Tuesday, Feb. 10
San Diego-based Leap Wireless International announced a new music service offered to Cricket Communications customers. Cricket’s Mobile Music service operates like Apple’s iTunes, the largest music retailer.
The service allows customers to download songs directly to their wireless devices or their personal computers. Songs downloaded directly to 3G phones cost $1.99. Computer downloads are 99 cents. And customers can buy two copies of each song , one for their computer and one for their phone , for $2.25 per song. Customers can also receive three download credits for a $5 monthly subscription.
, Ned Randolph
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Downtown Bistro Dispute Intensifies:
Celebrity nightclub owner Rande Gerber obtained a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction in Orange County Superior Court that prevents Tarsadia Hotels from using the names Sweetwater Saloon and Moonstone Lounge when it reopens the bars at downtown’s Hard Rock San Diego.
On Feb. 5, about a week after kicking Gerber’s crew out of the Sweetwater Saloon and Moonstone Lounge amid allegations of mismanagement and verbal and physical abuse on the part of the bars’ employees, Tarsadia reopened the street-level Sweetwater.
Gerber sued Tarsadia for being locked out of the bars. He denied the allegations.
Tarsadia Hotels developed the hotel. Gerber leased the bistros from Tarsadia. The hotel and the bars opened 14 months ago.
, Connie Lewis
Wednesday, Feb. 11
Forging Ahead With Less:
Cymer, a San Diego maker of industrial lasers used in the microchip fabrication process, was profitable for the fourth quarter and for 2008, though sales and profits were down.
For the quarter ended Dec. 31, the company disclosed net income of $3.98 million on revenue of $100 million.
Net income in the year-ago quarter was $21.4 million on revenue of $139.9 million.
For the year, Cymer reported net income of $36.5 million on revenue of $459 million. In contrast, 2007 net income was $88.4 million on revenue of $521.7 million.
Cymer has announced a number of cost-cutting measures, including layoffs. The company said in November that it planned to cut 100 workers. In January, it said it would cut an additional 85 people and cut employee base pay 10 percent. The pay cut is temporary, the company said.
Looking ahead, Cymer said it expects revenue to shrink 45 percent in the first quarter.
The company shipped 19 laser light sources in the fourth quarter, with selling prices averaging $1.9 million each.
Cymer’s Nasdaq symbol is CYMI.
, Brad Graves
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‘O’ My, Another Profitable Year:
Escondido-based Realty Income, which leases its portfolio of property to local and national retail chains, reported it had fourth-quarter net income of $28.3 million on revenue of $82.7 million.
In the year-ago quarter, Realty Income had net income of $27.1 million on revenue of $80.1 million.
Realty Income closed out the year with net income of $107.6 million and revenue of $330.2 million. In 2007, the company had net income of $116.2 million on revenue of $294.3 million.
The company trades on the New York Stock Exchange as O.
, Brad Graves
Thursday, Feb. 12
Shares of La Jolla Pharmaceutical plummeted after the company said its experimental lupus drug Riquent failed to meet its goals in a late-stage study.
The company’s stock, traded under the symbol LJPC on Nasdaq, fell almost 90 percent to 26 cents after the opening bell.
The news came as a major setback to La Jolla Pharmaceutical, but it is not an unusual occurrence in the industry, where developing an effective lupus drug has proven difficult. The potentially fatal disease wreaks havoc on the body, causing its immune system to attack tissues and organs.
Independent data monitors who took a look at interim efficacy data on Riquent said running further tests would prove “futile.”
Riquent, its only clinical-stage drug candidate, was being co-developed with BioMarin Pharmaceutical.
, Heather Chambers
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The San Diego Convention & Visitors Bureau said a $1.7 million budget shortfall will result in operational, program and across-the-board staff cuts. In all, a dozen full- and part-time jobs will be eliminated, including those of two bureau veterans, Christine Shimasaki, vice president and chief strategy officer, on May 1, and Sal Giametta, vice president of public affairs and communications, on March 20.
ConVis President and CEO David Peckinpaugh blamed the cutbacks on the recession, which has brought steep declines in occupancy at local hotels. The bureau’s main source of revenue comes from a 2 percent fee tacked onto hotel room bills.
The bureau’s overall operating budget, including $400,000 from private sources , mainly membership dues , was previously estimated to be $21.4 million for the fiscal year ending June 30, and is now set at $19.7 million.
Research, travel and attendance at trade events will also be pared, and vendor contracts will be renegotiated, Peckinpaugh said.
“These times are challenging for just about every business in America and we in tourism are not exempt,” he said. “The decisions that we have had to make are difficult, but we have taken significant strides to make sure that our investments in core sales and marketing strategies are not impacted.”
, Connie Lewis