The following is from the April 22, 2008, edition of BusinessWeek. Al Niemi, dean of the SMU Cox School of Business, provided expertise for this story.

Texas passes N.Y. as home
to the most Fortune 500 companies

The Associate Press

DALLAS – Texas is king of the hill when it comes to corporate headquarters.

The Lone Star State passed New York as home to the most big companies in the latest list compiled by Fortune magazine.

Texas now boasts 58 headquarters, three more than New York, the previous No. 1, and California, with 52.

Business experts say it's a matter of simple economics - Texas attracts companies with its low taxes, affordable land and large labor force.

"Cost is overwhelmingly the No. 1 driver," said Albert W. Niemi Jr., dean of the business school at Southern Methodist University, who wrote his doctoral thesis about companies leaving the Northeast for the Sun Belt 30 years ago.

Irving-based Exxon Mobil Corp. remained the biggest Texas-headquartered company by 2007 revenue, and No. 2 nationally, behind Wal-Mart Stores Inc. Exxon Mobil, however, was more profitable, earning $40.6 billion.

Four of the largest six corporations in Texas last year were oil companies, but the state's economy is more diverse than it was a generation ago.

Other Texas companies on the magazine's list include technology, such as Dell Inc., three of the nation's biggest airlines, two of the biggest homebuilders, an insurer, a hospital company and the largest garbage hauler around.

Read the full BusinessWeek story. This story also appeared in numerous other publications, including Forbes, The Houston Chronicle, The San Antonio Express News, The Dallas Morning News, The Fort Worth Star-Telegram, The San Diego Union-Tribune and Canadian Business.

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