Despite its mis-Fortune, Fortive makes Forbes list | Taking Stock

By Tim Raetzloff | Aug 02, 2017

In June, I was disappointed to learn that Fortune Magazine didn't include Everett-based Fortive on its Fortune 500 list. But Forbes Magazine just produced its list of the 2,000 biggest companies in the world, and Fortive came in at No. 984.

Fortune had 10 Washington companies on its list; Forbes has 12. Fortive and Seattle-based F5 Networks are both on the Forbes list after not making the cut at Fortune.

Fortune has 500 U.S. companies on its list, and Forbes has 565. There are 13 percent more U.S. companies represented on the Forbes list. On that basis, Washington should have 11 companies on the list, but Forbes found 12 by including the one Fortune inexplicably missed.

Forbes ranks Microsoft at No. 19 in the world, Amazon.com at No. 83 and Costco at No. 179. Unlike Fortune, which only measures sales, Forbes measures sales, profits, assets and market capitalization.

Because of the combined measures, Microsoft, which is more profitable and more valuable, jumps ahead of its two rivals, which it trails when only sales are measured. Those top three are the only Washington companies in the top 200 in the world. All three were in the top 30 of the Fortune 500.

Further down the Forbes list, Starbucks is No. 370, PACCAR is No. 631 and Weyerhaeuser is No. 682. Fortive debuts at No. 984, the last of a total seven Washington companies in the top 1,000 in the world.

Remember that Fortive is just over one year old, spun off from Washington D.C.-based Danaher at the beginning of July last year. Fortive management selected Everett as the choice for its headquarters.

In the second thousand of the Forbes Global 2,000 are Expedia at No. 1,063, Alaska Air Group at No. 1,131 and Nordstrom at No. 1,312. Expeditors International, at No. 1,409, and F5 Networks, at No. 1,979, round out the Washington companies on the Forbes list.

Eleven of the 12 Washington companies on the Forbes Global 2,000 list are based in King County. Snohomish County is home to the other company, Fortive, which Forbes lists as having $6.2 billion in sales in 2016, $872 million in profits, $8.2 billion in assets and $20.9 billion in market value at the end of 2016.

So the disappointment of Fortune Magazine failing to include Fortive is soothed a bit by the Forbes list. The Fortune list is certainly better known, but Forbes goes to a great deal of effort to measure companies all over the world, using four criteria instead of just one.

Snohomish County has finally cracked the ceiling. We have a company that is gaining national, and probably international, attention for the first time. There are quite a few countries that have yet to place a company on the world stage, and 37 counties in our state that don't yet have a qualifying company.

Next year, I will be expecting that Fortune will finally recognize Fortive, which has just celebrated its first anniversary as a company. Hopefully it will have many more, and will be joined by other Snohomish County companies in gaining world prominence.

Boeing, a former Washington company that still has a major presence in Snohomish County, took No. 73 on the Forbes list, a little ahead of Amazon.com.

 

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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