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masons_dad1

Arkansas Business World

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The latest news in the business world is that all of Arkansas' Fortune 500 companies may become exstinct in the near future... all except Northwest Arkansas' Wal-Mart, Tyson and JB Hunt. This should be a concern to all Arkansans because too many times we take what we have for granted. If something like this was too happen it would spell disaster for Arkansas.

Read this interesting, if not scary, article from the Arkansas News Bureau... State's list of public companies growing smaller, despite Fortune 500 presence

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Well it appears that NWA's big three are safe. As for some of the LR companys, its much harder to predict their future. I thought Dillards was big enough to hold its own.

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Arkansan companies, or just Arkansans in general, tend to be more patriotic for their state. That's my opinion at least. I read that Alltel has deep connections to Arkansas in its history, so it's very unlikely Alltel will pack up.

Then again, businesses run on money....so I guess anything is possible.

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The latest news in the business world is that all of Arkansas' Fortune 500 companies may become exstinct in the near future... all except Northwest Arkansas' Wal-Mart, Tyson and JB Hunt. This should be a concern to all Arkansans because too many times we take what we have for granted. If something like this was too happen it would spell disaster for Arkansas.

Read this interesting, if not scary, article from the Arkansas News Bureau... State's list of public companies growing smaller, despite Fortune 500 presence

Interesting that whoever wrote that wasn't aware that JB Hunt ISN'T a Fortune 500 company. It was in the top 1000 but not 500 last year and this year's list will be published in April.

Of the five Arkansas Fortune 500 companies only three (WM, Tyson, Alltel) were there 5 yrs ago. Keep in mind that the state of Louisiana only has one (Entergy) and Mississippi has none. Murphy Oil arrived a few years back thanks to the oil boom and their contract with WM and Dillard's stock made a huge rebound over the last couple of years and it pushed its way into elite group.

Alltel's wireline spinoff company will probably miss the Fortune 500 by a nose and with slight growth could be there next year. It and JB Hunt could both move up to give Arkansas a possible seven Fortune 500 companies in the near future. Of course, Alltel acquisition rumors have been rampant for as long as I've been alive.

Dillard's has a very unique, nepotistic organization that keeps multiple family members on the board and will make it extremely difficult to sell. It is a less ripe target now than it was 3-5 years ago when its stock was at historic lows. At that time a lot of smart investors in Arkansas gobbled up their stock knowing if it sold its assets were worth more than twice as much as the stock value and it would go for a premium. Of course, since then its stock has rebounded very well.

Losing Beverly is huge, IMO, as will be losing Acxiom if that ever happens especially because it's the state's only large technology company.

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Also, the assertion that Arkansas has the most Fortune 500 companies per capita is clearly wrong.

Arkansas has 5 in a state of 2.63 million (1 per 526,000)

Texas has 48 in a state of 20.12 million (1 per 419,666)

Georgia has 17 in a state of 7.88 million (1 per 463,529)

New Jersey has 24 in a state of 8.18 million (1 per 340,830)

New York has 54 in a state of 18.15 million (1 per 336,111)

Even amongst smaller states, Nebraska has 4 in a state of 1.72 million (1 per 430,000). I'm sure there are others, though we are fortunate compared to many of our Southern neighbors.

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Alltel's wireline spinoff company will probably miss the Fortune 500 by a nose and with slight growth could be there next year. It and JB Hunt could both move up to give Arkansas a possible seven Fortune 500 companies in the near future. Of course, Alltel acquisition rumors have been rampant for as long as I've been alive.The biggest concern with Alltel is that it's not even close to one of the biggest telecom companies in the industry and considering the direction the market is headed a merger or takeover is becoming more possible than before.

Dillard's has a very unique, nepotistic organization that keeps multiple family members on the board and will make it extremely difficult to sell. It is a less ripe target now than it was 3-5 years ago when its stock was at historic lows. At that time a lot of smart investors in Arkansas gobbled up their stock knowing if it sold its assets were worth more than twice as much as the stock value and it would go for a premium. Of course, since then its stock has rebounded very well.I'm amazed Dillard's is still alive considering how weak their profit margin and their stock value is compared to bigger companies in the industry. It's not surprising to hear that Dillard's is headed toward a buy out or a takeover.

Losing Beverly is huge, IMO, as will be losing Acxiom if that ever happens especially because it's the state's only large technology company.That's the meat of the article. Arkansas is on a losing trend.

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Dillard's stock was 7 a couple of years ago and is back to 26 now. I wish I'd bought some of their stock at that time. Over the same period, Wal-Mart actually dropped slightly in value. They are still the 4th largest dept store chain and Alltel was the 4th largest wireless company though I guess they are soon to be #3. As is, rumors about these companies being purchased have been floating around for decades since inception for both of them. There's no meat to it right now, just speculation.

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Yeah I have worried a bit about some of Arkansas' companies in Little Rock being possibly taken over. But as was mentioned there's been talk for a long time. I guess it's just natural if you're not on top in your category in today's world of mergers and takeovers. I know Alltel has been growing, but does anyone know if Dillard's has been building many new stores or expanding their territory in the last few years offhand?

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Yeah I have worried a bit about some of Arkansas' companies in Little Rock being possibly taken over. But as was mentioned there's been talk for a long time. I guess it's just natural if you're not on top in your category in today's world of mergers and takeovers. I know Alltel has been growing, but does anyone know if Dillard's has been building many new stores or expanding their territory in the last few years offhand?

I'm not sure of the net effect but they've closed several less profitable stores while opening new ones in newer, more heavily trafficed malls. They purchased a couple of smaller dept store chains that offered similar things, such as Louisiana-based Maison Blanche.

Part of Dillard's renaissance was supposedly tied to the fact they always sold "branded" merchandise and unlike even Saks and Neiman didn't produce their own store-brand cheaper, higher profit margin items. Dillard's started moving to do this a couple of years ago and it has really helped their profit margins and helped fuel their stock resurgence.

Saks is apparently shopping its Parisian division which is becoming a significant competitor for Dillard's. Buying the chain wouldn't add many markets for Dillard's though and would duplicate stores in several places so I'm not sure Dillard's would be interested.

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