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Business powerhouses: The top 10 Tampa Bay area companies of 2009

Here is a snapshot of the Tampa Bay area's biggest public companies, based on annual revenue.

1. Tech Data Corp. $24.1 billion, +3%

Business: Resale of computers, information technology

Address: 5350 Tech Data Drive, Clearwater, FL 33760

Employees: 8,000

Financials for the year ended Jan. 31, 2009

Net income: $123.6 million, up 14 percent

Net income per share: $2.40, up 22 percent

Return on equity: 6.79 percent

Ticker symbol: TECD, Nasdaq

Friday close: $28.06

Biggest challenge: With much of its business taking place in Europe, the company has been losing millions of dollars from foreign currency volatility against the dollar. That's in addition to customer spending cuts that could sap sales by an estimated 5 to 25 percent this year. Tech Data will spend this year integrating Dell computer products into its lineup. Hewlett-Packard has been its largest single source of equipment. "IT spending will be one of the elements that lead the economy back," CEO Robert Dutkowsky said. "We want to be in the right position to take advantage of it."

2. Jabil Circuit Inc. $12.8 billion, +4%

Business: Electronic components and circuitry

Address: 10560 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. St. N, St. Petersburg, FL 33716

Employees: 85,000

Financials for the year ended Aug. 31, 2008

Net income: $133.9 million, up 83 percent

Net income per share: 65 cents, up 86 percent

Return on equity: 5.2 percent

Ticker symbol: JBL, NYSE

Friday close: $7.49

Biggest challenge: Low demand across the board in the recession caused the company to lose $42 million in the last quarter. Jabil projects a further 10 percent sales decline this year. Worldwide layoffs of about 3,000 included 250 at the company's plant in St. Petersburg. The company hopes the recession inspires electronics companies to outsource more of their manufacturing to Jabil. "The overall business environment remains poor with limited visibility," CEO Timothy Main said.

3. Gerdau Ameristeel Corp. $8.5 billion, +47%

Business: Steel production and recycling

Address: 4221 Boy Scout Blvd., Suite 600, Tampa, FL 33607

Employees: 11,000

Financials for the year ended Dec. 31, 2008

Net loss: ($542 million)

Net loss per share: ($1.25)

Return on equity: (17.48 percent)

Ticker symbol: GNA, NYSE, Toronto

Friday close: $6.11

Biggest challenge: Reducing its cost structure until the economy perks up. The company, which operates steel mini-mills in the United States and Canada, saw net sales drop by half for the first quarter compared to a year earlier as the global credit crunch strangled new non-residential commercial construction. Executives expect demand for steel to pick up as infrastructure projects funded by the government's economic stimulus get under way.

4. WellCare Health Plans $6.5 billion, +20%

Business: Medicare and Medicaid managed health plans

Address: 8725 Henderson Road, Tampa, FL 33634

Employees: 4,100

Financials for the year ended Dec. 31, 2008

Net loss: ($36.8 million)

Net loss per share: (89 cents)

Return on equity: (4.56 percent)

Ticker symbol: WCG, NYSE

Friday close: $16.53

Biggest challenge: The Tampa company agreed this month to pay $80 million in restitution to avoid prosecution for Medicaid fraud. WellCare also is in settlement talks over the same conduct with the Justice Department's Civil Division, the Department of Health and Human Services and the Securities and Exchange Commission. Separately, WellCare is indefinitely suspended from selling Medicare-backed drug and health plans until federal regulators are convinced the company has cleaned up sales practices and how it deals with customer complaints.

5. TECO Energy Inc. $3.4 billion, -2%

Business: Holding company that owns regulated utilities Tampa Electric and Peoples Gas, plus coal mining and transport operations in West Virginia and interests in a power station and a distribution network in Guatemala

Address: 702 N Franklin St., Tampa, FL 33602

Employees: 4,400

Financials for the year ended Dec. 31, 2008

Net income: $162 million, down 61 percent

Net income per share: 77 cents, down 61%

Return on equity: 8 percent

Ticker symbol: TE, NYSE

Friday close: $11.09

Biggest Challenge: Utilities are supposed to do well even in bad times, but the Tampa Bay area's stunted growth economy held down TECO Energy in 2008. The state helped TECO by okaying rate increases for Tampa Electric and Peoples Gas this spring. Plus there's promise of federal renewable energy incentives. John Ramil, president and chief operating officer, said there are some positive economic indicators "but we won't get back to the customer growth we enjoyed for some time."

6. Raymond James Financial Inc. $3.2 billion, +3%

Business: Investments, banking

Address: 880 Carillon Parkway, St. Petersburg, FL 33716

Employees: 7,083 plus 3,374 independent contractors

Financials for the year ended Sept. 30, 2008

Net income: $235 million, down 6 percent

Net income per share: $1.97, down 7 percent

Return on equity: 12.9 percent

Ticker symbol: RJF, NYSE

Friday close: $15.48

Biggest challenge: The company's brokerage unit is battling lower underwriting activity with clients making fewer transactions and its banking unit had a sharply higher level of bad loans in the most recent quarter. "Managing economically stressful conditions is the biggest challenge we face," chief executive Thomas James said. "Our business is directly related to the stock and bond market and indirectly, but still very prominently, related to the impact on the general economy, because it affects all the companies we're involved with as investors or as corporate clients."

7. HSN Inc. $2.8 billion, -3%

Business: Multichannel retailer with nation's second largest TV shopping channel, a growing online presence and a half-dozen mail order catalogs

Address: 1 HSN Drive, St. Petersburg, FL 33729

Employees: 5,137 full time, 836 part time

Financials for the year ended Dec. 31, 2008

Net loss: ($2.4 billion)

Net loss per share: ($42.54)

Return on equity: (149 percent)

Ticker symbol: HSNI, NASDAQ

Friday close: $8.83

Biggest challenge: Back on its own as a public company for the second half of 2008 after 13 years in Barry Diller's InterActiveCorp, the nimble TV shopping pioneer led its industry in sales gains through a recessionary slump with a new look and by shifting air time to what people were buying. Results were dragged on by home furnishings and fashion catalogs and huge goodwill writedowns left over from Diller days. "Our business has stabilized, but going forward we have to maximize our business model, managing inventory in real time to changes in customer behavior," said chief executive Mindy Grossman.

8. Lincare Holdings $1.7 billion, +4%

Business: Oxygen, respiratory therapy services

Address: 19387 U.S. 19 N, Clearwater, FL 33764

CEO: John P. Byrnes (photo not available)

Employees: 9,957

Financials for the year ended Dec. 31, 2008

Net income: $237.2 million, up 5 percent

Net income per share: $3.17, up 23 percent

Return on equity: 27.85 percent

Ticker symbol: LNCR, Nasdaq

Friday close: $22.89

Biggest challenge: Lincare's home-oxygen business keeps growing as baby boomers become senior citizens and some develop lung disease. But reduced reimbursement from Medicare, the company's biggest revenue source, is squeezing profits. One example, a new rule limiting rental payments on oxygen equipment to 36 months, will cost Lincare between $130 million and $145 million in 2009, the company says.

9. Walter Energy $1.5 billion, +20%

Business: After spinning off its housing financial business and closing its homebuilding activities, Walter Industries took a new name that better reflects its tighter focus on producing metallurgical coal, steam coal and methane gas primarily for the steel industry

Address: 4211 W Boy Scout Blvd., Tampa, FL 33607

Employees: 2,150

Financials for the year ended Dec. 31, 2008

Net income: $347 million, up 332 percent

Per share: $6.35, up 335 percent

Return on equity: 99 percent

Ticker symbol: WLT, NYSE

Friday close: $29.16

Biggest challenge: Whether a new name and simpler business plan gives Walter a new lease on life remains to be seen. High coal prices are softening amid a global decline in demand for steel. That's dropped Walter's short-term forecast for operating income for metallurgical steel by $3 to $8 a ton. "We're in a difficult market cycle right now," said George Richmond, president of Jim Walter Resources, the company's mining unit.

10. Kforce Inc. $997 million, +2.5%

Business: Provides professional and tech staffing to companies

Address: 1001 E Palm Ave., Tampa, FL 33605

Employees: 1,900 core employees, 8,500 temps on assignment

Financials for the year ended Dec. 31, 2008

Net loss: ($84 million)

Net loss per share: ($2.13)

Return on equity: (34.39 percent)

Ticker symbol: KFRC, Nasdaq

Friday close: $9.00

Biggest challenge: Kforce was prepping for a drop in staffing demand before the recession hit, and the readiness paid off. It has been able to protect its margins and retain most of its revenue, in particular for tech staffing positions, which account for half its business. Year over year, revenues are down 8 percent but many of its competitors are down 30 to 50 percent. One challenge, and opportunity, is to grab market share from weaker competitors. Through its national recruiting center in Tampa, Kforce tries to move swiftly to provide workers to clients across the country at the scale they desire.

Company profiles compiled by Times staff writers Jeff Harrington, Mark Albright, James Thorner and Steve Huettel.

Business powerhouses: The top 10 Tampa Bay area companies of 2009 05/16/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, May 20, 2009 1:42pm]
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