Stories for April 2013
Tuesday, April 30
Longtime United Online Inc. Chief Executive Mark Goldston announced on Tuesday he will be leaving the Woodland Hills internet access provider after it spins off its FTD floral delivery business.
DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. outpaced analysts' earnings expectations in the first quarter helped by box office results of its spring release, “The Croods.”
Sales from two companies acquired last year lifted profits for Ixia Inc. in the first quarter, narrowly beating analyst expectations despite a recent restatement of prior earnings, the company announced Tuesday.
LTC Properties Inc. said Tuesday its revenue increased in the first quarter largely due to increased rental fees from recently acquired properties, but it still fell just short of analyst estimates.
Van Nuys fashion licensing company Cherokee Inc. and Calabasas defense contractor National Technical Systems Inc. reported earnings Monday.
Monday, April 29
Thousand Oaks biotech Amgen Inc. has reached an $11 million settlement with 36 states over charges it inflated pricing data and caused Medicaid to overpay for six of its drugs, the New York State Attorney General said Monday
PennyMac Financial Services Inc. plans to offer 11.1 million shares at $17 to $19 each in its planned initial public offering, according to paperwork filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission Monday.
Wesco Aircraft Holdings Inc. beat analysts’ profit and revenue estimates in the fiscal second quarter, helped by strong domestic sales.
Shares of Health Net Inc. rose nearly 5 percent after the insurer announced better-than-expected earnings for the first quarter, based on increased membership in health plans and an adjustment to Medicare payments.
Virgin Galactic completed on Monday the first rocket-powered flight of its sub-orbital space vehicle SpaceShipTwo at the Mojave Air & Space Port.
News and notes from around the greater
Sporting goods maker Easton-Bell Sports Inc. has reportedly been put up for sale by its owner, New York private equity firm Fenway Partners LLC.
Hospitality: New eatery at Hyatt Westlake Plaza to feature local suppliers.
You know the farm-to-table restaurant is thoroughly mainstream when the concept has been adopted by a large corporate hotel such as the Hyatt Westlake Plaza.
Health: Insurer donates $660,000 for childhood obesity, exercise program.
Northridge Hospital Medical Center has received a grant for more than $660,000 to fight childhood obesity.
Lobbying: Gurney named president of association for independent banks.
Advocating for regulations tailored for the community banking industry will be the chief responsibility of Tamara Gurney as she takes on a year-long term as president of California Independent Bankers.
Pharmaceuticals: Beijing licensing firm opens office in Thousand Oaks.
A company founded to sell U.S. pharmaceuticals and medical supplies in China opened offices in Thousand Oaks last month.
Leasing and new construction of medical office space is helping to toss off sluggishness in the office and industrial real estate markets in the Antelope Valley.
The San Fernando Valley office market was a mixed-bag in the first quarter, as activity picked up but the market gave back space for the first time since 2011.
If you listened carefully, you could hear a pin drop in the Santa Clarita Valley office market in the first quarter.
It seems the San Fernando Valley and the Conejo Valley real estate markets were operating in different universes in the first quarter.
It’s amazing what one building can do to a market, and Burbank is a case in point.
QUARTERLY REPORT: First quarter office and industrial real estate data from Colliers International.
Retail: Laney Vivo’s store is packed with used designer duds. She wants yours in exchange.
RETAIL: A membership to Agoura Hills boutique Laney’s Closet means sharing high-end clothes without paying top dollar.
Fortune cookies have some choice words about life in L.A.
FOOD: Ray Richmond’s Super Accurate Fortune Cookies tell it like it is.
DreamWorks looks to take Trolls for spin in animated movie.
FRANCISE: DreamWorks Animation plans to roll out a new franchise based on the Troll toy line.
Paint line names colors after studio’s classic characters.
RETAIL: Paints based on Walt Disney Co. characters will soon hit Walmart shelves.
Puppy Bowl-styled competition to let kittens out of bag.
MEDIA: Hallmark Channel goes to the kitties with its new Kitten Bowl.
Transportation: Chinese battery and vehicle maker BYD Co. Ltd. will use its new Lancaster properties to develop electric buses for area transit systems.
Hospitality: Pedaler’s Fork hopes Spandex crowd hits brakes for eatery.
Hospitality: Pedaler’s Fork in Calabasas combines a bicycle shop, farm-to-table restaurant and artisan coffee shop.
Manufacturing: Swiss firm offers premium for Camarillo’s Power-One.
MANUFACTURING: The $1 billion sale of Camarillo company Power-One Inc. may mean solar is on its way back up.
Glendale wants to cap its freeway, but will businesses pay?
REAL ESTATE: City planners in Glendale are proposing a 28-acre freeway cap over the 134 Freeway. The only hang up? Funding.
Construction: Shares of Sylmar firm slide despite possible huge contract.
CONSTRUCTION: Despite front-runner status for two major projects, shares of Sylmar firm Tutor Perini Corp. have been lackluster.
We’re about to have the first mayor of Los Angeles from the San Fernando Valley since Sam Yorty…and that was four decades ago.
Two authors of Reason Foundation study say high-speed rail is going off track and certain to lose money.
From the very beginning, California’s high-speed rail proposal has been fraught with exaggeration.
Management: Top firms enjoy success, but owners pay price in long hours.
STORY: Women-owned businesses across the Valley area report growth in 2012.
Sunday, April 28
Photographs of recent business-related events in the valleys, including parties, awards dinners, benefits and other celebrations.
Friday, April 26
A Seattle company is set to buy the rights to build a proposed solar power plant in Palmdale for $27.4 million from the city.
K-Swiss Inc. announced on Friday that its $170 million merger with South Korean retail conglomerate E. Land World Ltd. has been approved.
Thursday, April 25
Los Angeles real estate investment firm Rexford Industrial LLC has added to its Valley-area portfolio with the $56.2 million acquisition of an industrial park in Glendale.
A lower number of properties on the market pushed home prices in the San Fernando Valley up to $430,000 in March, the highest price since July 2008.
Sandia National Laboratories has extended a contract with National Technical Systems Inc. to assist in developing a program to monitor nuclear emissions using drones.
The five-year-old Americana at Brand mall in Glendale is undergoing $60 million in improvement as it prepares for the opening of a Nordstrom department store in September.
Wednesday, April 24
Teledyne Technologies Inc. beat analysts’ profit and revenue estimates for the first quarter.
IPC The Hospitalist Company Inc. beat analyst estimates on revenue and earnings per share for the first quarter.
Residential homebuilder Ryland Group Inc. beat Wall Street forecasts of revenue and earnings per share for the first quarter, the company said Wednesday.
Cheesecake Factory Inc. beat analysts’ profit and revenue estimates for the first quarter.
Grossman Burn Center, one of the country’s largest plastic surgery-based burn practices, is opening a Midwest location in the fall.
Tuesday, April 23
Boosted by an improving housing market, mortgage lender PennyMac Mortgage Investment Trust reported increased profits for the first quarter that beat analysts’ estimates.
NBCUniversal will begin construction this summer on the first phase of a $1.6 billion expansion at Universal Studios Hollywood and the studio lot.
Biotech company Amgen Inc. beat analyst estimates in the first quarter, with a 6 percent increase in sales of its arthritis and osteoporosis drugs.
Tutor Perini Corp. announced on Tuesday that its bid of $840 million was the lowest for work on the San Francisco Central Subway Project.
Bankrupt video game publisher THQ Inc. will receive $6.55 million from the sale of its remaining game titles and licensed software.
Monday, April 22
GrowLife Inc., a supplier of lights and other marijuana-growing supplies, announced Monday that it will raise its revenue guidance for the year.
Swiss engineering company ABB has agreed to buy Camarillo solar equipment manufacturer Power-One Inc. for $1 billion, the companies said Monday.
Friday, April 19
Public television station KCET has eliminated 22 full-time jobs in a reorganization to prepare the company for the new digital media business, the station announced Friday.
The jobs outlook in the greater San Fernando Valley showed some improvement in March as employers added 23,700 jobs countywide, according to state figures released Friday.
The city of Santa Clarita has annexed into its boundaries three movie ranches that will be included in a new planning zone for movie ranches.
Thursday, April 18
Sporting goods maker Easton-Bell Sports Inc., the exclusive supplier of NFL helmets, is reportedly being put up for sale by its private equity owners for up to $900 million.
Camarillo aerospace logistics company Merex Holding Corp. has acquired ALCO Services Inc., a provider of maintenance, repair and overhaul services for older aircraft.
Stagecoach Plaza, a 25,475-square-foot shopping center, has traded hands for $8.5 million.
Wednesday, April 17
On the last day of his trade mission to China Tuesday, Gov. Jerry Brown highlighted the upcoming opening of a Lancaster plant for electric car and bus manufacturer BYD, the first Chinese-owned vehicle plant on American soil.
The Valley’s porn industry took another hit this week when a federal judge agreed to give the AIDS Healthcare Foundation standing in a federal lawsuit brought by the industry against the law requiring condoms use in adult films.
The owner of a San Fernando Valley medical clinic has been sentenced to 42 months in prison for a scam that bilked Medicare out of more than $3 million.
Tuesday, April 16
Amgen Inc. will pay $24.9 million to settle allegations that it paid kickbacks to pharmacies that pushed its drugs, the U.S. Department of Justice announced Tuesday
Superior Industries International Inc. announced Tuesday that it has chosen the Mexican city of Chihuahua as the site for its newest manufacturing facility.
Indoor trampoline park Sky Zone is set to open its first Los Angeles location after signing a lease valued at more than $3 million in Van Nuys.
Cherokee Inc. announced Tuesday it will pay shareholders a quarterly dividend of 10 cents a share.
Monday, April 15
Bad economic news from China and the bombing at the Boston Marathon drove down the market, contributing to a terrible day for the 50 largest public companies in the greater San Fernando Valley.
A 17-unit Studio City apartment complex has sold for nearly $5.9 million, the highest price per unit in the San Fernando Valley this year
The chief executive officer of Universal Music Group and a founder of online streaming site Hulu have been nominated to serve on the DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. board of directors.
Market Watch Summary
Stocks were up across the board for the two-week period ended April 10.
Condom Advocate Draws Scorn, Praise
HEALTH CARE: Michael Weinstein has battled to put condoms on porn sets in Los Angeles County. Now he’s taking the fight statewide.
Development: Ventura County could have first tract since bust.
DEVELOPMENT: Are Moorpark residents ready to approve a development with 500 luxury homes?
Manufacturing: Power-One defies industry slump with deals.
MANUFACTURING: Solar panels have become a commodity, but Power-One has found a profitable niche with inverters.
FILM: Camarillo has put a moratorium on issuing porn film permits until the political smoke clears.
Studio-adjacent eatery isn’t singing blues over ‘Tonight’s’ exit.
RESTAURANTS: A long-vacant eatery across from NBC Studios re-opens just as “The Tonight Show” leaves for New York.
‘Silver’ distributor appeals to anti-Fed groups to promote film.
ENTERTAINMENT: Movie about the evils of the Federal Reserve attracts two groups – Fed haters and comic book fans.
Belly Bandit says sales in nice shape for girdlelike product.
APPAREL: Girdles may be out of style, but Belly Bandit finds a ready market for post-pregnancy torso wraps.
Founder’s retirement ushers in management change at ISI.
SUCCESSION: The founder of ISI Translation Services has retired, promoting two executives to take his place.
Travel: Ama Waterways of Chatsworth launches its latest boat into the crowded waters of the rapidly rising river-cruise industry.
TRAVEL: River cruising continues to rise, prompting Ama Waterways to launch its biggest ship yet.
Retail: Sporting goods chain jumps on trend pioneered by Amazon.
RETAIL: Sport Chalet has started a same-day delivery service to compete against e-commerce sites.
New eateries, shops and clubs are leasing up in a revitalized and more happening Studio City.
MAIN: Studio City gives shoppers a choice of old and new, big and small, hip and corporate.
Studio City has undergone a retail and hospitality makeover in the last few years. Here are some recent additions.
MAP: Eight businesses illustrate the new mojo of merchandising along Ventura Boulevard and beyond.
Harold Ginsburg has taken over Art’s Deli from his father, who opened the Studio City institution four years before he was born.
Q&A: Art’s Deli opened 55 years ago, but for Harold Ginsburg it’s a fresh opportunity.
STARTUP: Paco and Cindy Soler launched their clothing boutique in an up-and-coming corner of Studio City.
Development: Owners add patios, other innovations to attract shoppers.
STORY: Shopping centers remodeled during the recession and now expect to reap the rewards.
Litigation: Contractor firms bracing for litigation as filing deadline nears.
The housing boom of the last decade ended up as a disaster for both homeowners and builders alike when it all went bust.
internet: CheapAir.com reservation app works with natural voice commands.
Discount airfare website CheapAir.com thinks searching for flights is too restricted.
Transaction: Thrifty buys Warner Gateway for top West Valley price this year.
Warner Gateway Center has sold for $40 million, fetching the highest per-square-foot price of any Class A office building in the Western San Fernando Valley submarket this year.
News and notes from around the greater San Fernando Valley
The 20th annual Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival is set for April 20 and 21 at the Melody Ranch Motion Picture Studio in Newhall.
Photographs of recent business-related events in the valleys, including parties, awards dinners, benefits and other celebrations.
Valley business group says $75 fee on real estate documents could be source of affordable housing funds.
A healthy construction industry is a key indicator of a healthy overall economy.
The California Environmental Quality Act, or CEQA, is in need of thoughtful changes to make it function in a way that promotes, not hinders, the type of economic growth and job creation California needs.
TAKE TWO - This week's Editorial Cartoon by Steve Greenberg
Friday, April 12
The loss of a major client has led AMS Fulfillment to make staffing cuts that could affect up to 200 employees.
Ixia, a maker of computer-network testing equipment, has announced that it is lowering revenue projections for the first quarter due to restatements of its results from prior quarters.
Signature Group Holdings Inc. on Friday said that Craig Noell has resigned as chief executive and Chairman Chris Colville will take his place.
Thursday, April 11
A criminal complaint filed Thursday in the KPMG insider trading case alleges the scheme netted $1 million and disclosed that the second conspirator also was a Valley businessman.
AeroVironment Inc. received $13.8 million in funding to continue fulfilling a contract to produce its Raven unmanned aircraft for the U.S. Army.
Wednesday, April 10
The Walt Disney Co. confirmed Wednesday previous media reports about layoffs at the Burbank entertainment and media conglomerate.
A 210-room Hilton Garden Inn slated for Downtown Burbank has received final approval from the city’s Planning Board.
The first quarter of the year showed encouraging signs of increased on-location feature film and television production, according to figures released Wednesday by FilmLA.
Simulations Plus Inc. beat analyst estimates on its second quarter revenue and just missed hitting expectations on earnings per share.
Tuesday, April 9
The accountant at the center of the KPMG insider-trading scandal has direct ties to the San Fernando Valley.
American Apparel Inc. has opened a new location at the Westfield Topanga Shopping Mall in Canoga Park.
Qualstar Corp. has named a veteran financial executive with experience at private and public companies as its new chief financial officer.
CrowdGather, Inc. has closed on the initial offering of its new preferred stock, which will bring $1 million in funding to the company.
Monday, April 8
Kythera Biopharmaceuticals Inc. has reported positive interim results from a late-stage trial of its primary product, a drug designed to reduce chin fat.
The closure of air traffic control towers at Whiteman Airport in Pacoima and Gen. William J. Fox Airfield in Lancaster scheduled for April 7 has been delayed by two months.
A federal judge gave preliminary approval Monday to a $3 million settlement between MRV Communications Inc. and a group of investors who had accused the telecom of illegally backdating stock options.
Annette Funicello, the most famous original cast member of the TV show “Mickey Mouse Club,” died Monday at age 70.
Friday, April 5
Walt Disney Co. is planning layoffs in its studio and consumer product divisions, according to a report from Reuters.
Henry’s Tacos, a historic Studio City taco stand, has reopened at a new location following its January closure after 51 years in business.
L.A. Creamery LLC has reached agreements with several grocery chains to place its artisan ice cream in more than 40 markets across Southern California.
Thursday, April 4
Juicy Couture, an apparel brand that has its roots in the San Fernando Valley and once had a loyal following of celebrities and shoppers clamoring for its upscale velour track suits, may be up for sale by its corporate parent.
GrowLife Inc., a supplier of lights and other marijuana-growing supplies, has signed a letter of intent to acquire three Colorado businesses.
The buyers of a six-property industrial complex in Burbank have plans to turn the mid-century buildings into a creative campus.
Wednesday, April 3
NBCUniversal made it official Wednesday that Jay Leno will leave as host of “The Tonight Show” in 2014 and be replaced by Jimmy Fallon, who will originate the show from New York City.
Thousand Oaks biotech Amgen Inc. has signed a licensing deal which gives it exclusive access to an antigen being developed by Massachusetts startup Tetragenetics Inc.
MRV Communications Inc. swung to a profit in the fourth quarter, boosted by the sale of three subsidiaries and a rise in North American revenue.
Tuesday, April 2
Public companies in the San Fernando Valley now have additional ways of getting key information to investors: Twitter and Facebook.
Salem Communications Corp. has launched a major online initiative, starting a website with popular Christian music and “teaching-talk” programs that also target Spanish speakers.
Electro Rent Corp. narrowly missed Wall Street earnings estimates for its fiscal third quarter despite increased revenue.
Monday, April 1
Real estate investment trust LTC Properties Inc. announced it will pay shareholders a monthly dividend of about 16 cents for April, May and June.
Dole Food Co. Inc. announced Monday completed sale of its worldwide packaged foods and Asia fresh food businesses. The sale was first announced in September.
A prominent skeptic of last decade’s bubble says today’s market isn’t ready for a repeat downtown.
The sudden surge in the housing market here in Southern California has caught most people by surprise – and is causing worry among some circles.
EDITOR: “The Tonight Show” made Burbank a household name, but the talk-show franchise isn’t what it used to be.
Sale: RREEF America buys Courtyard complex for $50 milllion in cash.
Courtyard at the Commons shopping center in Calabasas has sold in an all-cash deal worth $50 million.
Education: University team excels with health and automotive projects.
Engineering students at Cal State Northridge won the grand prize and a first prize in the Manufacturing Challenge sponsored by the Society of Manufacturing Engineers at the AeroDef Manufacturing Conference and Exhibition.
Entertainment: Upscale take on Chuck E. Cheese opens at Topanga mall.
Giggles N’ Hugs Inc. has expanded its upscale version of Chuck E. Cheese to the San Fernando Valley.
Education: Non-profits teach energy and water conservation with funding.
There’s money in going green.
Treatment: Cardiac facility is first in Ventura County’s Simi-Moorpark market.
Simi Valley Hospital has opened a heart catheterization lab, the first such facility for treating heart conditions in the Simi-Moorpark market.
Lending: Borrowers could qualify for loans despite investors, personal assets.
STORY: The feds want to make it easier to get an SBA loan.
Cher Munoz took the tenacity she showed as a youth and applied it to money management. Now, she has her own firm.
Q&A: Cher Munoz at Zephyr Investment Management thinks financial planning is like playing in an orchestra.
internet: Entertainment app off to Culver City after signing content deal.
INTERNET: Movie download site M-GO is growing so fast it has outgrown its Valley offices.
Manufacturing: Louroe Electronics has sold its audio surveillance devices to the FBI. Now, it wants to dial in the Mexican market.
MANUFACTURING: If you want to hide a microphone in your office or home, call Louroe Electronics.
Real Estate: American Homes moves from Malibu to Agoura Hills.
REAL ESTATE: American Homes 4 Rent is the new brainchild from B. Wayne Hughes, the man behind Public Storage.
Finance: A small Valley pizza shop has landed an investment from national restaurant chain Buffalo Wild Wings.
GrowLife provides tips on stoner life to cable comedy "Legit."
CONSULTING: Pot paraphernalia maker GrowLife gets a gig on stoner comedy show “Legit.”
Special effects firm makes monster move into North Hollywood.
RELOCATION: A third-generation special effects house moves to a larger space in NoHo.
Crunchies enlists wascally wabbit and friends as pitchmen.
MARKETING: Crunchies Food and Warner Bros. want to make healthy snacks fun for kids.
Roy Wiegand III enters ultra-marathons to run up money for charity.
CHARITY: Trumpet player Roy Weigand III runs “ultra-marathons” to raise money for a cause.
Television: Show’s departure would hit city’s ego, barely graze economy.
Television: Rumors abound that “The Tonight Show” will leave Burbank. It might not be that big a deal.
Boutique hotel set for aging Pacoima strip.
DEVELOPMENT: Pacoima will soon have its first luxury hotel. Who will stay there?
Market Watch Summary
Stocks were up across the board for the two-week period ended March 27.
Startup businesses have enough to worry about and bureaucratic delays should not top their list of concerns.