Stories for April 2014

Wednesday, April 30

Superior Names Stebbins CEO

A veteran auto industry executive has been named the new chief executive of aluminum wheel manufacturer Superior Industries International Inc.

United Online Misses Earning Estimate

Internet service provider and social media site operator United Online Inc. matched analyst estimates on revenue in the first quarter but fell short with earnings per share.

American Homes Prices Offering

American Homes 4 Rent announced Wednesday the pricing for its secondary offering of preferred shares.

Briefs: Alliant, XYPRO, WellPoint

A merger at Alliant, a management buyout at XYPRO Technology and a solid quarter at WellPoint.

Tuesday, April 29

DreamWorks Bombs In Earnings

Box office turkey “Mr. Peabody and Sherman” contributed to DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. reporting on Tuesday a much wider first quarter loss than analysts forecasted.

American Homes Names CFO

American Homes 4 Rent, a large single-family home institutional landlord, has named Diana M. Laing as its chief financial officer.

Sterling Banned for Life

Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling was banned from any involvement in the National Basketball Association for the rest of his life and could also be forced to sell his team, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver announced Tuesday.

Briefs: PS Business Parks, Tyco Integrated Security

PS Business Parks beats estimates. Tyco opens Burbank office.

Monday, April 28

Disney Expands Plan for Shanghai Resort

Walt Disney Co. on Monday announced an expansion of the Shanghai Disney Resort before it has even opened, as it seeks to capitalize on a boom in Chinese tourism.

BYD Unveils Bus Plant

The Antelope Valley Transit Authority will take delivery in the next few weeks of the first two electric buses made by Chinese manufacturer BYD Motors Inc. at its assembly plant in Lancaster.

Briefs: Gold Brokerage, Ryland Group

Valley gold broker charged with crime. Ryland declares dividend.

Friday, April 25

GrowLife Flames Out in Resumed Trading

Shares of GrowLife Inc. closed down nearly 60 percent on Friday after resuming trading following an April 10 halt by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Briefs: Tutor Perini, CU Bancorp

Tutor Perini awarded government contracts. CU Bancorp beats estimates.

Thursday, April 24

Former KPMG Partner Gets 14 Months

Scott London, a former partner at accounting firm KPMG in downtown Los Angeles, was sentenced Thursday to 14 months in federal prison for insider trading.

Dunkin' Donuts Entering Valley

Ten Dunkin’ Donuts locations are being planned for the San Fernando Valley over the next several years as the East Coast baked goods and coffee retailer begins its Southern California expansion.

American Homes Announces Secondary Offering

American Homes 4 Rent announced on Thursday yet another public offering of preferred shares as it continues to acquire rental homes across the country.

Briefs: Northrop Grumman, Ryland, Avery Dennison

Northrop Grumman receives contract. Ryland rides housing market. Avery Dennison boosts dividend.

Wednesday, April 23

Update: Global Warming Lawsuit Hits Ikea

An L.A. environmental group is seeking to halt a planned Ikea in Burbank alleging the project did not undergo a proper review to assess and reduce its impact on global warming.

Leaner Avery Dennison Reports Profit Growth

A slimmer Avery Dennison Corp. on Wednesday announced fiscal first quarter results that were in line with Wall Street expectations for profit, as the company begins to benefit from its restructuring.

Profit Dips at Cheesecake

Cheesecake Factory Inc. said Wednesday that same-store sales rose at most of its outlets during the fiscal first quarter, but poor weather cut into profits.

Valencia Firm Acquired by South African Competitor

NexusIS, a Valencia information technology firm, has been acquired Dimension Data of Johannesburg.

J.D. Power Buys Analytics Firm

Market research firm J.D. Power & Associates announced on Wednesday the acquisition of an online-advertising analytics firm in Florida.

Earnings: IPC, Teledyne, On Assignment

IPC disappoints. Defense cuts hit Teledyne. On Assignment meets forecasts.

Tuesday, April 22

Amgen Misses Expectations But Plans for New Drug

Amgen reported lower quarterly earnings on Tuesday, but said it plans to submit its experimental cholesterol drug for approval by the end of the year.

Vacant Lot Near Amgen Sells for $1.9 Million

After two decades of failed attempts to construct affordable housing, the city of Thousand Oaks has sold a nearly 8-acre lot to an industrial developer.

Universal Executive to Retire After 47 Years

Universal Pictures announced Tuesday that Nikki Rocco, president of domestic distribution, will retire at the end of 2014 after 47 years with the company.

Valley Aviation Firms Combine

In a cross-Valley combination of aircraft maintenance companies, Velocity Aerospace Group of Burbank has acquired EDN Aviation Inc. of Van Nuys.

Anthem Leads in Covered California Signups

In the race to sign up new customers on the Covered California health insurance exchange, Anthem Blue Cross has emerged as the winner.

Farmers Insurance Sells Wilshire Headquarters

Hollywood developer CIM Group on Monday said that it has agreed to buy Farmers Insurance Group's longtime headquarters on Wilshire Boulevard.

Monday, April 21

L.A. Airport Board Recommends Approval of Palmdale Lease

The Los Angeles Board of Airport Commissioners recommended approval on Monday of a five-year lease with Japanese railcar manufacturer Kinkisharyo International LCC for space in Palmdale.

Airport Board to Vote on Palmdale Factory Lease

The Los Angeles Board of Airport Commissioners was scheduled to vote Monday on recommending approval for a five-year lease with Japanese railcar manufacturer Kinkisharyo International LCC for space in Palmdale.

Valley Home Prices Climb

San Fernando Valley home prices continued their upward trajectory in March, with the median price gaining nearly 20 percent year over year to $515,000.

Low Rent High Life

Vacation club tries Costco approach to luxury

Tourism: Bellazo finds an inexpensive entry to luxury vacation home rentals.

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Students Get Industrial With Project

Northrop-sponsored science competition eyes future workers.

Education: A science fair could yield future employees for Northrop Grumman.

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Back to Earth for Stellar Observatory?

Supporters seeing stars over possible grounding of SOFIA.

Aerospace: A NASA research project in Palmdale faces defunding.

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No Such Thing as Women’s Work

Entrepreneurs: Local firms prosper in non-traditional industries.

Entrerpeneurship: Women-owned businesses diversify across industries.

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Apollo Climbs Industry Peak

Health Care: Glendale doctors manager expands under reform.

Health Care: Apollo Medical Holdings reinvents itself as a Medicare provider.

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Up in Smoke For Pot Firm?

Investments: GrowLife trades halted by manipulation fears.

Investments: An SEC-imposed halt in trading could wither GrowLife’s prospects.

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Inhospitable Higher Wages

Op-Ed: Hotel wage hike could hurt workers, says business group.

stockwatch

Market Watch Summary

Tech stocks took a beating for much of the two-week period ended April 16 before showing signs of recovering.

calendar

Calendar of Events

around the valleys

News and notes from around the greater San Fernando Valley

AmaWaterways has added two more ships to its growing fleet of river cruisers.

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Construction Project Props Up Slowly Improving Conejo Area

Reports: Major office and industrial deals in Valley-area submarkets. (Conejo Valley)

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San Fernando Valley Market Stalls Even as Economy Picks Up

Reports: Major office and industrial deals in Valley-area submarkets. (San Fernando Valley)

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Lagging Santa Clarita Pins Hope On Growth of Owner-Users

Reports: Major office and industrial deals in Valley-area submarkets. (Santa Clarita Valley)

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Improving Glendale Market Fails to Impress Industry Veteran

Reports: Major office and industrial deals in Valley-area submarkets. (Burbank/Glendale)

Investors Shopping for Retail Centers Boost High Desert Market

Reports: Major office and industrial deals in Valley-area submarkets. (Antelope Valley)

Hope for the District’s Notorious Triangular Lot

Focus: Bob Hope’s legacy lives on a small triangle of land on Olive Avenue.

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A Change of Heart for Old ‘Tonight Show’ Studios

Entertainment: Johnny Carson’s old stage is showcase for pop singers.

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Life After Leno

Sure, it was a blow when ‘The Tonight Show’ moved to New York, but developer Jeff Worthe has big plans for the Media District, where he owns millions of square feet.

Development: Despite vacancies, Burbank’s Media District readies for a rebound.

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Media Stars

Jeff Worthe and his Worthe Real Estate Group have assembled a large portfolio in the Media District. Its centerpiece is the former NBC Studios, acquired in 2007 for about $250 million and renamed Burb

Map: Projects in the Burbank Media District.

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Decision Near on Low-Cost Mediation Service

Litigation: Proponents want funds to start service for firms and individuals.

Plans to launch a low-cost mediation service for Valley attorneys have entered the home stretch toward becoming reality.

Simi Valley Set to Join Race for Visitor Dollars

Marketing: City could be latest to assess hotel fee to form tourism district.

Simi Valley is close to joining the growing list of local cities to establish a tourism business improvement district, or TBID.

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Credit Card Processor Pushes Limits With Product

Electronics: New suite of services introduced at Las Vegas trade show.

Total Merchant Services is branching out.

Telecommunications Company Fails to Connect

Technology: MRV is back on the Nasdaq, but shares have dipped since listing.

Technology: MRV Communications regains a listing on Nasdaq.

Making the Grade

Restaurants: Everclean Services helps client eateries pass health inspections with its audit services that aim for an ‘A.’

Restaurants: Everclean guarantees a passing grade for health inspections.

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Credit Union Shreds to Impress

Institution seeks to attract customers by destroying documents.

Banking: Why credit unions love paper-shredding parties.

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A New Brand Of Cheese Whizzes

Artisan shops opening around the Valley in latest gourmet trend.

Food: Cheese entrepreneurs are opening stores across the Valley.

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Sunday, April 20

TAKE TWO - Editorial Cartoon SFVBJ - April 21, 2014

TAKE TWO - This week's Editorial Cartoon by Steve Greenberg

Friday, April 18

Antelope Valley Union Settlement Costs Boeing $47 Million

More than 400 current and former employees of Boeing Co. in the Antelope Valley will receive $47 million as a settlement for not being covered by union representation.

Ixia to Re-Release Quarterly Financials

After identifying various accounting errors, Ixia intends to reissue financial results for two quarters last year, with the expectation of reductions in revenue and profit.

Amgen Heart Drug Wins Fast-Track Status

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has granted fast-track designation for ivabradine, a heart drug licensed for sale by Amgen Inc.

County Payrolls Grow by Nearly 19,000 Jobs

Employers in Los Angeles County added nearly 19,000 jobs in March, led by a rebound in local government.

Thursday, April 17

Target Breach Hits Cherokee Sales

Cherokee Inc. reported a dip in income in its fiscal fourth quarter Thursday, partially attributed to the data breach at its retail partner Target Corp.

Board of Equalization Opens in Santa Clarita

The California Board of Equalization opened its new Santa Clarita regional center for businesses on Thursday.

Briefs: Home Prices, Kahn Media

Southern California home sales. Kahn Media scores tire client.

Wednesday, April 16

Congressman Calls for Sriracha

U.S. Rep. Tony Cardenas wrote an open letter Wednesday to Sriracha-sauce maker Huy Fong Foods Inc. to consider relocating to the San Fernando Valley.

Dee Dee Myers Joins Warner Bros.

Political analyst and former Clinton White House press secretary Dee Dee Myers has been named as the head of worldwide corporate communications at Warner Bros., the company announced Wednesday.

Northridge Apartment Secures Refi

A 447-unit apartment complex in Northridge has secured a new $32 million loan.

Tuesday, April 15

Anywind to Open Headquarters in Palmdale

A South Korean energy company announced Tuesday it will open the headquarters of its wind energy division in Palmdale.

On-Location Filming Holds Steady

On-location production remained flat in the first quarter despite evidence that the state’s tax credit program is keeping more production in the Los Angeles region

Valley Businesswoman Gets Prison for Medicare Fraud

A San Fernando Valley businesswoman has been sentenced to nearly seven years in prison for defrauding Medicare of almost $10 million, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles.

Monday, April 14

Disney Completes Maker Deal

The board of directors and shareholders of Maker Studios have approved its acquisition by Walt Disney Co. despite a counter-offer made public Monday for the Culver City media company.

Briefs: KCETLink, Cherokee

KCETLink names directors. Cherokee announces dividend.

Friday, April 11

NoHo Boutique Gets Zoning OK

A proposed boutique hotel near the NoHo Arts District in North Hollywood has been given final discretionary approval.

Burbank Hospital Completes MRI Test

Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center announced it is the first hospital in the nation to conduct an MRI scan of a patient with a new MRI-compatible heart pacemaker.

Briefs: Disney, Film Festival

Disney faces disability access lawsuit. North Hollywood film festival kicks off.

Thursday, April 10

Injunction Sought to Halt Disney Acquisition

Former officers with Maker Studio Inc. are seeking a court order to stop a shareholder vote on the company’s $500 million acquisition by Walt Disney Co.

SEC Stops GrowLife Trading

Trading in shares of GrowLife Inc., a Woodland Hills seller of marijuana-growing supplies, was stopped on Thursday by the SEC.

Illness Outbreak on Princess Cruises Ship

A ship owned by the Valencia cruise line was docked Thursday in San Diego after an outbreak of stomach flu among 104 passengers and crew.

Home Foreclosures Fall

Home foreclosures continued to drop in Southern California in March, with rates in the greater Valley varying widely, according to a report released Thursday.

Briefs: Ceres, Public Storage

Energy crop developer Ceres reports loss. Public Storage expands offering.

Wednesday, April 9

State Chamber Identifies Job Killers

The California Chamber of Commerce released its annual list of “job killer” bills on Wednesday – and the current tally of 26 is fewer than in recent years.

Civic Leaders: L.A. Economy Can Be Improved

The Los Angeles 2020 Commission recommended a series of steps on Wednesday to boost the economy and improve City Hall

Teledyne Dials In Lab Equipment Firm

Teledyne Technologies subsidiary buys Montana maker of lab instrumentation.

AmaWaterways River Fleet Rises

AmaWaterways in Calabasas has added two more ships to its growing fleet of river cruisers.

Briefs: Simulations Plus, GrowLife

Simulations Plus reports earnings. GrowLife strikes distribution deal.

Tuesday, April 8

Westside Prop House Moves to Burbank

A Santa Monica prop house is relocating to the Burbank Airport Commerce Center.

Local Studios Sue Megaupload

Disney, Warner Bros. and other members of the Motion Picture Association of America have filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against file-hosting website Megaupload.

AFEX Buys Toronto Bank

AFEX, a Woodland Hills provider of cross-border payment services for businesses, has purchased Jameson Bank in Toronto

Monday, April 7

Former Glendale Mayor Sentenced for Embezzlement

John Drayman, a former Glendale councilman and mayor, was sentenced Monday to one year in jail for embezzling nearly $300,000 from the Montrose farmers market.

FDA Delay Drops MannKind Shares

Shares of MannKind Corp. fell nearly 8 percent Monday after the company announced that the FDA’s final decision on its inhalable insulin could be delayed beyond an expected April 15 deadline.

Palmdale Solar Project Begins

Construction started Monday on a Palmdale solar project that will generate 1,800 megawatts of electricity for the city.

Briefs: Bradway, Obit

Amgen CEO Robert Bradway joins USC board. Studio City businessman dies.

A Dirt Cheap Lease

Development: Ground has broken at the Westfield project where tenant Costco scored a long-term deal during the recession.

Development: Costco lease forms the centerpiece of the Village at Westfield Topanga project.

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VALLEY BIZ SEEN - April 7, 2014

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

TAKE TWO - Editorial Cartoon SFVBJ - April 7, 2014

TAKE TWO - This week's Editorial Cartoon by Steve Greenberg

Reducing Our Water Supply to a Drip

The recent spell of minor earthquakes in Southern California and the hundreds of aftershocks that have followed highlight the risks involved in living in a seismically active area.

What Could Have Been at Santa Susana

Op-Ed: The Field Laboratory was shut down too rapidly without due consideration of beneficial uses.

Op-Ed: Santa Susana cleanup deserves a second look; water infrastructure needs seismic upgrade.

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Making the World a Better Place

Alfred Mann, true genius.

Stockwatch

Market Watch Summary

The stock market showed marginal growth during the two-week period ended April 2 as tensions continued between Russia and Ukraine.

CALENDAR

Calendar of Events

Around The Valleys

News and notes from around the greater San Fernando Valley

A state Department of Motor Vehicles branch will open in Granada Hills, where the agency signed a five-year lease for about 35,000 square feet at a shopping center.

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Desert Cool

ZeroHouse 2.0

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Nickelodeon Drawing Up Consolidation Plans?

Real Estate: Animation studio to build large office building in Burbank.

Could Nickelodeon Animation Studios be consolidating its Santa Monica operations in Burbank?

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Calabasas Auction House Relocates, Trades Up

Entertainment: Growing props business spurs Profiles in History move.

Profiles in History has relocated to a new space in Calabasas that is much more conducive to its business of auctioning Hollywood memorabilia.

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Hilton Foundation Reserves Funds for Cal State

Giving: Camarillo campus gets $300,000 donation for program.

The California Institute for Social Business at Cal State Channel Islands has received a big boost, courtesy of the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation.

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Mann’s Bionic Man

Attorney David Hankin runs the Alfred Mann Foundation, known for its medical breakthroughs.

Q&A: Chief Executive David Hankin tells how the Alfred Mann Foundation keeps the medical device pipeline full.

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Starting a Social Media Movement

Woodbury program teaches entrepreneurs how to change world.

Education: Woodbury University offers a new master’s program in Media for Social Justice.

When a Dog Is More Than A Best Friend

Sylmar non-profit will train blind and their guide dogs at facility.

Non-Profit: Guide Dogs of America expands its Sylmar facilities to better simulate real life with blindness.

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Pursuing The Nuclear Option

Simi Valley auctioneer gets some hot business with San Onofre sale.

Liquidation: MRI Auctions sells off equipment from the San Onofre nuclear power plant.

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Show Casts Light on Couch Maker

‘Inside Job’ scores new employee for Abbyson Living.

Manufacturing: Furniture maker Abbyson Living gets reality TV stardom with an appearance on “Inside Job.”

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That Country Twang in the Land of Glitz, Glamour

Entertainment: Academy of Country Music keeping Valley headquarters.

Entertainment: The Academy of Country Music calls Encino home.

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Santa Clarita On a Mission

Trade: Economic agency organizes first China trip.

Trade: The first trade delegation from Santa Clarita to China may face competition from other cities in the county.

FDA Panel Inflates Stock

Biotech: Body advises OK for MannKind’s inhalable insulin.

Biotech: FDA advisory panel recommends approval for MannKind’s inhalable insulin.

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Surf’s Up!

Members-only airline taking off as it expands flights

Aviation: Will Surf Air’s membership airline business model fly in Burbank?

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Friday, April 4

Cancer Drug Falls Short for Amgen

Shares of Amgen Inc. fell 4 percent on Friday after the Thousand Oaks biotech giant said an experimental skin cancer drug had not significantly improved survival rates in clinical trial patients although it reduced the size of tumors.

Ares Takes Control of Guitar Center

Guitar Center has announced deals with debtor Ares Management and lender Wells Fargo Capital Finance that the Westlake Village-based music retailer said puts it in a significantly stronger financial position.

Thursday, April 3

Amgen Ends Partnership with GlaxoSmithKline

Amgen Inc. said it would pay GlaxoSmithKline more than $275 million to get out of a co-marketing agreement with the British drug company to promote Amgen’s osteoporosis drug Prolia in certain regions outside the United States.

Minnesota Company to Buy Solid Concepts

Stratasys, an international 3-D printing company, said it plans to buy Valencia’s Solid Concepts Inc. and another private company in Texas, and will merge them with its own manufacturing subsidiary.

Wednesday, April 2

ReachLocal Names New CEO

Internet advertising company ReachLocal Inc. has named Sharon Rowlands as its chief executive, the company announced Wednesday.

Hobby Lobby Coming to Burbank

Even in the midst of a controversial court battle, Hobby Lobby Stores Inc. announced it will open a location in Burbank in June, making it the chain’s first store in Los Angeles County.

MannKind Stock Soars in Response to FDA Vote

Shares of MannKind Corp. soared Wednesday in response to an FDA advisory panel’s vote to approve the drug Afrezza.

Tuesday, April 1

Update: FDA Panel Recommends Afrezza Approval

Shares of MannKind Corp. more than doubled in after-hours trading on Tuesday after an FDA advisory panel recommended the agency approve the Valencia company's Afrezza insulin inhaler.

L.A. Council Approves Trash Franchises

The Los Angeles City Council on Tuesday approved a controversial program to turn commercial trash hauling in the city into an exclusive franchise system.

DreamWorks Hires TV Executive

DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. on Tuesday said Brenda Freeman, a former marketing executive at Turner Animation, will be become its head of television marketing.

Gamblit Gaming Raises $12 Million

Gamblit Gaming has raised $12 million in financing that will be used to prepare for launching its online gambling software this year, the company said Tuesday.

Briefs: Provision Interactive, GrowLife

Provision Interactive receives $2 million investment. GrowLife reports wider loss.

Business Events Calendar

Business Events throughout the Valleys.