Make us your home page
Instagram

Bob Trigaux: Many Tampa Bay area companies riding market's upswing

Hard to believe after the monumental stock market crash four years ago and painfully sluggish economic recovery, but the Dow and S&P 500 are flirting with new record highs.

And plenty of Tampa Bay area company stocks appear to be going along for the high-altitude ride.

An impressive mix of area public corporations has enjoyed some remarkable market gains in the past year, if not longer. Just to take a Tampa Bay sampling, eight stocks ranging from TV/online shopping phenom HSN to the fast-expanding Raymond James Financial investment firm have racked up impressive runs in share price.

It all sounds bullish. It even feels bullish. The New York Times front-page lead news story on Saturday started this way:

"Millions of people all but abandoned the market after the 2008 financial crisis, but now individual investors are pouring more money than they have in years into stock mutual funds. The flood, prompted by fading economic threats and better news on housing and jobs, has helped propel the broad market to within striking distance of its highest nominal level ever."

Most area stocks are enjoying the rising tide. But not all. Area companies from WellCare Health Plans to disappearing Innovaro are way off their one-year highs.

But they are clearly the exceptions. Consider the booming stocks of these eight companies:

• St. Petersburg's Raymond James Financial's 2012 acquisition of Memphis-based Morgan Keegan produced a big leap in growth. It also happens to be a good time to be a firm that buys and sells stocks. Monday's close (ticker: RJF) was $44.55.

• Tampa's Walter Investment Management went for the fences this month, saying it will pay $519 million for Bank of America loan-servicing rights. The deal includes $93 billion of unpaid principal balances of Fannie Mae-backed residential servicing assets. Walter stock (ticker: WAC) closed at $43.03.

• St. Petersburg's HSN Inc., which went public in a spinoff back in 2008, has pretty much risen steadily ever since. Few area companies boast market caps above $3 billion. HSN shares (ticker: HSNI) closed at $58.87.

• Sure, agribusiness company Alico Inc. is technically in Fort Myers, but the former and feisty state Sen. JD Alexander is now running it and enjoying a heady runup in value. Shares (ticker: ALCO) closed at $40.05.

• Tampa's Outback Steakhouse (and Carrabba's and Bonefish Grill, etc.) parent OSI Restaurant Partners was private until it went public (again) as the renamed Bloomin' Brands this past summer. With a brief fall hiccup, shares continue to gain. Maybe it's that new lunchtime menu. Shares (ticker: BLMN) closed at $18.45.

• Tampa's Cott Corp., maker of beverages for retailers, isn't winning much praise from analysts lately, but its stock price rides near multi-year highs. Shares (ticker: COT) closed at $8.66.

• In Tampa, property insurer Homeowners Choice Inc. was one of the best-performing area stocks in 2012 and, so far, looks solid for 2013. The trick, of course, is how long an insurer of Florida property can collect premiums and still avoid the hit from one big storm. So far, so good. Shares (ticker: HCI) closed at $22.73.

• Four years ago, shares of Clearwater boat retailing giant MarineMax were skidding toward $1. Boat sales sank during the recession as households quit spending on nonessentials. Now a leaner MarineMax is growing again, buoyed by more optimism over recreational water spending. Shares (ticker: HZO) closed at $11.75

Is this sustainable? Veteran stock watchers warn that markets can quickly overheat when consumers start to pile back into stocks.

On the other hand, the U.S. economy's still strengthening — despite Washington's blundering efforts to undermine it.

The new year has just begun. There's probably more life in the markets yet.

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

Bob Trigaux: Many Tampa Bay area companies riding market's upswing 01/28/13 [Last modified: Monday, January 28, 2013 9:54pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Pinellas licensing board asks Sen. Jack Latvala for $500,000 loan

    Local Government

    The troubled Pinellas County agency that regulates contractors wants Sen. Jack Latvala to help it get a $500,000 lifeline from the state to stay afloat.

    State Sen . Jack Latvala, R- Clearwater, is being asked to help the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board get $500,000 from the state so it can stay open beyond February.  [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]
  2. 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.
  3. 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]
  4. 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]
  5. 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]