Aramark, two others make list

Posted: January 13, 2014

Dramatic market moves and a wave of initial stock offerings bring three new company names to the Philly50 for 2014, while three others have been edged off the list. Rising stock prices put all 50 companies on the list above $1 billion in market capitalization - at least for now.

The newcomers are:

Aramark Holdings Corp., which introduced its ticker symbol, ARMK, to the New York Stock Exchange in December, when the company went public for the third time since its founding in Philadelphia in 1959.

Aramark employs more than 270,000 people worldwide in diverse services businesses, most notably as operator of hot dog and other concessions at stadiums, including Citizens Bank Park and the Linc. Other businesses include uniform rentals and facilities maintenance.

Since the latest stock-market debut, Aramark shares have traded in the range of $20.10 and $26.72. They closed Friday at $24.78, giving Aramark a market capitalization of $5.7 billion.

Essent Group Ltd., a mortgage insurance company with management offices in Radnor, though the company is incorporated and officially based in Bermuda. Essent also went public in December, and its market capitalization is $2 billion. Shares (ticker: ESNT) have since traded in the range of $19.95 and $24.76.

Lannett Co. Inc., Philadelphia maker of generic meds since 1942, which saw its shares (ticker: LCI) skyrocket 567.3 percent in 2013. Its stock closed Friday at $35.99, near its 52-week high.

In October, the company issued an extra 5.9 million shares at $18 a share, netting $71.5 million.

Lannett has seen explosive growth that it credits to strategic partnerships and drug launches. The company said in November that it had 58 new drug products in its pipeline. In its fiscal 2013 earnings report, Lannett noted that it had experienced "a compounded annual growth rate in excess of 23 percent over the past 12 years," going from $12.1 million in 2001 to about $151.1 million last year.

Dropping off the list are:

Quaker Chemical Corp., whose shares gained 43 percent in 2013. But the Conshohocken company's market cap of $980 million couldn't quite surpass the new No. 50 on the list, Hersha Hospitality Trust.

Knoll Inc., the East Greenville-based office-furniture maker that is a design-world favorite. It got a 19 percent pop in share price in 2013, and its market cap finished last week at $808 million.

Beneficial Mutual Bancorp Inc. The Philadelphia-based holding company of 62-branch, 161-year-old Beneficial Bank, saw its shares rise 15 percent in 2013 and had a market capitalization of about $840 million last week.

The Inquirer's Joseph N. DiStefano blogged that at least one analyst thinks Beneficial shares are priced low and due for a rise of 20 percent or more. If so, Beneficial could be back in the Philly50 soon.


rkanaley@phillynews.com

215-854-5114

@ReidKan

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