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March 14, 2014 | By David Wharton
One man's glitch is another man's gold. Immediately after the producers of the opening ceremony at the Sochi Games suffered their famous malfunction -- four electric snowflakes blossoming into Olympic rings while a fifth remained closed -- a Russian businessman began using the image in advertisements. Now the RBC Daily in Russia reports that Dmitry Medvedev, who is no relation to his country's prime minister, wants to trademark the unintended logo. Medvedev called the four rings "great public relations" and has applied to a Russian patent office because he worries about being sued by Olympics officials.
March 13, 2014 | By Christi Parsons
The Obama administration is preparing to crack down on some for-profit colleges, requiring them to do a better job of preparing students for work or risk losing access to federal student aid. Newly proposed regulations expected from the Education Department on Friday are designed to stop the flow of federal funds to poor-performing colleges. Students at most for-profit colleges rely heavily on federal loans and grants, and few programs could survive if the flow of federal money were ended.
March 8, 2014 | David Undercoffler
General Motors Co.'s lumbering full-size SUVs are dinosaurs from a bygone era, but don't expect them to go extinct just yet. Despite flagging sales, each delivery brings in piles of cash for GM. "These vehicles are minting money for them," said Dave Sullivan, an analyst at AutoPacific Inc. "It's one of the biggest profit margins in the industry. " GM makes at least $10,000 per full-sized sport utility vehicle sold, he estimates. (Not to mention the windfall for the nearest gas station.)
March 6, 2014 | By Jon Healey
FilmL.A. produced another one of its gloomy reports on runaway production Thursday, this time looking at the 108 films released last year by the 11 leading studios. One of the most galling findings : More of those films had been shot in Louisiana than in the state that's home to 10 of those studios (that would be California, in case you've forgotten). Louisiana, really? That's almost as bad as the Lakers getting stomped by the Pelicans. What's worse, as my colleague Richard Verrier reports , California's share of big-budget films has shrunk dramatically.
March 5, 2014 | W.J. Hennigan
Boosted by sales of its small drones, Monrovia company AeroVironment Inc. reported that its third-quarter earnings nearly tripled, sending its stock up in after-hours trading. At one point, shares of AeroVironment were up $1.81, or 5.7%, to $33.55 on Tuesday. It was welcome news for the company, which had experienced four consecutive quarterly losses. For the quarter that ended Jan. 25, AeroVironment posted earnings of $11.2 million, or 49 cents a share, compared with $3.8 million, or 17 cents a share, a year earlier.
March 2, 2014 | By Stuart Pfeifer
Newport Beach home builder William Lyon Homes has a history almost as interesting as its founder and namesake. William Lyon flew combat missions in the Korean War, commanded the Air Force Reserve and was chief executive and chairman of AirCal in the 1980s before selling the regional airline to American Airlines. Known as "the General," Lyon was a key player in the post-war Southern California housing boom. He got his start in home building in 1954 with Luxury Homes, a company he launched to build homes for military veterans.
February 26, 2014 | By Carolyn Kellogg
Barnes & Noble reported a net profit of $63.2 million for the holiday 2013 quarter Wednesday. That is a significant change from a year earlier, when it reported a loss of  $3.7 million. The difference is the company's e-reader, the Nook. Barnes & Noble has spun off the money-losing Nook into its own unit and has been taking cost-cutting measures, including clearing inventory and laying off workers. “The company looks like it's back on track” John Tinker, an analyst at Maxim Group in New York, told Bloomberg Businessweek.
February 26, 2014 | By Ricardo Lopez
[ Updated 1:45 p.m. PST Feb. 26: This post has been updated to include a response from ITT Educational Services and to reflect the closing stock price.] In its first action against a company in the for-profit college industry, the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on Wednesday sued ITT Educational Services Inc., which operates 149 schools in 40 states, including 14 in California. The consumer protection agency alleges that ITT used high-pressure tactics over a five-month period beginning in July 2011 to coerce students into high-interest private loans that were likely to end in default.
February 26, 2014 | By Tiffany Hsu
The massive theft of Target Corp. customer data contributed to a huge drop in fourth-quarter profit as the retailer scrambled to win back the trust of consumers and shore up its hobbled payments system. The Minneapolis-based chain reported that profit was nearly halved from a year earlier to $520 million and revenue slid 5% to $21.5 billion. Target also racked up $61 million in expenses related to the hack, though it expects all but $17 million of that to be covered by insurance.
February 19, 2014 | By Jerry Hirsch
Here are the five questions Tesla Motors Chief Executive Elon Musk needs to answer when the electric car company releases its fourth quarter and full-year financial results Wednesday afternoon. 1. Is a merger with Apple coming? Musk met with Adrian Perica, a former Goldman Sachs investment banker who heads Apple's mergers-and-acquisitions team, last year. Might Tesla -- and its astounding $25-billion market valuation for what really is a very small company -- be in play?
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