Six local companies make the Fortune 500 list

Hanover County-based Owens & Minor Inc., a medical products distributor, climbed one spot on the list this year to No. 297. For the past decade, there have been six or seven Richmond-area firms on the Fortune 500.

For the fourth year in a row, six companies with headquarters in the Richmond region have made Fortune magazine’s list of the 500 biggest U.S. companies.

The magazine released its annual Fortune 500 list late Monday. It ranks publicly traded U.S. companies by revenue.

The Richmond-area companies on the list did not change from 2012, and there were no drastic changes in their rankings, either.

“The companies continue to reflect Greater Richmond’s diverse economy,” Gregory H. Wingfield, president and chief executive officer of the Greater Richmond Partnership Inc., said about the broader Fortune 1000 list, which includes 10 locally based companies.

Local industries represented on the Fortune 1000 list include tobacco, utilities, automotive retailing, insurance, packaging, business services and chemicals.

Two of the locally based companies on the Fortune 500 advanced in the rankings. Goochland County-based automotive retailer CarMax Inc. landed at No. 259 on the 2013 list, up 20 spots from No. 279 in 2012.

Hanover County-based medical products distributor Owens & Minor Inc. climbed one spot on the list to No. 297.

Tobacco giant Altria Group Inc. again topped the rankings among the companies with local headquarters at No. 159. That was down slightly from No. 156 on the 2012 list.

Four other Richmond-area companies made the Fortune 1000, including security services provider The Brink’s Co. at No. 594, specialty insurer Markel Corp. at No. 713, tobacco leaf dealer Universal Corp. at No. 825, and fuel additives maker NewMarket Corp. at No. 871.

Together, the 10 local companies on the Fortune 1000 employ about 174,000 people, including their international operations, according to data compiled by the partnership, a regional economic development group. That was just a slight gain of about 900 from the previous year.

When combined, the companies’ revenues climbed about 1 percent to $77.2 billion in the most recent fiscal year compared with the previous year. Their combined profits dropped about $17.3 million, less than one percent, from the previous year to about $6.23 billion.

Wingfield said the rankings and data show the region’s major companies “were surprisingly consistent.”

“They are almost a mirror of the Richmond economy — very slow but steady improvement,” he said.

In all, 23 Virginia-based companies made the Fortune 500. Nine others made the Fortune 1000.

The number of Richmond-area firms on the Fortune 500 has generally held at six or seven for the past decade.

Walmart once again led the overall Fortune 500, as the world’s biggest retailer succeeded in posting strong growth despite a challenging economy for its shoppers. The company’s revenue grew nearly 6 percent in 2012 to $469.2 billion.

Exxon Mobil Corp. dropped to the second spot, with revenue of $449.9 billion, but was still the most profitable.

Energy companies continued to dominate the top of the list, with rival oil and gas producer Chevron Corp. holding steady at No. 3 and refiners Valero Energy Corp. and Phillips 66, spun off from ConocoPhillips last year, joining the top 10.

Moving up two spots to No. 5 is Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc., which owns more than 80 companies. A subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway owns the Richmond Times-Dispatch

Manufacturing stalwarts General Motors Co., Ford Motor Co. and General Electric Co. slipped in the survey but all remained in the top 10.

The increasing popularity of the iPad and iPhone helped Apple Inc. jump 11 spots to crack the top 10 for the first time, landing at No. 6.

Another technology bellwether wasn’t as fortunate. Hewlett-Packard Co. slipped to No. 15 from No. 10 as the technology pioneer struggled with a broad consumer shift from PCs to smartphones and tablets and its own accounting missteps.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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