In The Lead: Top 50 / Pittsburgh region's top public companies based on market capitalization

Region's economies dominated by outside firms; PNC holds on among 10 largest companies


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Verizon defended its title as the region's largest public company on a list dominated by firms headquartered outside the Tri-State area but that exert a significant influence on the Pittsburgh region's economy.

The New York telecommunications giant's $140.6 billion market cap easily beat out No. 2 Comcast. The Philadelphia cable operator had a $134.9 billion market cap as of the end of the year.

Just one of the 10 biggest companies on the list is based in Pittsburgh: PNC Financial Services Group, which moved down a notch to No. 9 with a market cap of $41.3 billion. Four of the Top 10 call Europe their home.

The rankings are based on market capitalization, a measure of the value that investors place on a public company. It is determined by multiplying the number of shares a company issues by the price they trade at on a given day. This year's rankings were based on stock prices as of Dec. 31.

Movement up or down in the rankings was based largely on how well a company's stock performed in 2013, a year in which the broad market did very well. Of the companies considered for the ranking, 33 of them outperformed the S&P 500. The broad market index jumped 29.6 percent last year.

Verizon was not one of those that beat the S&P. Its shares rose 13.6 percent, about as much as its market cap increased over the year.

Issuing shares to make an acquisition can also boost a company's market cap. Verizon's market cap should benefit from that next year because it issued nearly 1.3 billion shares after acquiring full ownership of Verizon Wireless, which had been a joint venture with Vodafone Group.

Comcast used the 39.1 percent increase in its stock price to jump to No. 2, replacing Glaxo-SmithKline, which fell to No. 3. The United Kingdom-based health care products company's shares rose 21.5 percent last year.

Besides PNC, three other companies that call the Pittsburgh region home cracked the Top 20: No. 15 PPG Industries, No. 16 Mylan and No. 18 EQT. All of them outperformed the S&P 500 in 2013.

There were five Pittsburgh companies in last year's Top 20. Missing this year is H.J. Heinz, which was taken private in June when 3G Capital and Berkshire Hathaway paid $28 billion for the ketchup maker.

Pennsylvania is home to 25 of the 50 companies on the list. Another 17 are based in states other than Pennsylvania while eight are headquartered outside of the United States.

A 235.9 percent jump in stock price was not enough to catapult The ExOne Co. into the market cap Top 50. The North Huntingdon 3-D printing company went public in February 2013. It finished 51st, $60.3 million behind Koppers Holdings, a Pittsburgh company that makes chemicals, rail crossties and utility poles.

— Len Boselovic: lboselovic@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1941.


First Published May 13, 2014 11:10 AM

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