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Bio-tech turnaround pays dividend for area economy

By   /   Friday, August 1st, 2008  /   Comments Off on Bio-tech turnaround pays dividend for area economy

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During the past year, Ventura County, the Conejo Valley and the economic health of the entire region has been closely tied to the fate of two troubled companies – Countrywide Financial Corp. and Amgen.

After 12 months of financial torture, the future of these two companies suddenly is getting a lot clearer.

After a near collapse that’s still sending legal, political and fiscal ripples across the financial markets, Countrywide is owned by Bank of America Corp., which pulled the trigger on its $2.8 billion acquisition a few weeks ago, despite grave misgivings from some analysts. A number of Countrywide’s 5,000 East Ventura County jobs easily could move elsewhere, but a total collapse of Countrywide has been averted.

And in late July, Amgen, also despite some questions about its future, seemed to have righted the ship. The world’s largest biotechnology company, has a new drug to bring to market, earnings guidance has been raised, a big lawsuit has been settled and a slimmed down Amgen looks to resume its place as a major economic driver for the region.

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