Potlatch Corp., of Spokane, has jumped to the top of a market value composite that measures the worth of publicly traded companies here, says an analysis that Hart Capital Management Inc. publishes.
The investment company compiles a quarterly Hart Capital Inland Northwest Composite to track the aggregate market value of 15 publicly traded Inland Northwest companies. As of March 31, Potlatch had a market capitalization of $1.85 billion that rose above Itron Inc.'s $1.82 billion. Both Coeur d'Alene Mines Corp. and Avista Corp. were at $1.6 billion.
One year earlier, Potlatch's market capitalization was $1.25 billion. The wood products company has hovered over the past two years around sixth among the companies in the report.
Typically since 2011, the Hart Capital composite has led with Itron or Coeur d'Alene Mines. Hecla Mining Co. also often is near the top of the list. Market value, or capitalization, is share price multiplied by the number of outstanding shares.
Potlatch's recent rise in market value is due mainly to stronger demand for manufactured wood products as the economy and housing market slowly recover, says Garrett Anacker, a securities analyst with Hart Capital.
"Potlatch has had a really nice run-up the past couple of years," Anacker says. "At the end of the first quarter, they were up 17 percent. Potlatch has continued to do well, somewhat because the housing market is coming back, so there is more demand for lumber."
Anacker adds, "Potlatch was hit hard during the financial market crunch and housing downturn. Potlatch at an all-time low was trading below $19."
However, he says that as of April 23, Potlatch stock was trading at $45 per share.
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