How the Times 50 companies are chosen
By HELEN HUNTLEY, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times,
published June 3, 2001
Performance counts in today's business world, a fact reflected in the Times 50 rankings.
Once again, the St. Petersburg Times used performance-based measures to rank two groups of public companies with an important presence in the Tampa Bay area.
The first group consists of companies that have their headquarters in Pinellas, Hillsborough, Pasco, Hernando or Citrus county.
The second group consists of companies based elsewhere with a substantial number of employees in the area. We considered companies with at least 1,000 bay area employees.
Both groups had to have stock traded on a major national market and at least $1-million a year in revenues.
We applied our performance criteria separately to each group, which meant only the top-performing companies made the final rankings: 30 based in the Tampa Bay area and 20 based elsewhere.
Some large well-known companies failed to make the cut. In the Tampa Bay area, Intermedia Communications Inc. and Kforce.com Inc. did not make the list. Neither did national companies such as USA Networks Inc., which owns Home Shopping Network, and J.C. Penney Co. Inc., which owns Eckerd Drug.
Within each group, the Times 50 ranking was based on a company's rankings in these four categories:
TOTAL 2000 PROFITS: This is net income after all expenses, including taxes and one-time charges, for the company's fiscal year ending in calendar 2000 or January 2001. This is a simple ranking, with companies that made the most money at the top and those that made the least at the bottom.
INCREASE IN PROFITABILITY: This is change in net income between 1999 and 2000. All companies showing a profit in 2000 ranked ahead of those showing a loss. Companies that went from a profit to a loss or from a loss to a deeper loss fared the worst.
RETURN ON EQUITY: This is net income divided by average shareholder equity during 2000. Average equity was calculated by adding the year-end figures for 1999 and 2000 and dividing by two. Companies with negative shareholder equity were ranked at the bottom.
RETURN TO SHAREHOLDERS: This is the two-year total return to investors between April 30, 1999, and April 30, 2001. It assumes reinvestment of dividends for those companies paying dividends. All companies with a share price of $2 or more on April 30 were ranked ahead of those with lower share prices.
The information presented in this section came from the companies, Bloomberg News and company filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
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