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Robert Trigaux

Amid new Fortune 500 and Barron's 500 rankings, Tampa's WellCare blossoms


Despite years of bad publicity and legal issues settling fraud charges (now largely resolved), WellCare Health Plans is muscling up in new performance rankings. Above, WellCare's 1-year stock chart. Shares closed Monday at $60.99.

Wake up and good morning. The new Fortune 500 of America's biggest companies (by revenues) just came out with 16 Florida-based corporations making the list. Here is the complete list and here are the Florida companies. Three are businesses -- Tech Data, Jabil Circuit and WellCare Health Plans -- make the list along with nearby Publix Super Markets in Lakeland.

Kudos to all. But a more meaningful ranking just came out from Barron's magazine, known as the Barron's 500. It ranks companies according to those that have done the best job of growing their companies. Those annual rankings, compared to the more static Fortune 500, offer some interesting insights about our own Tampa Bay companies.

The huge local winner in the Barron's 500 listing is Tampa's WellCare Health Plans. The provider of Medicaid and Medicare health plans enjoyed a stratospheric leap in the 500 rankings to 18 in 2012 from 292 in 2011. Based on Barron's analysis, which assigns letter grades to each company for return on cash flow (over three years) and return on investment and sales growth in the past year, WellCare received two B's and an A in its much improved performance.

WellCare was the top-ranked company based in Florida. Also making the Barron's 500 rankings from area-based companies are St. Petersburg's Jabil Circuit which soared to 28 from 62 (2 A's and a C), and Clearwater's Tech Data (an A, a C and a D) which slipped to 155 from 148.

Here is the complete Barron's 500 ranking.

-- Robert Trigaux, Business Columnist, Tampa Bay Times


[Last modified: Tuesday, May 8, 2012 7:50am]


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