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Fortune 500 lists 8 Pittsburgh firms

| Wednesday, June 4, 2014, 11:27 p.m.

Pittsburgh's showing on Fortune magazine's list of the nation's largest companies is down from a peak two decades ago, but experts say having eight on annual ranking keeps the city on the global radar.

“There's a certain cachet for a city in having a number of Fortune 500 located within its limits,” said Philip Cynar, a spokesman for the Allegheny Conference on Community Development, which markets the region to companies looking for places to expand.

Downtown-based U.S. Steel Corp. remained the highest-ranked Pittsburgh-area company at No. 166. The steelmaker slipped from No. 147 because of a 10 percent decline in 2013 revenue, the measure the magazine uses to rank publicly-owned companies.

When the Fortune 500 debuted in 1955, U.S. Steel ranked third, and many metals and energy companies from the Pittsburgh region were ranked among the nation's largest corporations.

Companies once representing Pittsburgh in the ranking, such as Alcoa and the former Mellon Financial, now part of Bank of New York Mellon Corp., continue to employ large numbers of workers here, even though their headquarters have moved.

“The list can be misleading,” said Jake Haulk, president of the Allegheny Institute for Public Policy in Castle Shannon. “It doesn't tell you who's contributing to the local economy with jobs.”

Much of this year's list remains unchanged from last year, with PNC Financial Services Group Inc., the nation's sixth-biggest bank, repeating as the region's second-largest corporation. It slipped to No. 172 from No. 170 last year, though revenue increased by 2 percent.

Other companies in the ranking are from a range of industries: paint maker PPG Industries Inc., generic drugmaker Mylan Inc., food manufacturer H.J. Heinz Co., electrical products distributor Wesco International Inc., retailer Dick's Sporting Goods, and coal and natural gas producer Consol Energy Inc.

Heinz was taken private in June 2013 in a $28 billion deal by Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway and investment firm 3G Capital.

“The list has some strong players — recognized brands whose choice of the city as a home keeps Pittsburgh on the global radar,” Cynar said.

The number of Western Pennsylvania companies making the ranking declined from nine because Allegheny Technologies Inc., a Downtown-based specialty steel and titanium maker, dropped below the 500 threshold. It was pushed off by a 14 percent decline in revenue.

Allegheny Technologies had been on and off the list a number of times in recent years. It was back on in 2013 and 2012 after missing in 2011 and 2010.

In the overall ranking, big-box retailer Wal-Mart Stores held onto the top spot for a second year, with $473.1 billion in revenue. Energy companies Exxon Mobil and Chevron, Berkshire Hathaway and iPhone maker Apple rounded out the top five.

Alex Nixon is a Trib Total Media staff writer. Reach him at 412-320-7928 or anixon@tribweb.com.

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