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5 Arizona companies make ‘Fortune 500,’ down 1 from ’08

Five Arizona companies were named to Fortune Magazine’s Fortune 500 list, down one from the six that made the list last year, according to a report released Sunday on Fortune.com.

The former Allied Waste Management was dropped from the 2008 list after being purchased by the smaller Republic Services Inc. late last year.

Avnet Inc., an electronics parts distributor, moved up sharply from 163rd place in 2007 to 144th, leading Arizona’s companies on the list. Avnet nudged out mining company Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold, which fell in rank to 146.

Companies are ranked by revenues.

US Airways Group, pet products retailer PetSmart and technology solutions provider Insight Enterprises Inc. rounded out Arizona’s list. PetSmart and Insight made the list for the second year in a row.

Will Flower, a spokesman for Republic Services, said the company did not end up on the list because the merger occurred in December and was too late to be counted. Republic had not been big enough by itself to place on the Fortune 500 list.

However, Flower said the Phoenix-based Republic expects 2009 revenues of $8 billion to $9 billion, which would probably give the company a berth on the 2009 list of Fortune 500 members.

On the national list, Exxon Mobil, with revenues of $442 billion, took the No. 1 spot from Walmart, which placed second.

They were followed by Chevron, ConocoPhillips, General Electric, General Motors, Ford Motor Co., AT&T, Hewlett-Packard and Valero Energy Corp., the nation’s largest refiner.

The magazine, in an accompanying article to be published April 27, said companies on the 2008 list suffered the largest drop in profits over the past two years in the 55-year history of the list. Profits fell from a record $785 billion in 2006 to $98.9 billion last year, an 87 percent decrease.

Companies that lost the most in revenue included American International Group, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, General Motors, Citigroup, Merrill Lynch and ConocoPhillips.

Of the five Arizona members on the list, only Avnet reported a growth in profits in 2008. But that was for its fiscal year through June 30; the company reported a rapid slide in sales and profits in the last quarter of the 2008 calendar year.

Three of Arizona’s companies had large losses, according to the list: Freeport McMoRan, $11 billion; US Airways Group, $2.2 billion, and Insight, $152 million.

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