Stocks that went up

| Print |  Email
Archives - February 2009
Sunday, February 01, 2009

STATEWIDE —You know times are hard when you can count on one hand the public companies that gained over the past year. The overwhelming majority of the public companies with major presences in Oregon have seen their stock prices plummet, but five stalwarts  —  including, believe it or not, two banks — defied the downturn.


San Francisco-based Wells Fargo, the largest home mortgage holder in Oregon and a major employer here, slid 25% between January and July of 2008, but recovered powerfully while snapping up former rivals on the cheap, gaining 2% over the past year.

Cincinnati-based Kroger, parent company of the Oregon mega-store powerhouse Fred Meyer, capitalized on the trend to stock up on the basics in bulk and boosted its stock price 5% in the process.

Wilsonville-based FLIR Systems continued to pull in fat military contracts for its infrared cameras, pulling in more than a billion dollars in revenue for the first time in 2008. Its stock has fallen from its summer peak of over $43 per share, but even with that drop it still increased 4% over a year ago.  

Northwest Pipe, a longtime Portland fixture that recently relocated across the river to Vancouver, fared even better amid the downturn, building up a backlog of orders for water transmission systems. Its stock price soared to an all-time high of $63 in September, and even after a steep drop-off in October it still rose 25% over the past year.

The only company to beat that performance was Pacific Continental Bank, a Eugene-based bank that resisted the temptation to chase the speculators into California, Bend, and other boom-and-then-bust towns. The bank also avoided the subprime and stated-income "liar loans" that brought down other banks, most notably Seattle-based Washington Mutual, the largest bank failure in U.S. history.

"We did a very good job of sticking to our principles and not getting into markets that were risky," says Pacific Continental vice president Maecey Castle.

The strategy paid off. Pacific Continental's percentage of nonperforming assets is about one fifth of the industry average and its stock price recovered from a low of $10.42 Jan 4, 2008, to $14.90 a year later, a 44% rise. Not a bad showing over a year when the typical stock moved 35% in the opposite direction.               

BEN JACKLET



Have an opinion? E-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

 

More Articles

Top stories in 2014

The Latest
Thursday, December 18, 2014
10-listthumb

2014 was a year of wild contradictions, fast-paced growth and unexpected revelations.


Read more...

The short list: Holiday habits of six Oregon CEOs

The Latest
Thursday, December 11, 2014
121214-xmaslist1BY JACOB PALMER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

We ask business and nonprofit leaders how they survive the season.


Read more...

The short list: 4 companies engaged in a battle of the paddles

The Latest
Thursday, December 04, 2014
pingpongthumbBY JACOB PALMER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

Nothing says startup culture like a ping pong table in the office, lounge or lobby.


Read more...

A Complex Portrait: Immigration, Jobs and the Economy

November/December 2014
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
BY JOE ROJAS-BURKE & KIM MOORE

Oregon Business reports on the visa squeeze, the skills gap and foreign-born residents who are revitalizing rural Oregon.


Read more...

Election Season

November/December 2014
Wednesday, October 22, 2014

We didn’t intend this issue to have an election season theme. But politics has a way of seeping into the cracks and fissures.


Read more...

I Know How You Feel

November/December 2014
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
BY JESSICA RIDGWAY

Most smartphones come equipped with speech recognition systems like Siri or Cortana that are capable of understanding the human voice and putting words into actions. But what if smartphones could do more? What if smartphones could register feeling?


Read more...

Editor's Letter: Power Play

January-Powerbook 2015
Thursday, December 11, 2014

There’s a fascinating article in the December issue of the Harvard Business Review about a profound power shift taking place in business and society. It’s a long read, but the gist revolves around the tension between “old power” and “new power” as a driver of transformation. Here’s an excerpt:

Old power works like a currency. It is held by few. Once gained, it is jealously guarded, and the powerful have a substantial store of it to spend. It is closed, inaccessible, and leader-driven. It downloads, and it captures.

New power operates differently, like a current. It is made by many. It is open, participatory, and peer-driven. It uploads, and it distributes. Like water or electricity, it’s most forceful when it surges. The goal with new power is not to hoard it but to channel it.

The authors, Henry Timms and Jeremy Heimans, don’t necessarily favor one form of power over another but merely outline how power is transitioning, and how companies can take advantage of these changes to strengthen their positions in the marketplace. 

Our Powerbook issue might be viewed as a case study in the new-power transition. This annual book of lists provides information on leading businesses, nonprofits and universities in the state. Most of the featured companies are entrenched power players now pursuing more flexible and less hierarchical approaches to doing business. Law firms, for example, are adopting new technologies and fee structures to make legal services more accessible and affordable.

This month we also take a look at a controversial new U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission rule requiring public companies to disclose the median pay of workers, as well as the ratio between CEO and median-worker pay. 

Part of the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform law, the rule will compel public companies to be more open about employee compensation, with the assumption that greater transparency will improve corporate performance and, perhaps, help address one of the major challenges of our time: income inequality.

New power is not only about strategy and tactics, the Harvard Business Review authors say. “The ultimate questions are ethical. The big question is whether new power can genuinely serve the common good and confront society’s most intractable problems.”

That sounds like a call to arms. Or a New Year’s resolution. Old power or new, the goals are the same: to be a force for positive change in the world. Happy 2015!

— Linda


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS