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Week in Review



Quote of the Week

‘At the current pace, foreclosures will be a significant part of the real estate economy, a fact which bears close scrutiny even in areas not yet affected.’

, Sean O’Toole of Foreclosure Radar, a foreclosure listings and software company.

Click here for the story.


Monday, April 9


Loan Inquiry Sidelines Three:

Three top executives of Student Loan Xpress, a San Diego-based student loan firm, were put on a leave of absence in response to a recent investigation into alleged misdeeds involving the sale of stock and the provision of gifts to college financial aid officers.

Student Loan Xpress Chairman Robert DeRose, Chief Executive Officer Mike Shaut and President Fabrizio Balestri were placed on indefinite leave, announced the company’s parent, CIT Group, based in Livingston, N.J.

An investigation by New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo revealed last week that financial aid officers at several colleges received stock and gifts in return for steering students to various student lenders, including Student Loan Xpress.

SLX is a subsidiary of Education Lending Group Inc., which was started by DeRose in San Diego, and sold to CIT in 2005.

CIT said it is taking the investigation seriously and is conducting its own review of the situation.

Cuomo’s office said last week that student loan officers from three colleges, Columbia University, the University of Texas, and the University of Southern California, owned thousands of dollars of stock issued by Education Lending Group.

, Mike Allen


Tuesday, April 10


A $300M Office Deal:

Los Angeles-based Maguire Properties Inc. announced that it had entered into an agreement to sell two San Diego properties for more than $298 million to an unspecified buyer.

The 439,000-square-foot Pacific Center in Mission Valley and the 269,000-square-foot Wateridge Plaza in Sorrento Mesa are being sold as part of Maguire’s disposition strategy.

Maguire is disposing of several office properties in its portfolio and using the proceeds to acquire the downtown Los Angeles and Orange County portfolio from Equity Office Properties and reduce debt.

, Andy Killion

– – –


Future Tech:

Civic leaders laid out a vision of San Diego as a hub for “cleantech” businesses , businesses with environmentally friendly products and technologies.

Mayor Jerry Sanders announced that the city is putting more resources into attracting and encouraging clean technology businesses in San Diego. Working with the city are the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corp. and UC San Diego.

, Brad Graves


Wednesday, April 11


Taxes Nip SAIC’s Profits:

Science Applications International Corp., a San Diego engineering and research firm, reported net income for its 2007 fiscal year ended Jan. 31 of $391 million, down from $927 million in net profit for the 2006 fiscal year.

The company that went public in October said that its annual revenue grew 7 percent to $8.3 billion, making it the second largest local company, trailing only Sempra Energy.

SAIC is also one of the largest in terms of employees, with more than 44,000, including 4,300 locally.

The company cited much higher income taxes for the past year, and lower interest income as the reasons for the reduced profits.

For the fourth quarter, SAIC reported net income of $84 million on revenue of $2.14 billion, compared with net income of $154 million on revenue of $1.96 billion in the prior year’s fourth quarter.

For the full year, SAIC incurred $234 million in income taxes, compared with $137 million for the 2006 fiscal year.

In terms of growing its business, SAIC was a big winner, reporting new business bookings in the fourth quarter of $2.7 billion, bringing the total for the year to $9.2 billion. Nearly all of SAIC’s business is derived from contracts with federal government agencies, including the Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security.

The firm is flush with cash, having a cash pile of $1.1 billion on its books as of the end of January, but it’s also carrying long-term debt of $1.2 billion.

The stock hasn’t been faring well of late, but rose 22 cents April 11 to close at $17.10 on the New York Stock Exchange. The company’s ticker symbol is SAI.

, Mike Allen

– – –


In Orbit:

Carlsbad-based ViaSat Inc. announced that it received a $9.3 million contract from Northrop Grumman Corp. to improve performance for a satellite network.

Northrop Grumman is acting as the system integrator for the U.S. Army’s Blue Force Tracking satellite network , a digital command and control system that communicates battle information directly to soldiers using Global Positioning System signals.

ViaSat will provide a prototype network operations center, a satellite ground station hub and new transceiver prototypes for aircraft and land vehicles.

Satellite communications company ViaSat is traded on the Nasdaq as VSAT and closed April 10 at $32.35, down 46 cents from the previous session.

, Andy Killion

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