Thanks to the merger between Potlatch Corp. and Deltic Timber Corp. that was completed on Feb. 20, the composite value of the nine Inland Northwest-based publicly traded companies rose to $12.7 billion in the recently completed first quarter of 2018.
The composite value gain marks a $1.2 billion increase, 10.7 percent, over the fourth-quarter 2017 composite close of $11.5 billion.
“The increase was almost entirely due to the completion of the merger between Potlatch and Deltic Timber (now renamed PotlatchDeltic Corp.) on Feb. 20,” says Spokane-based Hart Capital Inc. in its quarterly report.
In last year’s first quarter, the composite value of the publicly traded companies dropped to $10.8 billion from $10.9 billion at the end of 2016.
Hart Capital tracks the performance of the publicly traded companies in the region with its composite and its Inland Northwest Index, which tracks companies in a methodology similar to the S&P 500.
The fourth quarter decrease to $11.5 billion from $12.2 billion in the third quarter of 2017 was just the second quarter-to-quarter decrease in the last 10 quarters.
The nine publicly traded companies currently based here are Avista Corp., Clearwater Paper Corp., Hecla Mining Co., Idaho Independent Bank, Itron Inc., Key Tronic Corp., Northwest Bancorporation Inc., PotlatchDeltic Corp., and WTB Financial Corp.
During the first quarter, according to the report, six of the nine tracked companies experienced an increase in market capitalization compared with values at the end of the fourth quarter.
Following PotlatchDeltic’s $1.2 billion quarter-to-quarter market capitalization increase, Itron posted a quarterly increase of $158 million, followed by WTB Financial, the Spokane-based parent of Washington Trust Bank, with a $32.9 million increase.
The largest decline in market capitalization was experienced by Coeur d’Alene-based Hecla Mining, which had a $118 million drop in value from almost $1.6 billion in the fourth quarter to just under $1.5 billion in the first quarter.
Clearwater Paper experienced a market cap decrease of nearly $103 million, from $746 million to just under $644 million, according to the Hart Capital report.
The region’s list of publicly traded companies will be shirking to eight at some point this year, after Avista last year announced it would be acquired by Hydro One, a Canadian utility company based in Ontario.
The transaction valued at $5.3 billion U.S.—$6.7 billion Canadian—has been approved by the boards of both companies and is scheduled to be completed in the second half of this year.
Red Lion Hotels Corp. moved its corporate headquarters to Denver during the second quarter last year, Hecla acquired the former Mines Management Inc. in 2016, and Ambassadors Group Inc. discontinued operations in 2015.
In 2014, Sandpoint-based Coldwater Creek shut down its operations after filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection; Intermountain Community Bancorp, which was acquired by Columbia Banking System that year; and Sterling Financial Corp. and Revett Minerals Inc. were both subjects of acquisitions.
In an interview with the Journal last November, PotlatchDeltic CEO Mike Covey said Deltic officials, based in Arkansas, invited Potlatch to relocate to that state but Potlatch declined the offer.
Said Covey, “When it came down to it, the quality of life in Spokane is what we’re committed to. That made it an easy decision for us to stay here.”
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