World Fuel Services Growing Faster than Apple

by Ship & Bunker News Team
Tuesday May 21, 2013

Of all companies in the Fortune 500, World Fuel Services [NYSE:INT] (WFS) has grown the fastest over the past decade, outpacing even consumer technology giant Apple Inc. [NASDAQ:AAPL] (Apple), CNN Money reports.

The U.S.-based supplier of bunkers and other fuel ranks 74th on this year's list with $38.9 billion in revenues, having grown at an annual rate of 39.8 percent over the past decade, compared withApple's 39.2 percent.

"It's not insignificant that we've reached this level of growth, and we've really done it without stumbling," said CEO Michael Kasbar.

"Being able to scale your organization and take it global is a reasonable achievement."

WFS's stock price has also risen much faster than most companies' over the past five years: 230 percent compared with 131 percent for Apple and 17 percent for the S&P 500, despite having a relatively low profit margin.

"It's an asset-light business model," Kasbar said.

"Our net working capital is about $1 billion, but we only have about $100 million of fixed assets."

The company has made 17 significant acquisitions since 1998, including the purchase of fuel card system maker Multi Service last year, and it now has 60 offices around the world and operates in over 200 countries.

Of WFS's $38.9 billion revenues in 2012, $14.8 billion came from the marine services division.

Last October bunker supplier Chemoil Energy Limited [AV5.SI] (Chemoil) said it was selling its storage facility on Jurong Island in Singapore to adopt an "asset-light" bunkering business model.