Los Angeles Business Journal

Tuesday’s L.A. News Roundup

By Deborah Crowe Tuesday, July 31, 2012

EARNINGS MISS: Shares of DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. fell 8 percent in after-hours trading Tuesday after the Glendale film maker said its second-quarter profit fell 63 percent to $12.8 million (15 cents a share) on 25 percent lower revenue of about $163 million. The Wall Street consensus was for profit of 25 cents a share. The company blamed the delayed release of "Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted" in several overseas markets as a contributing factor.

HERBALIFE EARNINGS: Shares of Herbalife Ltd. gained 6 percent on Tuesday after the Los Angeles nutrition and weight-loss company raised its earnings guidance and reported better-than-expected second quarter results due to growth in overseas markets. The quarterly profit was 133.4 million ($1.10 a share), 20 percent higher than in the same period a year earlier, with revenue up 17 percent to $1.03 billion. The company, which typically gives conservative guidance, raised its annual profit forecast to between $3.88 and $3.98 a share, up from an earlier estimate of $3.58 to $3.74. The Wall Street consensus has been for $3.79 a share.

IHOP DEPARTURE: DineEquity Inc., the parent of Applebee's Neighborhood Grill & Bar and IHOP Restaurants, on Tuesday said that Jean M. Birch, president of its IHOP unit, will leave the company on Aug. 27. The Glendale company, which this morning reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit, did not give a reason for Birch’s departure. DineEquity Chief Executive Julia A. Stewart will assume day-to-day oversight of the brand until a successor is found.

FRENCH ACQUISITION: Los Angeles private equity firm OpenGate Capital LLC on Tuesday said that it has agreed to acquire inflatable boat maker Zodiac Recreational from Zodiac Marine & Pool, a Paris portfolio company of private equity giant Carlyle Group. Zodiac invented the first inflatable boat in the mid-1930s, and the brand was made popular in the 1950s by explorer Jacques-Yves Cousteau. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

STRIKE AUTHORIZATION: The United Food and Commercial Workers on Tuesday announced that members of seven of its Southern California locals had voted to authorize a strike of Rite Aid Pharmacies if necessary. The union said it is fighting a proposal by Rite Aid Corp. to reduce work hours, sick-leave pay and health coverage.