Fortive to put Everett on world financial map | Taking Stock

By Tim Raetzloff | Aug 03, 2016

The new Everett-based company Fortive is already measurable as the eighth most valuable company in Washington, and the most valuable in Snohomish County.

Fortive Corp. is just behind PACCAR and just ahead of Expedia in market capitalization or value. Market capitalization or market value is calculated by multiplying the value of one share of stock by the number of shares outstanding.

PACCAR, Fortive and Expedia are all so close in value, between $16 and $18 billion, that the order may change from day to day, or even hour to hour.

But there is another way to rate companies. Fortune Magazine measures companies by sales to calculate its Fortune 500 list.

The units that make up Fortive had a little over $6 billion in sales last year. That would have been good enough to come in at about No. 400 on the Fortune 500 list in 2016.

There were 10 Washington companies on the Fortune 500 list this year, including Costco, Amazon and Microsoft, which were in the top 25.

The addition of Fortive should give Washington 11 Fortune 500 companies next year, and, for the first time in more than a decade, one of those companies will be outside of King County.

Fortive will be the first Fortune 500 company in Snohomish County, and, I believe, the fourth ever outside of King County.

Weyerhaeuser was on the list while its headquarters was in Pierce County before the construction of the headquarters that is visible on I-5 in Federal Way.

Fortune Magazine's website says that Weyerhaeuser has been on the Fortune 500 list since the first list in 1955. Weyerhaeuser moved to its Federal Way headquarters in 1971, 45 years ago.

Avista, in Spokane, was on the list in the late 90s and early 2000s. Longview Fibre in Longview was on the list for a decade, from the mid-80s to mid-90s.

Potlatch, now located in Spokane, was on the list for many years before 1994, but that was before the company moved to Spokane from the Bay Area in 1997.

If there was any other company in Washington on Fortune's list, I missed it after an extensive search of the Fortune website.

By its presence, Fortive is putting Everett and Snohomish County on the world financial map.

Next year, if you filter the Fortune 500 list by state and city, Everett will be on Fortune Magazine’s interactive webpage for the first time.

Four states – Alaska, South Dakota, West Virginia and Wyoming – don't have a single company on the list.

This is a little bit of counting chickens before they hatch, but there is every reason to expect Fortive to maintain performance somewhere near its historical numbers. Profits may vary from year to year, but sales generally do not.

It is a prospect to look forward to with some confidence.

Then there is the next question: Of all the places that Fortive could have chosen to start this new venture, its management chose to be here.

I don’t know what went into their reasoning, but they chose here. Everyone in Snohomish County should look upon that as an affirmation that something is going on right here.

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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