Stories for August 2018

Friday, August 31

Six Flags Plans First-Ever Racing Roller Coasters

Six Flags Magic Mountain plans to open a new attraction called West Coast Racers next year.

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Cheesecake Factory Opens Restaurant in Washington State

Cheesecake Factory opened its newest restaurant in Lynnwood, Wash. earlier this week.

Preview: DIY Protein Power

With dozens of options lining grocery store shelves, consumers of nutrition bars seem to have an overabundance of choices. But despite the variety, sports nutritionist and former real estate agent Karen Nation could find nothing that worked for her and her clients.

Preview: Convene in Camarillo

Construction has begun on Mian Plaza and Conference Center, a long-gestating project across the street from the Camarillo Premium Outlets.

Northridge Promenade Sells for $16 Million in Online Auction

Northridge Promenade, an 89,473-square-foot shopping center in Northridge, has sold for more than $16 million, according to a real estate firm Cushman & Wakefield.

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Thursday, August 30

County Planning Commission Approves Tejon Ranch Project

The Los Angeles County Regional Planning Commission voted to recommend to the Board of Supervisors the approval of a massive residential and commercial project at Tejon Ranch.

DataDirect Buys Cloud Provider

DataDirect Networks is expected to close in the next few days its acquisition of Tintri Inc., a deal that will boost the company’s product portfolio.

Westlake Village Mall Sells for $35 Million

Sterling Organization has purchased North Ranch Gateway, an 86,520-square-foot shopping center in Westlake Village, for $35 million.

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Wednesday, August 29

Semtech Exceeds Expectations in Q2

Semtech Corp. beat Wall Street estimates on revenue and adjusted earnings for the fiscal second quarter.

GeoLinks Lands Big Grant From FCC

GeoLinks has been awarded $87.8 million from the Federal Communications Commission to bring broadband service to rural areas in California and Nevada.

Mental Health Program to Launch in Valley Schools

Four Catholic schools in the San Fernando Valley will provide mental health services to students and their families through a new program run by a psychology professor at California State University - Northridge.

Tuesday, August 28

Providence Hires Athletic Trainers for Valley Schools

Athletic trainers from Providence Health & Services will be placed in seven San Fernando Valley high schools, the hospital system announced Tuesday.

California Credit Union Honors Rookie Teachers

California Credit Union honored 18 first-year Los Angeles Unified School District teachers during a Los Angeles Sparks basketball game at Staples Center.

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LA Weekly Investor Sues Publisher

LA Weekly Publisher Brian Calle is accused of “breathtaking incompetence, self-dealing and fraudulent intention” in a lawsuit filed Aug. 27 by David Welch, one of the investors who took over as LA Weekly owners last November.

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Monday, August 27

AeroVironment Donates Drones to West Point

AeroVironment Inc. has donated two Quantix drones to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

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Deluxe to Lay Off 46 Workers in Burbank

Deluxe Entertainment Services Group Inc. is laying off a total of 46 employees from two of its locations in Burbank.

Business Alliance Ends PAGA Reform Discussions

The California Business and Industrial Alliance has ended discussions with the California Labor Federation to co-sponsor a bill to reform the Private Attorney Generals Act, also known as PAGA.

City, State Lawsuit Keeps Van Nuys Apartments Affordable

Following a year-long legal battle and a Los Angeles City Council-approved settlement last week, the owner of San Regis Apartments at 15454 Sherman Way in Van Nuys has agreed to charge affordable rates to low-income tenants in 78 units.

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Friday, August 24

Developer to Inaugurate New Park in Sylmar

A new park will be inaugurated in Sylmar on Monday.

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Amazon to Open Fulfillment Center in Newbury Park Inc. appears on the cusp of occupying square-footage at a warehouse in Newbury Park, according to a Thousand Oaks Acorn report.

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Lancaster Doctor Convicted for Medicare Kickback Conspiracy

A doctor in Lancaster has been convicted by a federal jury of participating in a Medicare fraud scheme.

Thursday, August 23

Scorpion Launches YouTube Show About Clients

Scorpion, the online marketing agency in Valencia, has debuted a new YouTube series about its clients.

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Colliers Acquires CBC Advisors in Glendale

Colliers International has acquired the Glendale office of CBC Advisors, a Coldwell Banker Commercial affiliate, in an effort to deepen its Tri-Cities footprint.

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Tutor Perini Selects Top Lawyer

Tutor Perini Corp. has appointed Wendy Hallgren as general counsel, the Sylmar-based construction company announced Wednesday.

Home Improvement Platform Serviz Acquired

Serviz, an on-demand provider of home repair services, has been acquired by competitor Porch, the companies announced.

Wednesday, August 22

Valley Testing Service Moves to Orange County

Engineering and testing company National Technical Systems Inc. is relocating all its corporate functions to a new facility in Anaheim, vacating its office in the west San Fernando Valley.

Edison, Other Utilities Fail to Limit Liability for Wildfires

The effort by Southern California Edison and the state’s two other investor-owned utilities to reduce billions of dollars in potential liabilities from wildfires died in the Legislature on Aug. 18, according to news reports quoting the key lawmakers involved.

Home and Condo Sales Healthy as Resale Prices Climb

Sales of homes and condominiums in the San Fernando and Santa Clarita valleys continued at a solid — if not record-breaking — clip in July, while the median price for condominiums in the Valley hit a record high, according to a Southland Regional Association of Realtors report.

Five Valley-Area Orchard Supply Stores to Close

Lowe’s Cos. Inc. will shut down all Orchard Supply Hardware stores nationwide — including four locations in the Valley and one in Thousand Oaks — by February, the company announced in an earnings report Wednesday.

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Public Storage Falls After Analyst Downgrade

Shares of Public Storage in Glendale fell nearly 4.5 percent Tuesday after an analyst downgraded the stock to “sell” from “neutral.”

Tuesday, August 21

Nuance Communications Signs New Lease in Agoura Hills

Nuance Communications has renewed its lease for 34,256 square feet at 29903 Agoura Road in Agoura Hills.

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Stratolaunch Announces New Spaceship Line

Stratolaunch Systems announced Monday a new line of launch vehicles that includes a space plane.

Woodland Hills Insurance Brokerage Buys Stake in NoCal Agency

Liberty Co. Insurance Brokers in Woodland Hills has acquired a majority stake in Mitchell & Mitchell Insurance Agency, based in Novato.

Former Wells Fargo Exec Joins Union Bank

Patrick Nygren, the former top executive at Wells Fargo in the San Fernando Valley, has joined Union Bank as regional president for Los Angeles and the Central Coast, the financial institution announced Tuesday.

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Monday, August 20

Gelt Foundation Changes Name

The Gelt Foundation, a nonprofit organization that provides rental assistance to qualified apartment tenants who are facing eviction, has changed its name to Resident Relief Foundation.

SEC Indicts Five for Sherman Oaks Securities Scam

The Securities and Exchange Commission charged five Florida residents with unlawfully selling securities of Woodbridge Group of Cos., a defunct real estate firm formerly in Sherman Oaks.

Burbank Firm Buys Retail Site, Secures Lease to Harbor Freight

Burbank-based real estate investment firm SBH Real Estate Group Inc. has acquired the retail property at 810-822 S. San Fernando Blvd. in Burbank for $5.25 million in an all-cash transaction, according to the firm.

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L.A. County Unemployment on Hold at 4.5 Percent

L.A. County’s unemployment rate held steady at 4.5 percent in July even as seasonal job losses gripped the education sector, according to state figures released Friday.

The Number

41% L.A. workers who would quit their job for more money

Poll on why people want to change jobs in Los Angeles.

Hospitals, Mental Care Center Recruit Leadership

MANAGEMENT: Executives combine medical and business experience.

New leaders at hospitals, mental health center.

CPAs Gather in Valley for Cannabis Conference

Accounting: All-cash industry poses challenges for bookkeeping.

New leaders at hospitals, mental health center.

Skill Scarcity

From large aerospace contractors to small machine shops, Valley-region manufacturers have a challenge finding workers.

Finding employees presents a challenge for area companies.

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Century 21 Starts Anew With Logo, Rebrand

RESIDENTIAL: Digital takes center stage for marketing at Warner Center event.

Century 21 Peak rebrands itself.

Around the Valleys

News and notes from the greater San Fernando Valley


Calendar of Events

Business Confronted with Homelessness

True or false?: The business community in the San Fernando Valley supports the city’s idea to house the homeless temporarily in specified areas in each council district.

How to Harm Everyone in the Valley

Traffic and housing, housing and traffic.

Scooter Riders Look to Valley

TRANSPORTATION: Low-income areas may get extra wheels.

Valley could benefit from new rules on electric scooters.

One VC Fund’s Diverse Focus

FINANCE: Marlon Nichols seeks multicultural returns.

Venture capitalist targets minority millennials.

Seafood Spot Finds Land In Camarillo

Recession nudged founder into the restaurant business.

Owner of Spencer Makenzie’s Fish Co. lands in Camarillo.

Higher-End Showroom

AUTOMOTIVE: Mercedes-Benz selects Thousand Oaks to host gallery for its AMG brand.

Thousand Oaks car dealer sells top-of-the-line Mercedes.

MannKind Wins on Q2 Income, But Stock Tanks

BIOTECH: For investors, lack of capital looms as issue in coming quarters.

Stock tanks for MannKind Corp.

Dog Drug Theory

Immix Biopharma founder Ilya Rachman thinks he has a new way to develop medicines, and his first proof is a now-healthy canine patient.

Doctor cures cancer in dog, looks to humans next.

Double-Play CEO

Steven Bronson runs two publicly traded companies in the Valley region, leading to a synergistic approach to management.

Steven Bronson, chief executive of Qualstar Corp. and Interlink Electronics Inc.

Study: State Missing Out on Big Action Movies

FILM: California hosted 10 top-grossing titles last year, behind Georgia’s 15.

FilmL.A. report on lack of big budget films made in area.

Friday, August 17

Wells Fargo’s Top Valley Exec Leaves Bank

Patrick Nygren, the former regional president in the San Fernando Valley for Wells Fargo Bank, has left the company.

Preview: Scooter Riders Look to Valley

The dockless electric scooters that have popped up in neighborhoods throughout the Westside and Central Los Angeles may soon come to the San Fernando Valley.

Preview: Dog Drug Theory

On Aug. 6, Immix announced that its drug Imx-110 had successfully brought a dog named Jerry into remission from late-stage lymphoma.

Calabasas Software Firm Acquired

Private equity firm Providence Strategic Growth has acquired a majority stake of ExakTime Inc., an employee attendance tracking software maker for the construction industry.

Construction Begins on Camarillo Conference Center

Construction has begun on the Mian Plaza and Conference Center of Camarillo across from the Camarillo Premium Outlets.

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Thursday, August 16

Workers Strike at Providence Tarzana Medical Center

Hundreds of union-affiliated workers at Providence Tarzana Medical Center staged a one-day strike and a demonstration on Aug. 16 to protest what they described as unfair labor practices, including frequent shift cancellations and wages that lag behind the region’s rising cost of living.

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Westfield Topanga Cited in City Report on Tax Breaks for Developers

Los Angeles City Controller Ron Galperin has concluded that the city needs to improve on evaluating and negotiating such deals in which the city awards tax breaks and incentives.

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Rapper Opens Marijuana Dispensary in Sylmar

Hip hop artist B-Real of the group Cypress Hill opened a marijuana dispensary Wednesday in Sylmar.

Wednesday, August 15

CRC Stock Falls as Oil Prices Sink

Shares of California Resources Corp. dropped more than 10 percent on Wednesday as crude oil prices fell 3 percent to below $65 a barrel.

NoHo Multifamily Site Sells for $3.7 million

NAI Capital completed the sale of a 10,040 square-foot mixed-use development site in North Hollywood for $3.7 million (or $349 per square foot), according to the firm.

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Homelessness a Huge Problem for Valley Businesses

The homelessness problem locally ranks as a 10 on a scale of 1 to 10, and the business community in the San Fernando Valley strongly supports the city’s proposal to put temporary homeless shelters in in each council district.

Report: Valley Hospitals Among Best in State

Several local hospitals were named among the best in the state on U.S. News & World Report’s Best Hospitals list for 2018-2019.

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Delivery Service Axing Jobs

Golden State Overnight Delivery Service Inc. is laying off its entire staff of drivers from its Santa Clarita location this fall.

Tuesday, August 14

West Hills Hospital Appoints Chief Medical Officer

West Hills Hospital & Medical Center has appointed Dr. Yale Podnos as its new chief medical officer.

Chatsworth Warehouse Flipped for $28.5 Million

In a low-vacancy warehouse market fueled by e-commerce, a renovated 146,000-square-foot industrial property in Chatsworth has sold for $28.5 million.

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Logix Sponsors Palliative Care Bears at Henry Mayo Hospital

Burbank-based Logix Federal Credit Union and Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital in Santa Clarita have partnered on a program for the children of parents who have passed away.

Monday, August 13

28-Unit NoHo Apartment Breaks Ground

Luxury residential builder FMB Development announced Monday that it will break ground on a new multifamily property at 11436 W. Hatteras St. in the heart of North Hollywood.

Former Deloitte Advisory CEO Joins BlackLine Board

BlackLine Inc. has named Owen Ryan to its board of directors effective this month to contribute his expertise on the company’s next phase of growth.

Salem Media Acquires Financial Publisher

Salem Media Group has acquired former financial analyst Hilary Kramer’s investment newsletters and websites, the Camarillo-based conservative and Christian media company announced Monday.

SetPoint Medical Appoints New CEO

SetPoint Medical in Valencia has named Murthy Simhambhatla as its new chief executive, the electronic medicine firm announced Monday.

Friday, August 10

Marcus & Millichap Hires President for Finance Operation

Calabasas-based real estate brokerage Marcus & Millichap Inc. has hired David Shillington as the new president of its finance subsidiary, Marcus & Millichap Capital Corp.

B. Riley Subsidiary Negotiates South Coast Acura Sale

GlassRatner, a subsidiary of B. Riley Financial Inc. in Woodland Hills, announced Thursday that it advised Coast Mesa car dealer Orange Coast Auto Group in its acquisition of Costa Mesa-based South Coast Acura.

Valley Bar Association Leader Liz Post to Step Down

San Fernando Valley Bar Association Executive Director Liz Post will step down from the role effective Oct. 6 after leading the organization for nearly 25 years, the nonprofit announced Thursday.

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Thursday, August 9

Illinois Firm to Manage Tarzana Shopping Center

An affiliate of Illinois real estate investment firm Pine Tree LLC has acquired an indirect interest in Tarzana’s Village Walk and has taken over management of the property.

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Business Journal's Trusted Advisors Awards Recognizes Professionals

Attorneys, business bankers, accountants, insurance professionals and wealth managers filled the Garland Hotel’s banquet room Thursday as San Fernando Valley Business Journal held its 8th Annual Trusted Advisors Awards ceremony and lunch.

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Burbank Backlot Sold for $85 Million

A 12-building industrial park with aerospace and entertainment tenants in Burbank has sold, fetching nearly $85 million for its seller.

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Salem Media Falls on Disappointing Quarter

Shares of Salem Media Group Inc. fell more than 16 percent Thursday after the Camarillo-based Christian and conservative media company announced a worse-than-expected quarterly loss of $2.2 million, or -8 cents a share.

Woodbury Adds Three Board Members

Woodbury University has appointed three new members to its board of trustees, the Burbank institution announced Thursday.

Amazon to Partner with Valley Colleges

Four community colleges in the San Fernando Valley will offer a cloud computing certificate program through a partnership with Inc.’s Amazon Web Services.

Wednesday, August 8

Study: California Not Getting Its Share of Big Action Films

California was the location for 10 of the 100 highest-performing U.S. feature films released theatrically last year, according to a study released Wednesday by FilmL.A.

SoCalGas Reaches Settlement for Aliso Canyon Leak

Southern California Gas Co. announced Tuesday that it has reached a nearly $120 million settlement with state and regional officials for the methane leak at its Aliso Canyon gas storage field in 2015.

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Tuesday, August 7

Expenses Eat into Disney Earnings

Walt Disney Co. missed Wall Street estimates on adjusted earnings and fell short on revenue for the fiscal third quarter.

After Strong Q2, Marcus & Millichap Sees 'Challenging' Months Ahead

Marcus & Millichap reported higher-than-expected results for the second quarter on both net income and revenue.

Tutor Perini Reaches Record Backlog of $8.7 Billion

Tutor Perini Corp. achieved a record backlog of contracts worth $8.7 billion during the second quarter, with higher-than-expected net income and lower revenue, the company announced Tuesday.

HGTV Buys ‘Brady Bunch’ House in NoHo

Discovery Inc.’s HGTV network has outbid ‘N Sync singer Lance Bass for the Studio City house that served as the exterior for the home in the popular 1970s sitcom “The Brady Bunch.”

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Monday, August 6

Two Moorpark Housing Developments Slowed

A pair of unrelated housing projects in Moorpark garnered City Council approval last fall with the promise of bringing 379 units of much-needed housing online in Ventura County. However, neither project has advanced much, according to a Moorpark Acorn report.

Americas United Bank Acquired

The Bank of Southern California, based in San Diego, has completed its previously announced acquisition of Americas United Bank in Glendale.

Local Doctor Stops Cancer in Canine

A Los Angeles-based biotechnology company led by a primary care physician who runs a clinic in the San Fernando Valley announced Monday that its investigational drug has eliminated all signs of cancer in a pet dog.

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Cherokee Stock Doubles After Refinancing

Shares of Cherokee Inc. shot up more than 100 percent Monday after the Sherman Oaks-based apparel licensing company announced it has refinanced its debt with a $40 million-dollar loan.

VEDC’s CEO Leaves Amid Other Changes

The Valley Economic Development Center on Monday said its chief executive has left, the third person to vacate that post in less than two years.

New American Funding Opens Camarillo Branch

MORTGAGE LENDING: Firm touts fast closing times for homebuyers.

New mortgage lender in Camarillo.

Funk Meets Finance

A group of small retailers feels that escalating rents will ruin the charm they’ve built in Magnolia Park.

Rising rents threaten Burbank small businesses.

Campus & Commerce

New CSUN Athletic Director Michael Izzi plans to extend ‘paths that create revenue streams.’

New CSUN athletic director wants community connections.

Long-Time Switch Maker Expands into Sensors

AVIONICS: Hydra-Electric celebrates 70 years while moving into new markets.

Burbank switch maker celebrates 70 years.

AV Hospital Bond Vote

FINANCE: $350 million to fund either seismic retrofit or new construction.

Bond vote for Antelope Valley Hospital.

Car Sales as Barometer

LIST: Data indicate strong but slower year for dealers in step with the economy.

With the economy humming along, new car sales in California have a quick start out of the gate this year.

New Normal Office

From Burbank to Westlake Village, the coworking format appeals to small companies and solo professionals who want flex space at work.

For professionals who want to pay only for the square footage they need – whether it be a private suite or simply a desk, coworking has exploded in popularity.

Q2: Industrial is Tight

A few substantial changes in vacancy rates in the office and industrial sectors while inventory remained low on the industrial side characterized the commercial real estate market during the second quarter, according to statistics provided by Colliers International and conversations with well-placed brokers in the region.

Around the Valleys

News and notes from the greater San Fernando Valley


Calendar of Events

The End of the Home-Buying Frenzy

You may have seen recent news accounts about how home sales have slowed nationwide.

Keeping College Students in State

Last year, the California State University system turned away more than 30,000 eligible California students.

Why We Can’t Flip Retail to Residential

I enjoyed reading Charles Crumpley’s One More Thing column in the July 9 issue (“Why Not Flip Retail to Residential?”) about trying to help solve the housing shortage in the area, which he believed could be potentially mitigated by using vacant and decaying retail centers.

Brad Sherman Is Wrong About Bitcoin

Rep. Brad Sherman (D - Sherman Oaks) recently spoke at a House Financial Services Committee hearing on the future of money that specifically focused on digital currencies and cryptocurrencies.

Telemedicine Company Delivers Care in a Snap

HEALTH: Regulations to accelerate tech’s acceptance.

Glendale firm offers digital doctor visits.

MGM Buyout Could Fix Tix

ACQUISITION: Discount ticket vendor in talks with hotelier.

Discount ticket seller in buyout talks.

Hemp Dust in Your Coffee At NoHo Cafe

CBD ‘mood enhancer’ helps with recruiting new customers.

NoHo café sells coffee with hemp compound.

The Number

3.05 million Members of L.A. County credit unions

Edison Faces Fire Liability

UTILITIES: Electric company seeks to solve $4 billion question from Thomas blaze.

Edison’s liability for the Thomas Fire.

Semtech Investments in Internet of Things Pay Off

TECHNOLOGY: Patent acquisitions work for Camarillo chip maker.

Semtech’s acquisition strategy spurs growth.

Friday, August 3

California Resources Reports Loss of $82 million

California Resources Corp. reported a worse-than-expected quarterly loss of $82 million, or $1.70 a share, the Chatsworth oil and gas company announced Thursday.

Tutor Perini Subsidiary Wins Burbank Water Line Tunnel Project

Los Angeles County Department of Water and Power identified Tutor Perini Corp., the Sylmar construction company, as the low bidder for a $121 million contract to build a tunnel in Burbank.

MannKind Stock Falls 23 Percent After Earnings

Shares of MannKind Corp. plummeted more than 20 percent Friday, a day after the company released second-quarter financial results that missed Wall Street estimates for revenue.

Preview: MGM Buyout Could Fix Tix

Discount ticket vendor in talks with hotelier.

Preview: New Normal Office

Coworking locations have proliferated in the Valley region.

Thursday, August 2

Public Storage Drops Despite Quarterly Results

Public Storage shares slumped Thursday despite better-than-expected results for the second quarter.

Panorama City Hospital Names Chief Administrator

Kaiser Permanente Panorama City announced Thursday that it has appointed Kathy Kigerl as chief administrative officer.

InVia Robotics Secures $20 Million in Expansion Capital

InVia Robotics announced on Thursday it received $20 million in a Series B funding round, bringing its total funding to about $29 million.

Earnings: Teledyne, BlackLine, Wesco

Teledyne Technologies, BlackLine and Wesco Aircraft all beat analyst expectations for the second quarter.

Wednesday, August 1

Aerospace Vet Joins Aerojet Rocketdyne

The former president of Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne has been appointed senior vice president of the space business unit of Aerojet Rocketdyne.

Cheesecake Miss Prompts Stock Selloff

Shares of Cheesecake Factory Inc. dropped more than 12 percent on Wednesday, a day after the company reported second-quarter earnings that failed to meet Wall Street estimates.

Valencia Glove Maker Expanding into Big Space

Mechanix Wear Inc. will soon expand into one of the largest commercial developments in the Santa Clarita Valley, according to a CoStar Group report.

LegalZoom Valued at $2 Billion After Investment

Glendale online legal technology company Inc. on July 31 announced that it completed a $500 million financing round from four investors, its second since the firm’s founding in 2001. With this investment, LegalZoom’s estimated value totals $2 billion.