Make us your home page

Dow crash heard loudly in bay area

A crushing day on Wall Street, driven by global worry and a lack of faith in the new $700-billion federal rescue package, claimed more than a few Main Street victims.

Despite emergency injections of funding to banks Monday by the Federal Reserve, many publicly traded Tampa Bay area companies suffered hefty losses in stock values as the Dow fell 370 points, or 3.6 percent, and dropped below 10,000 for the first time in four years.

The economic toll to the Tampa Bay area has been huge, though not obvious to the casual observer. Tens of millions of dollars disappeared from local companies in the market decline on Monday. And more than $10-billion has evaporated from these same public companies in the past year, based on the falloffs in their share prices from their highs. That market loss can be felt in job cuts, canceled expansion plans, inability to gain access to credit and, in the recent case of Tampa's Shells Seafood Restaurants, bankruptcy.

Some smaller companies here whose shares already were low saw their market value drop by more than a fifth in a single day.

Among the hardest-hit were Clearwater aircraft electronics manufacturer Aerosonic, off 25 percent to $2.25; Tampa bulk chemical transporter Quality Distribution, down 23.5 percent to $3.15; Seminole-based uniform supplier Superior Uniform Group, off 22.3 percent to $8.08; and Tampa operating room supplier SRI/Surgical Express, down 21 percent to $2.40.

No less damaging are the ongoing stock declines suffered by some of the area's more prominent corporations, including some whose stock prices have now fallen below $10 a share. Single-digit stock prices in the current market, where investors seek conservative places to put their money, can put companies in dangerous territory. Some institutional investors that cheerfully invest in a $15 stock may avoid the same company at $8 a share.

The bottom line: Wary investors like the cushion of value provided by stocks valued above $10. As for stocks that drop under $5 a share, that's turf often left to higher-risk investors and speculators.

That's the trick for growing numbers of Tampa Bay stocks. More than a dozen public corporations, small to large, now trade under $10 a share.

Among the heavyweights is Jabil Circuit, the global electronics manufacturer based in St. Petersburg whose shares closed Monday at $8.28 — a 52-week low. Since its peak of $22.84 a share in the past year, Jabil has shed more than $3-billion in value. Jabil's current worth: $1.7-billion.

Another area giant humbled of late is Tampa's Gerdau Ameristeel. The maker of steel used in construction has lost more than $5-billion in market value in the past 12 months. Ameristeel's worth is only $3.4-billion on the New York Stock Exchange after its stock fell and closed at $7.83 Monday. That's one more company at a 52-week low.

A final example of a battered stock is Clearwater's MarineMax. Shares of the country's biggest boat retailer closed Monday at a puny $6.37. That means the company has lost more in value in its decline from its stock peak this year than its current market worth of $117-million.

That's how much damage the market is inflicting on our regional economy these days.

Robert Trigaux can be reached at

Dow crash heard loudly in bay area 10/06/08 [Last modified: Wednesday, October 8, 2008 5:07pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Expanded Belle Parc RV Resort lures travelers with plenty of amenities


    BROOKSVILLE — Imagine mid-mansion, upscale-enclave living. On wheels. The outcome is Belle Parc, an upwardly mobile, even luxury, RV retreat just north of Brooksville that opened Jan. 1 after two years undergoing expansion, uplift and amenity enrichment.

    A new welcome center is under construction, rear, at Belle Parc RV Resort, where lake sites are being completed, bringing the resort's capacity to 275 spacious park-and-stay slots.
 [Photo by Beth N. Gray]
  2. Memorial Day sales not enough to draw shoppers to Tampa Bay malls


    TAMPA — Memorial Day sales at Tampa Bay area malls were not enough to compete with the beach and backyard barbecues this holiday weekend.

    Memorial Day sales weren't enough to draw shoppers to Tampa Bay area malls over the long weekend. 
  3. Austin software company acquires second Tampa business


    Austin, Tex.-based Asure Software acquired Tampa's Compass HRM Inc. late last week for $6 million. Compass focuses on HR and payroll.

    [Company photo]
  4. Hackers hide cyberattacks in social media posts


    SAN FRANCISCO — It took only one attempt for Russian hackers to make their way into the computer of a Pentagon official. But the attack didn't come through an email or a file buried within a seemingly innocuous document.

    Jay Kaplan and Mark Kuhr, former NSA employees and co-founders of Synack, a cybersecurity company, in their office in Palo Alto, Calif., in 2013. While last year's hacking of senior Democratic Party officials raised awareness of the damage caused if just a handful of employees click on the wrong emails, few people realize that a message on Twitter or Facebook could give an attacker similar access to their system. 
[New York Times file photo]
  5. Big rents and changing tastes drive dives off St. Pete's 600 block

    Music & Concerts

    ST. PETERSBURG — Kendra Marolf was behind the lobby bar of the State Theatre, pouring vodka sodas for a weeknight crowd packed tight for Bishop Briggs, the latest alternative artist to sell out her club.

    Sam Picciano, 25, left, of Tampa and Molly Cord 24, Palm Harbor shop for record albums for a friend at Daddy Kool Records located on the 600 block of Central Avenue in St. Petersburg, Florida on Saturday, May 20, 2017. OCTAVIO JONES   |   Times