Qualstar Corp. has named Louann Negrete as chief financial officer, the company announced Wednesday. Negrete replaces former Chief Financial Officer Philip Varley at the Simi Valley tape storage and power supply manufacturer. Varley had been the top financial officer since April 2013. Negrete has 15 years of experience in public company accounting, including at amplifier and guitar manufacturer Line6 Inc. in Calabasas and Interlink Electronics Inc. in Camarillo. Qualstar Chief Executive Steven Bronson also serves as chief executive at Interlink, a manufacturer of touch pad and mouse technology. Shares closed up 3 cents, or 2.8 percent, to $1.09 on the Nasdaq. The board of directors at Walt Disney Co. approved raising the annual cash dividend by 15 percent to 86 cents per share, the company announced Wednesday. The dividend is payable to shareholders of record on Jan. 16, 2014. The payment is the 58th consecutive dividend payment to shareholders. Shares closed up 26 cents, or less than 1 percent, to $70.23 on the New York Stock Exchange. Simulations Plus Inc. released preliminary quarterly revenues Thursday, beating analyst expectations. The Lancaster company, which makes software used in pharmaceutical research, estimated its revenue for the first fiscal quarter of 2014 ended Nov. 30 at $2.63 million, a 15 percent increase compared to the same quarter a year earlier. Analysts on average expect revenue of $2.43 million, according to Thomson Financial Network. The company did not report net income or earning per share, citing accounting issues. “Net income will not be known until income taxes have been determined and our auditors review our quarterly report,” John Kneisel, chief financial officer, said in a statement. “We expect to file our (quarterly report) with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on or before the January 14, 2014 deadline.” Shares of Simulations Plus gained 10 cents or 1.9 percent to close at $5.36 on the Nasdaq.