Legg Cracks Fortune 500 List

Money Manager Joins Constellation, B&d

April 21, 2009|By Hanah Cho | Hanah Cho,hanah.cho@baltsun.com

Legg Mason Inc. cracked the Fortune 500 list for the first time this year, joining two other Baltimore-area firms as among the nation's largest companies.

The Baltimore money manager's designation on the iconic Wall Street list - it is ranked No. 500 - doesn't factor in last summer's economic meltdown and much of the company's weak performance last year. That is because Fortune used revenue for Legg's 2008 fiscal year, which ended March 31, 2008. Legg has yet to report its 2009 fiscal year-end earnings.

But Legg's addition comes after many Baltimore-area leaders thought they would lose a Fortune 500 company last year when it appeared that Constellation Energy Group was going to be sold in a deal that later dissolved.

Fortune bases its ranking on 2008 revenue. Several companies, particularly financial services firms, fell off this year's list because of the financial sector meltdown. They include Lehman Bros. Holdings Inc., Washington Mutual Inc. and Wachovia Corp., which have gone under or have been acquired.

Baltimore-based Constellation came in at 125 with $19.8 billion in revenue, while Towson power tool maker Black & Decker ranks 408th with nearly $6.1 billion in revenue. Both companies slipped a few notches in a year of dismal corporate profits.

For Constellation, a liquidity crisis nearly pushed the company to bankruptcy and forced it to seek a partner. The energy company is awaiting regulatory approval for its deal to sell half of its nuclear business to France's largest utility.

Legg earned its spot with $4.6 billion in revenue, according to Fortune. That figure covers its fiscal 2008, from April 1, 2007, to March 31, 2008. Legg reports its 2009 fiscal fourth-quarter earnings May 5.

For the nine months ended Dec. 31, Legg reported $2.7 billion in revenue, down from $3.6 billion in the corresponding period in 2007. The company said Monday that it has cut 40 more jobs, including five in Baltimore, to trim costs.

Columbia's W.R. Grace, Sparks spice maker McCormick & Co. and Baltimore money manager T. Rowe Price Group were ranked among the top 1,000 largest companies, Fortune said.

LOCALS ON LIST

This year's closely watched Fortune 500 list included three Baltimore-area companies:

* Constellation Energy Group, 125, down from 117 in 2008

* Black & Decker, 408, down from 372 in 2008

* Legg Mason, 500, up from 524 in 2008

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