Given record stock market levels achieved this summer, should we assume corporate earnings must be doing pretty well in the latest quarter ended June 30? Tampa Bay's certainly had its winners, both in larger companies based here as well as those with a big local presence but headquartered elsewhere.
But there are plenty of other companies prominent in the area whose performances are generally steady if not stellar. And there are still others of note that are struggling and have watched their stock prices decline thus far in 2017 — despite the Dow starting this year at 19,882, and now trading close to 22,000.
Keep some perspective and remember this question: Can profits really grow in double-digits in an economy bumping along at 2 percent?
Here's a snapshot of how 15 companies — five strong, five steady and five facing challenges — prominent in Tampa Bay's economy are doing at the end of latest quarter and where they seem to be going.
5 in the fast lane
Raymond James Financial: Wherever RayJay's heading, it wants to get there fast. Big quarterly earnings boost. Call it manifest destiny: This firm seeks expansion on the country's rich West Coast.
WellCare Health Plans: Despite the legislatively messy health insurance scene, it's racking up new Medicaid/Medicare business in multiple states. Shares started 2017 under $137 and now top $173.
Tech Data Corp.: Shares top $106 this week after starting year at $85. Biggest deal ever to buy Avnet's Technology Solutions and push into Asia reignites the global ambition of a wholesale tech distributor.
Jabil: A St. Petersburg tech manufacturer with 140,000 workers worldwide is diversifying — with good results. But Apple is still its big customer. And when Apple does well (like now), Jabil wins.
Publix: Still top grocer, largest private firm in Florida now pushing further into Southeast. Rebounded this quarter after earlier reporting first quarterly drop in years in same-store sales, a key measure.
5 in middle of the road
Duke Energy: Parent of Duke Energy Florida, one of biggest power companies in the country. Hey, it's really hot in Florida now and Duke keeps raising its electricity rates. That's how monopolies prosper.
Charter Communications: Took over Bright House Networks. May become a takeover target itself. Hard to cheer for a company whose CEO pay package topped $98 million last year. That's $265,000 a day.
Bloomin' Brands: Parent of Outback, Carrabba's, Bonefish and Fleming's keeps promising to refresh its chains amid tougher dining competition. Stock's treading water, lower now than start of year.
Sykes Enterprises: Shares of the outsourcing firm fell nearly a fifth on Tuesday after difficulties with a communications client were detailed. Sykes said it was "revising" downward its full year 2017 revenue and earnings outlook.
Emera: Canada's power company that now owns Tampa's TECO Energy reported quarterly net income of $101 million (Canadian dollars), down from a year ago. CEO Chris Huskilson stated the numbers were "overshadowed" by the late June accident in which five workers have died at TECO's Big Bend plant. "We are more focused than ever before on having world class safety programs," he said.
5 stuck in slow lane
HSN: Since rival TV/online retailer QVC is buying it, HSN is losing its independence as a publicly traded company. Can the St. Petersburg company preserve its own personality in a tough business?
BP: It's still paying Florida and other gulf states for the 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion that killed 11 workers and spilled millions of barrels of oil into the Gulf with costs topping $60 billion.
Busch Gardens: Tampa theme park plays second fiddle to parent SeaWorld Entertainment's challenge to survive without the star power of Shamu orca shows. Stock off by a third since 2017 start.
Allegiant Airlines: Parent net income fell 20 percent in the latest quarter and 32 percent for the first half of 2017. Shares are now under $130 a share after starting this year above $166. In the second quarter, said Allegiant president John Redmond, "we did not meet our expectations at all and surely not those of our customers."
Masonite: Shares in the Tampa-headquartered, Canadian door maker got clobbered Thursday after a weaker-than expected quarter. Among its woes: A worrisome softer North American market for new doors.