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Saturday, Sep 23, 2023

Around the Valleys

ANTELOPE VALLEY Two High Desert lawmakers have sponsored legislation to bring changes to how the California Public Utilities Commission sets rates for investor-owned water companies. State Sen. Scott Wilk (R-Lancaster) is the lead sponsor of SB 1461 that would reform “the rate of return earned by water corporations.” Assemblyman Tom Lackey (R-Palmdale) is the bill’s co-author of the bill. The bill was introduced Feb. 16, the same day that the Coalition to End Water Rates Abuse had a public meeting in Lancaster to discuss the issue of how rates are set by the public utilities commission. In the Antelope Valley, for instance, California Water Service provides water to about 1,400 residents who have seen their rates increase by 215 percent since 2005. About 1.1 million household connections receive water service from the four major private utilities, according to the coalition. CONEJO VALLEY CAMARILLO Semtech Corp. will host a competition for engineers and technologists to use its long-range wireless technology in new design ideas. Six contestants with the most innovative ideas will receive an early edition of the Camarillo semiconductor manufacturer’s next generation long-range technology developer kit. The three top winners also receive monetary prizes ranging from $250 to $1,000. The participants will make two-minute videos highlighting their design idea incorporating the Semtech SX126x technology platform for use in the agriculture, supply chain and logistics, health care, food and safety and insurance industries. The contest ends March 23 with the winners to be announced April 10. WESTLAKE VILLAGE Along with its fourth-quarter and full-year financial results, MannKind Corp. announced a $50 million stock sale. The Westlake Village biotech, which makes an inhalable insulin, reported an adjusted loss of $32.8 million, or -28 cents a share, on revenue of $4.5 million for the quarter that ended Dec. 31. Analysts on average had expected earnings of -29 cents a share on revenue of roughly $2.6 million, according to Thomson Financial. In a conference call with investors, MannKind managment said the company signed an agreement with financial services firm Cantor Fitzgerald & Co. for an “at-the-market” sale of $50 million worth of shares. Shares will be sold over time, according to filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. SAN FERNANDO VALLEY CALABASAS Cheesecake Factory Inc. released its financial results for the fourth quarter and full year 2017. The Calabasas restaurant group, which operates more than 200 restaurants under its three brands, reported adjusted net income of $24.6 million in the fourth quarter. Earnings were 53 cents a share, compared to 67 cents a share for the year prior. Revenue for the period was $572 million. Same restaurant sales fell just under 1 percent during the quarter, compared to the same period a year ago. The results were in line with Wall Street estimates. Analysts on average had expected earnings of 53 cents a share on revenue of $572 million, according to Thomson Reuters. Cheesecake had full-year net income of $125 million, compared to around $139 million last year. Earnings were $2.60 a share; the company’s earnings for 2016 were $2.83 a share. Cheesecake’s three brands are Cheesecake Factory, Grand Lux Cafe and RockSugar Southeast Asian Kitchen restaurants. CHATSWORTH California Resources Corp. had fourth-quarter losses below what Wall Street analysts expected. The Chatsworth oil and gas producer reported an adjusted net loss of $14 million (-33 cents a share) for the quarter ended Dec. 31, compared to a loss of $74 million (-$1.76) for the same period a year earlier. Revenue grew less than 1 percent to $455 million. Analysts on average expected a net loss of -57 cents on revenue of $535 million, according to Thomson Reuters. On an unadjusted basis, the company had a net loss of $138 million (-$3.23 a share) in the fourth quarter. For the full year, the company reported an adjusted net loss of $187 million (-$4.40 a share) on revenue of $2 billion. “In 2017, we followed a strategic plan to focus on projects that offered the best value creation, to live within cash flow and to emphasize disciplined growth, and I am pleased to report that we delivered on all fronts,” Chief Executive Todd Stevens said in a statement. “We expect to deliver meaningful value creation for our shareholders in 2018 and beyond.” GLENDALE A state report lists nearly 1,200 pending layoffs at Adventist Health hospitals across the state, including hundreds at Adventist Health Glendale and Adventist Health Simi Valley. “The employees affected have been offered jobs at Cerner Corp.,” said Alicia Gonzalez, spokeswoman for Adventist Health Southern California. “The only difference here is they are employees of Cerner. They’re still onsite, at their locations, with comparable pay. No one has been asked to relocate.” The state Employment Development Department reported 1,166 permanent layoffs effective April 1 at nine Adventist Health hospitals. Of those, 167 were at Adventist Health Glendale and 70 at Adventist Health Simi Valley. With Cerner taking over the day-to-day management of revenue processing and IT operations, Adventist expects to save $300 million in the next three years. Apollo Medical Holdings Inc. has changed the end of its fiscal year from March 31 to Dec. 31. The Glendale health management company made the change to accommodate the financial reporting schedule of Network Medical Management, with which Apollo Medical merged at the start of December. The resulting company holds contracts with more than 4,000 physicians to coordinate care and provide medical management services for 700,000 patients. The adjustment shifts the beginning of Apollo Medical’s fiscal year to Jan. 1, and the end of the first fiscal quarter to March 31. The firm will report the financial results of the combined entities’ operations for the fiscal year ended Dec. 31 on or before April 2, according to a company statement. WOODLAND HILLS B. Riley FBR, an investment bank and subsidiary of B. Riley Financial Inc. in Woodland Hills, has hired Daniel Leland as head of Fixed Income Capital Markets, the company announced Thursday. Leland will oversee institutional sales and trading and the Fundamental Broker Inter-Dealer group, which offers dealer-to-dealer brokerage services for institutional investment dealers. Prior to joining B. Riley, Leland served on the management team at Southwest Securities from 1995 to 2017, where he expanded the fixed income and equity business. He brings more than 30 years of investment experience. Warner Atrium, a 128,762-square-foot office building, has sold for nearly $28 million to Sandstone Properties Inc., according to the brokerage division of Kennedy Wilson. The property, located at 6400 Canoga Ave., sold for about $217 per square foot. According to Costar Group, the three-story building — erected in 1981 and renovated in 1995 — has 26 tenants, including anchor tenant Medpoint Management Insurance. The seller was Unilev Capital Corp. The sale was part of a 1031 exchange. Fred Cordova, Charlotte Pruitt, Ravi Choudhry and Jake Sachs of Kennedy Wilson’s brokerage division represented Unilev Capital in the transaction. “Warner Center is thriving as technology companies continue to move into the area and institutional investors are taking more of an interest in new retail and multifamily development,” said Cordova in a statement. “Unilev Capital Corporation was ready to sell the property and the buyers were looking for a second long-term investment in the Woodland Hills area to complete their exchange.” SIMI VALLEY SIMI VALLEY Erringer Plaza has sold for $4.3 to Laurence Michael of Los Angeles, according to Costar Group. Built in 1979 and located at 1716 Erringer Road, the two-floor, six-office plaza was approximately 80 percent occupied at the time of sale. Tenants include Chiltern Consultancy USA Inc., Allstate, Carpet Cleaning Simi Valley and Kumon Math and Reading Center of Simi Valley West. Marcus & Millichap Director of National Office Gary Cohen and Ventura office associate James DeBuiser held the exclusive listing for the 31,106-square-foot office and retail property on behalf of the seller, Tustin-based Simi Executive Center.

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