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Tuesday, May 24, 2022

OC’s Top Public Cos. See Market Caps Rise 8.3%

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Orange County’s publicly traded companies returned to Earth this past year.

The 50 most valuable public companies based in Orange County had a combined 8.3% increase in their valuations to $261.4 billion for the year ended April 18.

That growth underperformed the S&P; 500, which grew 10.5% during the same period.

On last year’s list for the 12-month period ended March 31, OC companies saw their market caps increase 75% to a combined $215.7 billion, easily topping the 54% gains of the S&P; 500.

If the $36.6 billion market cap of Rivian Automotive Inc. (Nasdaq: RIVN), which went public last November, is excluded, the market caps at the other 49 companies fell about 7% to $225 billion.

Altogether, 30 companies in OC have a market cap of at least $1 billion, a decline from 33 last year.  

In contrast to a year ago, only six companies saw their market cap climb at least 25%, down from 46 a year earlier. More than half of the 50 companies saw stock declines, compared to three a year ago. Eight companies saw their market cap fall by more than 50%.

Bevy of Relocations

The list includes all OC-based companies with a market cap topping $100 million, whose shares trade on the New York Stock Exchange, Nasdaq or over-the-counter exchanges.

Several companies on last year’s list are missing this year because they moved their headquarters out of OC, such as Kaiser Aluminum Corp. (Nasdaq: KALU) which recently decamped for Tennessee (see story, page 3).

Some notable local public companies were acquired, such as Core-Logic Inc., Del Taco Restaurants Inc. and Pacific Mercantile Bancorp.

Sales Up

Many companies were able to rebound from the pandemic as their revenue rose 20% to $60 billion in 2021, much higher than the 1% increase in 2020 sales.

Notable increases in sales were 98% to $277 million at Inari Medical Inc. (Nasdaq: NARI) of Irvine, 62% to $180.3 million at Irvine’s Axonics Inc. (Nasdaq: AXNX), and 61% to $95.9 million at Avid Bioservices Inc. (Nasdaq: CDMO) of Tustin.  

Companywide, companies on the list saw net income fall 68% to $964 million.

That was largely due to Rivian’s $4.7 billion loss in 2021. If the loss of the Irvine-based electric vehicle maker is excluded, net income rose 86% to $5.7 billion.

The 50 local public companies saw their assets climb 27% to $159.2 billion, topping last year’s 15% growth. Rivian, which raised over $18 billion in its IPO, was by far the biggest asset gatherer, climbing 384% to $22.3 billion.

Companies on the list grew their OC employment 9.2% to 28,158 workers, also up from last year’s 3% climb. Rivian again topped this list, as its OC employee count jumped 150% to 2,000. Its companywide number also increased 243% to 12,000.

Companywide employment at these 50 firms climbed 10% to 377,392. 

Top 5

• Edwards Lifesciences Corp. (NYSE: EW), the most valuable publicly traded company on the list, saw its market cap gain $22.1 billion, the largest by dollar amount, to $74.1 billion. A decade ago, the market cap of Edwards, which makes heart valves, was $3.4 billion. Edwards is also the biggest publicly traded company that provides OC jobs, with 4,712.

• No. 2 Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. (NYSE: CMG) saw its valuation rise $4.5 billion to $44.5 billion. When the burrito-making restaurant chain in 2018 moved its headquarters from Denver to Newport Beach, its market cap was around $7 billion.

• Rivian ranks No. 3 on the list with a $36.6 billion market cap. After Rivian went public last November at $78, it soared as high as $179 and a $127 billion market cap, making it the most valuable publicly traded company ever in Orange County for about a month. It shares have since fallen.

• No. 4 Skyworks Solutions Inc. (Nasdaq: SWKS) fell 35% to a $19.1 billion market cap. Shares of the Irvine-based maker of chips, which generates about half of its revenue from Apple Inc., have been in a decline since last July when Skyworks’ sales began slowing because of a worldwide shortage of semiconductors.

• No. 5 Masimo Corp. fell 41% to a $7.5 billion market cap. The main reason was a 37% drop on Feb. 16 when the Irvine-based medical device maker announced its biggest ever acquisition would be a consumer audio device maker for $1 billion.

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Peter J. Brennan
Peter J. Brennan
Peter J. Brennan has been a journalist for 40 years. He spent a decade in Latin America covering wars, narcotic traffickers, earthquakes, and business. His resume includes 15 years at Bloomberg News where his headlines and articles sometimes moved the market caps of companies he covered by hundreds of millions of dollars. His articles have been published worldwide, including the New York Times and the Washington Post; he's appeared on CNN, CBC, BBC, and Bloomberg TV. He was awarded a Kiplinger Fellowship at The Ohio State University.

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