Florida’s biggest companies had a solid year in 2016

Traders work the floor on Wall Street.
Traders work the floor on Wall Street. AP

A stock index that tracks about 50 small, medium and large-sized Florida companies had a strong year in 2016, and out-gained the wider marketplace, according to the University of Miami.

UM’s Florida 50 Stock Index, which tracks Florida firms in the S&P Composite 1500 Index, debuted in January and posted a gain of 11.5 percent this year. That means it beat the broader S&P 500 by 1.92 percent and the S&P 1500 by 0.81 percent, according to UM.

11.5 percentAnnual gain made by University of Miami’s Florida 50 Stock Index

Eight of the firms ended 2016 with annual stock price gains of more than 40 percent, UM said. They were: WellCare Health Plans (Tampa); Rayonier Advanced Materials (Jacksonville); Marriott Vacations Worldwide (Orlando); KLX (Wellington); Landstar System Inc. (Jacksonville); B/E Aerospace (Wellington); Brown & Brown (Daytona Beach); and CSX (Jacksonville).

“The 2016 performance of the University of Miami’s Florida 50 Index shows that not only are Florida-based firms keeping pace with their counterparts across the country, as a cross-section, they’re actually seeing results coming in even better,” Seth Levine, an accounting lecturer at UM’s School of Business Administration, said in a statement. “Investors may do well to keep an eye on this index in the future as they weigh their investment decisions.”

The index tracks about 50 firms based in Florida and listed on the New York Stock Exchange or NASDAQ. It is meant to serve as a bellwether of Florida’s economy and is available at: