Los Angeles Business Journal

The Week’s Big Movers

By Deborah Crowe Friday, April 27, 2012

The Los Angeles Business Journal’s index of largest local public companies closed up for a second straight week, with investors responding to positive corporate quarterly reports and economic news.

The weighted LABJ Stock Index closed up 3.08 percent to 132.41 for the week ended April 27. Gainers outpaced decliners 116 to 49, with 10 companies unchanged.

Among the biggest gainers were Ryland Homes of Calabasas, jumping 29 percent to $22.70, and KB Home of Los Angeles, gaining 16 percent to $8.87. The homebuilders benefitted from a report that pending U.S. home sales rose to the highest level in nearly two years.

Skechers USA Inc. rose 25 percent to $17.97. The Manhattan Beach casual shoemaker said it lost less money than expected in the first quarter, and expects to return to profitability in the second half of this year.

OriginOil Inc. rose 23 percent to $1.67. The Los Angeles company, which is developing processes to extract oil algae, released findings from an independent test indicating that its technology could be used in enhance fracking operations at mature oil wells.

Ixia gained 15 percent to $12.92. The Calabasas computer network systems company benefitted from an analyst’s upgrade after a positive first quarter earnings report.

Among the biggest decliners was Motorcar Parts of America, which dropped 19 percent to $7.83. The Torrance auto parts manufacturer closed a dilutive private placement of common stock, raising $15.0 million in gross proceeds, which will be used to continue integration of an acquisition made last year.

Reed’s Inc. fell 12 percent to $1.92, following a 13 percent gain last week when the Los Angeles beverage maker announced new distribution agreements in two states.

Vitesse Semiconductor Corp. declined 9.5 percent to $3.05. A jury could not reach a verdict in the trial of two top former executives of the Camarillo chip maker who were accused of inflating company earnings and backdating options, prompting the judge to declare a mistrial.