Of Florida's 13 in Fortune 500, Publix is tops
Exxon Mobil topped the new annual Fortune 500 list of the nation’s biggest public corporations by revenues for the 12th time in history, with 2008 revenues of more than $442 billion and profits of more than $45 billion. Exxon (photo by AP) passed Wal-Mart, which fell to No. 2 last year after holding the No. 1 spot for six of the previous seven years. The giant retailer had 2008 revenues of more than $405 billion and profits of $13.4 billion.
The annual list, compiled by Fortune magazine, offers a glimpse at who’s up and who’s down among the nation’s biggest corporations. The 2008 results are especially compelling because of the recession’s impact and Wall Street’s plummet that hit so hard last fall. In fact, the Fortune 500 had its worst slump ever in 2008: A whopping 128 of the U.S.'s 500 largest companies were in the red. All told they lost over $500 billion.
In Florida, 13 corporations headquartered in the state made the Fortune 500 list, led by Lakeland’s Publix Super Markets at No. 101, up from No. 107. Publix, with 2008 revenues of just over $24.1 billion squeezed past Clearwater-based Tech Data Corp. by a mere $29 million as Florida’s biggest corporation. Tech Data ranked No. 102, up from No. 105. (Publix photo by Scott Keeler of St. Petersburg Times.)
Other Florida companies and their ranks: World Fuel Services, Miami at No. 137; International Assets Holding,Altamonte Springs, at No. 140; FPL Group, Juno Beach, at No. 154; AutoNation, Fort Lauderdale, down 44 spots in a rough year for selling autos to No. 182; Jabil Circuit, St. Petersburg, at No. 212; CSX Corp., Jacksonville, at No. 240; Winn-Dixie Stores, Jacksonville, at No. 340; Darden Restaurants, Orlando, at No. 374; WellCare Health Plans, Tampa, at No. 381; Ryder System, Miami, at No. 371, and Harris, Melbourne, at No. 447.
Two of the companies, AutoNation and Wellcare, posted losses in 2008.
Florida boasted 12 Fortune 500 companies in 2007, including Miami homebuilder Lennar Corp. which, because of the drastic shrinkage in home construction last year, failed to make the annual listing in 2008. It ranked 505th.
Looking at the Fortune 1000, meaning the additional 500 after the Fortune 500, 17 additional Florida companies can be found. Here's the complete list of Florida companies, with the latter 17 businesses ranging from Tampa's TECO Energy at No. 632 and St. Petersburg's Raymond James Financial at No. 657 to St. Petersburg's HSN at No. 714.
-- Robert Trigaux, Times Business Columnist