Make us your home page
Instagram

Many of Tampa Bay's big firms still turning a profit

How are we doing? There are a million ways to take the economic temperature of the Tampa Bay area. One method we don't use often enough is to check in, all at once, with the major companies based here and ask:

Who's making money and who isn't?

The good news is seven of 10 large area companies turned a profit in the latest quarter and for the past fiscal year. The bad news is losses for a few in the latest quarter were bigger — big enough, in fact, to eclipse the combined profits in the latest quarter of the 10 companies. Much of the damage was due to writedowns of something called goodwill, which can shrink as the value of a company declines during hard times.

A look at the major companies here shows some clear winners and losers in the past year. Publix Super Markets, based in Lakeland and blessed to be in a business buffered against big economic swings — after all, everybody's got to buy food — shines brightest in its ability to sustain solid profits.

Among the 10 big area corporations studied, Publix earned the most in its recent quarter ($249 million), followed pretty closely by Tampa's rejiggered coal company Walter Industries ($240 million). These same two also finished first and second in fiscal year earnings, with Publix's $1.1 billion opening a profit lead over No. 2 Walter's $346.6 million.

Publix, it should be noted, is a huge private company. Its stock (current value: $16.10 a share) can be owned only by company employees, a rather lucky limitation these days since the stock market has pretty much crushed the shares of most publicly traded corporations nationwide.

Still, kudos to Walter for a pretty strong financial showing in difficult times. It got rid of its old home building and financial businesses and is devoted mostly to the mining and sale of metallurgical coal, which is used specifically to help make steel.

Publix, a behemoth by Florida standards, has annual revenues of nearly $24 billion and employs 141,000. A leaner Walter has annual revenues of $1.4 billion and about 2,400 workers.

On the flip side of performance is Tampa's Gerdau Ameristeel, a maker of steel rebar used in construction, which took a heavy writedown of goodwill and reported a $1.3 billion loss in the latest quarter. Gerdau, whose corporate roots range from Canada to Brazil, blamed the "global liquidity crisis" for the "rapid weakening of global economic stability" and for the big drop in demand for its steel products.

Also reporting a loss largely attributable to a goodwill writedown was Tampa staffing firm Kforce. In between were companies that despite financial headwinds still managed to produce decent profits in the latest quarter and past fiscal year. Bravo.

Robert Trigaux can be reached at trigaux@sptimes.com.

Who's making money? Some but not all

(Net income ranked by latest quarter)

Company latest quarter fiscal year

Publix Super Markets $249 million $1.1 billion

Walter Industries $240 million $346.6 million

Raymond James Financial $61 million $235 million

Tech Data $58.6 million $123-million

Lincare $58.2 million $237.2 million

Jabil $46.2 million $133.9 million

TECO Energy $22 million $162.4 million

MarineMax --$14.3 million --$134.3 million

Kforce --$107.9 million --$84 million

Gerdau Ameristeel --$1.3 billion --$542 million

Source: Companies. Some operate on different fiscal calendars.

Many of Tampa Bay's big firms still turning a profit 03/11/09 [Last modified: Thursday, March 12, 2009 10:30am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. In advertising, marketing diversity needs a boost in Tampa Bay, nationally

    Business

    TAMPA — Trimeka Benjamin was focused on a career in broadcast journalism when she entered Bethune-Cookman University.

    From left, Swim Digital marketing owner Trimeka Benjamin discusses the broad lack of diversity in advertising and marketing with 22 Squared copywriter Luke Sokolewicz, University of Tampa advertising/PR professor Jennifer Whelihan, Rumbo creative director George Zwierko and Nancy Vaughn of the White Book Agency. The group recently met at The Bunker in Ybor City.
  2. Tampa Club president seeks assessment fee from members

    News

    TAMPA — The president of the Tampa Club said he asked members last month to pay an additional assessment fee to provide "additional revenue." However, Ron Licata said Friday that the downtown business group is not in a dire financial situation.

    Ron Licata, president of the Tampa Club in downtown Tampa. [Tampa Club]
  3. Under Republican health care bill, Florida must make up $7.5 billion

    Markets

    If a Senate bill called the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017 becomes law, Florida's government would need to make up about $7.5 billion to maintain its current health care system. The bill, which is one of the Republican Party's long-promised answers to the Affordable Care Act imposes a cap on funding per enrollee …

    Florida would need to cover $7.5 billion to keep its health care program under the Republican-proposed Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017.  [Times file photo]
  4. Amid U.S. real estate buying binge by foreign investors, Florida remains first choice

    Real Estate

    Foreign investment in U.S. residential real estate recently skyrocketed to a new high with nearly half of all foreign sales happening in Florida, California and Texas.

    A National Association of Realtors annual survey found record volume and activity by foreign buyers of U.S. real estate. Florida had the highest foreign investment activity, followed by California and Texas. [National Association of Realtors]
  5. Trigaux: Tampa Bay health care leaders wary of getting too far ahead in disruptive times

    Business

    Are attempts to repeal Obamacare dead for the foreseeable future? Might the Affordable Care Act (ACA), now in dire limbo, be revived? Will Medicaid coverage for the most in need be gutted? Can Republicans now in charge of the White House, Senate and House ever agree to deliver a substitute health care plan that people …

    Natalia Ricabal of Lutz, 12 years old, joined other pediatric cancer patients in Washington in July to urge Congress to protect Medicaid coverage that helped patients like Ricabal fight cancer. She was diagnosed with Ewing's sarcoma in 2013 and has undergone extensive treatments at BayCare's St. Joseph's Children's Hospital in Tampa. [Courtesy of BayCare]