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ENTERTAINMENT
August 3, 2012 | By Ben Fritz
With only three new movies in theaters during the second quarter -- one a 3-D re-release and another released on behalf of a separate company -- Paramount Pictures revenue plunged 29% to $1 billion. Thanks to sharply lower expenses, however, the studio's operating income dropped only 6% to $29 million, according to financial results released by parent company Viacom Inc. on Friday. Among Paramount's releases in the three-month period ended June 30, "Titanic 3-D" was a huge hit, grossing $343.6 million worldwide, which was split between the L.A. studio and partner 20th Century Fox. "Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted" has taken in a strong $501 million so far, though Paramount keeps just 8% of revenue from the DreamWorks Animation release.
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WORLD
April 6, 2014 | By Carol J. Williams
MOSCOW - It can take Moscow residents two hours in dense traffic to drive the first 10 miles on the highway to St. Petersburg, in the direction of their country cottages surrounded by lakes and birch groves. Then the road's real limitations become apparent. The potholed two-lane route connecting Russia's two largest cities has never been upgraded into a proper highway. Anyone who cares to drive its entire 440-mile length - mostly truckers - will need at least 12 hours. But 5,600 miles away, the government spent more than $1 billion on less than a mile of bridge connecting Vladivostok with Russky Island, previously inhabited only by a military garrison so isolated that four soldiers starved to death in 1992.
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ENTERTAINMENT
August 3, 2012 | By Meg James
Viacom Inc.'s profit fell short of Wall Street's expectations as the company continued to struggle with ratings declines at Nickelodeon and other cable networks while worldwide theatrical revenue took a nose dive. For the April-June period, the New York-based media company controlled by mogul Sumner Redstone generated net income of $534 million, or $1.01 a share, compared with $574 million, or 99 cents, for the year-earlier period.  Fiscal third-quarter revenue came in at $3.24 billion, a 14% decline from $3.77 billion in the prior year period.
BUSINESS
March 30, 2014 | By Stuart Pfeifer
Most people may take natural gas for granted. It fuels the flame on your stove, fires your furnace. It's there when you need it. For Sempra Energy, natural gas is big business. The San Diego company owns Southern California Gas Co., the nation's largest natural gas distribution company, and San Diego Gas & Electric, one of the largest publicly owned power companies in the country. Sempra reported net income of $1 billion last year on revenue of $10.6 billion. It has 17,000 employees worldwide and provides energy to more than 30 million people.
BUSINESS
January 30, 2014 | By Jessica Guynn
SAN FRANCISCO -- Thanks to a boost in advertising sales, Google's fourth-quarter revenue surpassed Wall Street expectations, but its bottom line fell short. Google reported earnings, excluding certain items, of $12.01 a share on revenue of $16.86 billion. Analysts had expected earnings of $12.20 a share on revenue of $16.75 billion. The results came one day after Google said it would sell its Motorola Mobility business to Lenovo for $2.9 billion. And good thing, too. Motorola lost $384 million in the quarter.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 11, 2013 | By Meg James
Media mogul Rupert Murdoch's publishing company News Corp. swung to a profit in its fiscal first quarter -- its first financial reporting period as a stand-alone company -- but revenue slipped nearly 3%. News Corp. separated from the more profitable television and film assets, which became a separate company known as 21st Century Fox, on June 30.  Murdoch's publishing company faces long-term challenges as advertisers flock to online platforms, and as its vast stable of newspapers in Australia continues to get clobbered by a weak economy.
BUSINESS
January 28, 2013 | By Jessica Guynn
Marissa Mayer has put an end to a prolonged slump in Yahoo revenue. Fourth-quarter revenue rose 2% to $1.35 billion, Yahoo's first full-year revenue increase in three years. It was the first full quarter under new Chief Executive Mayer, who joined the tech giant from Google in mid-July. Mayer has sparked hopes that she can turn around the beleaguered company. The company's fourth-quarter net income declined 8% to $272 million, or 23 cents a share. The earnings would have been higher if not for one-time accounting charges.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 7, 2014 | By Dan Weikel
Construction costs and revenue estimates for the California bullet train are headed downward while operating costs and ridership for the proposed statewide system are expected to increase above earlier forecasts, according to the project's latest business plan unveiled Friday. The draft plan summarizes the work of the California High-Speed Rail Authority during the past two years, contains revisions of ridership and cost estimates made in the 2012 business plan and describes the project's future goals, including the possibility of attracting private sector partners.
BUSINESS
April 8, 2013 | By Meg James, Los Angeles Times
After years of devastating losses, the newspaper industry has a glimmer of good news. Circulation revenue for daily newspapers grew in 2012 for the first time in a decade as more people paid to subscribe to digital editions, according to data compiled by the Newspaper Assn. of America. The finding is noteworthy because it demonstrates that the newspaper industry, which has been hammered in recent years as consumers and advertisers migrated to the Internet, has begun to adapt its business model to a new era. Newspapers generated $10.4 billion in circulation revenue in 2012, a 5% increase over the previous year.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 6, 2014 | By Meg James
Rupert Murdoch's publishing company, News Corp., beat analysts' profit estimates even though advertising revenue continued to fall. News Corp. -- which includes the Wall Street Journal, New York Post, Times of London and HarperCollins book publishing -- released its fiscal second-quarter earnings late Thursday. It was the second earnings report at the company since it became a stand-alone entity at the end of June. "Direct comparables are awkward because the company, in its present form, did not exist a year ago," News Corp.
BUSINESS
March 24, 2014 | By Richard Verrier
Tim Warner, chief executive of Cinemark Holdings Inc., admits he'd never heard of the popular science fiction series "Doctor Who. " So the Montana native was skeptical when executives at BBC Wordwide approached him about the idea of screening a simulcast of the 50th anniversary episode of the cult-classic British TV series in Cinemark theaters across Latin America and the U.S. In late November, hundreds of "Whovians" showed up at more than...
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 13, 2014 | Howard Blume
Los Angeles Unified schools Supt. John Deasy has a newly modified contract that includes an annual buyout of unused vacation days and new performance measures that require him to bring in revenue and enroll more students. He will also pay his own pension deduction for the first time, a cost offset by an increase of $20,000 to his annual salary. The amended pact, approved by the Board of Education last week after private discussions, offers the latest evidence of a board that is exerting more control over the direction of the nation's second-largest school system.
BUSINESS
March 2, 2014
The company: William Lyon Homes Headquarters: Newport Beach Ticker: WLH Employees: 225 Leadership: Bill H. Lyon, 39, chief executive since March 2013 2013 revenue: $573 million 2013 net income: $128 million Stock price: $30.93 at Friday's close 52-week range: $10.31 to $34.98 P/E ratio: 16, based on estimated 2014 earnings Dividend: none
BUSINESS
February 28, 2014 | By Tiffany Hsu
Mattel Inc. dominates the market for dolls with its Barbie, Monster High and American Girl brands. But now it also wants to play with blocks. The El Segundo giant is paying $460 million to buy Canadian construction toy company Mega Brands Inc. as it pursues what it calls a “strategic imperative” to grow beyond the categories upon which it has relied for years. The acquisition essentially heralds a turf war between Mattel and Danish company Lego, which makes the popular plastic bricks currently being featured on-screen in box-office king “The Lego Movie.” Lego said Thursday that its global sales rose 10% last year even as the toy industry slipped slightly.
NATIONAL
February 27, 2014 | By Alana Semuels
KANSAS CITY, Kan. - At Noble Prentis Elementary School, a classroom is crammed with 31 students and all their backpacks and books. Last year, the fifth-grade class had just 17 students, but a teaching position was cut when the school ran short of money. The school nurse, who comes in only twice a week, freezes kitchen sponges to use as ice packs because her budget is too small for her to buy any. Schools have always had to fight for more funding, but Noble Prentis' problems were exacerbated during the recession when state budget cuts left schools, like many other public services, foundering.
BUSINESS
February 26, 2014 | By Marc Lifsher
SACRAMENTO -- Wine exports from the United States, mainly from California, generated a record high revenue of $1.55 billion in 2013, the Wine Institute reported. It was the fourth record in a row for foreign sales when ranked by value, the San Francisco trade group said. Total sales, 90% from California wineries, were up 16.4% over 2012. QUIZ: How much do you know about California's economy? "Consumers across the globe continue to recognize the quality, diversity and value of California wines, despite significant trade barriers and heavily subsidized foreign competitors," said Wine Institute President Robert P. Koch.
BUSINESS
December 9, 2009 | By Joe Flint
Time Warner Inc. wants more juice out of TMZ, the celebrity website that is the brainchild of former Los Angeles TV newsman Harvey Levin. The media giant hopes to wring more advertising revenue out of the property and use some of the money to expand the news operation, according to people close to the site who were not authorized to speak publicly. That's the plan once Time Warner takes full control of TMZ today, when the media giant spins off AOL to shareholders. Since its launch by former KCBS-TV Channel 2 reporter Levin in December 2005, TMZ has been run as a partnership of AOL and the Telepictures unit of Warner Bros.
BUSINESS
November 10, 2011 | By Ben Fritz, Los Angeles Times
A weak film slate drove Lionsgate Entertainment Corp. revenue down in the quarter ended Sept. 30, causing its stock to fall 5% despite a previous warning by the independent studio. The Santa Monica company told investors in late September that the box-office underperformance of movies "Conan the Barbarian," "Warrior" and "Abduction" would cause it to lose more money than expected in its fiscal second quarter. But investors still seemed mildly disappointed Wednesday as Lionsgate reported that its revenue dropped 22% from the same period a year earlier, to $358.1 million.
BUSINESS
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.
NEWS
February 26, 2014
Bill Nagel joined the Los Angeles Times as Executive Vice President, Business Services in July 2009. In this role, Nagel is responsible for growing alternative revenue streams through the marketing and sales of The Times world-class print production, distribution and marketing services to other entities across Southern California. He is also responsible for business to consumer marketing for the Los Angeles Times Media Group's portfolio of products.  Previously, Nagel was Sr. Vice President of Business Channels for the San Diego Union-Tribune, overseeing both consumer and advertising revenue development.
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