Apparently investors think we have an aging population that’s ready to retire, buy a new RV and hit the country roads for an outdoors adventure. 

Forest City-based Winnebago Industries Inc. topped the Iowa Index list of 22 Iowa-based publicly traded companies after a 2017 in which its stock price increased 75.67 percent. Winnebago’s stellar 2017 comes just one year after it posted a 59.05 percent increase, good for second place in last year’s analysis.

Winnebago also had the highest five-year percentage increase in its stock price — it has grown 224 percent since 2012. For Winnebago, the year continued a trend of rapidly increasing stock prices since the recession. Had you believed in the allure of RVing during the depths of the recession on Dec. 31, 2008, and gone all in on Winnebago, you’d be looking at a nice little 822 percent gain. That’s not a typo, and that’s tops among Iowa-based publicly traded companies during that time frame.

Overall however, the Business Record’s Iowa Index, an unweighted average of 22 Iowa-based public companies, underperformed national indexes, mostly missing out on the record-setting year in the markets. While the Iowa Index increased 7.6 percent, 11 of the 22 companies saw declines in stock prices for the year. By comparison, the Nasdaq and Dow increased 28.24 percent and 25.08 percent respectively.

Don’t fret too much. The five-year percentage change of the Iowa Index is 86.88 percent, right in line with the Dow at 88.64 percent, but trailing the Nasdaq at 128.63 percent.

The Business Record also tracks 15 other publicly traded companies with a large presence in Iowa — seven of the 15 saw declines in stock price. Deere & Co. had the largest one-year increase — 51.89 percent — while Windstream Holdings Inc. had the largest one-year decrease — 74.76 percent.

And talk about flipping the script. Of the bottom eight Iowa-based companies in last year’s analysis, five are in the top seven in our analysis this year.

Iowa-based companies that had bounce-back years in 2017 include Workiva, up 56.78 percent in comparison with a 22.31 percent drop in 2016; Rockwell Collins Inc., up 46.21 percent; KemPharm Inc., up 37.29 percent in comparison with its last-place finish last year after an 85.15 percent loss; American Equity Investment Life Holding, up 36.34 percent; and Renewable Energy Group Inc., up 21.65 percent.

By comparison, HNI Corp. finished in last place after posting a 31.03 percent decrease, one year after coming in third. And Lee Enterprises, one year after topping the list, found itself in the bottom four after a decrease of 18.97 percent.

 


 

By The Numbers:

75.67% (up) Winnebago Industries Inc.
The biggest one-year percentage gain of any Iowa-based company.

-31.03% HNI Corp.
The biggest one-year percentage loss of any Iowa-based company.

224.58% (up) Winnebago Industries Inc.
The largest five-year percentage gain of any Iowa-based company.

-47.10% Art’s Way Manufacturing Co.
The largest five-year percentage loss. Art’s Way and NewLink Genetics Corp. were the only Iowa-based companies to post a five-year loss.

 


 

The Iowa Index

UP 7.60% (2017 1-yr percent change)

Note: The Iowa Index is an unweighted average of 22 Iowa-based publicly traded companies.


 

 

How they’re ranked
Companies are listed according to their stock prices’ one-year percentage change from Dec. 30, 2016, to Dec. 29, 2017. All stock prices listed are as of close of market on Dec. 29, 2017.

 

Iowa Companies

Operations in Iowa

*Des Moines-based Fidelity Guaranty Life (FGL) completed a merger transaction Nov. 30, 2017 under which CF Corp. aquired FGL. CF Corp. changed its name to FGL Holdings and began trading under the ticker symbol FG on Dec. 1, 2017.

**E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company (DD) merged with The Dow Chemical Company (DOW) on Aug, 31, 2017 to form DowDuPont (DWDP).