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BUSINESS
July 18, 2013 | By Andrew Tangel
NEW YORK -- Morgan Stanley's profit jumped 42% in the second quarter, boosted by trading, wealth management and investment banking. The major Wall Street bank reported $802 million, or 41 cents a share, in second-quarter net income, up from $564 million, or 29 cents, in the same period a year ago. The results included a $152-million charge stemming from the bank's acquisition of the remaining stake in the Morgan Stanley Smith Barney joint venture...
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BUSINESS
April 6, 2014 | By Ronald D. White
Matthew Vella certainly doesn't look like a troll. Vella is the regular-guy chief executive of Acacia Research Corp., which calls itself a patent outsource licensing company. The Newport Beach firm links up with inventors who fear that others are elbowing in on their patents or whose patents aren't making the money they could. "Our clients often can't afford to hire specialists that will help turn those patents into money," Vella said. "They are not looking to sell them necessarily, but if they are looking to get money because people are infringing their patents, we want to be their partner.
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BUSINESS
October 5, 2011 | Bloomberg News
Costco Wholesale Corp., the largest U.S. warehouse-club chain, increased membership fees 10 percent after rising costs hurt profit margins in the fourth quarter. Costco will boost annual membership fees to $55 from $50 effective Nov. 1 for U.S. Goldstar or individual members, as well as business and Canada Business members, the retailer said today in a statement. U.S. and Canada executive fees will rise to $110 from $100. The increases will affect about 22 million members, half of them in the executive program, Costco said.
BUSINESS
March 28, 2014 | By Walter Hamilton
Profit at Tribune Co., the parent of the Los Angeles Times and other newspaper, radio and television properties, fell sharply last year amid a further decline in newspaper advertising and a significant drop in earnings at its broadcast division. The Chicago media company reported net income of $241.6 million for the year, down 43% from $422.5 million in 2012. Total operating revenue fell 8% to $2.9 billion, with a 6% decline in publishing and an 11% drop in broadcasting. For the fourth quarter, revenue dropped $97 million, or 11%, to $773 million, partly because the quarter included one fewer week than the previous year's final three months.
BUSINESS
October 13, 2011
Google Inc said its profit grew 26 percent in the third quarter, as the Internet search leader's revenue jumped 33 percent to $9.72 billion. Google said it earned $2.73 billion in net income in the third quarter. Earnings per share, excluding certain items, were $9.72 during the third quarter, it said.
BUSINESS
January 20, 2012 | Bloomberg News
General Electric Co.'s fourth-quarter profit topped estimates after the conglomerate's industrial order backlog rose to a record $200 billion. Profit from continuing operations of 39 cents a share, excluding some items, compared with the 38-cent average estimate from analysts surveyed by Bloomberg, GE said Thursday. Revenue dropped 8%, including the sale of GE's NBCUniversal stake, to $38 billion, lower than the average analyst estimate of $40 billion. Sales were trimmed by about $1 billion because the fourth quarter had six fewer operating days than the year-earlier period, GE said.
BUSINESS
July 30, 2010 | By Alejandro Lazo, Los Angeles Times
Standard Pacific Corp. posted second-quarter earnings of $10.7 million, or four cents a share, the Irvine homebuilder said Thursday. Homebuilding revenue jumped as the average price of homes sold increased, and the company reduced the number of its costly land sales in the quarter ended June 30, helping it rebound from a loss of $23.1 million, or 10 cents a share, in the same period last year. Standard Pacific also said it had increased the number of its approved land purchases, signaling optimism about the future.
BUSINESS
January 18, 2013 | By Andrew Tangel
Morgan Stanley 's big push into wealth management seems to be paying off. The New York investment bank, which has been cutting costs as it has struggled to boost earnings, returned to profitability in the fourth quarter. Morgan Stanley reported $507 million in profit, compared to a loss of $250 million the same period in 2011. Profits from its wealth management and institutional securities divisions surged. Morgan Stanley's profit beat Wall Street estimates, and its stock surged in pre-market trading on Wall Street.
BUSINESS
August 20, 2012 | By Shan Li
Home improvement chain Lowe's Cos. reported that profit dropped 10% in the second quarter because of  weak sales and competition from rivals. For the three months ended Aug. 3, the retailer reported net income of $747 million, or 64 cents a share, compared with $830 million, or flat earnings per share, in the same period a year ago. Sales sank 2%, to $14.2 billion from $14.5 billion. "Our results fell short of our overall expectations," said Lowe's Chief Executive Robert A. Niblock in a Monday statement.
BUSINESS
March 2, 2012 | By Tiffany Hsu, Los Angeles Times
DineEquity Inc., the Glendale-based owner of the Applebee's and IHOP restaurant chains, had a strong fourth quarter after suffering a severe slump a year earlier. Several factors helped the recovery, including the company's increase in franchising, warmer weather that drew out more diners and remodeling efforts that have freshened up hundreds of Applebee's locations. Profit for the quarter that ended Dec. 31 jumped to $27.3 million, or $1.51 cents a share, compared with a loss of $58.1 million, or $3.33 cents a share, from the fourth quarter of 2010.
OPINION
March 28, 2014
Re "Reining in for-profit colleges," Editorial, March 23 Profit-driven education leads only to greed and corruption. I taught at a for-profit college and was shocked at the quality of students who passed the school's "entrance exam" yet sat clueless in my classroom. These schools prey on poor, desperate individuals looking to better themselves, only to be fooled into enrolling in programs that have no real value. These schools are primarily interested in one thing: money. With recruiters drawing good salaries, you bet their sales pitches are aggressive.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 25, 2014 | By Chris Megerian
SACRAMENTO - Millions of dollars in welfare benefits are ending up in banks' pockets each year when poor Californians access their taxpayer-funded benefits, according to state statistics and a report released Tuesday. Like many other states, California issues electronic cards to welfare recipients so they can withdraw public assistance from ATMs. Last year, $18.9 million was spent on ATM fees. The year before they topped $19.4 million. The state welfare system allows recipients to make four free withdrawals per month at ATMs run by MoneyPass, part of U.S. Bank.
OPINION
March 25, 2014 | By The Times editorial board
On Tuesday, the Supreme Court will consider a proposition that will strike many Americans as bizarre: that large, for-profit businesses can refuse on religious grounds to comply with a federal mandate that they include contraception in their employee health plans. Three companies - Hobby Lobby, a chain of craft stores with 13,000 full-time employees; Mardel, a bookstore chain; and Conestoga Wood Specialties, a cabinet manufacturer - are challenging the mandate. The businesses say it would require them to cover forms of contraception that the owners regard as equivalent to abortion - and thus offensive to their religious faith.
OPINION
March 23, 2014 | By The Times editorial board
For-profit colleges that wildly exaggerate their graduates' success and talk prospective attendees into taking on extraordinary debt are not only harming their students but costing taxpayers billions of dollars on wasted Pell grants and defaulted federal student loans. After an earlier court defeat, the Obama administration is trying again to set rules to stop schools from overpromising to attract students. This time, the rules should stick. The administration has spent years looking for ways to crack down on the bad actors within the for-profit college industry, which accounts for just 13% of college enrollment but almost half of all federal student loan defaults.
BUSINESS
March 23, 2014 | By Hugo Martín
Travelers protested when airlines began charging bag fees in 2008, saying the extra charge was a blatant money grab. But a new study concludes that the nation's airlines quietly lowered airfares slightly to make the bag fees more palatable to those fliers who would get stuck paying the new charge. Still the airlines are profiting because the drop in fares was so small it did not totally offset the added cost of checking a bag, the study found. "The fact that the airlines are doing it must mean they are coming out ahead," said Jan Brueckner, an economics professor at UC Irvine who co-wrote the study with other economics experts.
BUSINESS
March 19, 2014 | By Stuart Pfeifer
KB Home Inc. shares were up nearly 7% in early trading Wednesday after the Los Angeles home builder said it posted a first-quarter profit for the first time since 2007. Revenue, home prices and future orders rose significantly as the company continued to benefit from the rebound of the housing market. The company reported revenue of $451 million for the three months ended Feb. 28, up 11% from the $405 million of revenue it posted in the same period a year earlier. The average selling price of a new home was $305,200, an increase of $33,900, or 12%, from the year-earlier quarter.
BUSINESS
May 1, 2012 | By Tiffany Hsu
DineEquity Inc., the Glendale-based owner of IHOP Restaurants and Applebee's Neighborhood Grill & Bar, is making a heavy push toward franchising. More than 95% of the company's thousands of restaurants are now owned by entrepreneurs, DineEquity said Tuesday when it announced its first quarter earnings . The franchise model helps keep the company's balance sheet from wild swings, leading to a 5.5% boost in profit to $31.3 million, or $1.64 a share, from $29.7 million, or $1.53 a share during the same quarter a year earlier.
BUSINESS
February 12, 2010 | By Meg James
Cost-cutting and robust holiday-season sales of "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" and "Star Trek" DVDs propelled Viacom Inc. to a fourfold increase in fourth-quarter profit. Viacom reported Thursday that it earned $694 million, or $1.14 a share, compared with $172 million, or 28 cents, a year earlier. The jump in earnings was, in large part, because of a $454-million restructuring charge taken in the period in 2008. Revenue, however, fell 3% to $4.1 billion for the quarter, reflecting continued weakness in the TV advertising market.
BUSINESS
March 19, 2014 | By Jerry Hirsch
In a landmark settlement of criminal charges, Toyota Motor Corp. admitted deceiving regulators about deadly safety defects and agreed to pay $1.2 billion, the largest penalty ever imposed on an automaker. In the unprecedented deal with the U.S. Justice Department, the world's largest automaker admitted it misled consumers about two defects that caused unintended sudden-acceleration incidents - sticking gas pedals and floor mats trapping the pedals. “Toyota put sales over safety, and profit over principle,” said George Venizelos, assistant director of the FBI. “The disregard Toyota had for the safety of the public was outrageous.
OPINION
March 18, 2014 | By Michael A. Helfand
Next week, the Supreme Court will hear arguments on whether the Affordable Care Act's contraception mandate - the requirement that employers provide employee health insurance that covers contraception - impermissibly infringes on the religious liberty of religiously motivated corporations. The legal battles over the mandate have been legion; more than 300 plaintiffs have filed more than 90 cases across the country, all contending that providing health coverage for contraception would require them to violate their faith.
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