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Flashback: Public Companies at the Brink and Beyond

Where are they now?

In 2008, while Wall Street was shuddering, Hibbett Sports opened its 700th store, in its home state, in Bessemer’s Colonial Promenade Tannehill.

In 2008, while Wall Street was shuddering, Hibbett Sports opened its 700th store, in its home state, in Bessemer’s Colonial Promenade Tannehill.

In our August 2008 issue of Business Alabama, we featured some Alabama-based public companies whose stock had been soundly outperforming the S&P 500 Index for the 10 years ending June 13, 2008 — just before the big crash.

Energen Corp.

Over the 10 years leading to June 2008, Energen’s stock increased from $7.57 per share to $74.34, more than eight-fold, compared to the S&P Index rise of 23 percent.

A 10-year plan that started in 1996 focused the company in the petroleum exploration business. And just before natural gas prices began to plunge, Energen moved to an emphasis on oil, which held the company in good stead until the drop in oil prices that began in June 2014. Since 2008, Energen has still kept above the S&P index, by 12 percent.

Hibbett Sports Inc.    

Hibbett Sports Inc. saw its stock go from $6.91 a share to $21.26 for the 10 years ending June 13, 2008 — a two-fold gain, compared to the S&P’s 23 percent.

Facing increased competition from Dick’s Sporting Goods and slow to get its online business fired up, Hibbett has been frequently downgraded in stock analysts’ recommendations over the last five years. But the long-term investor would not be disappointed with the post-2008 performance of Hibbett’s stock — up 118 percent since June 2008, compared to a 52 percent rise in the S&P.

Hibbett’s operates full-line sporting goods stores in small towns. In 2008 it had more than 650 stores in 23 states. Today it has 1,000 stores in 31 states.

Vulcan Materials

Our June 2008 ending date was fortunate for Vulcan Materials, which closed the 10-year period with a stock gain of 127 percent. But that was just before Vulcan went over the cliff, down from a high of $82 a share in 2007 to $23 a share in the first week of July 2008.

 Vulcan Materials is the nation’s largest producer of crushed stone that goes into road building and commercial concrete construction. Construction has been the slowest sector to recover from the recession, but Vulcan’s stock has made a slow climb back to $85.85 in July this year. 

Chris McFadyen is the editorial director of Business Alabama.

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