Review & Preview
Earnings Season: Hughes Electronics Corp. reported a second-quarter loss of $155.1 million, compared with a loss of $156.5 million for the like period a year ago. Revenues rose to $2.21 billion from $1.99 billion. The El Segundo-based unit of General Motors Corp., which has agreed to be acquired by EchoStar Communications Corp., said the cost of acquiring customers for its DirecTV satellite service fell. Northrop Grumman Corp., which has agreed to acquire TRW Inc., reported second-quarter net income of $182 million, compared with $114 million for the like period a year ago. Revenues increased to $4.39 billion from $3.66 billion. L.A.-based Northrop cited improved profitability from work on B-2 bombers and the Joint Strike Fighter. On Assignment Inc. reported second-quarter net income of $3.9 million, compared to $4.5 million for the like period a year ago. The Calabasas-based provider of temporary workers to health care companies said full-year earnings would be 50 cents to 60 cents a share; the average estimate of nine analysts polled by Thomson First Call is 70 cents. THQ Inc. reported second quarter net income of $2.3 million, compared with $3.5 million for the like period a year ago. Revenues for the Agoura Hills-based game maker were $85.8 million, up from $55.2 million. Mattel Inc. reported net income of $19.6 million for the second quarter ended June 30, compared to a net loss of $4.9 million, for the like-year earlier quarter. Net sales were $804.4 million, compared to $836.2 million in the year earlier.
Port Update: The union representing West Coast dockworkers has offered to accept new technologies it says would cut hundreds of jobs at the ports in exchange for increases in wages and pension benefits. The Pacific Maritime Association, the bargaining arm of the ship companies, said the offer by the International Longshore and Warehouse Union doesn’t go far enough. The union was scheduled to caucus on Monday (22nd) to consider other options.
Wasserman Tribute: An estimated 4,000 mourners gathered at Universal Amphitheatre to pay their respects to legendary Hollywood mogul Lew Wasserman who died June 3 at the age of 89. Among those in attendance were former President Bill Clinton, director Steven Spielberg and Los Angeles Cardinal Roger M. Mahony. Said Clinton: “He helped me become president. He helped me stay president. He helped me become a better president.”
Suit Settled: Homestore Inc. has settled a lawsuit that claimed real estate listings were taken from its Realtor.com Web site by Bargain Network. The Westlake Village-based company said it would drop the suit in exchange for Bargain Network’s agreement to stop collecting and displaying the listings.
Calpers Sues: The California Public Employees Retirement System has joined other pension funds in suing WorldCom Inc. over $433 million in bond losses after the long-distance provider said it hid $3.9 billion in costs. Lawyers for Sacramento-based Calpers and the Los Angeles County Employees Retirement System filed suit in Superior Court.
Eye on Latinos: CBS Television head Les Moonves said the network wants to air more Latino programming and possibly acquire a U.S. Spanish-language network. CBS owner Viacom Inc. had been in talks to buy L.A.-based Univision Communications Inc., but the companies couldn’t agree on price.
Lab Update: Specialty Laboratories Inc. said its right to bill Medicare and Medicaid has been reinstated by federal regulators. Last month, the California Department of Health Services notified the company that it had complied with state laws. Earlier, the government charged the Santa Monica-based company had conducted its laboratory testing with unlicensed staff.
Flood Gates: Earnings season hits full stride this week, with more than 10 percent of the LABJ 200 set to report quarterly results. Among those reporting are Avery Dennison, Countrywide Credit Industries, Unocal and WellPoint Health Networks, all members of the S & P; 500. Among the others set to release numbers are JAKKS Pacific, 99 Cents Only Stores, Activision, California Pizza Kitchen, Metro-Goldwyn-Meyer, Ticketmaster, Stamps.com, HealthNet, K-Swiss and Overture Services.
European Connection: Rockwell Schnabel, U.S. Ambassador to the European Union, speaks on Thursday (25th) at noon before the Los Angeles World Affairs Council. Schnabel will speak about the U.S. relationship with Europe, especially relating to terrorism and the Middle East. Information: 213-628-2333.
Biz Mixer: More than 10 L.A.-area business organizations hold a mixer at the L.A. County Museum of Art on Thursday (25th) from 6-9 p.m. The annual event will feature displays from various L.A. companies.
Sports Beat: The Dodgers are out of town all week, so local action is pretty much limited to the Mercedes-Benz Cup championships at UCLA’s tennis center.
Convention Conclave: The National Urban League holds its annual convention in L.A. for the first time in 20 years, starting Saturday (27th) and running through the following Wednesday (31st). Speakers include former Urban League president and former presidential adviser Vernon Jordan, former U.S. Surgeons General David Satcher and Joycelyn Elders and Earvin “Magic” Johnson.
Heart Gala: The American Heart Association presents its first annual American Heart Awards Saturday night (27th) at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. The event includes “a special musical performance” by Billy Bob Thornton and a live auction featuring Robin Leach. Information: 213-580-1408.
Bowl Living: The Hollywood Bowl summer season remains in full swing with all Mozart performances by the Los Angeles Philharmonic Tuesday and Thursday (23rd and 25th), “An Evening with Natalie Cole” on Wednesday(24th). Friday and Saturday (26th and 27th) the philharmonic and guest Audra McDonald will play Gershwin tunes.