Spokane Journal of Business

Inland Northwest composite declines

Market capitalization for nine public companies totals $11.5 billion at year’s end

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Chart reflects changes in market capitalization for each company in the fourth quarter of 2017, compared with the previous quarter.

The composite value of the nine Inland Northwest-based publicly traded companies dropped to $11.5 billion in the recently completed fourth quarter of 2017, a decrease of $700 million, or 5.7 percent, from the previous quarter, according to a quarterly report generated by Spokane-based Hart Capital Inc.

In last year’s third quarter, the composite value of the publicly traded companies rose to $12.2 billion from $11.1 billion, an increase of 10 percent, from 2017’s second quarter.

The fourth-quarter drop is just the second quarter-to-quarter decrease in the composite in the last nine quarters.

The fourth-quarter 2016 market capitalization totaled $10.9 billion.

Hart Capital tracks the performance of 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 nine publicly traded companies currently based here include Avista Corp., Clearwater Paper Corp., Hecla Mining Co., Idaho Independent Bank, Itron Inc., Key Tronic Corp., Northwest Bancorporation Inc., Potlatch Corp., and WTB Financial Corp.

During the fourth quarter, according to the report, six of nine tracked companies experienced a decrease in market capitalization compared with values at the end of the third quarter. The publicly traded banks on the list were the only companies for which market capitalization increased in the quarter-to-quarter comparison. 

Of those, WTB Financial, the Spokane-based parent of Washington Trust Bank, led the pack with a $146 million, or 19 percent, increase in market capitalization, the analysis shows. Meanwhile, Northwest Bancorporation, parent to Inland Northwest Bank, saw its fourth-quarter market capitalization increase to $88 million from $76 million in the third quarter, a 16 percent increase, and Coeur d’Alene-based Idaho Independent Bank experienced a quarterly increase of 5 percent from to $87 million $83 million, Hart Capital says.

The largest decline in market capitalization was experienced by Coeur d’Alene-based Hecla, which experienced a $419 million, or 21 percent, drop in market cap to $1.6 billion in the fourth quarter from $2 billion in the third quarter, Hart Capital says.

Liberty Lake-based Itron saw its market capitalization drop by $356 million, or 12 percent, to $2.6 billion.

Washington Trust Bank also led the quarterly index with a 19 percent increase in its stock price from $297 to $354, while Idaho Bank’s stock price increased 5 percent from $11 to $11.50 and Northwest Bancorporation saw a stock increase from$12 to $12.50, also a 5-percent increase. Hecla’s stock price fell 21 percent from $5 to $4. 

The list of publicly traded companies across the Inland Northwest has decreased as other publicly traded companies have either moved or ceased to do business.

Red Lion Hotels Corp. moved its corporate headquarters to Denver during the second quarter last year, Ambassadors Group Inc. discontinued operations in 2015, and Mines Management Inc. was acquired by Hecla in 2016.

Other companies no longer based here include Coeur Mining Inc., which moved its headquarters to Chicago in 2013; Sandpoint-based Coldwater Creek Inc., which shut down its operations after filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, protection in 2014; Intermountain Community Bancorp, which was acquired by Columbia Banking System that same year; and Sterling Financial Corp. and Revett Minerals Inc., which were both subjects of acquisitions.

Avista, which saw its fourth-quarter market capitalization decline by $18 million to $3.3 billion announced it will be acquired by Hydro One, a Canadian utility company based in Ontario.

The transaction valued at $5.3 billion U.S., or $6.7 billion Canadian, has been approved by the boards of the companies and is scheduled to be completed in the second half of this year.

Spokane-based WTB Financial led the composite with a $146 million increase in market capitalization.

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