Stories for April 2006

Friday, April 28

K-Swiss Earnings Down

Sports apparel manufacturer K-Swiss posted a decline in first-quarter earnings, the company announced.

Monday in the Valley

Granada Hills Chamber of Commerce, Annual Golf Tournament

Disney Launching Pirates Trailer

Walt Disney Pictures will partner with MySpace.com to give one member the opportunity to launch the world premiere of the theatrical trailer for Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest.

Health Clinic Offering Walkout Alternative

The Northeast Valley Health Corporation has launched an internal campaign to offer its over 600 employees the chance to participate in the May 1 walkout without disrupting services to patients.

Thursday, April 27

CSUN Conference on Community Issues Scheduled

The environment, early childhood issues, and challenges facing youth will be among the topics discussed in a series of workshops between government, education and community agencies and faculty and students at California State University at Northridge.

Digital Insight Earnings Up

Digital Insight Corp. reported an increase in its earnings for the first quarter of its fiscal year ending March 31.

Countrywide Earnings Drop

Countrywide Financial Corp.'s earnings decreased to $683.5 million, or $1.10 per share, on sales of $2.84 billion for the first quarter of 2006 due to a flat yield curve and higher interest rates.

NTS Doubles 1Q Earnings

National Technical Systems Inc., a Calabasas-based provider of testing services for information technology markets, reported a 95 percent in earnings to $1.2 million, or $0.12 per share on sales of $28.8 million for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2006.

Friday in the Valley

Encino Chamber of Commerce, Network Plus Breakfast

Cherokee Backs Out of Mossimo Bid for $33 Mil.

It looks like Iconix Brand Group will prevail in its acquisition bid for sportswear manufacturer Mossimo after reaching an agreement with Mossimo's other suitor, Van Nuys-based Cherokee Inc.

Outlook Good in North LA County

Attendees at a conference on the economy of the Antelope and Santa Clarita valleys heard an analysis and forecast for the regions that was generally upbeat.

Wednesday, April 26

Helinet Looking for Federal Work

Helinet Aviation Services has partnered with two companies to better position itself to provide its services to the federal government, the company announced this week.

Thursday in the Valley

Valley Economic Development Center, E-Commerce, Getting Your Business Online

IHOP Earnings Up

Restaurant chain IHOP Corp. jumped 25 percent in earnings to $12.6 million, or $0.68 per share on sales of $45.3 million for the first quarter of 2006 due to higher same-store sales from franchise operations.

21st Meets Expectations

Woodland Hills-based auto insurer 21st Century Insurance Group posted a first-quarter net income of $21.3 million, or $0.25 per share on net premiums of $337.2 million, compared with income of $19.3 million, or $0.23 per share, on net premiums of $350.9 m

Tuesday, April 25

Mossimo to Evaluate Cherokee Offer

Women's sportswear maker Mossimo Inc. has agreed to evaluate a recent proposal made by Cherokee Inc. to acquire the company for $8.50 per share in cash and stock shares.

Wednesday in the Valley

Sherman Oaks Chamber of Commerce, Government / Community Affairs Committee

North American Scientific Receives Device Clearance

North American Scientific announced that it has received the approval of the Food and Drug Administration for a low-dose radiation version of a device used to treat breast cancer.

Disney Adding Online Games

Disney's Game Caf & #233;, the downloadable games collection for older audiences, will expand its Web site with more than 35 new games.

Net at California Oaks Soars

California Oaks State Bank said today that it earned $184,818 or $0.10 per diluted share for the quarter ended Mar. 31, more than two-and-a half times its earnings for the comparable period a year ago.

Hallmark Hit With Layoffs

About 25 employees from the Hallmark Channel were laid off this week as part of a cost-cutting measure by its parent company, Crown Media Holdings, Inc.

Monday, April 24

Summit to Combine CSUN's Forecast, Real Estate Events

This year's Economic Summit will combine the economic forecast conference held by the San Fernando Valley Economic Research Center at California State University Northridge and the Real Estate Outlook event from CSUN's Center for Real Estate.

Tuesday in the Valley

Universal City/North Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, Networking Breakfast

THQ Announces Nickelodeon Lineup

THQ Inc., a video game developer in Agoura Hills, announced its 2006 lineup of video games in development based on popular Nickelodeon shows.

Image Signs Agreement with Wanda Sykes

Image Entertainment announced that it has signed an exclusive agreement with Wanda Sykes to produce and distribute a live stand-up television special on DVD and CD.

Business, Leisure Visitors Shore Up Hotel Vacancies

With limited room availability throughout the region, most local hotel operators are gearing up for a busy summer season.

New Restaurateurs Bring Variety to Valley

A bevy of new restaurants locating in the San Fernando Valley are proving that you don't have to travel over the hill to get a decent meal.

Neighborhood Councils Grapple With Getting People Involved

Many neighborhood councils have seen voter turnout wane in their most recent elections, but officials say that could be the result of general satisfaction with the way the community is running.

Valley Gets on Convention Map

The San Fernando Valley is no longer just a place where overflow convention traffic from downtown or the Westside goes. It is becoming a destination on its own.

Panorama City Plan

The site that once housed Montgomery Ward in Panorama City is slated to become an upscale condominium project.

Slow First Quarter Due to Scarcity of Valley Properties

Office vacancy rates haven't moved since the fourth quarter of 2005, and building sales seem to have slowed considerably since the end of last year too.

Restaurant Chain Proves People Are First

The Harvard Business Review published a fascinating article on a restaurant chain many know around the country: Outback Steakhouse.

After Nearly 40 Years, Brent's Deli Plans Second Location

After nearly 40 years, the popular Brent's Deli plans a second location.

At Issue: Sitting on the Board of a Privately Held Firm

Ask the Attorney

Pierce, College of Canyons Lead SBA Assistance Efforts

Pierce College and College of the Canyons have teamed together to begin this month counseling and seminars as part of the SBA's Small Business Development offerings.

Medical Lighting Firm Widens Its Market With Purchase

Medical Illumination International wasn't looking to acquire a separate company, and certainly not one located some 2,500 miles away in a city on the shore of Lake Erie.

The Next Generation of Business at ValleyCrest

Richard Sperber, the second generation at family owned ValleyCrest Cos. in Calabasas, is helping the company to branch out into a new arena, landscape architecture, after purchasing two such firms.

Pierce, Health Net Team to Provide Jobs For Local Call Center

Students graduated from an accelerated call center training program offered at Pierce College's Economic and Workforce Development Department will be taking jobs with Woodland Hills-based Health Net.

Personnel Changes at Natrol Amid Disappointing Earnings

Among the new faces at Natrol Inc. is Wayne Bos, CEO of the nutriceuticals company, Staff Reporter Jonathan D. Colburn reports.

Discussion of Ban Catches Some Businesses Off Guard

Business tenants at Van Nuys Airport were surprised last week when a resolution came before the Board of Airport Commissioners to revisit a ban on certain types of jet aircraft.

Firms Find Different Way Of Targeting Latino Market

Valley companies try a new way of marketing to Latino audiences.

Aviation Companies Tout Opportunities

Van Nuys Airport companies tell students of career opportunities at their firms.

As Times Change for Valley Eateries, Things Stay the Same

More than a few Valley restaurants that are celebrating half a century in business have really survived the test of time.

Health Net Names Three Executives

Health Net of California has appointed three executives to head its commercial, Medicare and State Health Programs.

Good Economy, Pricey Gas to Give Local Parks Strong Ride

A strong economic outlook and expectations that gas may reach $4 a gallon could be good news for local theme parks that are gearing up to attract vacationers who want to stay closer to home.

School's Out on Mayor's Plan for LAUSD

Why should the business community care about whether the LAUSD is broken up?

IHOP Signs Deal in Mexico

IHOP Corp. has inked a multi-store franchise deal in Mexico, the company's first deal outside the U.S. since it changed its franchise business model.

Newsmakers

Newsmakers

Friday, April 21

Local Firm Acquires Japanese Sundry Maker

Westlake Canyon International, Inc. a holding corporation in Westlake Village, has acquired Vision Co. Ltd., a Japanese corporation that makes and markets miniature personal cleaning towels that expand to normal size with water.

Vitesse Cancels Earnings Announcement

Three days after announcing an internal investigation into its stock option accounting and placing three executives on administrative leave, Vitesse Semiconductor Corp. said it has canceled its second-quarter earnings call.

Monday in the Valley

Encino Chamber of Commerce, Committee Meeting

Net Rises 75 Percent at First California

FCB Bancorp, the holding company for First California Bank, reported net income for the first quarter of 2006 rose 75 percent to $1 million or $0.31 per diluted share. For the comparable period a year ago, FCB earned $577,000 or $0.26 per share.

Valley Gets on Convention Map

The San Fernando Valley is no longer just a place where overflow convention

Thursday, April 20

Zenith First Quarter Earnings Rise

Zenith National Insurance Corp. reported first-quarter net income of $57.5 million, or $1.55 per share on revenues of$280.8 million compared to net income of $39.3 million, or $1.10 per share, on revenues of $305.7 million last year.

Ryland Earnings Increase More Than 40 Percent

Ryland Group Inc., homebuilder and mortgage financing company in Calabasas rose to earnings of $90 million, or $ 1.86 per share on revenues of $1.07 billion for the first quarter of 2006 due to a high number of home closings and average closing prices.

Ixia Profit Falls Sharply

Ixia Inc posted first-quarter earning of $500,000, or $0.01 per share on revenues of $38.9 million compared with $9.3 million, or $0.14 per share, on revenues of $38.4 million a year ago.

THQ Warns of 4Q Loss

THQ Inc., a videogame publisher in Agoura Hills is warning investors that it will likely post a fourth-quarter loss.

Friday in the Valley

Universal City/North Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, New Member Orientation

Wednesday, April 19

Thursday in the Valley

Thursday in the Valley

Image Launches New Distribution Arm

Image Entertainment announced on Wednesday it was launching a new distribution division for independent audio and video labels.

Bank of Santa Clarita Reports

Bank of Santa Clarita said today its assets grew by 39 percent to $87 million in the first quarter ended March 31 versus assets of $31.2 million in the year-ago period.

Tuesday, April 18

Helinet Cleared to Train at Burbank

The Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority approved on Monday to allow Helinet Aviation Services to train its pilots at Bob Hope Airport.

Wednesday in the Valley

Woodland Hills Chamber of Commerce, April Networking Luncheon

Qualstar Warns of Lower Revenues

Qualstar Corp., a manufacturer of automated tape libraries in Simi Valley, is expecting revenues to drop below their original forecast to between $5 and $5.1 million for the third quarter in contrast to previous estimates of $5.6 to $6.3 million.

Amgen Post $1 Billion Profit

Thousand Oaks-based Amgen Inc. posted a profit if $1 billion, or $0.82 per share on revenues of $3.22 billion in the first quarter, compared with earnings of $854 million, or $0.657 per share, on revenues of $2.83 billion during the same period last year.

Monday, April 17

TechnoConcepts Files Cell Phone Noise Patent

Semiconductor developer, TechnoConcepts, Inc. in Van Nuys, filed a patent with the U.S. Patent office for new inventions which rid cell phones and other communication devices of background noise and improve voice clarity.

Tuesday in the Valley

Tuesday in the Valley

Villaraigosa Argues for Stage 2 Jet Phase Out

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa announced his support for a seven-year phase out of Stage 2 jet aircraft at Van Nuys Airport.

Pure Beauty Sold to Investment Firm

ureBeauty Inc. has inked a deal to be acquired by a private investment firm as it files for Chap. 11 bankruptcy protection.

Cherokee Makes Offer on Mossimo

Cherokee Inc., a Van Nuys licensor and brand management company, made an offer today to acquire all the outstanding shares of Mossimo Inc. for $8.50 per share with $6.00 per share to be paid in cash and the other $2.50 in stock.

Friday, April 14

Monday in the Valley

Press Conference, LAUSD Break Up Proposal

Padilla Hits $1 Million Mark

Los Angeles City Councilman Alex Padilla has topped the $1 million mark in raising funds in his run for a state senate seat, his campaign has announced.

Zinc Matrix Receives $7 Million

Silver-zinc battery developer Zinc Matrix Power Inc. received a $7 million investment to create and staff a pilot production facility in Camarillo.

Thursday, April 13

Helinet Wins SBA Award

Helinet Aviation Services received an award from the U.S. Small Business Administration for providing high definition cameras used to survey the destruction left behind from Hurricane Katrina.

Holy Cross Named Among Top Hospitals

Providence Holy Cross announced today that it has been named among the top five percent of hospitals in the nation and is a recipient of the 2006 Distinguished Hospital Award for Clinical Excellence.

IHOP Same-Store Sales Up

IHOP Corp.'s CEO Julia Stewart announced that system-wide same-store sales increased 5.1 percent during the first quarter.

Friday in the Valley

San Fernando Chamber of Commerce, General Membership Luncheon

Vote Proposed on Westlake's Lowe's Project

The developers behind the Lowe's Town Center proposal in Westlake Village have filed a motion to put the decision on whether to construct the center before voters in November.

Wednesday, April 12

Cherokee Net Rises

Cherokee Inc. reported net income rose 8.2 percent to $4.4 million or $0.49 per share for the fourth quarter ended January 28, 2006, compared to earnings of $4.0 million or $0.46 per diluted share for the comparable period a year ago.

Superior Wins Subaru Contract

Van Nuys-based Superior Industries International, a supplier of aluminum wheels and automotive parts, has been contracted to supply 17-inch wheels for the 2007 Subaru.

Economic Alliance Awarded $10,000 Grant

The Economic Alliance of the San Fernando Valley was one of three agencies receiving money from the Alliance for Regional Stewardship.

Thursday in the Valley

North Valley Regional Chamber of Commerce, Business Mixer

1105 Media Buys 101communications

1105 Media Inc., a newly-formed business-to-business information company has acquired Chatsworth-based 101communications LLC and Stevens Publishing.

Tuesday, April 11

Lund Names CFO

Allen Lund co. has named Steve Doerfler to the post of CFO.

Digital Insight Study Gives Online Banking Good Marks

Financial institutions with customers who use online bill payment had significantly higher benefits, a survey commissioned by Digital Insight Corp. has found.

Blue Cross Supports Obesity-Prevention Program

The National Association of Latino Elected Officials has received a $250,000 donation from Blue Cross of California for a 3-year educational program aimed at helping Latino Leaders address the country's obesity problem.

Image to Release Austin City Limits Footage

Image Entertainment, a Chatsworth-based independent licensee, producer and distributor of home entertainment will release Austin City Limits Music Festival 2005 on DVD and CD on June 20, 2006.

Wednesday in the Valley

North Valley Regional Chamber of Commerce, Health and Wellness Networking Cluster

Monday, April 10

Firms Struggling to Staff Offices

A polarized pool of candidates with concentrations either at the low-skill or highly-skilled end and an attitude by employers that middle managers must have extensive experience in the industry as well, is creating difficulties for those who recruit and h

Bank Grows Regionally With Expansion in Valley

American Business Bank is boosting its Valley region operations with new Woodland Hills offices and additional staff.

Insurance That Helps Firms in Worker Suits Gains Popularity

Many businesses are buying insurance to help protect against the costs of wage and hour and sexual harassment lawsuits, and with the popularity of these plans, the number of insurers offering the programs has risen as well.

IHOP Announces Dividend

IHOP Corp.'s board of directors declared a cash dividend of $0.25 per common share which will be payable on May 23 to stockholders of record as of May 2.

Hilton Universal Under First Major Renovation in 10 years

The Hilton Universal is undergoing its first major renovation in 10 years.

Health Net Medicare Store Gives Seniors a Personal Touch

Health Net thinks it may have hit on a better mousetrap for selling Medicare-related policies to seniors - a storefront where customers can purchase their policies.

Biotech Companies Enter Tough Venture Environment

Biotech entrepreneurs learn how to find money for their ventures.

Salem Buys Townhall.com

Camarillo-based Salem Communications, a radio broadcaster, Internet content provider and magazine publisher focused on Christian themes, acquired Townhall.com in Washington D.C, a Web site publisher of conservative news and opinions.

Students Learn Retail Trade By Running Own Mall Store

Frustrated with the internship programs available, Bliss Unlimited provides its own with a working retail store where students can learn the principles of merchandising and customer service

Insurance Burden Forces Companies to Eye Operations

The rising cost of health care and insurance is leading some employers to make cuts in other areas of the company, while others have increased the amount employees are required to contribute and still others have raised the prices on their goods and servi

Tuesday in the Valley

North Valley Regional Chamber of Commerce, Business2Business Networking Cluster

United Online to Buy Mypoints

United Online, Inc. announced Monday their acquisition of an Internet direct marketing services provider.

Bucking the Trend

So far this year, home sales are down by about 25 percent nationally, but at Metrocities Mortgage, business is up by about 30 percent.

A New Model for Old Medical Tradition

A Woodland Hills-based health care company is defying conventional wisdom by providing physicians who make house calls to chronically ill patients and, rather than adding expense, the strategy may be reducing the cost of care.

Image Hires Investment Banking Firm

Image Entertainment has hired an investment banking firm to review its businesses and strategic options, the company announced Monday.

Roles of HR Directors Get Boost

No longer mere paper shufflers handling payroll and benefits, human resources managers and directors have transitioned into roles where they are directly connected to the strategic plans of the companies they work for.

Developer of Price Pfister Site Increases Project Size, Visibility

The developer of the Price Pfister project in Pacoima acquires additional

Huge Retail, Industrial Center Will Front 101 Freeway

A 120-acre parcel, the last large-scale freeway frontage in the Conejo Valley is slated for development, Senior Reporter Shelly Garcia reports.

Pushing Public-Private Funding Solutions

Actual and projected California revenues are significantly higher (approximately 15 percent to 20 percent) than just two years ago.

As Amgen Revenues Soar So Does Entire Biotech Group

Amgen helped push biotech revenues to record levels last year, Staff Reporter Jonathan D. Colburn reports.

Friday, April 7

Ixia Downgrades Guidance

Calabasas-based network provider, Ixia said it expected earnings in the range of $38 million to $39 million or $0.00 to $0.02 per share or the first quarter ended March 31, 2006, below the company's previous guidance of $39 million to $41 million or $0.01

Monday in the Valley

Encino Chamber of Commerce, Board of Directors Meeting

Torrez Appointed Financial Services Director

The former chief financial officer for Long Beach has been tapped by the city of Burbank to be the new financial services director.

Thursday, April 6

Friday in the Valley

Calabasas Chamber of Commerce, Method Fest Awards Ceremony & Wrap Party

Restoration Hardware Opens in Camarillo

Restoration Hardware Inc. is opening an outlet store in Camarillo Premium Outlets on Friday, April 7.

Waat to Develop Casino Games for Phones

Waat Media has joined forces with Games Marketing Ltd. in a partnership to develop and distribute casino games that can be accessed via mobile phones worldwide.

Ixia Shares Down In Aftermarket Trading Outlook

Shares in Ixia dropped in aftermarket trading after the company said it will come up short of Wall Street's expectations.

Shoe Pavilion Sales Increase 17 Percent

Shoe Pavilion said its net sales increased 17 percent to $27.3 million for the 13 weeks ended April 1. The company reported net sales of $23.3 million for the comparable period a year ago.

Wednesday, April 5

Disney Launches New Wireless Service

The Walt Disney Co. announced Wednesday the launching of a new wireless service designed for families that allows management of phone use.

IHOP CEO Wins Trailblazer Award

Julia A. Stewart, president and CEO of restaurant chain, IHOP Corp., received the 2006 Trailblazer Award from the Women's Foodservice Forum (WFF) for her achievements in the foodservice industry.

Ryland Moves Up Fortune 500 List

The Ryland Group, one of the country's largest homebuilders, jumped 25 places to No. 444 on the Fortune 500 list of the America's largest companies.

Thursday in the Valley

Valley Economic Development Center (VEDC), Start Up Do's and Don'ts

Work on Plant Expansion Takes Shape

Voit Development Co. and Selleck Development Group have raised walls on their 15-acre addition to The Plant, an industrial and retail center in Panorama City.

Tuesday, April 4

IRIS Purchases Leucadia Technologies

Chatsworth-based IRIS International Inc. has purchased Leucadia Technologies for $10.1 million.

Wednesday in the Valley

San Fernando Chamber of Commerce, Board of Directors Meeting

United Online Added to S & P; Index

Standard & Poor's will add United Online Inc., an Internet service provider in Woodland Hills, to the S & P; Small Cap 600 index.

Studios Start Offering Movie Downloads

Warner Bros. is one of six studios partnering with Movielink to allow movie fans to download feature films beginning Monday.

Monday, April 3

Electronic Clearing House Settles Lawsuit

Electronic Clearing House Inc., an electronic payment service in Camarillo, and its subsidiary XPRESSCHEX, Inc., have settled patent litigation with LML Payment Systems subsidiary LML Patent Corp.

New Network In Burbank Offices

Burbank has been tapped by Warner Bros. Entertainment and CBS Inc. as the location for its new television network to be launched this fall.

Tuesday in the Valley

Valley Economic Development Center (VEDC), All About Business Loans

Health Net Completes Acquisition

Health Net added more than 100,000 new members as it announced the completed acquisition of Universal Care Inc.

Amgen Completes Abgenix Purchase

Thousand Oaks-based Amgen announced it has completed a $2.2 billion acquisition of Abgenix Inc., which works in the field of human therapeutic antibodies.