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Lithia Motors rises to 10th on Oregon list

Medford-based Lithia Motors Inc. has cracked the top 10 among the largest public companies in Oregon based on revenue.

Lithia moved from No. 17 a year ago to No. 10 on the list, compiled annually by Oregon Business Magazine and based on 1998 revenues. Lithia's 1998 revenues were $714.7 million.

The fast-growing auto dealership firm is likely to jump up a few more notches in next year's list. Since the beginning of 1999, Lithia has added 10 more dealerships, for a total of 38, and expects this year's revenues to top $1.3 billion. Based on the 1998 figures, that would put Lithia at No. 7.

It could rise even higher if two proposed buyouts of large Oregon companies by out-of-state interests go through. ScottishPower's proposed buyout of PacifiCorp, the state's second-largest company, is awaiting approval by regulators and IBM has announced plans to buy eighth-ranked Sequent Computer Systems.

The only major change near the top of this year's list was the departure of third-ranked Fred Meyer, which was bought out by Kroger Foods.

To no one's surprise, Nike remains the largest company based in Oregon with revenues of $8.8 billion. Rounding out the top five are utility giant PacifiCorp ($5.6 billion), forest products firm Willamette Industries ($3.7 billion), forest products firm Louisiana Pacific Corp. ($2.3 billion) and electronics maker Tektronix Inc. ($1.9 billion).

Aside from Lithia, Advanced Machine Vision was the only Rogue Valley-based firm to make the list of 79 public companies. The Medford-based maker of optical sorting equipment ranked 53rd with $27 million in revenue, falling two spots from a year ago.

Two companies with strong ties to the Rogue Valley also made the list: 28th-ranked Praegitzer Industries ($183 million) and 38th-ranked Klamath First Bancorp ($73 million).