Pacific Coast Business Times Proudly serving Ventura, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties 2014-07-30T22:37:46Z WordPress Staff Report <![CDATA[Amgen to slash 2,400 jobs, shrink Thousand Oaks HQ]]> 2014-07-30T22:37:46Z 2014-07-29T20:59:24Z Amgen's corporate headquarters in Thousand Oaks (Amgen courtesy photo)

Amgen’s corporate headquarters in Thousand Oaks (Amgen courtesy photo)

Thousand Oaks-based Amgen will cut staff at its Conejo Valley headquarters and consolidate into fewer buildings as part of a company-wide restructuring plan that will eliminate between 2,400 and 2,900 jobs and shutter facilities in Colorado and Washington.

Amgen said the moves are designed to reduce operating expenses by $700 million by 2016, money that it plans to reinvest to support new drug launches. The company said the layoffs will constitute between 12 and 15 percent of its 20,000-member workforce but did not immediately respond to questions about how many jobs would be cut in Thousand Oaks specifically.

“We will retain our headquarters in Thousand Oaks, with a reduced number of staff consolidated into fewer buildings,” Amgen said in a news release. “The talented staff members in Thousand Oaks have made enormous contributions to advancing biotechnology over the years and the surrounding community has been very supportive.”

The firm said July 29 that it will close sites in Seattle and Bothell, Washington, and Boulder and Longmont, Colorado, in 2015.

“We’ll retain our headquarters in Thousand Oaks, albeit with a reduced staff,” CEO Robert Bradway said in an earnings call with investors.

The company occupies about 3.7 million square feet of building space on 120 acres in Thousand Oaks. It plans to reduce that footprint, said Amgen spokeswoman Kristen Davis.

“As a result, we expect to close several buildings and sell some of the buildings on the outlying areas of our central campus. We are actively engaging in discussions with third-parties about potential future use of the facilities,” Davis told the Business Times in an email.

The restructuring at Amgen comes after several years of job cuts at Ventura County’s largest private-sector employer.

In June, Amgen confirmed plans to lay off 70 people, primarily in its information systems department at its headquarters. Those cuts brought the total number of jobs eliminated since 2007 to 1,223, according to Business Times records and research.

Davis said the Amgen will offer a “voluntary transition program” to qualifying employees to help mitigate the impact of the restructuring.

“The voluntary transition program provides an enhanced benefits package to those staff members who may be ready to move on to another career or to pursue other interests,” Davis said in a email.

In 2007, the company cut 675 jobs in Ventura County in the first major layoff in its history. In 2011, it eliminated 226 positions in Thousand Oaks as part of sweeping changes to its research and development operations. Earlier this year, Amgen eliminated 252 jobs in Thousand Oaks. Before the layoffs announced July 29, Amgen had about 6,000 workers in Thousand Oaks. In late 2006, the company told the Business Times it had about 7,500 employees in Ventura County.

Amgen said that the moves were geared towards cutting costs so that it could “invest in continuing innovation and the launch of its new pipeline molecules, while improving its cost structure. Initial efforts include streamlining the organization, reducing layers of management, increasing managerial spans of responsibility and beginning implementation of a revised geographic site plan,” the company said in a news release.

Overall, its global facilities footprint will be reduced 23 percent, the firm said. It will begin exiting its Washington and Colorado facilities, which are largely research and development sites, in the fourth quarter, it said. Going forward, its R&D operations will be concentrated in South San Francisco and Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Amgen also disclosed its third-quarter earnings. Revenues rose 11 percent to $5.2 billion and profits increased 25 percent to $2.37 per share, beating analyst expectations of $4.9 billion and $2.07 per share, respectively. Shares were up 4.2 percent to $128.60 in after-hours trading after the news was released.

Staff Report <![CDATA[Heritage Oaks Q2 profits jump 25%]]> 2014-07-30T16:47:17Z 2014-07-29T18:03:56Z Paso Robles-based Heritage Oaks Bancorp’s second-quarter profits jumped 25.1 percent to $2.9 million.

Net income from its acquisition of Mission Community Bancorp in February drove the increase, Heritage Oaks said in a July 28 earnings release. The bank’s loans grew 46.9 percent to $1.1 billion, year-over-year, as it added $280.7 million of Mission’s loans to its books. Deposits jumped 57.8 percent to $1.4 billion.

Heritage Oaks said it recorded $1.3 million in costs related to the merger during the second quarter. Total costs related to the deal this year are estimated to be $10.2 million, with $8 million already incurred.

“Since the merger closed on Feb. 28, 2014, our team has focused on the smooth transition and integration of the Mission Community Bank customers and operations into our organization. On July 19, we successfully completed the system conversion for the former Mission customers and we are now all on one system,” Heritage Oaks President and CEO Simone Lagomarsino said in a statement.

Heritage Oaks has retained 97 percent of Mission Community’s deposits, she noted.

With $1.7 billion in assets, Heritage Oaks is the largest bank based in the Tri-Counties. The firm has branches throughout San Luis Obispo County and one in downtown Santa Barbara. It has opened a loan production office in Oxnard as it prepares to expand into Ventura County.

Staff Report <![CDATA[Community West Bank profits fall 19.8 percent]]> 2014-07-30T21:23:22Z 2014-07-25T20:28:20Z Goleta-based Community West Bancshares, the holding company for Community West Bank, reported that earnings per diluted share fell to $0.18 for the second quarter while net interest income rose to $6.3 million.

Bancshares stock closed up 4.6 percent at $6.80 on July 24, when the news was released.

Second quarter net interest income rose 6.6 percent from the same period a year ago. Earnings per diluted share fell 21.7 percent.

Net income fell 19.8 percent to $1.7 million compared to a year prior. Total assets as of June 30, 2014 increased 4 percent to $557.7 million.

“Community West’s second quarter success was fueled by ongoing improvements in credit quality coupled with solid loan and deposit growth,” said President and CEO Martin E. Plourd in a statement.

Deposits increased 8.6 percent to $472 million. Net loans for the quarter increased 8 percent to $484.1 million compared to a year earlier.

Commercial loans increased 62 percent to $69 million. Commercial real estate loans rose 15 percent to $159 million. Manufacturing housing loans remained steady while Small Business Administration loans fell 15 percent to $67 million.

Staff Report <![CDATA[Teledyne revenues dip as profits, outlook rise]]> 2014-07-25T18:22:33Z 2014-07-25T18:22:33Z Though Thousand Oaks-based conglomerate Teledyne missed its revenue mark for the second quarter, profits jumped 30 percent compared to a year prior, beating analysts estimates. The company also boosted its full-year profit outlook.

Teledyne said on July 24 that second quarter earnings per share were $1.47, 30 percent higher than a year prior and $0.20 better than Wall Street estimates, according to six analysts polled by Thomson Reuters.

The company’s revenue was $597 million for the second quarter, compared to $601 million a year earlier. Analysts expected $606 million in revenue. While revenue fell in most divisions, operating profits, operating income and net income all had double-digit growth. Teledyne raised its full-year 2014 earnings per diluted share guidelines $0.20 to $5.31 to $5.35.

“Our results demonstrate the successful transformation of Teledyne into a higher-margin, industrial technology company,” said Chairman, President and CEO Robert Mehrabian in a statement.

The company’s instrumentation division, which makes up 46 percent of total revenue, experienced revenue growth of 7.3 percent to $276.6 million. The expansion was lead by the marine and environmental instrumentation product lines. Operating profit increased 6.6 percent to $43.8 million.

Revenue dropped in the company’s other divisions.

Aerospace and defense electronics revenue fell 10.2 percent to $152.2 million because of the completion of a program with a foreign government. Operating profit for the division increased to $22.9 million, a jump of 11.2 percent compared to the year prior.

Digital imaging revenue dropped slightly to $103.7 million, but operating profit increased 48.1 percent. This reflected “improved margins across most product lines and a greater mix of higher margin commercial sales,” according to securities filings.

Teledyne’s stock price was down 1.9 percent to $92.77 midday July 25.

Marlize van Romburgh <![CDATA[Ventura County’s ripe farm loan market drives $15.3M bank deal]]> 2014-07-25T18:18:37Z 2014-07-25T07:03:09Z Sierra Bancorp is placing a $15.3 million bet on the agricultural bounty of Ventura County.

The Porterville-based parent company of Bank of the Sierra said July 17 that it is purchasing Santa Paula-based Santa Clara Valley Bank in an all-cash deal that includes three branches and $105 million in deposits. The deal gives the Central Valley bank, a major agricultural lender, a foothold in Ventura County, which has seen the value of its crops and livestock climb to $2 billion annually in recent years.

“We do a lot of agricultural lending,” Sierra Bancorp President and Chief Operating Officer Kevin McPhaill told the Business Times. “Ventura County is a really nice market for us, not only in the sense that it’s really rich in agriculture, especially with its citrus and avocado crops, but also its proximity to our existing markets.”

Santa Clara Valley Bank operates branches in Fillmore, Santa Paula and Valencia. With assets of about $127 million, the bank is the second-smallest bank headquartered in the Tri-Counties.
Sierra Bancorp is the $1.5 billion parent company of Bank of the Sierra. It has primarily served California’s Central Valley thus far.

Sierra Bancorp has 25 branches in California and operates real estate and agricultural lending centers in the state, as well as a Small Business Administration loan center in the Central California region. Its closest branch is about 80 miles away in Bakersfield, McPhaill noted, and the bank hopes that acquiring the Santa Clara Valley operations will provide a launchpad to other markets in Ventura County and later, perhaps, Santa Barbara or San Luis Obispo counties.

The acquisition, which has been approved by the boards of both banks, includes $12.3 million in cash, or $6 per share, to Santa Clara Valley Bank’s common shareholders, and $3 million to preferred shareholders to retire outstanding preferred stock and warrants.

“This was by far the best offer we received,” Santa Clara Valley Bank President and CEO Cheryl Knight told the Business Times. “It’s an all-cash deal, so there’s very little risk for shareholders.”

Executives from both firms said they hope to close the deal by the end of the fourth quarter. The transaction still needs regulatory approval and the go-ahead from Santa Clara Valley Bank’s shareholders.

The proposed purchase price represents 109 percent of Santa Clara Valley Bank’s book value as of March 31, Sierra said. Santa Clara Valley Bank shares, traded over the counter, closed at $4.72 on July 17 before the deal was announced. The bank’s shares shot up to $5.70, a 20.8 percent surge, in midday trading on July 18.

As a much larger institution, Sierra Bancorp will be able to bank bigger businesses, including larger farming operations that the Ventura County lender has thus far had to turn away, the firms noted.

“Our lending limits are of course much higher than Santa Clara Valley’s,” McPhaill said. “For example, if somebody wants to buy a building and it’s in the $5 million to to $10 million range, that’s right in our wheelhouse.”
And larger banks are better able to spread the costs of regulatory compliance and new technologies across their branch network.

“The regulatory costs for banks have just ballooned over the past five or six years, and the expectations for what a small bank has to do to stay in compliance have, in my opinion, become unnecessarily burdensome,” Knight said.

“That’s a concern: How the small banks survive and make money. If we had a more robust recovery that would have helped, too.”
Santa Clara Valley Bank lost $153,000 in 2013 after turning a $558,000 profit in 2012.

The bank has 38 full-time equivalent employees, according to its regulatory filings. Executives from the two firms said the vast majority of customer-facing positions such as tellers and loan officers will be preserved through the transaction.

But Sierra expects to gain some cost savings by merging Santa Clara Valley Bank’s administrative operations into its own. That likely means some layoffs at the smaller bank’s Santa Paula headquarters.

“Culturally, our two banks are very closely aligned. We see this as a natural extension for us,” McPhaill said. “We don’t have branches in that area. So we’re not closing branches, and we’re going to need all those people to continue to serve customers.”

Stephen Nellis <![CDATA[Allergan’s South Coast exit reshapes breast implant industry]]> 2014-07-25T18:12:58Z 2014-07-25T07:02:53Z


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Staff Report <![CDATA[Announcing the 2014 Spirit of Small Business winners]]> 2014-07-25T18:10:47Z 2014-07-25T07:02:23Z Mark Steller, owner of Old Town Market in Orcutt and this year’s North Santa Barbara County Spirit of Small Business award winner. (Nik Blaskovich photo)

Mark Steller, owner of Old Town Market in Orcutt and this year’s North Santa Barbara County Spirit of Small Business award winner. (Nik Blaskovich photo)


The Pacific Coast Business Times is pleased to announce our 2014 class of Spirit of Small Business award winners. The annual special section, now in its 12th year, celebrates small-business ownership and entrepreneurship in the Tri-Counties. The report published with the July 25 print edition of the Business Times. The honorees will be celebrated at an awards luncheon on Thursday, Aug. 14 at Bacara Resort & Spa.

There were nine winners this year, all profiled in the print edition. They are:


Agnew Multilingual: Irene Agnew, president


Staples Construction Co.: David Staples, president


The French Press: Julia and Todd Mayer, owners


Old Town Market: Mark Steller, owner


Wallace Group: John Wallace, president and principal


Ohana Pet Hospital: Drs. Janis Shinkawa, Kate Byrne, Jill Muraoka, Nicci Quinn, medical directors


Alliance Wealth Strategies: Sergio Villa, president


AB Design Studio: Clay Aurell and Josh Blumer, principals


Zesto Audio: George and Carolyn Counnas, owners

• For a copy of the section with profiles and photos of all the winners, pick up the July 25-31 print edition of the Business Times. Click here for newsstand locations, or call (805) 560-6950 to subscribe or order copies.

• To purchase tickets to the Spirit of Small Business Awards luncheon held from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, August 16 at Bacara Resort & Spa, click here.