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Midstate stock analysis: Round 2

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The second round of the Business Journal's yearlong stock project examining the five-year performance of some of the midstate's biggest public companies yielded more favorable results than our first round.

While stock value dropped at six of the 22 companies we examined in early January, only one of the 16 stocks in this latest round lost value over the most-recent five-year period, according to public records and historical stock figures on Yahoo Finance.

Not only were these companies making money, they were making a lot of money.

All of the companies we analyzed grew their stock value by an average of almost 132 percent, and two companies, Harley-Davidson and Carlisle Cos. Inc., grew their stock by more than 300 percent.

The stock performance analysis is from Dec. 31, 2008, to Dec. 31, 2013.

This round of examinations focused on companies that have a major presence in Cumberland, Dauphin, Lancaster, Lebanon and York counties but might not necessarily be headquartered here. Those include PNC Financial Services Group Inc., the Pittsburgh-based parent company of PNC Bank, which has a regional headquarters in Camp Hill; and Harley-Davidson, which is based in Milwaukee but has a motorcycle assembly plant in Springettsbury Township, York County.

It also included companies headquartered just outside the Business Journal's primary coverage area — such as Weis Markets Inc. in Northumberland County and ACNB Corp. in Gettysburg — with very strong Central Pennsylvania ties.

The first time around focused on the 22 biggest public companies headquartered in the five midstate counties. Analysis is performed only on publicly traded companies with a major midstate presence.

There were a number of success stories in addition to Harley-Davidson and Carlisle Cos., which is headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., but has a number of manufacturing facilities in the Carlisle area.

Switzerland-based TE Connectivity Ltd., the electronics manufacturer with a regional headquarters in Swatara Township, was up 240 percent, Penn National Gaming Inc. in Wyomissing grew 197 percent, and Community Health Systems Inc. grew 172 percent.

Penn National Gaming owns Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course in East Hanover Township, and Tennessee-based Community Health Systems owns four hospitals in the region.

As in the first round of analysis, banks did the worst, including the only company in this round — Boyertown, Berks County-based National Penn Bancshares Inc. — whose stock lost value.

National Penn's stock fell 11.1 percent. If you had bought 1,000 shares of National Penn's stock on Dec. 31, 2008, and sold them Dec. 31, 2013, you would have lost $1,400. The bank has five branches and a regional headquarters in Lancaster County.

Only stock of M&T Bank Corp. grew more than 100 percent among banks, as stock of the Buffalo, N.Y.-based bank with more than 50 branches in the midstate grew 144 percent. ACNB was next at 90.4 percent growth.

As a whole, the five bank stocks in this round of analysis grew an average of about 49.5 percent, while every other company grew an average of almost 163 percent.


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Jason Scott

Jason Scott

Jason Scott covers state government, real estate and construction, media and marketing, and Dauphin County. Have a tip or question for him? Email him at jscott@cpbj.com. Follow him on Twitter, @JScottJournal. Circle Jason Scott on .

Write to the Editorial Department at editorial@cpbj.com

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