Apparel Maker Cherokee Hits Target With Profits

Apparel makers fashioned a strong performance among business sectors.

Port Unions' 'Group Breaks' May Threaten Productivity

The Pacific Maritime Association has accused dockworkers at both the Long Beach and Los Angeles ports of taking "unit breaks," in order to slow productivity in an effort to gain leverage in contract negotiations.

Outside the Box

DeMaria Design has been thinking inside the box to build homes from used shipping containers.

Last Guilty Plea in Milberg Weiss

Paul T. Selzer, the last defendant in the Milberg Weiss kickback case, pleaded guilty Monday in Los Angeles federal court to a tax-related felony.

Busch Deal Leaves Hansen's Future Unclear

Now that a Belgian brewer has slurped up the King of Beers, what happens to Anheuser-Busch Cos. Inc.'s supposed interest in Corona-based Hansen Natural Corp.?

IndyMac Reopens Under Restrictions

IndyMac Federal Bank FSB opened its doors on Monday, just days after a severe liquidity crisis forced federal regulators to take over the Pasadena-based bank.

Federal Contract Boosts Builder Of Aerial Crafts

A federal contract has sent shares soaring for Aerovironment, builder of unmanned aerial reconnaissance crafts.

By Design

Andy Cohen, executive director at architecture titan Gensler, holds the reins on big projects like L.A. Live and 2000 Avenue of the Stars.

Payday Lenders Face Crackdown

Long Beach is the latest local city looking to rein in check-cashing and payday-loan businesses with a moratorium on new branches.

Journalist Fashions Career out of Celebrity Photography

Nora Cranley.

IndyMac's Tumbling Stock May Slide Off NYSE

Troubled lender IndyMac's tumbling stock might drop right off the NYSE.

Friday, July 11

Barbie-Bratz Suit Goes to Jury

The tiny, fake fur was flying as the Barbie-Bratz court battle wrapped up Thursday, with toy industry giant Mattel Inc. and upstart MGA Entertainment Inc. both claiming ownership of the hugely successful Bratz line of dolls.

Big Movers

The Los Angeles Business Journal's index of the 200 largest public companies followed the Dow Jones industrial average on its rollercoaster ride this week.

Northrop Wins Contract Extension

A division of Northrop Grumman Corp. been award a $325 million contract expansion from the Air Force to provide additional unmanned aerial vehicles used to support U.S. operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Pentagon said.

Impairment Charge Grows for

Online betting service Inc. said it intends to restate its financial statements for fiscal 2007 to account for a $1.1 million increase in an impairment charge related to its now defunct International Racing Group business.

SAG Nixes AMPTP's 'Final' Offer

The Screen Actors Guild is still not ready to close a deal with major prodiucers -- signaling that the thesps' contract stalemate will linger on into the late summer.

IndyMac Seized by Federal Regulators

After fending off rumors of its impending demise for several weeks, IndyMac Bancorp Inc., the troubled Pasadena-based thrift, was seized Friday by federal regulators. It will reopen Monday as a federally operated institution.

Cheesecake Factory Sued by Workers

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has filed suit against Cheesecake Factory Inc., saying male-on-male sexual harassment occurred at one of the chain's restaurants and that supervisors ignored complaints.

Thursday, July 10

Activision Merger Closes

Vivendi SA has completed the merger of its video game business with Activision Inc., a combination joins popular titles such as "Guitar Hero'' with the biggest online game, "World of Warcraft.''

Hot Topic Sales Fall Less Than Expected

Hot Topic Inc. exceeded Wall Street expectations by reporting that June same-store sales fell only slightly.

Wasserman Says New Stadium Won't Help

Casey Wasserman, chief executive officer of the sports talent agency Wasserman Media Group, said Los Angeles won't get a National Football League team simply by building a new stadium. TV rights are the route to the NFL's heart.

IndyMac's Fate Could Test Regulators

Deeply troubled mortgage lender IndyMac Bancorp Inc. may have bought some time through sharp cuts in operations and selling some branches but its survival remains in question, creating a major test for banking regulators.

Wednesday, July 9

Northrop's Coveted Tanker Contract in Limbo

The Pentagon said it will re-open for competition a $35 billion contract to build the Air Force's next generation refueling tankers that originally was awarded to Northrop Grumman Corp.

NBC's Zucker's in Demand

In what's certain to be an unfamiliar role for him, NBC Universal boss Jeff Zucker is expected to be the popular guy at the Allen & Co. media conference, which officially kicks off Wednesday in Sun Valley, Idaho.

Image Says Revenues Rose in Quarter

Image Entertainment Inc. said that it expects its fiscal 2009 first-quarter net revenues to exceed $31 million. This would represent home entertainment programming distributor's highest net revenues since December 2005.

Eisner: Web-Only Video Can Be Successful

Michael Eisner, the former Walt Disney Co. chief executive who is now a developer of Internet videos, said online entertainment can be successful without having first been on a broadcast network.

AFTRA Ratifies Deal; SAG Still Holds Out

Members of the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists have ratified a three-year prime-time TV contract with studios with 62 percent of voting members supporting it, despite a fierce campaign against it from the larger Screen Actors Guild whi

Activision Merger Approved

Shareholders of Activision Inc. have approved the company's merger deal with Paris-based Vivendi SA's Vivendi Games. The deal could now close immediately.

Maguire Will Take Loss on Buildings Sale

Maguire Properties Inc. has disclosed in a regulatory filing that it will lose as much as $53 million on two buildings that it agreed to sell this week.

One Strike was Plenty for Hollywood

The Screen Actors Guild's leverage at the bargaining table with the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers began to erode on Oct. 1. That's the day the Writers Guild of America put out the call to its 11,500 members for a strike authorization v

DirecTV Acquisition to Reduce Outsourced Servicing

DirecTV Group Inc. has completed two acquisitions, with a combined value of $74 million, which give it control over a significant portion of its satellite TV installation and home service network.

Century Park Acquires Tent Maker

Los Angeles private equity firm Century Park Capital Partners said Wednesday that it has completed the acquisition of exhibition tent manufacturer Moss Inc.

Tuesday, July 8

AFTRA Accepts Deal

Despite the Screen Actors Guild's avid campaign, members of the American Federation of Television & Radio Artists have ratified the union's primetime deal by 62.4 percent, the union announced Tuesday night

IndyMac To Halve Its Workforce

IndyMac Bancorp Inc. continued to fall Tuesday, a day after the beleagued mortgage lender said it will slash its workforce by nearly 4,000 employees and stop accepting new loan submissions.

County's Property Values Up Despite Market Slump

Despite rapidly falling home sale values, the total assessed value of L.A. County properties actually rose 6.9 percent last year to $1.1 trillion, according to new data from L.A. County Assessor's Office.

WellPoint Settles with California Hospitals

Anthem Blue Cross parent WellPoint Inc. has agreed to pay $11.8 million to settle claims from about 480 California hospitals that it failed to cover the bills of patients it dropped after they were treated -- a controversial practice known as rescission.

Cycling Around Gas Price Potholes

High gasoline prices are fueling bicycle sales for Los Angeles bicycle shops as more commuters switch to an often hair-raising alternative to driving their cars to work.

Maguire Disposes of OC Building

Beleaguered Southland commercial landlord Maguire Properties Inc., which is under pressure to consider an unsolicited takeover bid, is selling another Orange County office property to improve its balance sheet.

Announcement Set on Northrop Tanker Contract

Defense Secretary Robert Gates will announce the U.S. military's new strategy for buying aerial refueling tankers at a Wednesday press conference in Washington.

Investors, Analysts Dour on IndyMac's Prospects

A day after announcing it will end most mortgage lending operations, IndyMac Bancorp Inc. took a pounding Tuesday on Wall Street.

DreamWorks To Modernize Animation Process

DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. has formed a strategic alliance with chip maker Intel Corp. aimed at improving the production house's technology for creating 3-D animated movies.

Loan Pains Turned Web Site Into a Hit

As millions of homeowners fall behind on their mortgages, a fledging Web site called the Mortgage Lender Implode-O-Meter is gleefully tallying the number of lenders that run into trouble too.

Teledyne Acquires Webb Research

Teledyne Technologies Inc. said a subsidiary has completed acquiring the assets of Webb Research Corp., considered the world's leading manufacturer of self-directed underwater gliding vehicles.

Broad, Roski Among Contributors to LACMA Acquisition

Several prominant L.A. businesspeople have enabled the Los Angeles County Museum of Art to acquire one of the 20th century's largest private collections of Oceanic art.

IndyMac to Sell 60 Branches

IndyMac Bancorp Inc., which on Monday said it would lay off 3,800 workers and stop accepting new loan submissions, has reached an agreement to sell more than 60 retail mortgage branches to Prospect Mortgage.

Monday, July 7

Olympics a Research Treasure Trove for NBC

NBC is using the Olympics as a "billion-dollar research lab" to get a sense of how people are using different media platforms to experience the Beijing Games that begin Aug. 8.

Hilton Takes Last Stand in War on 'Living Wage'

Hilton Los Angeles Airport hotel will fly solo in its fight over the city's living wage ordinance.

Filming Permits Jump in L.A.

The actors strike may be looming on the horizon, but television production companies have been stepping up filming TV shows and pilots in Los Angeles, according FilmL.A. Inc. statistics.

Condo Market Bouncing Back?

A surge in June condo sales brought some good news to the L.A. County residential market.

Reel Money

Production company Unified Pictures taps into investors' IRA retirement money to get movies rolling.

Investor warns Maguire

One of the biggest shareholders of Maguire Properties Inc warned it may flex its muscles to gain control of the company after it learned a deal to buy the company for $20 per share fell through.

Making Your Case

LawFund Management Group helps plaintiffs cover the rising costs of litigation by turning lawsuits into limited liability

Actors Back Up on DVDs In Contract Negotiations

While the Screen Actors Guild continues to take a hard line on the issue of residuals from new media, the union has already lost the battle over residuals from the most profitable source of entertainment DVD sales.

Firm Cultivates Online Communities for Feedback

A Miracle Mile firm named Passenger creates virtual communities that provide companies with feedback on products.

Soon-Shiong to Sell APP

Los Angeles billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong has agreed to sell his Illinois-based generic drug business for $3.7 billion, plus the assumption of $940 million in outstanding debt. The deal, one of the largest in the healthc are sector this year, eventually

Mini-Run on IndyMac Shows Lender May Need to Sell Assets

IndyMac and analysts believe the troubled mortgage company's improvement will require selling off assets.

Legal, Brief

In a move to cut costs, businesses are increasingly turning to temp services for attorneys to handle legal work.

Long Beach Port To Buy 'Clean' Trucks

The Port of Long Beach said it has placed a $35 million order for 300 heavy-duty trucks in an effort to jumpstart its Clean Trucks Program, which is set to take effect Oct. 1.

Galaxy Shines Thanks to Its Star

One year later, AEG is reaping the rewards of bringing British soccer star David Beckham to the L.A. Galaxy.

IndyMac Downsizing Likely

After surviving a mini-run last week that saw depositors pull $100 million in deposits, IndyMac Bancorp Inc. may have to start selling off assets to stabilize itself financially.

More Sense

Americhip looks to target more than just sight with its "multisensory" ad campaigns.

Uptick Seen in L.A. Home Sales

L.A.'s housing market, pushed along by lower prices and sharply higher condo sales, showed some signs of life in June. Whether the upswing is a trend remains to be seen.

Software Company Has More in Store for Retailers

Kevin Sproles started his business at his parents' house in Simi Valley when he was 15. Nine years later, he has 10,000 clients who use his software for their online stores. They include the Barack Obama campaign, Chicago Tribune, Michigan State Universit

In Development

Nelson Rising is looking to scale new heights as CEO of downtown

New Loses Traction Versus Old in Car Parts Sector

Shares of auto parts supplier Superior Industries have hit the skids while remanufacturer Motorcar Parts of America's stock is in overdrive.

Lotions in Motion as Skin Care Lines Reach Retail

KaplanMD and Kate Somerville skin care lines have made a smoothing move by jumping to retail outlets.

Workers' Comp Reforms Threatened

A new report on California's highly contentious system of compensating workers for job-related illnesses and injuries proves that the systemic overhaul pushed through the Legislature in 2004 continues to save employers many billions of dollars each year.

Hospital Operator Gives Valley a Shot in the Arm

Providence Health & Services officials see the $89 million they agreed to spend last week to acquire one of Tenet Healthcare Corp.'s last remaining Los Angeles County hospitals as a bargain.

Traveling Down a New Road

Sacramento should give local governments the authority to raise money to pay for road construction, according to Richard G. Little.

New Channel Clicking With Time Warner Cable

Sports fans in Los Angeles have a new cable channel to watch. Universal Sports debuted last week in Los Angeles on Time Warner Cable Channel 226.

Not So Fast on Food Ban

Charles Crumpley finds a move to ban new fast-food eateries in South L.A. an unappetizing proposition.

Broker's Banner Day Bolsters Otherwise Slow '08

Talk about a big day. Real estate broker Bob Safai of Madison Partners closed three deals, totaling some $180 million, on June 26 at a time when even power brokers like himself are having off years.

Scouts Scale New Heights

You may not see a bear or coyote up there, but you can camp under the stars at the new Cushman Watt Scout Center and check out the downtown Los Angeles skyline.

Newsmakers & Kudos

News about local businesspeople and professionals.

Thursday, July 3

En Pointe Files Suit in Employee Dispute

IT services provider En Pointe Technologies Inc. is countersuing a Toronto competitor that claims En Pointe is hiring away its employees to gain access to its trade secrets.

L.A. Times to Cut 250 Jobs

The Los Angeles Times has announced plans to cut 250 positions across the company, including 150 positions in editorial, in a new effort to bring expenses into line with declining revenue.

CalPERS Makes Point in Stock Options Victory

Sure, the money's nice, but the class action settlement between CalPERS and UnitedHealth Group Inc. did more than put a record $895 million dent in the wallet of the nation's second largest health insurer. It sent a message to other public companies: Don'

Tribune Receives $300 Million Loan

On the heels of announcing steep layoffs at the Los Angeles Times, Tribune Co. said Thursday it had arranged a $300 million bank loan with Barclays Bank, most of which would be used to pay off part of an existing loan.

Rescued Northrop Employees Back in U.S.

Defense contractor Northrop Grumman Corp. expressed relief about the safe return to the United States of three employees who had been held captive in Colombia for the last five years.

Dour Analyst Downgrade Hits Health Net

Shares of Health Net Inc. plunged 12 percent last week after a Goldman Sachs analyst downgraded it and several other health insurers due to falling profit margins.

Wednesday, July 2

Deloitte's Bid and Lips are Sealed

The contractor for software that left Los Angeles Unified School District with massive payroll problems is now bidding on a $1.5 billion contract to run California's court-case management system.

Retailer's Division President Leaves Suddenly

Teen apparel retailer Hot Topic Inc. said Michael Crooke is no longer president of the company's Hot Topic division.

SAG Deadline Passes, But Where's the Panic?

Despite the expiration of the Screen Actors Guild's film and primetime TV contract, the biz is not gripped by the same level of angst experienced at the comparable moment during the Writers Guild of America's negotiations with the majors, just prior to th

Former IndyMac CFO Resigns

IndyMac Bancorp Inc. said in a regulatory filing that former Chief Financial Officer A. Scott Keys had officially resigned from the company effective June 30, after going on medical leave two months ago.

Activision Merger Vote a 'Go'

An Activision Inc. investor's bid to stop a July 8 shareholder vote on the company's proposed merger with Vivendi SA has been rejected by a judge.

Designer's Mom Saw Bratz Sketches Years Ago

The mother of Bratz designer Carter Bryant said her son showed her the original sketches for MGA Entertainment Inc.'s pouty, multiethnic fashion dolls in 1998, when he was living in Missouri and not working for Mattel Inc.

Prime Healthcare Sued Over Balance Billing Practices

California regulators have sued Prime Healthcare Services Inc., seeking to bar the hospital chain from billing insured patients for unpaid medical bills that the company contends it is owed from insurers and is now seeking from patients as a last resort.

AeroVironment Wins Drone Order

AeroVironment Inc. has won a contract that could be valued as much as $200 million to provide small unmanned spy planes to the U.S. Special Operations Command.

Oxy to Take Stake in Texas Oil Company

Plains All American Pipeline L.P. said that a wholly owned subsidiary of Occidental Petroleum Corp. plans to acquire a 10 percent equity interest in its general partner directly from the existing owners.

Tuesday, July 1

IndyMac Defends Lending Practices

IndyMac Bancorp Inc. on Tuesday struck back against a report criticizing its lending practices, calling it a "hit piece" filled with "shoddy and unsubstantiated research."

BofA Completes Countrywide Purchase

Bank of America Corp. has completed a $2.5 billion acquisition of Countrywide Financial Corp, clearing the way for the nation's second largest commercial bank to turn around the nation's largest mortgage lender.

High and Dry in Malibu

State law enforcement officials are investigating whether 70 retirees and other investors in Northern California were bilked when they put up $6.4 million for construction loans on Malibu land that may be undevelopable.

LAX Hilton Sues City

The Los Angeles Airport Hilton Hotel has sued the city of Los Angeles challenging the legality of the city's living wage ordinance that targets airport area hotels.

Northrop Grumman Wins Contracts

Northrop Grumman Corp. of Los Angeles said it has received a radio development contract potentially worth up to $240 million from Lockheed Martin.


The gambling slowdown that began early this year is taking a serious toll on Las Vegas, with banks, investors and private-equity funds growing as tightfisted as the consumers who are gambling less in the slumping economy.

Close to Collapse? IndyMac Says No

Battling rumors that it may collapse, IndyMac Bancorp has acknowledged that its financial position had deteriorated but described the fears as overblown and it was working with regulators to improve its "safety and soundness."

RealD Gets Second Large 3D Order

RealD, which makes 3D digital projection technology for movie theaters, has announced an agreement with Cinemark Holdings Inc. to add up to 1,500 RealD 3D screens to its theater circuit.

Tenet Sells Tarzana Med Center

Tenet Healthcare Corp. said it has sold Tarzana Regional Medical Center, the remaining Los Angeles area hospital it was actively marketing, to Providence Health & Services for an undisclosed amount.

Debt-Laden Casinos Squeezed

The gambling slowdown that began early this year is taking a serious toll on Las Vegas, with banks, investors and private-equity funds growing as tightfisted as the consumers who are gambling less in the slumping economy.

Court Clears Product

Internet-based postal metering service said it received a unanimous jury verdict that its trademark NetStamps feature and technology does not infringe any of the patents asserted by Kara Technology Inc.