Banks on it

Five more break into our annual ranking of Tar Heel public companies, which is headed by two of their bigger brethren.
By Chris Roush and Dail Willis

Collectively, the state’s largest public companies didn’t have an awesome year, but it was better than a poke in the eye. Business North Carolina’s Top 75, which ranks public companies based in the state by their market capitalization on June 30, shows growth that was promising, if not spectacular, by several measures.

The market cap required to make the list increased 24%, but the median market value increased only 5%. “We have seen modest economic growth over the past year in North Carolina,” says Mark Vitner, senior economist for Wachovia.

The financial-services industry, already well represented, added a few members. Bank of America and Wachovia topped the list, as they did last year, BB&T ranks fifth, and five of the eight newcomers are banks.

The biggest newcomer, however, isn’t a bank. FairPoint Communications makes its debut at No. 38. Incorporated in 1991, it went public Feb. 4, netting $435 million in its initial public offering. At the end of June, its stock traded at $16.15 a share.

The other new public company didn’t fare as well. Icagen, a drug developer, netted $37 million in its IPO on Feb. 3 — the first by a Tar Heel company since 2002 . Its shares traded at $7.85 — less than its IPO price — at the end of June, and it landed at No. 57 on the Top 75.

The market cap needed to make the Top 75 might have been even larger if some big companies hadn’t been sold. Wilmington, Mass.-based Charles River Laboratories International bought Cary-based drug researcher Inveresk Research Group. Camden Property Trust, a Houston real-estate investment trust, bought Charlotte-based Summit Properties. New Brunswick, N.J.-based Johnson & Johnson bought Raleigh-based Closure Medical. Danville, Va.-based DIMON bought Wilson-based tobacco and wool trader Standard Commercial.

Two longtime Top 75 companies dropped from the ranking for other reasons. Wilmington-based drug researcher aaiPharma is in Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Greensboro-based Culp, like many of its fellow textile makers, is restructuring.

 

Top 10 Public Companies

 

The following chart is an exerpt from the complete chart in the August 2005 issue listing market values, price and earnings and revenue.

05

04

Ranked by 6/30/05
market value

Industry

6/30/05
market value (millions)

Change from 6/30/04

6/30/05 stock price

Change from 6/30/04

Latest fiscal
year revenue (millions)
Change from
year before

01

01

Bank of America
(N-BAC)
Charlotte

Banking

$183,423.8

7.1%
$45.61
7.8%
$65,447.0
33.7%

02

02

Wachovia
(N-WB)
Charlotte
Banking 78,190.9
35.0
49.60
11.5
28,067.0
14.7

03

03

Lowes
(N-LOW)
Mooresville
Hardware stores 44,973.1
7.8
58.22
10.8
36,464.0
18.2

04

05

Duke Energy
(N-DUK)
Charlotte
Energy 27,551.2
49.7
29.73
46.5
22,503.0
1.9
05

04

BB&T
(N-BBT)
Winston-Salem
Banking 21,837.7
6.4
39.97
8.1
6,666.0
6.8
06

09

Reynolds American
(N-RAI)
Winston-Salem
Tobacco 11,613.6
103.3
78.80
16.6
6,437.0
22.2
07

06

Progress Energy
(N-PGN)
Raleigh
Energy 11,250.3
4.7
45.24
2.7
9,772.0
11.8
08

08

Nucor
(N-NUE)
Steel 7,308.1
23.9
45.62
18.9
11,376.8
81.6
09

07

Jefferson-Pilot
(N-JP)
Greensboro
Insurance 6,854.0
(2.4)
50.42
(0.7)
4,102.0
14.8

10


10

Laboratory Corp. of America
(N-LH)
Burlington
Lab testing 6,717.3
19.5
49.90
25.7
3,084.8
5.0