Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts


Utah stocks far outpace U.S. indexes

Through Q3, only six companies have seen share price declines.

First Published Oct 03 2012 05:12 pm • Last Updated Jan 14 2013 11:31 pm

Stockholders in most of Utah’s largest publicly held companies were probably patting themselves on the back as they watched their investments grow through the first nine months of 2012.

The Salt Lake Tribune/Bloomberg Index, which measures the share-price performance of the state’s 26 largest firms, gained a more than respectable 23 percent through the end of the third quarter this year.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

In contrast, the Dow Jones industrial average rose 10 percent, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 was up 15 percent.

"In an upwardly moving market like we’re seeing now, it isn’t that unusual for some small-cap companies to see big price movements [in their shares]," said Sterling Jenson, regional managing director for Wells Capital Management in Salt Lake City.

Unlike the Dow and the S&P 500, the Utah index is made up primarily of small-cap companies. They all have a market capitalization — a figure calculated by multiplying the number of shares a company has outstanding by its stock price — of $1 billion or less.

And it was one such Utah company that saw its share price gain eclipse the best-performing stocks on both the Dow and S&P 500 so far this year.

Headwaters Inc., a South Jordan-based building products company, rose 196 percent in the first nine months of 2012 although its stock price, now around $7, remains well off the highs of 2005, when the shares were trading above $40 a share.

During the past several years, Headwaters slashed expenses by upward of $60 million and streamlined and consolidated its manufacturing facilities, said Sharon Madden, the company’s spokeswoman. "We’re in a good position now to take advantage of any improvement in the economy, and we are seeing demand picking up."

Headwaters wasn’t the only steller performer on the Tribune/Bloomberg Index.

Security National Financial Corp., a Salt Lake City-based business conglomerate, saw its share price rise by 169 percent. It was Utah’s second-best performing stock through the end of the third quarter.

story continues below
story continues below

The company operates in three different business areas. It sells life insurance, annuity products and health and accident policies. It operates cemeteries in Utah and California, and mortuaries in Utah and Arizona. It also originates and underwrites residential and commercial loans for new construction and existing homes.

Shares of Extra Space Storage, a real estate investment trust that operates in the self-storage industry, rose 37 percent. But that was only enough for the company to place ninth among the Top 10 companies on the Tribune/Bloomberg Index.

Company spokesman Clint Halverson said the company has had a good year so far.

"We’ve acquired around 60 properties worth just shy of $500 million. Demand for self-storage units has held steady and there is virtually no new supply coming online. So we think we are pretty well positioned for the future," Halverson said.

Some Utah companies saw their share prices decline, but only six of the 26 companies on the Tribune/Bloomberg Index are lower now than when the year began.

Among the better known was St. George-based SkyWest Inc., the parent company of SkyWest Airlines. Its shares were down 18 percent. Although the company remained highly profitable, industry analysts earlier this year were questioning whether the regional airline business model still worked.

After hitting a low of $6.31 on Aug. 3, the company’s stock has rebounded to top $10.


Twitter: @OberbeckBiz

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment

About Reader Comments

Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.