At $20 billion, Fortive still county’s most valuable company | Taking Stock

By Tim Raetzloff | Mar 01, 2017

Fortive, based on Seaway Blvd. in Everett, has become the first company in Snohomish County to reach $20 billion in market capitalization.

Market capitalization is measured by multiplying the price of one share of stock by the total number of shares.

Fortive's share price closed at $58.13 on Feb. 21. The company has 345,738,553 shares, according to the most recent Securities and Exchange Commission filing. That gives a market capitalization of $20.1 billion.

Fortive is a new company and is new to the county. Having spun off from Danaher in July 2016, Fortive selected Everett as the location of its headquarters. It is the parent company of a number of other companies in various industries. Fluke, in Everett, is one of its subsidiary companies and is the location where Fortive set up its new headquarters.

When I created the Abarim Snohomish County Stock Index in 1994, the largest companies in the county were only worth a couple of hundred million dollars each and the entire county wasn't worth $1 billion.

Ultimately, in 1998, ICOS in Canyon Park was the first company in the county to reach $1 billion in market capitalization. ICOS was also the first company to reach $2 billion and $3 billion in market capitalization. Later, Unova (Intermec), Frontier Financial, Zumiez, Seattle Genetics and Fortive all reached the $1 billion milestone.

Seattle Genetics was the first company in the county to reach the $4- and $5-billion milestones. It reached $5 billion for the first time in 2014.

In 2016, Fortive became the first company in the county to reach $10 billion in market capitalization. Seattle Genetics reached that milestone later the same year. Now, Fortive has become the county's first $20-billion company.

This is remarkable growth for the county over two decades, which went from having its biggest companies worth a little over $200 million to its biggest being worth $20 billion. In the same length of time, the largest company in King County has gone from just under $30 billion to near $500 billion.

The largest value in King County has gone up by about 17 times, while the largest in Snohomish County is nearly 100 times larger. King County started at a much larger number, and remains substantially ahead, but Snohomish County is putting on a good show now.

Stay tuned. Hopefully, Snohomish County is just getting warmed up. There is, of course, risk when the value is concentrated in just a couple of companies. My hope is that the big companies will draw other companies – either homegrown or move-ins – and establish our county as an economic engine, not just a bedroom county for jobs elsewhere.


Tim Raetzloff operates Abarim Business Computers at Harbor Square in Edmonds. What he writes combines his sense of history and his sense of numbers. Neither he nor Abarim have an investment in any of the companies mentioned in this column.

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