First quarter decline for Washington stocks | Taking Stock

By Tim Raetzloff | Apr 06, 2016

At the end of 2015, the combined market capitalization of Washington state stocks was a record $1.074 trillion.

The first quarter of 2016 didn't produce a new record. Combined market capitalization declined to $1.027 trillion.

Market capitalization is calculated by multiplying the share price by the number of shares outstanding.

As it has been since late 1991, Microsoft is the most valuable company in Washington, with a market capitalization of almost $437 billion. Amazon is No. 2 at $279 billion, but that is a decline from almost $317 billion, Amazon's value at the end of 2015.

Starbucks remains No. 3 at $88 billion, followed by Costco, T-Mobile U.S., Weyerhaeuser, PACCAR, Expedia and Alaska Air, all of which are over $10 billion each.

Twenty-two Washington companies have a market capitalization of $1 billion or more. Fifteen of those companies are located in King County, three in Spokane County, two in Pierce County, and one each in Snohomish and Walla Walla counties.

The most valuable company outside of King County is Seattle Genetics in Snohomish County.

Microsoft is not only the most valuable company in King County and Washington, it is also one of the 3 or 4 most valuable companies in the world. The official numbers on that subject will be published by Forbes Magazine in the next month or so.

The combined value of Microsoft and Amazon is exceeded only by the combined value of Apple and Alphabet in California.

Despite the decline in value, this is only the second quarter in which combined Washington market capitalization exceeded $1 trillion.

Washington continues to be a world power in the value of our companies.

Just a Boeing note, because it is so notable in Snohomish County employment – if Boeing were still considered to be a Washington company, it would rank no higher than fourth in market value at $84 billion, about $4 billion behind third place Starbucks.

Before losing the crown to Microsoft in November 1991, Boeing had been the most valuable company in Washington for decades.

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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