LEADERSHIP: Analysts Take News in Stride, Shares Rise
Two San Diego public companies, Active Network and Encore Capital Group, replaced their chief executive officers, although one change occurred suddenly and without reason.
California Bank & Trust, San Diego’s largest locally based bank with about $11 billion in assets, reported a slightly better first quarter, netting $31.9 million, up from $29.7 million in net income in the same quarter a year earlier.
BANKING: Branch Banking Adapts to Technology Advances
Despite a quantum shift by more consumers doing their banking via the Internet and ATMs, most banks say they have no plans to eliminate their retail branch networks.
Sempra Energy, San Diego’s parent to San Diego Gas & Electric and other entities, reported first quarter net income of $178 million, down from $226 million in net income for the first quarter of 2012.
TRADE: Mexico is Top Trading Partner, Driven By Maquiladoras
The value of goods exported and imported through San Diego continues to grow, largely thanks to its biggest trading partner, Mexico, which makes up about 86 percent of the total trade, according to a recent report from a local think tank.
FINANCE: The CDC Has Loaned Nearly $4B In Its 35 Years
Now in its 35th year, small business lender San Diego-based CDC Small Business Finance can take some pride in the legacy it’s created.
Good borrowers may be tougher to find, but it’s much easier if you’ve got a sizable loan production network. That appears to be the case at Seacoast Commerce Bank based in Rancho Bernardo, which operates a dozen loan production offices outside the county where it has two branches. Besides five branches in California, it also has sites in Arizona, Nevada, Texas, Utah and Washington.
MANUFACTURING: Economic Impact Put at $299.5M and Growing
Things are ramping up at Societe Brewing Co. in San Diego. Opened about a year ago, the craft brewer is on track to produce about 2,400 barrels of beer this year but that will certainly rise when it installs two new tanks sometime this summer, says Doug Constantiner, chief executive officer.
WORKFORCE: Temp Placements Are Increasing; Skilled Workers Sought
San Diego’s job market is starting to show some traction based on the latest employment report that showed the region’s jobless rate falling to 7.7 percent in March.
FINANCE: Home Flippers Flock To Lenders for ‘Easier’ Money
Hard money or private financing companies that make loans that banks would never touch are busier than ever these days.
TECHNOLOGY: After Mulling Its Options, Firm Drops Anchor in San Diego
Like a lot of entrepreneurs, Pascal Wiscour-Conter is a risk taker, but there are degrees of taking risk.
SERVICE: Cleanliness, Efficiency Are Draws for Health Care Customers
Having corralled most of this area’s largest hospitals as clients, Emerald Textiles is expanding into Los Angeles.
Top executives exiting with lucrative golden parachutes when their companies are acquired isn’t new, but it’s less common among small community banks.
SPORTS: Golf Firm’s Clubs, Leadership and Marketing Win the Day
It’s one thing to grow rapidly. Then there’s grabbing market share to the point where you dominate it. That’s the story of TaylorMade-adidas Golf, now without peer in the worldwide sale of two categories of golf clubs: metalwoods, including drivers and fairway woods, and irons.
PROPERTY: Market Forces Said to Be at Play, Not an Overheating
San Diego’s housing market is clearly heating up with increases in median home prices in the past year at double-digit rates, giving rise to concerns that another bubble could be in the works.
FINANCE: Rule Change Allows More Secrecy for Small Firms
With the broader stock market surging, investor appetite for new companies through initial public offerings is also percolating.
PROPERTY: Company Puts Capital Into Home Renovations
Having flipped houses during the depths of the recession, the guys at Renovation Realty knew their best payoffs were behind them.
SPORTS: Fences Are Closer; Team Looks for Ways to Be Competitive
The San Diego Padres moved in the fences this year so fans should expect lots more home runs and higher scoring games at Petco Park.
TECH: Software Delivers Secure Cloud-Based Cash Management
Cash management may sound dull, but not if you’re handling billions of dollars daily for some 750 customers, including major multinational corporations such as Qualcomm Inc. and Nordstrom.
BANKING: Kearny Mesa Move Part of New Lending Strategy
Home Bank of California, one of the area’s smallest but most profitable lenders, found a new home as it shifts its strategy to pursue more business loans.
Reading proxy reports can be fun if you’re into that sort of thing, or if you’re a big shareholder or an employee of the affected companies.
FINANCE: Direct Lending Would Be Managed By a Firm
The board that oversees the $9.1 billion pension fund for San Diego County retirees is considering deploying some of that capital into direct business lending.
PROPERTY: Neighboring Counties Have Fewer Hurdles
As vacant land tabbed for building new homes becomes harder to find in San Diego, residential developers set their sights to the hinterlands in Riverside and Imperial counties, and beyond.
MARKET: Experts Are Advising Clients To Shift to Stocks
As the stock market continues its upward climb, more investors are moving back into equities, some belatedly, but local financial advisers say that there’s still plenty of upside left.
Torrey Pines Bank, now at $2 billion in assets and the third largest bank based in San Diego, continued to get bigger last year, increasing assets by 17 percent and its loan portfolio by 12 percent.
FINANCE: Financial Advisers Break Away From the Big Firms
Locally based broker-dealers that provide back office and support services to independent financial advisers are expanding their local operations as more of the advisers break away from big brokerages.
Another San Diego community bank is exiting the scene. San Diego Trust Bank, founded in 2003 and with three branches and $242 million in assets, agreed to be acquired by Pacific Premier Bancorp Inc., based in Irvine and with $1.2 billion in assets.
Seacoast Commerce Bank changed its business model last year to holding rather than selling its SBA loans, and naturally, its portfolio got a lot larger.
RETAIL: Store Slowly Expands In Costa Rica and Colombia
The folks at PriceSmart Inc. are well aware of how to do retail, whether it’s in this country where it made its name, or in Latin America and the Caribbean, where it now operates.
FINANCE: Aim Is To Reduce Paperwork And Simplify Process
Believe it or not, there’s a federal government agency that’s actively trying to cut red tape—the U.S. Small Business Administration. The agency announced a series of proposed changes to the loan application process aimed at making it quicker, less paper intensive, and more efficient.
FINANCE: SEC Filing Comes at a Time When Taxes Are Coming Due
The heirs of the late Cubic Corp. founder Walter J. Zable plan to sell about $125 million in Cubic stock to satisfy the tax liability caused by the transfer of Zable’s assets, the company said.
San Diego County Credit Union, the area’s largest with about $5.8 billion in assets, reported increased loans and profits, and decreased delinquencies for 2012.
REAL ESTATE: Seller’s Market Drives Prices Up; Inventories Remain Tight
The continued dearth of available homes for sale in San Diego is driving up prices and causing much consternation among buyers, who often find their offers on properties too little or too late.
FINANCE: Tech Giant’s Funds Allow For Investor Payouts and Acquisitions
Like several other multinational technology giants, Qualcomm Inc. is sitting on an eye-popping cash pile.
REAL ESTATE: Scarce Land, Low Interest Rates, Motivate Buyers to Act
The increased demand for housing is spilling over to the purchase of new homes, say local builders. “There was an inflection point that happened in 2012,” said Paul Barnes, president of Shea Homes San Diego. “The light turned on inside a lot of people’s heads, and they got re-energized about home ownership.”
FINANCE: Tech Coast Angels Look for Startups That Deserve Backing
Yet another sign that a recovery is gaining power: More angels are out there, looking to help companies.
Regents Bank, now a part of Los Angeles-based Grandpoint Capital, grew bigger last year, having assimilated Escondido-based California Community Bank in November.
AUTO: Port Is Seeking Brokered Compromise Plan
Pasha Automotive Services, one of the most successful maritime tenants on the San Diego waterfront, plans to expand its operations in National City, bringing in more cars and creating more jobs. However, Pasha’s expansion is at odds with an RV park planned by National City adjacent to the Pasha site.
BANKING: Institutions Increase Market Share With Their Approach to Service
Smaller than the biggest national banks but far larger than most community banks, regional banks, or those doing business in multiple states, are finding fertile ground in San Diego.
FINANCE: Increasing Confidence Brings an Upswing in Business
Local banks and credit unions saw a spike in lending activity last year, a clear indicator that an economic recovery is gradually taking hold.
California Bank & Trust, San Diego’s largest commercial bank, saw its net profit drop 5.4 percent last year or by $7 million from 2011, mostly as a result of compressed net interest margins.
The Federal Housing Administration’s decision to stop making fixed-rate reverse mortgages isn’t causing any stress over at Silvergate Bank, which began buying the reverse mortgages last year.
TECH: Legend3D Explores Studio Partnerships Abroad
Legend3D Inc., which converts two-dimensional movies to three-dimensional, recently moved to much bigger and modern offices in Carlsbad, and obtained another round of venture investment.
ENERGY: Figtree Plans Bond Issue to Fund Energy Upgrades
A San Diego approved financing entity aimed at helping commercial property owners install energy-saving upgrades is close to issuing new bonds to fund a slew of projects this year.
TECH: Company Revises Up Its Revenue Forecast for FY2013
Qualcomm Inc. started off its fiscal year with a bang, soundly beating Wall Street analysts’ expectations as it turned in record first quarter results for the period ending in December.
The biggest San Diego bank merger extant involving Coronado First Bank and San Diego Private Bank is moving ahead even though shareholders of each entity still haven’t received the proxy reports.
PLANNING: Slow Recovery, State’s Condition Spur Moves
Once a beacon for many transplants from other states seeking a new life, San Diego has been undergoing a dramatic shift in its population as more folks decide to relocate to greener pastures.
MARKETING: Debit Card Business Uses Pop Star to Connect With Its Demographic
A San Diego debit card business that has yet to make a profit hopes to grab some attention and lots of new customers by signing an endorsement deal with arguably the biggest pop star today Justin Bieber.
INVESTING: Life Sciences Pulls in the Majority of the Dollars
Venture funding into San Diego companies last year passed $1 billion, the first time that’s happened since 2008, according to the latest MoneyTree Report.
There was nothing micro about Accion San Diego’s lending last year.