Stock Spotlight: Profiles of Southern California public companies

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PCM may become a takeover target

The owner of a company that competes with PCM has started buying its stock, raising speculation of a possible takeover.

NuVasive poised for vigorous growth

Medical device firm NuVasive expects further growth from the expanding middle-class populations in India and China.

Jack in the Box cooks up late-night menu amid surging profit, new CEO

With a new CEO at the helm, Jack in the Box profits from targeting late-night customers as its stock price soars.

Acacia Research seeks to profit from patents

Acacia Research, which critics call a 'patent troll,' says it focuses on helping inventors profit from their patents.

Sempra Energy bets on liquefied natural gas to power future growth

Sempra Energy plans to build a facility for exporting liquefied natural gas that could generate $10 billion a year in revenue.

Growth spurt slowing at retailer Tilly's

Tilly's, a retailer targeting teens and young adults, faces 'continued challenges in the retail environment.'

Sport Chalet pursues its first annual profit since 2007

Sport Chalet posts its most profitable quarter in seven years, a sign the retailer may be nearing a turnaround.

AMN Healthcare Services poised for healthy growth under Obamacare

AMN Healthcare Services expects the Affordable Care Act to boost demand for its services.

William Lyon Homes lays the foundation for future growth

William Lyon Homes swung to a profit last year amid the housing recovery after emerging from bankruptcy protection in 2012.

Qualcomm calling on a new CEO amid intensifying competition

Qualcomm installs a new CEO next month as it seeks to fend off rivals while striving for stronger growth in emerging markets.

Cheesecake Factory cooks up a recipe for success

The Cheesecake Factory has rebounded from the recession and pushed further overseas but faces higher food costs.

Warmer prospects seen for teen apparel company

After a tough, cold winter, analysts expect PacSun sales to start heating up.

Clean Energy hopes natural-gas-powered autos fuel its first profit

Clean Energy hopes increasing sales of autos powered by natural gas fuel its first profit.

Citizens Business Bank's caution in boom times is a key to survival

Citizens Business Bank not only made it through the recession but turned a profit while its Inland Empire rivals failed.

Cherokee is making a name for itself in more nations

Global marketer Cherokee plans to add to its roster of fashion and lifestyle brands licensed in more than 40 countries.

Jacobs Engineering is building on its success with acquisitions

Jacobs, one of the largest of its kind in the U.S., keeps growing by buying other engineering, architecture and construction firms.

Reliance Steel irons out its difficulties from the downturn

The L.A. metal service center company, which saw revenue drop 39% to $5.3 billion in 2009, expect about $10 billion in sales this year.

MannKind is seeking approval for diabetes inhaler system by spring

MannKind is seeking federal approval for its first product, a diabetes inhaler system, by spring.

Guess dresses for success with denim

In a bid to lift sagging sales, fashion firm Guess is refocusing its efforts on denim jeans after diversifying into accessories.

Molina Healthcare poised for healthy growth

Molina Healthcare expects to double its revenue by 2015 because of the expansion of lower income people eligible for coverage.

Mercury General strives to keep up with growing expenses

Auto and homeowner insurer Mercury General is trying to raise premiums to keep up with growing expenses.

Aerospace supply chain manager Wesco Aircraft at full throttle

Wesco Aircraft has focused on drumming up business in the commercial and civilian sectors to keep growing.

Insurer Health Net overhauls its operations preparing for Obamacare

Medical insurer Health Net has gone 'all in' on Obamacare, seeking to cover thousands of previously uninsured people.

Video game maker looks forward to its own sequel

Maker of 'Call of Duty' and 'World of Warcraft' wants to break with French company Vivendi, which owns a majority of its share.

Temporary staffing firm On Assignment booms as U.S. economy improves

On Assignment, a temporary staffing firm for skilled employees — many in the technology field — has posted record sales and profits this year.

Rentech shifts from green energy to a more fertile field

The L.A. company started out developing alternative power technologies but is now focused on its nitrogen fertilizer business.

Joe's Jeans stitches up higher sales

Premium denim producer Joe's Jeans has found success with small retail shops in well-placed locations, analysts say.

Jakks Pacific is playing catch-up with toy-making rivals

Jakks Pacific desperately needs a blockbuster product. The toy maker's sales have fallen five years in a row.

Corinthian Colleges challenged by declining enrollment

Corinthian Colleges faces a downturn in enrollment and regulatory investigations by the SEC and state prosecutors.

BreitBurn Energy finds there's still black gold in them thar wells

The company buys — at low cost — reserves-rich oil fields that the big players are done with.

Aircraft-leasing pioneer looks at the short haul for the long haul

Forty years after co-founding a company that buys airplanes and leases them to airlines, Steven Udvar-Hazy is focusing on shorter flights.

Skechers laces up profit while trying on a new apparel line

Skechers' profit is surging past Wall Street forecasts this year, and the footwear maker is cautiously testing a new apparel line.

Autobytel reviving its marketing sites after a rocky recession

The auto website company Autobytel Inc. may not have Super Bowl ads anymore, but revenue is growing again after its crash in 2008.

Edison International aims to power through troubles

Edison International is overhauling its operations in the wake of the San Onofre debacle and the bankruptcy of a subsidiary.

Facing shareholder pressure, Emulex may cash in its chips

Emulex, under pressure to initiate a sale, has reportedly hired investment bank Goldman Sachs Group to help it evaluate options.

Real estate investment trust yields robust rewards despite risk

REIT Anworth Mortgage Asset has endured challenges and returned high dividend yields as the real estate market has recovered.

Consumer Portfolio Services a subprime-auto-lender survivor

Irvine firm founded in 1991 that buys and bundles loans has made it through two major boom-and-bust cycles. It now faces a challenge of new rivals.

Ensign Group is taking care of revenue growth

Revenue for the Ensign Group, a provider of skilled nursing and rehabilitative care services, soared 76% from 2008 to 2012.

Ingram Micro is a major tech player with a minor public profile

The Santa Ana firm is the ultimate middleman in the IT industry, connecting 1,300 manufacturers such as Apple and Samsung with hundreds of thousands of retailers.

BJ's Restaurants has a lot more locations in the oven

The Huntington Beach chain that specializes in deep-dish pizza and its own craft beer foresees growing to 425 sites from 132. It plans to add 17 this year.

Quiksilver is riding a wave of red ink

Quiksilver has lost money 6 straight years although the surf apparel firm's new management team has attracted investors and analysts have praised its turnaround plan.

Dole Food is focusing on low-hanging fresh fruit

Dole sold its worldwide packaged-goods units and its Asia fresh-produce business this year to focus on its fresh produce elsewhere in the world.

Allergan thrives with Botox but is unloading Lap-Band

Drug maker Allergan posted record sales in 2012, with Botox its top seller, but plans to sell its Lap-Band unit amid falling sales and patient deaths.

Herbalife is global giant with business model in question

The seller of weight-loss, nutrition, hair- and skin-care products has 6,200 employees and 3.2 million independent distributors.

Biofuel seed developer Ceres looks to cash in on 16 years of R&D

Ceres, which uses advanced plant breeding and biotechnology to make better seeds for biofuels, is working to commercialize its products.