Los Angeles Business Journal

News of the Week

By LABJ Staff Reporter Monday, November 21, 2011

PORT TRAFFIC: The Port of Los Angeles handled more cargo in October than it did the same month last year. One of the big traffic drivers last month was strong export growth due to the weak U.S. dollar, according to port officials. Exports were up 28 percent year over year after similar gains in August and September. The Port of Long Beach handled about 20 percent less cargo in October than it did in the same month. Port officials blamed much of the drop on the loss of terminal operator California United Terminals, which moved to the Port of Los Angeles last December. Its cargo terminal accounted for about 10 percent of the port’s cargo traffic.

REVERSE SPLIT: Pasadena nanomedicine company Arrowhead Research Corp. carried out a 1-for-10 reverse stock split that reduced the number of shares outstanding from roughly 105 million to about 10.5 million. The action was designed to increase the stock’s per-share price – which had been 65 cents before the split – to help avoid a delisting from the Nasdaq. On Nov. 17, its first postsplit day of trading, shares fell 6.5 percent to close at $6.03.

STOCK OFFERING: Hanmi Financial Corp. on Nov. 15 priced a $70 million stock offering below the previous day’s closing price of 98 cents. The Koreatown parent of Hanmi Bank, priced 87.5 million shares at 80 cents each. The holding company has been working to shore up its capital since taking significant loan losses during the recession. Shares closed at 84 cents Nov. 17. Analysts had expected the offering’s price to be discounted in order to attract new investors.

BOARD APPOINTMENT: Apple Inc. has named Walt Disney Co. Chief Executive Robert Iger to its board to replace the late Steve Jobs, the Silicon Valley tech company’s co-founder. Iger was a friend and business partner of Jobs, who died last month after a long battle with pancreatic cancer. Jobs in 2006 sold Pixar Animation Studios to Disney, becoming the Burbank entertainment giant’s largest shareholder and a Disney director.

INVESTMENT: Gores Group acquired the remaining ownership of Stock Building Supply Holdings LLC, a North Carolina company that supplies construction materials to professional homebuilders and contractors across the country, for an undisclosed amount. Gores Group, a Westwood investment firm headed by billionaire financier Alec Gores bought a controlling interest in the Raleigh, N.C., company two years ago. Gores officials said Stock is well-situated to weather the construction industry downturn and is capable of rapid growth in the recovery.

EARNINGS: Hot Topic Inc. reported third quarter net income of $3.1 million, 695 percent higher than at the same period a year earlier when the company took a charge on its money-losing music service. Sales fell 4 percent to less than $176 million. … Air Lease Corp. reported third quarter net income of $18.3 million, compared with a loss of $11.2 million in the same period the year before. Revenue rose 24 percent to $92.1 million. … Jacobs Engineering Inc. reported fiscal fourth quarter net income of $94.3 million, 22 percent higher than the same period a year earlier. Revenue rose 16 percent to $2.72 billion. … Dole Food Co. Inc. reported a third quarter net loss of $47 million, 11 percent narrower than the same period a year earlier. Revenue rose 5 percent to nearly $2.1 billion.

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