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BUSINESS
December 23, 2013 | By Jessica Guynn
SAN FRANCISCO -- With investors hoping Facebook and Twitter can ramp up their advertising revenue, the companies' stocks surged Monday to record highs. Facebook gained nearly 5% to $57.77, while Twitter shot up almost 8% to $64.54. Facebook's stock price has more than doubled this year. Twitter has nearly doubled since its initial public offering early last month. Investors are seizing on the momentum of the companies' ad revenue. Research firm EMarketer says both companies will expand their share of the digital ad market.
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ENTERTAINMENT
December 18, 2013 | By Dawn C. Chmielewski
Internet television service Hulu will bring in $1 billion in revenue this year, as it added subscribers and expanded its advertising base. Hulu did not disclose whether the service is profitable. The streaming service said its 2013 revenue will be up from $695 million in 2012. The number of its subscribers has reached 5 million, with about half of those who pay $8 a month for Hulu Plus watching shows exclusively on their portable devices. Hulu Plus is available on more than 400 million Internet-connected devices in the U.S., including next-generation video game consoles, smartphones, tablets, smart TVs and dedicated streaming set-top boxes from Roku and Apple TV. The six-year-old venture -- owned by Walt Disney Co., 21st Century Fox and NBCUniversal parent Comcast Corp.
BUSINESS
December 16, 2013 | By Stuart Pfeifer
You've probably never heard of Reliance Steel & Aluminum Co. And that's a little bit frustrating to David Hannah, who has guided the Los Angeles company to staggering growth since he was named its chief executive 14 years ago. "It seems in Southern California if you aren't in media or entertainment, you don't get noticed," he said. Reliance's business model isn't exactly sexy. The metal service center company buys bulk metal from steel mills, processes it and sells it to machine shops and other businesses.
OPINION
December 13, 2013 | By The Times editorial board
Top Assembly Democrats have revealed what they'd like to do with billions of dollars in extra tax revenue that the state is projected to receive, and their top priorities were reassuring: expanding the reserve fund and paying down the debts that Sacramento accumulated over the last decade. Their budget blueprint also calls for a lot of new spending on education and anti-poverty programs, however. If state government really has entered a sustained period of large surpluses, lawmakers can afford to make more long-term investments in California's infrastructure and its people.
NEWS
December 12, 2013 | By Jon Healey
This post has been updated, as indicated below. A belated arrival on the streaming-music scene, Led Zeppelin quickly shot up the charts on Spotify this week despite not having released an album of new material in more than 30 years. The service made the band's first two albums (both from 1969) available Wednesday -- the first Led Zep releases to appear on any of the licensed music subscription services -- and within a day they were both in Spotify's Top 25. [ Updated, 12:15 p.m. Dec. 13: Spotify made two more of the band's releases available Thursday, and all four were in the Top 25 by noon Friday.]
BUSINESS
December 10, 2013 | By Stuart Pfeifer
Broadcom Corp., an Irvine company that makes chips used in popular tech gadgets including Apple Inc.'s iPhone and iPad, says sales this quarter will be higher than it initially forecast. The company said in a statement Tuesday that it expected fourth-quarter sales of between $2 billion and $2.05 billion, up from its previous guidance of $1.92 billion to $2.03 billion.  Broadcom said it was raising the forecast because of "better-than-expected revenue in each reportable segment, particularly in infrastructure and networking.
BUSINESS
December 10, 2013 | By Marc Lifsher
SACRAMENTO -- California's tax revenue came in about 6% below forecasts in November, but state Controller John Chiang dismissed the drop as a fluke of the calendar. Last month's total of $6 billion was $375.6 million under estimates, Chiang said. But, revenue for the first five months of the fiscal year was $31.4 billion, ahead of budget predictions by $228.1 million. QUIZ: How much do you know about California's economy? Meanwhile, state spending since the July 1 start of the fiscal year was down $126.3 million from budget assumptions.
BUSINESS
December 5, 2013 | By Jessica Guynn
SAN FRANCISCO -- In a major step in building up its advertising business, Twitter will begin showing ads to users based on their Web browsing history, the company said Thursday. Twitter is following the example of Facebook, Google, Amazon and other companies which have profited handsomely from the controversial but effective form of ad targeting. The feature allows marketers to use cookies -- files on computers that contain information on which websites have been visited -- to display ads for products people browsed on other websites.
BUSINESS
November 24, 2013 | By Ronald D. White
Molina Healthcare Inc. of Long Beach was looking after the medical needs of low-income people long before Obamacare debuted. Molina Healthcare began 33 years ago after emergency room physician C. David Molina had seen too many poor people with easily treatable and preventable illnesses. He opened three small clinics in Long Beach to serve them. The company currently offers Medicaid-related, licensed health plans for low-income families and individuals in California and nine other states.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 21, 2013 | By Ryan Faughnder
Internet radio company Pandora Media Inc. reported third-quarter sales that exceeded analysts' expectations as mobile advertising grew by more than half. But the company swung to a net loss as it spent more on marketing, sales and product development.  Sales by the Oakland-based company for the three months that ended Oct. 31 grew 50% from the same period last year to top $180 million, more than the $178 million that analysts were expecting.   ON LOCATION: Where the cameras roll Its mobile revenue, generated by ads on the streaming music service's smartphone and tablet applications, increased 58% year-over-year to nearly $105 million.  The company posted a net loss of $1.7 million (one cent per share)
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