THE BUSINESSWEEK 50 RANKINGS + 25

71

Wm. Wrigley Jr.

The iconic candy and gum maker now has two captains steering the ship. In October, Bill Perez succeeded fourth-generation scion Bill Wrigley as CEO, the first non-relation to get the job in the company’s 116-year history. Wrigley is staying on as executive chairman with Perez at a pivotal time for the company as it continues its transformation from a gum maker to a broader candy business. During Wrigley’s eight-year tenure as CEO, he reshaped the company with acquisitions such as the Altoids and Life Savers brands in 2005, and, more recently, the purchase of chocolate maker A. Korkunov, the Godiva of Russia. He introduced 80 products around the globe in 2006, vs. only a handful in 2000. Sales have grown from around $2 billion to nearly $5 billion in that time. Now Bill P. and Bill W.—as they’re known at Wrigley—want to continue to expand their global reach into candies and chocolate. Meanwhile, they can’t let their guard down in their core gum business, where Cadbury Schweppes, owner of Trident, is making for sticky competition.

Overall Grade

A-

Market Data

WWY

Market Value
(2/28/2007)

$13.8 Billion

Profitability*

29.3%

B-

Sales Growth Rate**

15.0%

A-

12-Month Sales

$4.7 Billion

12-Month Net Income

$0.5 Billion

Total Return Past 12 Months

0.0%

Past 36 Months

16.6%

Economic SectorConsumer Staples
IndustryPackaged Foods & Meats
The overall sector letter grade reflects how the weighted average of the return on income, or return on equity, and sales growth grades compare with others in the same sector. For the overall grade as well as the ROE/ROI and sales growth grades, an "A" places a company in the top 7% of its sector and an "A-" in the top 14% of the sector. The actual ranking was done using the underlying numerical measures. Grades are for information only.
* For nonfinancial companies, three-year average pretax operating profit before interest and special items as a percentage of average invested capital. For financial companies, pretax profits as a percentage of average shareholder's equity.
*Three-year average annual sales growth based on the most recently reported 36 months, calculated using the least-squares method.

William D. Perez

William D. Perez, 59

CEO since 2006


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Data as of 2/28/07 provided by Standard & Poor's Compustat