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Friday, May 20, 2022



March 28 – April 3

Wilder Loss: Gemstar-TV Guide International Inc. said its fourth-quarter loss widened to $1.3 billion, compared with $211.9 million for the like period a year ago. Revenue for the Pasadena-based parent of TV Guide magazine fell 18 percent, to $244.7 million. Gemstar’s fourth-quarter loss widened as it wrote down the value of assets. The company has been restating past earnings after disclosing last year that it had overstated sales for divisions that develop on-screen program guides for cable television.

Pay Raise: Amgen Inc. gave Chief Executive Kevin Sharer a 55 percent pay raise last year after he completed the purchase of rival Immunex Corp. Sharer received $2.8 million in salary and bonus in 2002, compared with $1.8 million the previous year, according to a regulatory filing. Sharer also received a $500,000 payment that will vest over the next three years and had a gain of $9.8 million by exercising stock options. Shares in the Thousand Oaks-based company have soared 85 percent since completion of the Immunex acquisition. Meanwhile, El Segundo-based Mattel Inc. gave its chairman and chief executive, Robert Eckert, a 2002 pay package totaling $11.9 million, more than five times his compensation from 2001. Most of Eckert’s package was an $8 million bonus as part of a long-term incentive plan.

Batter Up: Television ratings for Major League Baseball’s season-opening game between defending World Series champion Anaheim and Texas on ESPN rose 43 percent from last year’s opener. The Rangers’ 6-3 win on Sunday night drew 2 percent of the 87 million U.S. homes with cable television.

Erratic Prices: Retail gasoline prices in Los Angeles fell nine-tenths of a penny for the week ended March 31 to $2.128 per gallon, according to the Energy Department’s Energy Information Administration. Pump prices statewide fell 1.3 cents, to $2.130 far less than the 4.1 cent-per-gallon dropoff nationwide. Oil prices fell late last week in anticipation of a resolution to the war with Iraq, but the marketplace was generally confused over price direction.

Pay Up: Tenet Healthcare Corp. will pay $500,000 to settle a dispute with California over its plans to close a 166-bed hospital in Marina del Rey. Santa Barbara-based Tenet first announced plans to shut down Daniel Freeman Memorial Hospital last year. State Attorney General Bill Lockyer objected, saying the company was violating an agreement made in 2001 when it purchased the hospital. Tenet said it would be permitted to decide whether the close the hospital. Separately, a Tenet hospital in San Ramon was cited in recent state reports for a variety of patient-care violations, including having outdated, mislabeled drugs, according to the California Nurses Association. Hospital officials, who are in dispute with the association, said the allegations were an effort to discredit the facility.

Power Needs: California must add 1,500 to 2,000 megawatts of new power plant capacity to keep up with demand, according to a draft report prepared by three state agencies. Peak electricity demand in California will grow by 1,400 megawatts a year for the next two years, according to the energy report.

Security Sale: Securitas, the Swedish parent of Pinkerton’s Inc., has acquired Cerritos-based Lincoln Security Services Inc. for $13.7 million in cash. Privately held Lincoln has operations in California, Oregon and Nevada and last year had sales of $27 million. Securitas, which has been expanding in the U.S. market for several years, acquired Pinkerton’s in 1999.

Button-Down Opening: Brooks Bros. will open a flagship store this fall at the 22,000 square-foot Rodeo Drive location in Beverly Hills that has been vacant since Tommy Hilfiger Corp. closed its store three years ago.


April 7 – 13

Sports Beat: Monday (7th) is Opening Day at Dodger Stadium, as the Boys in Blue take on Arizona in the first of a three-game series. Also on Monday is the NCAA Men’s Final Four Championship game from the Louisiana Superdome. It’s also a big week in the NBA, as the Lakers are at home on Tuesday (8th) against Dallas and Thursday (10th) against Sacramento. There’s also the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach Fri-Sun (11th-13th), and on Sunday, the Avengers are at home against Arizona. For golf fans, it’s the Masters from Augusta, Ga., where the controversy about the lack of a woman member at Augusta National is likely to receive plenty of attention.

Poetry Reading: Alice Walker, winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award for “The Color Purple,” will read and discuss her new collection of poetry on Thursday (10th) at the Skirball Cultural Center. A book signing follows the reading. For information: 323-655-8587.

New Data: Market watchers seem to be paying more attention to war news than economic reports, but for what it’s worth, the March Producer Price Index is due out on Friday (11th), which is likely to show the effect of last month’s jack-up in energy prices. Also on Friday: March retail sales numbers (watch for any hint of war-related sale activity) and the University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment survey.

Another Marathon: Relax it’s the 22nd annual Jimmy Stewart Relay Marathon on Sunday (13th) at Griffith Park. The event is comprised of 20 divisions and involves each participant running 5.2 miles. The marathon starts at 8 a.m. and is co-hosted by Robert Wagner and Chris O’Donnell. For information: 310-829-8968.

Superior Performance: Superior Industries, the Van Nuys manufacturer and supplier of aluminum wheels to the automotive industry, is to release first quarter results Friday (11th). Earnings per share are projected at 83 cents, compared to 65 cents for the year-earlier quarter.

Gangs of Los Angeles: The recent explosion of gang shootings in L.A. and the steps that should be taken to stem the violence is the subject of a discussion with L.A. Police Chief William Bratton and L.A. County Sheriff Lee Baca this Wednesday evening (9th). L.A. City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo moderates the discussion, which takes place at the Los Angeles Police Academy in Elysian Park. For information: 310-446-8000, ext. 229.

Blurring Lines: National Public Radio contributor and former Wall Street Journal columnist Leon Wynter headlines “Big Business and the Transformation of White America,” a discussion of America’s emerging “transracial” culture, Tuesday (8th) during a Town Hall Los Angeles luncheon at the Wilshire Grand Los Angeles. For information: 213-628-8141.

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