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Fortune 500 list in Arkansas

I’ve been monitoring the Fortune 500 closely over the past 10 years, and I’ve noticed things move and shift around a lot. We reside here in Little Rock, Ark. home to a handful of large-cap companies all within the Fortune 500. It has been very interesting to see their progress, especially over the last five years. Some have made extraordinary strides, while others have actually receded, i.e., lost rankings in the Fortune 500 – and all for very good reason. Here’s why:

Bank of Ozarks (retail/commercial banking)

2012 spot: not ranked

2017 spot: 69

Talk about risk and reward. The CEO, Mr. George Gleason, had an interesting idea several years ago: to offer construction loans to real estate developers in and around the New York City area. So, he opened a few branches in midtown Manhattan, which is ground central for banking and finance in the U.S., and started offering loans for way less than competitors. NYC developers must’ve thought: “Looks like a Walmart-esque discounter. Sign me up!” And whoa nelly! In seven years, the company has exploded, more than tripling its holdings from $4 billion in assets to a staggering $19 billion. Not necessarily innovative, but a prime example of a strategic gamble that has paid off. Handsomely.

J.B. Hunt Transport Services (shipping/trucking)

2012 spot: 521

2017 spot: 407

Change: 28% ↑

This commercial trucking and shipping company owes most of its success to the JBI segment of it’s business, which focuses mainly on intermodal shipping. An intermodal allows you to lift mobile containers off trains via shipping crane and place them on the backs of truck trailers for ground delivery. The Lowell-Ark. based company has been around since the early 1960s and acquired its intermodal capabilities in the late 1980s. However, the company conserves a lot of transportation costs by using its newer intermodal shipping containers, which can travel aboard rail, truck or ship. This company really is one to watch!

Dillard’s, Inc (department store)

2012 spot: 383

2017 spot: 417

Change: -8% ↓

If you live in the South and southwest, this is the place to shop if you prefer high-end apparel and accessories. Just so you know, Fortune 500 companies are based on earnings, and Dillard’s really hasn’t moved the needle in about five years. There’s a problem: that paradigm shifter known as Amazon.com has changed the retail game for all players. Everyone is trying to adopt Amazon’s strategy now, including Walmart. Everyone. We’ll see what happens. Dillard’s does a fine job keeping their older customers happy. But to survive in the market, they’ll need to attract  younger customers. And quick!

Windstream Holdings, Inc. (telecommunications)

2012 spot: 544

2017 spot: 485

Change: 12% ↑

Telecom is the place to be if you enjoy wild market swings, either way up or way down. Sometimes, both. After a sputter-y start offering new product services years ago, the company shifted into offering fixed wireless data plans, which helped matters some, according to reports from the Motley Fool. Windstream finally bought networking rival Earthlink in November 2016 for $1.1 billion, which has increased the company’s cash flow considerably.

Tyson Foods, Inc. (meat packaging/distribution)

2012 spot: 96

2017 spot: 82

Change: 17% ↑

If you don’t know the company, you’ve most certainly heard of the products: Jimmy Dean breakfast sausage, Hillshire Farms sausage links, Sara Lee cakes and pies and Ball Park hot dogs, just to name a few. Yum! The Springdale-Ark. based company has been around 70-plus years with a sought-after track record of quality products and a robust supply chain. The $8 billion acquisition of Hillshire Farms in 2014 continues to pay off, making Tyson Foods well positioned for growth, according to analysts. Just recently, the company improved its earnings by decreasing inventory. Lower feed costs have also contributed to increased profits.

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This entry was posted on Monday, August 14th, 2017 at 10:43 pm and is filed under Online Marketing, Social networking. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.