Stories for February 2011

Monday, February 28

Net Income up for DTS in Q4, Fiscal 2010

Audio technology developer DTS Inc. increased its net income by 27 percent in the fourth quarter when compared to a year ago.

Salem Sells Los Angeles Radio Station

Salem Communications has sold its foreign language radio station in Los Angeles for $12 million.

Vitesse Returns to NASDAQ

Vitesse Semiconductor Corp. will return to trading on the NASDAQ Global Market after a nearly five year absence.

AML Bought By Competitor

TECHNOLOGY: Microwave component maker in UAV deals.

Camarillo microassemblies manufacturer AML Communications has been acquired by New York company Anaren. AML is involved in the fast-growing unmanned aerial vehicles market.

SMK-Link Acquires Gyration Motion Device Products

TECHNOLOGY: Purchase will allow company to build on education market.

Camarillo-based SMK-Link, a developer of remote controls and other peripherals, buys Movea's Gyration motion device unit.

Accounting Firm Chooses Valley

CPA: OC’s Squar, Milner picks up White, Zuckerman partner.

Regional accounting firm Squar Milnar is expanding into the Valley with the help of a partner from Sherman Oak-based White, Zuckerman, Warsavsky, Luna, Wolf & Hunt .

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Stylish Dealership to Be Vintage Car Destination

AUTOS: Calabasas business will add amenities for buyers, sightseers.

A large vintage car dealership is coming to Calabasas and will be housed in a Tuscan style building which will contain several amenities.

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New Game

First Sport in 25 Years Part of Strategy to Energize Easton

As it tries to re-energize its brand, Easton Sports in Van Nuys, starts making equipment for lacrosse, a sport surging in popularity throughout the country.

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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY / THE PACESETTER - Women-Owned Businesses

ABOUT THE LIST - Top Valley-area Women-owned companies ranked by current employees. Includes the 2011 SFV'S TOP WOMEN OWNED BUSINESSES list for download (pdf)

Baxter International Grant Given to Conejo Free Clinic

MEDICAL: Money will provide funding for operations manager at Thousand Oaks site.

GIVING: This is a regular feature on philanthropic activities by Valley-area businesspeople and companies.

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Non-Profit Designation Is Not a Business Plan

KALEIDOSCOPE - OUR CHANGING VALLEY

“Non-profit’ is a tax status, not a business plan.” Commentary by Martin M. Cooper, President of Cooper Communications, Inc.

City Literally Losing Millions in Fixed Assets

VICA LOCAL UPDATE

Catching the local business issues that fall through the cracks

Mini Cooper Dealership Will Serve Wide Area

Cars: Freeway was a draw to locate in Camarillo.

A new Mini Cooper dealership in Camarillo will be the only one of its kind from there to San Jose.

Closing Borders Stores Have Location On Their Side

Market: Other retailers will likely step in to take over space vacated by shuttered bookstores.

Real estate professionals say it will be easier to fill closed Borders stores than it was to fill other big box spaces like Circuit City a few years ago.

ReachLocal Buys DealOn.Com

INTERNET: Purchase follows pattern by Woodland Hills firm to diversify offerings.

Online marketer ReachLocal has acquired daily deals site DealOn.com in a transaction worth $10 million.

Valley Executive Joins DWP Board

UTILITY: Richard Moss is president of real estate firm.

San Fernando Valley business leader Richard Moss has been nominated to join the Board of Water and Power Commissioners.

First California Continues Coastal Strategy With Buy

BANKING: Westlake Village firm takes over San Luis Obispo bank to get near Santa Barbara.

First California Bank has expanded its geographic footprint northward by acquiring the assets of a troubled bank in San Luis Obispo County.

L/B/W Doubles Personal Lines With Fortman Purchase

INSURANCE: Valencia company says other acquisitions possible in the future.

LBW Insurance & Financial Services has doubled its personal lines division with the purchase of Fortman Insurance.

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Hummingbird Aircraft Takes Flight

Nano: Aerovironment tests tiny craft for DARPA program.

Just as the commercial space industry is getting revved up to take paying passengers into low-earth orbit, one of its pioneers is leaving. Burt Rutan will retire as head of Scaled Composites and move to Idaho.

BlackLine Says L.A.’s New Attitude Helped in Move

Incentives: Results of city actions begin to show as other firms take advantage of perks.

BlackLine Systems takes advantage of Los Angeles city credits in its move from Calabasas to Woodland Hills. It follows other companies in taking advantage of the perks.

Scaled Composites’ Rutan Leaving Antelope Valley

AVIATION: Pioneer instrumental in building reputation of Mojave Space Port

Just as the commercial space industry is getting revved up to take paying passengers into low-earth orbit, one of its pioneers is leaving. Burt Rutan will retire as head of Scaled Composites and move to Idaho.

K-Swiss Losses Widen Amid Brand Awareness Effort

EARNINGS: Company says future orders reflect better sales to youth customers.

Latest earnings results from Valley-area public companies.

Ex 1-800 DENTIST Marketer Shines Light On Snoring

MEDICAL: Tarzana-based Twersky works with network of professionals to direct clients.

Larry Twersky, the former president of the well-known dental-related business, has started a Tarzana-based company to address the dangerous sleep disorder of sleep apnea

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Burbank Company in Business of Building Coalitions

Media: Greater interest in environmental issues brings green to Better World Group.

Burbank-based and women-owned Better World Group, which deals with branding and strategy, finds business in the increased interest in the environment.

Call Center A New Direction for Hospitalist Company

Service: Patients get access to doctors without ER visit.

Jessica Vernabe reports on hospitalist firm’s purchase of a physician call center.

Drum Beat in the Distance

Remo Belli finds that anyone in the world can benefit from his product.

Long-time Valencia drumhead maker Remo Belli has expanded his company into music therapy.

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Thursday, February 24

DreamWorks Animation Closes Out Strong Year

“How to Train Your Dragon” continued to add to the bottom line of DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. during the fourth quarter with strong sales of the DVD version of the film.

Teledyne Brown Going for Missile Defense Contract

A subsidiary of Teledyne Technologies Inc. has been joined by Lockheed Martin Corp and Raytheon Co. to pursue a contract for missile defense modeling and simulation technology.

Research Institute Signs on With XCOR for Suborbital Flights

The Southwest Research Institute will use the Lynx space vehicle to carry biomedical, microgravity, and astronomy imaging experiments into suborbital altitudes.

Easton-Bell Finishes 2010 with Positive Earnings

Sports equipment manufacturer Easton-Bell Sports returned to positive earnings for the 2010 fiscal year when compared to the year before.

Wednesday, February 23

Income Dips in Q4 For United Online; Classmates.com Name Changed

Net income dropped in the fourth quarter for Internet services and consumer products provider United Online Inc. when compared to the same period from a year ago.

Net Incomes Drops in Q4 at PS Business Parks

PS Business Parks Inc. had higher revenues but lower net income for the fourth quarter and full year of 2010, the Glendale-based equity real estate investment trust announced.

Tuesday, February 22

K-Swiss Widens Loss in Q4

Athletic apparel company K-Swiss Inc. widened its net loss for the fourth quarter and the 2010 fiscal year when compared to the same periods from a year ago.

Monday, February 21

Trio-Tech International Has Higher Earnings in Quarter

Trio-Tech International had higher earnings and revenue for its second quarter of fiscal year 2011 compared to the same quarter a year ago due to stronger product sales and better performance in its testing services and real estate segments.

Thursday, February 17

On Assignment Posts Loss in Q4

Staffing services firm On Assignment widened its net loss in the fourth quarter when compared to the previous year.

Ventura County to See Job Growth

Ventura County is expected to add jobs each quarter this year, though the county’s economic growth will lag compared to the country as a whole, according to a report released today by California Lutheran University’s Center for Economic Research and Forecasting.

Aerovironment Demonstrates Hummingbird Aircraft

Aerovironment Inc. successfully demonstrated a tiny, lightweight aircraft designed to look like a hummingbird.

Health Net Announces Repurchased Shares

Health Net Inc. repurchased 1.2 million shares of its common stock in January through its $300 million stock repurchase program, the Woodland Hills-based insurer announced.

Wednesday, February 16

Three Borders Stores Targeted for Closure in Valley Region

Border stores in the San Fernando and Santa Clarita valleys would close under a bankruptcy plan of the beleaguered bookseller.

Valley Business Man Joins LADWP Commissioners Board

San Fernando Valley business leader Richard Moss has been nominated to join the Board of Water and Power Commissioners.

Report States that California Economy is Expected to Grow

Southern California has started down the long road of economic recovery, according to a report released by the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation.

THQ Using Food Trucks to Market New Game

Video game publisher THQ Inc. will hit the streets of Los Angeles and San Francisco with a food truck connected to its upcoming new game, “Homefront.”

Tuesday, February 15

ReachLocal Gets Into Daily Deals Market

Online marketer ReachLocal has acquired daily deals site DealOn.com in a deal worth $10 million.

BlackLine Systems To Hire 40 After Move to Valley

Financial software provider BlackLine Systems plans to hire 40 new employees as a result of new economic incentives it will receive through its relocation from Calabasas to Woodland Hills.

Community Journalism Enters an Experimental Phase

Stories: Online news sites, radio lay claim to areas where big media abandoned coverage.

Experimentation abounds in community journalism as a replacement to big media. MEDIA Column by Mark Madler.

Catalogue Sales Help Image in Q3

Stronger catalogue sales contributed to Image Entertainment Inc. posting net income for the third quarter compared to the net loss from the same period a year ago.

Monday, February 14

Discount Tool Retailer Opens Two New Stores

Harbor Freight Tools has opening two new locations as part of its plan to expand into new U.S. markets, the Calabasas-based discount tool retailer announced.

Technology Manufacturer Combines Businesses

A Thousand Oaks division of London-based Smiths Group plans to combine four existing businesses within the Smiths Interconnect Wireless Technologies Group under a single business branded Kaelus, the company announced.

For Some, It’s an Era of Maximizing Opportunities

Livelier Times

ENTREPRENEUR SUCCESS STORY - A shift has taken place from small businesses trying to survive to that of capitalizing on opportunities and growing

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AML Communications Sold to New York Firm

Microelectronic assemblies manufacturer AML Communications Inc. is being acquired by a larger defense contractor based in New York State in a deal worth $29 million.

Gym to Occupy NoHo Commons Anchor Space

Tenant: HOWS supermarket formerly filled the space.

The No Ho Commons retail center’s new anchor tenant, 24 Hour Fitness, plans to expand the space of a former supermarket.

Beating the Chains Means Ramping Up Service Drastically

COMPETITIVE INDUSTRY: Mattress store grows steadily with keen eye on customer.

ENTREPRENEUR SUCCESS STORY - Lucie and Chemi Volotzky take a personal approach with the customers coming to the three locations of Beds Unlimited.

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VALLEY BIZ SEEN

Photographs of recent business-related events in the valleys, including parties, awards dinners, benefits and other celebrations.

Entrepreneurs Seeking Out Financing Alternatives

MONEY: Banks still tough on many owners of small firms.

ENTREPRENEUR SUCCESS STORIES - As bank lending standards remain tough, how are small businesses getting financing?

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Management Shift at Cherokee

RETAIL: Flurry of changes expected to boost global business.

Within the past six months, Cherokee has appointed a new CEO, board chairman, and CFO. All the while, the brand management company has expanded its international business further.

Biomass Biz Gains Traction

ENERGY: Two local companies take major steps forward.

Two Valley area companies are using plant material to make alternative energy less expensive.

Radio Station Owner Strengthens Online Presence

INTERNET: Salem diversifies with acquisition of Bible book store.

Christian radio station owner Salem Communications has acquired an online evangelical bookstore as it expands its non-broadcast options.

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Layoff Aversion Program Looks to Prop Up Businesses

Stimulus: Federal money used for counseling services for companies to keep workers.

Valley economic groups helping implement the city’s Layoff Aversion Program have made progress in keeping local businesses stay afloat.

Internship Program Targets Auto Techs

training: Galpin Ford among car dealers working to offer paid positions to students.

Galpin Ford is partnering with Pierce College and LA Trade Tech to expand training for auto technicians as the industry’s workforce ages.

Area’s Industrial Real Estate Market Saw Improvements

Report: 2010 considered better year than 2009.

The San Fernando Valley and Ventura County industrial market’s fourth quarter and full 2010 results show increased sales and leasing activity and lower availability rates mixed with higher vacancy rates

Restaurant Industry Needn’t Be Difficult for Everybody

HOSPITALITY: NoHo owner wouldn’t let go of his vision for neighborhood.

ENTREPRENEUR SUCCESS STORY - Persistence and stubborness has helped Brian Sheehan keep the doors open at his Ecletic Wine Bar & Grille in NoHo.

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AROUND THE VALLEYS

News and notes from around the greater San Fernando Valley area

Playing Up Industry Strengths

Martin Rae heads group promoting the creative and technical side of video games.

INTERVIEW: Martin Rae takes over as president of the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences at a time of transition in the video game industry.

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New Paid Organ and Bone Marrow Donation Leave

Act: New entitlement is in addition to existing family and medical leave laws on the books.

EMPLOYMENT LAW Column by Richard Rosenberg

No Hiding Behind Anonymity at Hubzi.com

The online advertising platform Hubzi.com was inspired by Craig’s List but its creator wants the site to be much more.

IHOP Offering Free Pancakes for Stories of Good Acts

Stacks: Restaurant chain readies for its annual fundraiser benefitting children’s hospitals.

GIVING: This is a regular feature on philanthropic activities by Valley-area businesspeople and companies.

Serial Entrepreneur Used First Business As Launching Pad

EXPERIENCE: Owner looks to his existing firms to get ideas for new companies.

ENTREPRENEUR SUCCESS STORY - Entrepreneur Ron Feinstein launched several companies by building on an anchor business idea and closely watching his money.

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Sports Product Maker Plays On Good Idea

GROWTH: Youth market benefits from firm with major league aspirations.

ENTREPRENEUR SUCCESS STORY - Jack Kasarjian brought new ideas to a traditional sport with his XProTeX protective baseball and softball gear.

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SBA Lending Increases After Two Years of Big Declines

Livelier Times

ENTREPRENEUR SUCCESS STORIES - Lending by the U.S. Small Business Administration has increased

Investors Making Comeback to Commercial Market

Acquire: Activity increases as office, industrial climate appears to have seen the worst.

Private investors are returning to putting money into the commercial real estate market

DONE DEALS - February 2011

Real Estate Transactions during the period of Dec. 15 to Jan. 25

Today’s Politics Wouldn’t Embrace Reagan’s Pragmatism

CAPITOL OFFENSES

CAPITOL OFFENSES - Ronald Reagan’s style would be out of place today.

California’s Economy: A Plan We Can All Get Behind

COMMENTARY: Follow-through needed to help businesses in California.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY / THE PACESETTER - SBJ Lenders

ABOUT THE LIST: The SBA Lender with the largest total value of loans in 2010 was Mortgage Capital Development Corp. Includes the 2011 SFV'S LARGEST SBA LENDERS list for download (pdf)

VALLEY STOCK WATCH

Closing prices as of March 9, 2011

Stock activity for 50 selected greater San Fernando Valley-based public companies.

Sunday, February 13

Weakness in Asian Market Lowers Revenue at Vitesse

Earnings: Tech company narrows its net loss in the first quarter compared to year ago.

Public company financial results.

Friday, February 11

MannKind Plans to Slash Workforce

MannKind Corp. plans to lay off about 41 percent of its workforce as its takes a more narrow focus on getting its AFREZZA diabetes drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the Valencia-based company announced.

Technicolor Opening New Film Lab in Glendale

Technicolor has signed a lease for a new film lab in Glendale as a replacement for one the company is closing in North Hollywood.

Thursday, February 10

Congressmen Go for Second Try on Curfew for Airports

Three congressmen representing the San Fernando Valley are seeking mandatory curfews at Van Nuys Airport and Bob Hope Airport.

DALSA Acquisition by Teledyne Moves Forward

Shareholders in digital imaging company DALSA Corp. have approved its acquisition by Teledyne Technologies Inc.

DineEquity Announced Higher Q4 Restaurant Sales

Sales increased for DineEquity Inc.’s Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill & Bar and IHOP restaurants, the Glendale-based company announced.

Wednesday, February 9

Deadline Extended to Apply For Manufacturing Awards

The deadline has been extended to Feb. 11 to apply for the Manufacturing Leadership Awards to be presented in March.

Vitesse Narrows Loss in Q1

Vitesse Semiconductor Corp. narrowed its net loss in the first quarter when compared to the same period from a year ago.

Tuesday, February 8

Income Rises 54 Percent for Disney in Q1

The Walt Disney Co. saw revenue increases in all of its business divisions for the first quarter when compared to a year ago, with the exception of studio entertainment, which had flat revenues.

Cherokee Brand Launches In Russia

Cherokee Inc. has entered into an exclusive license agreement for its Cherokee brand with a Russian retailer, the Van Nuys-based global brand management company announced.

MPAA Files Suit Against Piracy Website

The Motion Picture Association of America has filed a federal lawsuit alleging copyright violations against the file sharing site Hotfile and its operator Anton Titov.

Monday, February 7

LTC Properties to Purchase Two Health Care Facilities

LTC Properties Inc. will add to its health care facilities portfolio with the acquisition of two properties in South Carolina for $11.5 million.

Net Loss for Capstone in Q3

Capstone Turbine Corp. widened its net loss in the third quarter when compared to a year ago due to a change in the company’s accounting standards.

FDA Approves Expanded Use For Medical Monitor

Ornim Inc. has received clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to market its oximetry and blood flow monitor, the Santa Clarita-based medical device company announced.

Friday, February 4

Former Economic Development Group Head Dies

Former Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp. President and CEO Lee Harrington has died in a surfing accident.

Renewable Energy Side Boosts Power-One in Q4

Strong sales of its inverter product line used in alternative energy production contributed to Power-One Inc. boosting its net income in the fourth quarter by more than 700 percent when compared to the previous year.

Salem Division Buys Online Bookstore

The consumer products division of Salem Communications has acquired an online evangelical bookstore.

New Lacrosse Division Added at Easton Sports

Capitalizing on the popularity of lacrosse, Easton Sports has added a new division this year to provide lacrosse equipment.

American Realty Advisors Acquires Arizona Industrial Park

American Realty Advisors has acquired an industrial park in Arizona, the Glendale-based investor advisor company announced.

Acquisitions Paying Off for Ixia

Performance test systems manufacturer Ixia improved its earnings in 2010 helped primarily by acquisitions from the year before.

Thursday, February 3

Auto Dealers, Colleges Provide Automotive Internship Program

Four auto dealerships are partnering with Pierce College and Los Angeles Trade Technical College to create an internship program for automotive technician students.

Apollo Medical Holdings Gets Hospital Contract

An affiliated medical group of Apollo Medical Holdings Inc. has signed a service agreement with Garfield Medical Center in Monterey Park, the Glendale-based company announced.

Wednesday, February 2

Game Maker Posts Loss in Q3

Video game publisher THQ Inc. posted a poor third quarter with a net loss when compared to a year ago.

Warner Bros. Revenues Help Time Warner

Higher television license fees contributed to an increase in fourth quarter revenues from Time Warner Inc.’s filmed entertainment division when compared to a year ago.

Sport Chalet Decreases Loss in Third Quarter

Sport Chalet Inc. narrowed its net loss and increased revenues for the third quarter of its fiscal year, the La Cañada-based sporting goods retail company announced.

Westlake Village Reinsurance Broker Company Acquired

New York-based Breckenridge IS Inc. has acquired a majority interest in Westlake Village-based specialty reinsurance broker company REcentis Intermediaries, LLC, the New York-based company announced.

No Dark Night for Nolan at VES Awards

That was no dream Christopher Nolan was having at the Visual Effects Society Awards.

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Tuesday, February 1

Media Technology Company Expands to Burbank

Media technology company ProMAX Systems has opened a new office location in Burbank, the company announced.

Suit Dropped Against LegalZoom

A lawsuit against LegalZoom alleging the company was practicing law without a license in Alabama has been dropped.

Health Net Has Higher Earnings For Q4, 2010

Health Net Inc. had better net income for the fourth quarter and entire year of 2010 even though it had lower revenues compared to the previous fourth quarter and year, the Woodland Hills-based insurer announced.