Stories for November 2012

Friday, November 30

Glass Door Manufacturer Sells for $602 Million

Anthony International, a Sylmar maker of glass refrigerator doors, has been acquired by Illinois manufacturer Dover Corp. for $603 million.

Northrop Makes Staff Cuts in Woodland Hills

Northrop Grumman Corp. is offering buyouts to employees at its Navigation Systems facility in Woodland Hills as a response to Pentagon budget cuts and economic uncertainties.

Thursday, November 29

Salem Declares Early Dividend

Christian broadcaster Salem Communications Corp. declared an early cash dividend for the fourth quarter, joining a growing number of companies speeding the payments to avoid possible tax obligations for investors.

Jewelry Company Launching Hispanic Shopping Channel

Jewelry design and manufacturing company Zalemark Holding Co. has created a subsidiary to provide a home shopping channel aimed at Hispanic viewers of the MundoFox television network.

Wednesday, November 28

Semtech Reports Mixed Third Quarter

Semtech Corp. beat analyst revenue estimates in its fiscal third quarter, but the Camarillo semiconductor manufacturer fell short of forecasted earnings

Walt Disney Co. Boosts Dividend

Walt Disney Co. said Wednesday that it was raising its annual dividend by 25 percent to 75 cents a share following a successful year for the company.

Kythera Chief Rings Nasdaq Bell

Keith Leonard, the chief executive of Kythera Biopharmaceuticals Inc., rang the Nasdaq opening bell Wednesday in New York, as the company announced positive results from clinical trials of its leading drug candidate.

Tuesday, November 27

Nomadix Settles HP Patent Lawsuit

Agoura Hills tech company Nomadix Inc. announced Tuesday that it has settled a patent infringement lawsuit it brought against computer giant Hewlett-Packard Co. in 2009.

Great American to Manage U.K. Electronics Chain

Great American Group Inc. has been appointed to run Comet, a chain of 236 stores in the United Kingdom.

Warner Bros., Village Roadshow Extend Film Agreement

Warner Bros. Entertainment will continue to co-produce and co-finance feature films with Village Roadshow Pictures Group as the two companies have extended their partnership for another five years.

Monday, November 26

Weak “Guardians” Box Office Drops DreamWorks Shares

Shares in DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. fell on Monday for a fourth consecutive day following a weak opening weekend for its latest film, “Rise of the Guardians.”

Ceres Forms Partnership for Brazilian Ethanol Market

Ceres Inc., a developer of seeds for energy crops, announced Monday that its Brazilian subsidiary has partnered with Swiss company Syngenta AG to develop sweet sorghum for ethanol production in Brazil.

Hollywood Stars Light Up Burbank Gala Event

Health Care: Mending Kids raises $100,000 plus for children’s surgeries.

What does the “Mentalist” do when he’s not reading people’s minds? He likes to help kids.

Firm Celebrates Longevity With Financial Spinoff

Specialty: Sherman Oaks forensic partners mark 25 years with expansion.

Sherman Oaks accounting firm White, Zuckerman, Warsavsky, Luna & Hunt marked 25 years in business this year, longevity that senior partner Paul White credits to two things.

Shrinking Disc Demand Downsizes Burbank Plant

Entertainment: Technicolor to lay off up to 60 workers at video processing facility.

ENTERTAINMENT: TechniColor closes Burbank facility and may lay off as many as 60 workers.

Zipper Maker Locks Up Pact with U.K. Retailer

Apparel: Woodland Hills’ Talon swings to profit after deal with Fat Face.

APPAREL: Zipper manufacturer Talon International moves forward after closing a long legal battle.

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Market Watch Summary

Stocks were down across the board for the two-week period ended Nov. 20.

AROUND THE VALLEYS - November 26, 2012

News and notes from around the greater San Fernando Valley area

The city of Lancaster approved a program called “Spice up Lancaster” on Nov. 13 to boost restaurant growth in the region.

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Nonprofits Lift Themselves Above Bottom Line

Charities: Large area groups adopt business mentality after recession.

STORY: As donations have dwindled, savvy nonprofit managers have created new revenue streams. Includes SFVBJ's 2012 VALLEY'S LARGEST FIXED BASED OPERATORS list for download (pdf)

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St. Louis Brokerage Heading West Into Valley

Commercial: Cassidy Turley raids NAI Capital for team to build suburban business.

Cassidy Turley Inc., a development and brokerage firm that entered the Los Angeles market this year with the opening of a regional office downtown, has set its sights on the San Fernando and Conejo valleys.

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Global Import

Jerry Stoffers built Arte de Mexico into a supplier of exotic imported furnishings – to buyers from Madonna to Vegas hotels.

PROFILE: A surf trip south of the border inspired Jerry Stoffers to start Arte de Mexico, a furniture and interior décor company in Burbank.

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Party Girl

Andrea Michaels’ Extraordinary Events counts big corporations as clients, but she’s had to adapt since the recession.

ENTREPRENEUR: Andrea Michaels shares war stories from the front lines of the corporate event production business.

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Out of the Rubble

Development: Dinerstein clears Panavision site for upscale Warner Center apartments.

DEVELOPMENT: Dinerstein Cos. plans to put 395 apartments on the site of former Panavision headquarters in Warner Center.

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Helping Businesses Take Notes

Father-son team aim to tune up brands with Write On Cue Music.

MARKETING: Family business writes music cues that communicate a company’s identity.

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Drumming Just Can’t Be Beat

Real estate executive pursues passion for music with orchestra.

EVENTS: Harry Selvin directs an orchestra when he’s not running his namesake real estate company.

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Helping Get Line On Relief

Firm’s text-to-pledge technology rings up disaster donations.

MOBILE: Hurricane Sandy whips up business for MobileCause, a firm that processes text-to-pledge messages.

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Airfield May Be Ready to Spread Wings

AVIATION: City agency works on plan to redevelop property in Van Nuys.

AVIATION: City officials, business groups and tenants try to figure out what will fly at Van Nuys Airport.

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Amgen May Give Area Booster Shot

BIOTECH: Atara spinoff to take pipeline drugs from giant firm.

BIOTECH: Amgen is sharing the risks – and rewards – of its pipeline drugs with startup Atara Biotherapeutics.

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Lyric Sites Face Music, Lawyers

INTERNET: Publishers have last word with $6.6 million verdict.

INTERNET: Song lyrics have become big business. A legal judgment may help local music publishers finally get their due.

Homed In

Nonprofit rebrands in tight senior care market

NONPROFIT: A Valley charity focused on senior care changes its name to reach a larger audience.

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Shoe Repair Steps Into Web Future

Co-founders bring ancient skills to Net with

FOOTWEAR: brings a high-tech marketing spin to the shoe repair sector.

Wednesday, November 21

ESPN To Air College Football Playoff Games

Cable sports network ESPN signed a deal to broadcast college playoff games and championship games for 12 years.

SolarWorld Lays Off 23 Camarillo Employees

SolarWorld USA, the country’s largest solar panel manufacturer, has laid off 23 employees at its Camarillo office, with additional employees being laid off at its Hillsboro, Ore. plant.

Apollo Medical to Provide Doctors to Downtown Hospital

Apollo Medical Holdings Inc. has signed a service agreement to provide hospitalist services for California Hospital Medical Center in Los Angeles.

Tuesday, November 20

Ceres Reports Narrower Loss

Energy crop company Ceres Inc. significantly narrowed its losses in its fiscal fourth quarter, ended Aug. 31 but reported lower revenue as collaborations and international demand for its seeds declined.

THQ Negotiating with Financial Organization

Video game publisher THQ Inc. is in negotiations with a financial organization regarding financial alternatives for the struggling company.

Former Telesis Subsidiary Gets New Owners

Three credit unions have taken a controlling interest in the small business and commercial real estate loan subsidiary of the shuttered Telesis Community Credit Union.

Monday, November 19

Trio-Tech Narrows Quarterly Loss

Trio-Tech International Inc. said Monday it narrowed its fiscal first quarter loss, the result of cost cutting and improvement in its core semiconductor test equipment business.

Teledyne Subsidiary to Manage Dow Chemical Sites

A subsidiary of Teledyne Technologies Inc. received a contract to provide Dow Chemical Co. with management and support research services at three locations.

Friday, November 16

Ikea to Open Huge Burbank Store

Home furnishings retailer Ikea plans to build a massive store in Burbank less than a mile from its current location in the city’s downtown.

Hostess Closes Three Valley-Area Outlet Stores

The decision by Hostess Brands Inc. to shutter all its operations will result in the closure of Hostess outlets stores in Camarillo, Glendale and Chatsworth.

IPC Acquires Ohio Post-Acute Care Practice

IPC the Hospitalist Co. has acquired GLT Medical Services Ltd., a post-acute doctors’ practice in Toledo, Ohio.

Westlake Village Benefits Firm Merges

Nielsen Benefits Group has merged with Digital Insurance, an Atlanta company that uses the Internet and software to manage employee health benefits for small businesses.

Thursday, November 15

Warner Bros. Extends Deal with IMAX

Warner Bros. Pictures will release up to 20 films in the large-screen IMAX format over the next three years under an agreement with IMAX Corp.

Dole Food Misses Wall Street Estimates

Dole Food Co. Inc. reported on Thursday that it narrowed its loss in the third quarter, but it still missed analysts’ estimates, which it blamed on poor weather conditions and unfavorable foreign exchange rates.

Earnings Rise for Lancaster Software Developer

Pharmaceutical software developer Simulations Plus Inc. reported increased profit and revenue in its fiscal fourth quarter, boosted by growth in its consulting and training business.

Wednesday, November 14

New Chief Executive Takes Helm at Panavision

Panavision Inc. announced Wednesday it has named Kimberly Snyder as the company’s chief executive, the fifth time since 2009 the venerable Hollywood supplier of cameras and lenses has made a change in leadership.

Acquisition, International Sales Boost Wesco

Aircraft parts distributor Wesco Aircraft Holdings Inc. beat analyst expectations in its fiscal fourth quarter, helped by an acquisition and strong international sales.

Rocketdyne to Build Concentrated Solar Project

Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne has received a $2.3 million U.S. Defense Department contract to build a high-tech solar plant at Edwards Air Force Base.

Tuesday, November 13

Qualstar Misses Earnings Following Proxy Battle

Qualstar Corp., a maker of data storage and power supply systems, failed to meet earnings expectations in its fiscal first quarter, a miss management blamed on a summer proxy battle.

Kythera Reports Quarterly Loss

Newly public Kythera Pharmaceuticals Inc. announced a higher-than-expected loss in the third quarter, which it attributed to the costs of enrollment in clinical trials for its primary pipeline drug.

Disney Licenses Mobile Games to Chinese Firm

Walt Disney Co. is providing two of its best-selling mobile games to the Chinese market in an agreement with a Chinese mobile-gaming and handset company.

MannKind Signs Cancer Licensing Deal

MannKind Corp. announced on Tuesday that it has signed a licensing deal worth some $140 million that allows a San Jose company to take over development and production of a novel cancer treatment.

Monday, November 12

Show Closures Trim Tix Corp. Revenue

The loss of three Las Vegas shows and the closure of one of its discount ticket kiosks contributed to lower third quarter revenue for Tix Corp.

Ceres Receives U.S. Grant for India Project

Agricultural biotech Ceres Inc. has received a $3.5 million grant to fund further research in Asia for the U.S. Agency for International Development.

BAE Systems Delivers 300th Converted Fighter Jet

BAE Systems plc completed the 300th conversion of an F-4 Phantom fighter jet into a remote-controlled aerial target used by the U.S. Air Force for weapons testing and aircraft training.

VALLEY BIZ SEEN - November 12, 2012

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

Metal Man

Sepand Samzadeh’s family fled Iran after the revolution. Now he and his father are togther again leading Valley Recycling to success.

PROFILE: A Q&A with Sepand Samzadeh, co-chief executive of Valley Recycling.

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Racking It Up

Carol Moran has led A-1 Textiles & Hospitality Products beyond towels to soak up gains for her company.

ENTREPRENEUR: Carol Moran, founder of A-1 Textiles in Pacoima, finds new ways to stay ahead of linen trends.

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Investors Reward Amgen After it Passes Trials

Biotech: Biotech giant’s stock reaches historic high after positive news.

BIOTECH: Amgen is impressing investors with clinical trial news and dividends.

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Packed Up And Ready To Go

NorthStar Moving on revenue roll assisted by luxury service.

SERVICE: NorthStar Moving has seen rapid growth by hauling anything for a price.

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Swipe Meister

Services: Low rates propel growth at pay processor Elite Merchant Solutions.

Services: Elite Merchant Solutions gives the credit for its growth to the business of processing card transactions.

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Company Expands Focus Beyond Microscopes

Tech: McBain Systems, leading Leica distributor, now does manufacturing.

TECH: Expanding Simi Valley manufacturer puts semiconductor industry into focus.

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Sounding Off On Rock’s Biggest Stars

Recording engineer’s career stories click with Amazon readers.

ARTS: Sound engineer Ken Scott’s memoir about his adventures with the Beatles, Bowie and Pink Floyd becomes a hit of its own.

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Keeping Score on Tickets

Spotlight’s service helps clients get down to business at games.

SALES: Calabasas firm Spotlight Ticket Management makes managing sports tickets a slam dunk for businesses.

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Sizing Up Children’s Growth

KidMeasure product makes it a rule to keep parents’ walls clean.

RETAIL: Parents can close the door on marking their kids’ heights thanks to a new measuring device.

Residential Developer Sees Opening in Downtown Glendale

Real Estate: Holland eyes empty lot as home for retail and apartments.

REAL ESTATE: Holland Partner Group plans to develop an eyesore of a lot in downtown Glendale.

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Talking Big on Billboards

The city of Los Angeles must take swift action to reject a court ruling that would cost the city and local businesses hundreds of thousands of dollars.

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Valley Surging On Connection To Technology

FASTEST: Tech companies dominate the Business Journal’s list of Fastest Growing Private Companies. Includes SFVBJ's 2012 VALLEY'S FASTEST-GROWING PRIVATE COs list for download (pdf)

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Reseda Man Gets His Star on AIDS Walk L.A.

HEALTH CARE: Time Warner employee raises money for eighteenth straight year.

There’s no slowing down Marty Adebowale, a Reseda resident and collections supervisor at Time Warner Cable Inc., the largest cable TV provider in the San Fernando Valley.

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Aging Towers Get Facelift to Attract New Tenants

Office: Blackstone Group sinks $61 million into former MPG buildings.

Two Glendale office buildings lost by MPG Office Trust Inc. are getting a major facelift now that they have been acquired by Blackstone Group L.P. out of foreclosure.

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motor city in the valley

DEALERSHIP: An in-depth look at Galpin Motors’ venerable San Fernando Valley auto business.

Far and Wide

Website host gains ground with global staff

INTERNET: Calabasas website hosting firm Arvixe is No.1 on the list.

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Hondas in Overdrive at Mission Hills Dealership

Autos: Boeckmanns replicate Ford success with Japanese make.

AUTOS: Owners of top Ford dealership work their magic with Honda store.

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Machine Maker Builds Case for Manufacturing

MANUFACTURING: Dynamic Automation is a growing manufacturer serving the pharmaceutical industry.

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Market Watch Summary

Stocks were mixed for the two-week period ended November 7, 2012.

around the valleys

News and notes from around the greater San Fernando Valley area

Parker-Brown Inc., a Canoga Park construction firm, is building a six-story parking garage in Hollywood.

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Van Nuys Control Tower to Reach New Heights

Construction: Agency nixes new facility but plans extensive renovation.

The Federal Aviation Administration has decided against building a new control tower at Van Nuys Airport.

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Friday, November 9

More Layoffs at St. Jude Medical Plant in Sylmar

St. Jude Medical Inc. has notified 114 employees at its Sylmar medical device manufacturing facility that their positions will be cut by the end of the year.

Public Storage Reports Improved Profitability

Shares of Public Storage Inc. rose after the operator of storage units released third quarter results that beat analyst forecasts.

Salem Communications Beats Profit Forecast

Christian broadcaster and Internet content provider Salem Communications Corp. beat earnings but failed to meet revenue forecasts for the third quarter.

New Properties Boost LTC Income

LTC Properties Inc. said its revenue increased in the third quarter largely due to increased rental fees from recently acquired properties.

Thursday, November 8

Disney Meets Earning Estimates

Walt Disney Co. met analysts’ earnings estimates but slightly missed revenue projections in its fiscal fourth quarter, with a decrease in worldwide theatrical box office a contributing factor.

Point.360 Reports Loss, Shares Slump

Shares of Point.360 fell 17 percent Thursday after the company announced a loss in its fiscal first quarter.

First California Bank Merges With PacWest

First California Financial Group Inc. is being acquired by PacWest Bancorp in a deal valued at $231 million. The deal would make the combined financial institutions the eighth largest publicly-held bank headquartered in California.

Row 44 Acquired in $430 Million Deal

Global Eagle Acquisition Corp. is purchasing in-flight Wi-Fi provider Row 44 Inc. in a $430 million deal that will pair it with a German company that provides entertainment content to air travelers.

Wednesday, November 7

Adult Industry Group Vows to Fight Condom Law

The trade group for the adult entertainment industry will challenge in court the legality of a ballot initiative passed in the Nov. 6 election that would require male performers to wear condoms during filming.

Online sales contribute to profitable third quarter for Sport Chalet

Sport Chalet Inc. reported third-quarter profit that beat Wall Street forecasts Wednesday, thanks in part to increased online sales.

Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne Cuts Valley Workforce

Rocket engine manufacturer Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne cut 100 salaried and hourly positions Wednesday as a response to an uncertain future of the space industry and the general economic climate.

Tuesday, November 6

Bottom Falls Out of THQ Stock

Shares in video game publisher THQ Inc. dropped by 50 percent, an apparent response by investors to the company’s need for additional financing to release its games.

Whole Foods Moving Regional HQ to Glendale

Whole Foods Market Inc. is moving its regional headquarters to Glendale, taking space at an empty office building constructed in 2009 by MPG Office Trust Inc.

Disney Viewers Raise $16.8 Million for Hurricane Relief

Walt Disney Co. raised more than $16.8 million when its broadcast properties hosted a “Day of Giving” to aid American Red Cross efforts following Hurricane Sandy.

Monday, November 5

Amgen Reports Positive Results for Cholesterol Drug

Amgen Inc. said Monday it had received positive results from clinical tests of an experimental heart medication that it hopes will be one of its next blockbuster drugs.

THQ Beats Estimates, Delays Video Game Releases

THQ Inc. beat analysts’ estimates for the quarter as its sequel to its “Darksiders” video game became a top seller. But the company also said it is pushing back the release date of future games as it seeks financing.

Spectrolab Draws Solar Cells into Closer Orbit

energy: Boeing Co. unit in Sylmar eyes terrestrial market for advanced cells that have powered Mars rover.

energy: Spectrolab is bringing its solar cells back from Mars and into more terrestrial applications on Earth.

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Friday, November 2

MannKind Reports Narrower Loss

MannKind Corp. reported a narrower third-quarter loss than analysts projected, but reported higher operating costs as the company prepares for another round of clinical trials on its inhaled insulin drug.

Local Web Companies Beat Wall St. Forecasts

Three local Internet companies beat analyst expectations with their third-quarter financial performance, causing an upswing in share price for all three.

Cinedigm to Distribute Comedy from Alloy Digital

Cinedigm Digital Cinema Corp. has entered into a content distribution partnership with Alloy Digital, the New York owner of the YouTube comedy channels ClevverTV and Smosh.

Box Office Hit Drives DreamWorks Animation Stock

Shares of DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. were trading higher Friday following the studio’s third quarter earnings, boosted by the company’s box office hit, “Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted.”

Thursday, November 1

Tax Deal Boosts Superior in Third Quarter

Wheel manufacturer Superior Industries International Inc. reported a higher-than-usual profit in the third quarter, helped along by a settlement with the Mexican government over an earlier tax audit.

Shares Rise as K-Swiss Cuts Quarterly Loss

Westlake Village shoemaker K-Swiss Inc. reduced its losses to less than $2 million in the third quarter, beating analysts’ estimates by a wide margin and sending shares up 36 percent on Thursday.

Profit Falls for Owner of Hallmark Channel

Crown Media Holdings Inc., the parent of cable TV’s Hallmark Channel, reported sharply lower earnings in the third quarter but investors shrugged off the news.

Disney Contributes $2 Million to Hurricane Relief

Walt Disney Co. said Thursday it would contribute $2 million to the relief and rebuilding effort after Hurricane Sandy, with $1 million going toward the American Red Cross for immediate assistance.