(By Rebecca Lipman)
Statistically, female CEO-led companies have been ruling the stock market, which may explain why more women are scheduled to take the reigns of Fortune 500 companies than ever before.
This is a change from the grand total of 12 female CEOs of Fortune 500 companies back in July. The number was a drop from the 15 in 2010, but a significant improvement over the single female CEO that made the list in 1996.
USA Today reports in the last few months alone, three other new female CEOs have emerged: Meg Whitman (pictured above) became Hewlett-Packard CEO in September, Denise Morrison took the CEO post at Campbell Soup in August, and Gracia Martore was named CEO of Gannett earlier this month.
Wednesday, pharmaceutical firm Mylan said Heather Bresch will succeed Robert Coury as CEO. Tuesday, IBM tapped Virginia “Ginni” Rometty to succeed Sam Palmisano, making her the first female CEO in the company’s 100-year history. Both appointments are effective Jan. 1st.
“If no women step down before the end of 2011, there will be 18 women running Fortune 500 companies in 2012. Previously, there haven’t been more than 16 female CEOs at Fortune 500 firms at the same time.”
Most females execs will be quick to claim their gender has little to do with their success as chief officer, but it would be hard to deny the studies that show overwhelmingly positive results for female-led companies. The trend is hard not to notice:
In July, USA Today reported “Fortune 500 companies that had a woman at the helm for all of 2009 were up an average 50%.” And according to Forbes: “as a group they outperformed the overall market–companies dominated by male chief executives–by 28%, on average, and topped their respective industries by 15% [in 2010].”
A 2007 research report by Catalyst Inc showed that among Fortune 500 companies, those with the greatest number of women on their boards performed significantly better financially than companies with fewer female board members.
Shareholders, pay attention: We’ve compared the performance of the current fortune 500 companies with women CEOs to the S&P500 performance and their industry competitors from the start of the calendar year to present. Correlation and causation aside, the trend holds true: women have been ruling the stock market.
To access a complete analysis of this list’s recent performance, click here.
Right now female CEOs represent just about 3% of Fortune 500 company heads. In 2009, women held 15.2% of Fortune 500 board seats, according to women’s issues research group Catalyst. In both 2009 and 2010, 12% of Fortune 500 companies had no women serving on their boards. (via USA Today)
Given the statistically proven success of women at the helm, could the tables start shifting towards a more female-dominated – or a more evenhanded – executive board?
You can be sure any changes in the system that allows women to take male-dominated roles will be slow going. But for the women in top-level positions many are watching and intrigued to note the differences in leadership and results.
For those interested in following the trend, the 2011 Fortune 500 companies with female CEOs (trading on the US stock exchange) are listed in detail here. CEO descriptions sourced from CNN Money:
The two female CEOs of Fortune 500 companies not trading on the stock exchange are BJ’s Wholesale Club Inc, led by Laura Sen, and Guardian Life led by Deanna Mulligan.
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1. Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM): Market cap of $19.30B. Archer Daniels Midland Company procures, transports, stores, processes, and merchandises agricultural commodities and products in the United States and internationally. CEO: Patricia Woertz. First Year as CEO: 2006. “The processor of agricultural commodities like oil seeds, corn, and wheat boosted fiscal 2011 sales thanks to increased demand. The onetime accountant and former oil executive has pushed into developing regions such as South America, with plans to build a biodiesel plant in Brazil and a soybean facility in Paraguay.” Relatively low correlation to the market (beta = 0.41), which may be appealing to risk averse investors. The stock has had a couple of great days, gaining 5.4% over the last week.
2. Avon Products Inc. (AVP): Market cap of $9.91B. Engages in manufacturing and marketing beauty and related products in worldwide. CEO: Andrea Jung. First Year as CEO: 1999. “As Avon marks its 125th year, sales have risen to nearly $11 billion. Investments abroad have paid off, with double-digit sales growth in most regions, though the stock is flagging. But Jung, who has run Avon for 12 years, is the longest-serving woman CEO of a Fortune 500 company, and she sits on the Apple and GE boards.” The stock is currently stuck in a downtrend, trading -12.4% below its SMA20, -12.01% below its SMA50, and -27.39% below its SMA200. The stock has had a good month, gaining 12.52%.
3. Campbell Soup Co. (CPB): Market cap of $10.73B. Engages in the manufacture and marketing of branded convenience food products worldwide. CEO: Denise M. Morrison. First Year as CEO: 2011. “This rookie CEO worked at a slew of consumer goods companies (P&G, Kraft, Pepsi, Nabisco, Nestlé) and served as Campbell’s operating chief before ascending to the top of the $7.7-billion-in-revenue company in August. MPW fact: Morrison and Maggie Wilderotter are the first sister act to make the list.” Relatively low correlation to the market (beta = 0.27), which may be appealing to risk averse investors. The stock has lost 3.9% over the last year.
4. EI DuPont de Nemours & Co. (DD): Market cap of $42.99B. Involved in science and technology in a range of disciplines including high-performance materials, specialty chemicals, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology. CEO: Ellen Kullman. First Year as CEO: 2009. “In May, she completed her biggest move yet with the $6.4 billion acquisition of Danish food ingredient producer Danisco, shifting the chemical company more toward food and nutrition. Analysts credit her with DuPont’s turnaround in the stock market: Shares have returned 99%, vs. 37% for the S&P, since she took over in 2009.” The stock has had a couple of great days, gaining 5.25% over the last week.
5. Gannett Co., Inc. (GCI): Market cap of $2.83B. Operates as a media and marketing solutions company in the United States and internationally. CEO: Gracia C. Martore. First Year as CEO: 2011. “This granddaughter of Italian immigrants began in banking, moved to Gannett’s treasury department in 1985 — and never left. Rising to CFO and then COO last year, Martore has female help in turning around this struggling media giant: new Gannett chairman Marge Magner, once the top woman at Citigroup.” This is a risky stock that is significantly more volatile than the overall market (beta = 2.43). The stock has had a couple of great days, gaining 13.64% over the last week.
6. Hewlett-Packard Company (HPQ): Market cap of $51.16B. Offers various products, technologies, software, solutions, and services to individual consumers and small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), as well as to the government, health, and education sectors worldwide. CEO: Meg Whitman. First Year as CEO: 2011. “She’s back! In late September the losing California gubernatorial candidate — and former No. 1 MPW — was named CEO of HP, America’s largest tech company by revenue. While her ascent to the role is a sure sign of her power, it remains to be seen if she can fix the computer maker and bring order to its dysfunctional board.” Might be undervalued at current levels, with a PEG ratio at 0.79, and P/FCF ratio at 6.23. The stock has recently rebounded, and is currently trading 9.36% above its SMA20 and 10.93% above its SMA50. However, the stock still trades -23.98% below its SMA200. The stock has lost 38.49% over the last year.
7. International Business Machines Corp. (IBM): Market cap of $217.32B. Provides information technology (IT) products and services worldwide. CEO: Ginni Rometty. First Year as CEO: 2012. “A 30-year IBM veteran, she added marketing and strategy oversight to her role last year. The move positioned her as one of the company’s top two candidates to replace current CEO Sam Palmisano, and it worked. Rometty will be Big Blue’s next CEO, replacing Palmisano in January.” Relatively low correlation to the market (beta = 0.67), which may be appealing to risk averse investors. The stock has gained 30.89% over the last year.
8. KeyCorp (KEY): Market cap of $6.94B. Operates as a holding company for KeyBank National Association that provides various banking services in the United States. CEO: Beth Mooney. First Year as CEO: 2011. “In May, she took over the regional financial institution with almost $90 billion in assets, making her the only woman to run a large U.S. bank. Second-quarter profits jumped to $243 million, up from $56 million in the same period a year ago, in part due to a fall in loan losses and cuts in expenses.” The stock has had a couple of great days, gaining 14.29% over the last week.
9. Kraft Foods Inc. (KFT): Market cap of $61.85B. Kraft Foods Inc., together with its subsidiaries, manufactures and markets packaged food products worldwide. CEO: Irene Rosenfeld. First Year as CEO: 2006. “Rosenfeld made a big show of power this year with her decision to split Kraft into two companies, a reversal of her previous strategy of expanding through acquisitions (like the 2010 purchase of Cadbury). Her new role hasn’t been decided but she plans to remain CEO until the deal’s expected close in 2012.” Relatively low correlation to the market (beta = 0.56), which may be appealing to risk averse investors. The stock has gained 13.37% over the last year.
10. Mylan, Inc. (MYL): Market cap of $8.34B. Engages in the development, manufacture, marketing, licensing, and distribution of generic and branded generic pharmaceuticals, specialty pharmaceuticals, and active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) worldwide. CEO: Heather Bresch. First Year as CEO: 2010. “This daughter of U.S. Senator (and former West Virginia Governor) Joe Manchin III overcame a 2008 scandal involving an MBA she earned improperly at West Virginia U. She rises to the top of generic drugmaker Mylan after 20 years in operations and strategy.” The stock has had a couple of great days, gaining 12.87% over the last week.
11. Pepsico, Inc. (PEP): Market cap of $96.95B. Engages in the manufacture, marketing, and sale of foods, snacks, and carbonated and non-carbonated beverages worldwide. CEO: Indra Nooyi. First Year as CEO: 2006. “On Nooyi’s watch, PepsiCo has forged further into nutrition-focused products, a business that the company is trying to grow to $30 billion in 2020 from about $10 billion in 2010. But Nooyi has been criticised for taking her eye off the core North American soda business, which has lost share to Coke.” Relatively low correlation to the market (beta = 0.53), which may be appealing to risk averse investors. The stock has lost 0.55% over the last year.
12. Sempra Energy (SRE): Market cap of $12.98B. Engages in the development of energy infrastructure, operation of utilities, and provision of energy-related products and services worldwide. CEO: Debra Reed. First Year as CEO: 2011. “In July, Reed took over the Fortune 500 energy services company with $9 billion in 2010 revenue. The industry veteran once served as president and CEO of Sempra’s San Diego Gas & Electric and Southern California Gas. She also sits on the Halliburton board.” Relatively low correlation to the market (beta = 0.55), which may be appealing to risk averse investors. The stock has gained 5.65% over the last year.
13. Sunoco, Inc. (SUN): Market cap of $4.42B. Sunoco, Inc., through its subsidiaries, refines and markets petroleum products, and manufactures chemicals in the United states. CEO: Lynn Elsenhans. First Year as CEO: 2010. “The only female head of Big Oil in the U.S., Elsenhans has made bold moves to overhaul the $37 billion refiner. She’s sold the chemicals business and ditched three money-losing refineries. She is relying more on retail fuels and logistics, with high returns and stable cash flows.” Relatively low correlation to the market (beta = 0.67), which may be appealing to risk averse investors. The stock has lost 6.15% over the last year.
14. The TJX Companies, Inc. (TJX): Market cap of $22.30B. Operates as an off-price apparel and home fashions retailer in the United States and internationally. CEO: Carol Meyrowitz. First Year as CEO: 2007. “The average price of items in T.J. Maxx, HomeGoods, and Marshalls stores was down, but traffic growth pushed sales up 8% in fiscal 2011 to $21.9 billion. Since Meyrowitz took over in January 2007, the discounter’s stock has returned 104%, vs. a decline of 9% for the S&P.” Relatively low correlation to the market (beta = 0.58), which may be appealing to risk averse investors. The stock has gained 28.21% over the last year.
15. WellPoint Inc. (WLP): Market cap of $25.09B. Operates as a health benefits company in the United States. CEO: Angela Braly. First Year as CEO: 2007. “Braly’s reach is unquestionable: With 34 million members, health insurer WellPoint touches one in nine Americans covered. Now she’s tapping into the Medicare market with the purchase of senior health care provider CareMore. Her challenge: translating customer growth into higher profits.” Might be undervalued at current levels, with a PEG ratio at 0.9, and P/FCF ratio at 9.12. The stock has had a couple of great days, gaining 7.21% over the last week.
[The list has been shortened, to access to complete list, click here.]
Interactive Chart: Press Play to see how analyst ratings have changed for the stocks mentioned above. Analyst ratings sourced from Zacks Investment Research.