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Basch Report
Jax Daily Record Thursday, Jun. 10, 202105:10 AM EST

Usual three Jacksonville firms in Fortune 500

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Two big-enough companies are not listed because they are not public.
by: Mark Basch Contributing Writer

The three usual Jacksonville suspects made the 2021 Fortune 500 list.

However, the annual list of biggest U.S. companies, which gives cities bragging rights, could have included two more Jacksonville companies, if only they were public.

Southeastern Grocers Inc. was planning an initial public offering that would have qualified Winn-Dixie’s parent company for the list, but it called off the IPO in January.

GuideWell Mutual Holding Corp., parent of Florida Blue, is the largest Jacksonville-based company with about $20 billion in annual revenue. However, GuideWell is a mutual holding company owned by its members.

Fortune magazine’s list is based on fiscal 2020 revenue reported in public filings, so Southeastern Grocers and GuideWell cannot be included.

The three public Jacksonville-based companies that make the Fortune 500 list every year are CSX Corp., Fidelity National Financial Inc. and Fidelity National Information Services Inc., commonly known as FIS.

FIS, which was spun off from Fidelity National Financial, became the highest-ranked Jacksonville company this year after its 2019 acquisition of Worldpay Inc.

That acquisition boosted the financial technology company’s 2020 revenue to $12.552 billion, moving FIS up 62 spots on the list to 241st.

Fidelity National Financial also had a big move up the list, gaining 87 spots to 288th with $10.778 billion in revenue as high mortgage activity lifted the title insurance business.

CSX dropped 25 places in the list to 292nd as the COVID-19 pandemic reduced the railroad company’s revenue to $10.574 billion.

Southeastern Grocers’ last IPO filing in January said it expected to report 2020 sales of $9.6 billion, which would have put it at about 315th on the list. But when it called off the IPO, it never updated the filing with final 2020 financial data.

Southeastern Grocers likely won’t attain that revenue again. Its business was helped by consumer demand for at-home dining in the pandemic last year, and the company is selling off some of its stores. 

Its IPO filing said 2020 sales would have been $8 billion after the dispositions, which would still be good enough for the Fortune 500.

GuideWell doesn’t report full financial data but in December 2020, CEO Pat Geraghty said in an interview with the Advisory Board that its annual revenue is about $20 billion. That would have ranked GuideWell about 150 in the Fortune 500.

Landstar moves up in Fortune 1000

Landstar System Inc. is edging closer to the list, moving up 29 spots in the Fortune 1000 to 606th with $4.136 billion in revenue.

The Jacksonville-based trucking company continues to grow.

During an investor conference last week, CEO Jim Gattoni said second-quarter results will be even better than the company had been forecasting.

According to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing, Gattoni said revenue will be slightly above the previous forecast of at most $1.45 billion and earnings will be slightly above its forecast of up to $2.30 a share.

Analyst sees growth in J&J Vision

Another Jacksonville-based business that would at least rank in the Fortune 1000 if it was an independent company is Johnson & Johnson Vision Care.

Parent company Johnson & Johnson is ranked 36th in the Fortune 500 with $82.6 billion in revenue last year, and its vision care unit produced $3.9 billion in a down year as the pandemic reduced its business.

However, Morgan Stanley analyst David Risinger said in a research report last week that the vision business is projected to grow from $4.7 billion in revenue this year to $5.7 billion in 2025.

“Vision business is a steady grower but is in line with the market,” Risinger said in an initiation report on the parent company.

The division has expanded from its original business of making contact lenses in Jacksonville to offering eye surgery products after acquisitions in the past few years.

Johnson & Johnson is projecting annual growth of 5% to 6% for the business “due to increasing prevalence of myopia globally that is still under-diagnosed and under-treated,” Risinger said.

Growth could be increased by new product launches, including Acuvue Ability, “the first and only FDA approved therapeutic contact lenses for the management of myopia in children, (which) is expected to be available in the US by the end of 2021,” he said.

Risinger rates Johnson & Johnson’s stock at “overweight.”

Black Knight agrees to $250 million deal

Black Knight Inc. continues to expand its mortgage technology business, agreeing to buy a customer relationship management software company.

The Jacksonville-based company said May 28 it will pay $250 million to buy Top of Mind Networks from Primus Capital. Black Knight said the company’s platform helps mortgage professionals win new and repeat businesses.

Black Knight said it expects to close the deal in the third quarter and it will add about $13 million in revenue in the second half of the year.

Black Knight reported $350 million in revenue in the first quarter this year.

PNC completes BBVA acquisition

The PNC Financial Services Group Inc. completed its acquisition last week of BBVA USA Bancshares, but customers will not see any changes immediately.

Pittsburgh-based PNC said it will convert the BBVA branches to PNC in October and until then, customers of the two banks will continue to be served by the respective branches and websites of the banks.

BBVA had 24 branches in the Jacksonville market before the acquisition. PNC opened a regional office in Jacksonville in 2017 but had no bank branches in the market.

Brian Bucher, who came to Jacksonville in 2017 as head of the office, will be regional president for North Florida.

PNC said the acquisition makes it the fifth largest U.S. bank with more than $560 billion in assets.

The bank had 2,162 branches at the end of 2020 and BBVA had 637 when the deal was announced in November. 

PNC said in November it would pay $11.6 billion to buy the U.S. banking arm of Spain-based Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria, S.A.

Tennessee firm buys Alluvion

Vaco, a Tennessee-based recruiting and staffing company, said last week it acquired Jacksonville-based Alluvion.

Terms were not announced.

Alluvion, founded in 2000, provides staffing services specializing in information technology and office professionals. The company has about 50 employees in Jacksonville, Tampa and South Florida, Vaco said.

The company said the acquisition complements its expansion in other Florida locations.

Advantus buys decor business

Jacksonville-based Advantus Corp. said last week it acquired assets of Victory Light USA LLC, which designs and develops home and office decor products.

Advantus, which manufactures consumer, commercial and durable goods, said the deal increases its market presence in the office product channel.

The operations of Illinois-based Victory Light will move to Jacksonville over the coming months, the company said.

Terms of the deal were not announced.

Nivel acquires e-commerce golf carts firm

Nivel Parts & Manufacturing Co. said last week it acquired Performance Plus Carts, a golf cart parts and accessories e-commerce business based in Auburndale.

Jacksonville-based Nivel makes aftermarket parts and accessories for niche vehicles and heavy-duty equipment. It said the acquisition of Performance Plus Carts will help the company expand its e-commerce business.

Funds managed by Morgan Stanley Capital Partners acquired Nivel last month.

Terms of the Performance Plus deal were not announced. 

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