PNC Financial Services Group saw earnings dip 6 percent in 2012 but still generated enough money to break into the top five in this year's list of the region's most profitable companies.
The Pittsburgh-based financial services giant earned $2.83 billion to capture the No. 5 spot, up from No. 6 last year.
PNC was the only newcomer to the top five this year, unseating Germany's Bayer AG, the big pharmaceutical company with its North American headquarters in Robinson, which slipped a notch to No. 6.
New York City-based Verizon topped the rankings again this year with profits of $10.56 billion, followed by the British pharmaceutical behemoth GlaxoSmithKline.
The ubiquitous Philadelphia-based cable-TV provider Comcast jumped one notch this year to take the No. 3 spot, while Germany-based engineering powerhouse Siemens AG slipped from No. 3 to No. 4.
Although four of the top five profit generators are based outside of the Pittsburgh area, the companies had to have major operations here to qualify for the listings.
PNC had enjoyed the top spot as the region's most profitable company in five of the previous six years before companies based elsewhere were added to the rankings to reflect the region's global economy.
Like PNC, roughly half of the 50 companies on the most profitable list this year saw their earnings fall in 2012. That was a big change from 2011, when just four of 50 companies posted a decline.
Overall, the company with the biggest percentage gain in net income for 2012 was RTI International Metals. The Moon-based titanium producer's profits surged 259 percent, to $23.5 million, on sales that jumped 39 percent. Indiana, Pa.-based First Commonwealth Financial posted the second-biggest gain at 175 percent. The bank earned $42 million, up from $15.3 million, as it set aside far less money to cover bad loans than the previous year.
-- Patricia Sabatini: firstname.lastname@example.org, or 412-263-3066intheleadcompanies
First Published May 3, 2013 4:00 AM