County’s market value reaches $30-billion milestone | Taking Stock

By Tim Raetzloff | Mar 08, 2017

On March 1, Snohomish County reached $30 billion in market capitalization.

I had been anticipating this event since last fall when Seattle Genetics reached $10 billion in market capitalization for the first time. It finally happened. The actual number was $30,763,368,153.79.

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

There is a wide disparity in value for the shareholder-owned companies in Snohomish County. The most valuable, Fortive, was at $20.4 billion on March 1. The smallest, Seen on Screen TV, was at just $1 million on March 1.

Total value in the county is concentrated in two companies. Fortive is one, and Seattle Genetics is the other. Seattle Genetics was at $9.8 billion on March 1.

The third most valuable company in the county is retailer Zumiez, which was worth $500 million on March 1. Number 4 in value is FS Bancorp at $115 million. Mountlake Terrace-based FS Bancorp is the parent company of 1st Security Bank.

Fifth in the county was Biolife Solutions, valued at $25 million. Sixth was Neah Power Systems at just over $2 million. And seventh was Seen on Screen TV.

I checked back on the value of our county on the first day that I calculated the Abarim Snohomish County Stock Index in November 1994. The entire county was worth $830 million then. The most valuable company was Cellpro, then valued at $240 million. Fluke, now a division of Fortive, was second at $230 million.

ATL, now a division of Phillips, was worth just under $225 million. ICOS, at just over $100 million, was fourth largest. ICOS went on to become the first companyin the county to be valued at $1 billion, $2 billion and $3 billion before it was acquired by Eli Lilly. ICOS was notable as the developer of Cialis.

The two smallest companies in the county then were Cascade Financial, since taken over by Opus Bank, and Carver. Cascade was worth $22 million and Carver was worth $11 million. None of the original six companies in the index survive to this day, although a couple of them are recognizable subsidiaries of larger companies.

In 1994, I had no thought that Snohomish County would reach $30 billion. Reaching $1 billion would be notable, and that happened in 1995. Reaching $10 billion would be amazing. That milestone and $20 billion were both reached in 2016. And this year we’re at $30 billion. What unimagined milestones may yet be ahead?

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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