Ranked 48th in population when compared nationally, Montana has plenty of room to accommodate tourists and visitors, as well as plenty of natural wonders, including Yellowstone National Park and Glacier National Park. Tourism, agriculture, and mining are Montana’s primary sources of income. Below are some interesting facts about Montana:
- The mining industry's contribution to the state economy in 2005 was $2.3 billion.
- It ranks number six in coal production in the United States.
- Montana currently requires that public utilities companies obtain 5% of its energy from renewable sources, with a goal of 15% by the year 2015.
- Wind power is of major importance to the state; Montana potential wind power generation ranks it number five nationwide.
- Montana’s main crop is wheat.
- Montana is rich in gas, oil, and coal.
- Montana’s gross state product for 2007 was $34,253 million.
- Copper is becoming increasingly important in Montana due to its rising value.
- Approximately 8.6% of income goes to state income tax in Montana, well under the national average of 9.7%.
- Montana corporate income tax is based on a flat rate of 6.75% on all corporate income.
The following companies are connected to the state of Montana:
- Glacier Bancorp (NASDAQ:GBCI) is a holding institution that renders banking services in Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Utah, and Washington. The stock has a P/E of 16, a PEG of 14, and it pays a yield of 2.4%.
- Stillwater Mining Co. (NYSE:SWC) specializes in the mining and refining of palladium and other metals in Montana. The stock has a P/E of 72.
- Right Now Technologies (NASDAQ:RNOW), delivers software in the U.S., Europe and Asia. The company generated a loss per share of $0.40, but it has a forward P/E of 67.
- Semitool Inc (SMTL) makes, sells and delivers semiconductor devices. The stock has a P/E of 88, and a PEG of 1.70. This is a very low cap stock and should therefore be considered very speculative.
- Black Hills Corp. (NYSE:BKH), while not based in Montana, controls an energy company that delivers energy to customers in Montana, South Dakota, and Wyoming. The stock has a P/E of 16, a PEG of 2.04, and it pays a yield of 4.1%.
- Northwestern Corp. (NYSE:NWE), while not based in Montana, delivers energy to customers in Montana, South Dakota, and Nebraska. The stock has a P/E of 15, a PEG of 1.49, and it pays a yield of 5.2%.
Gastar Exploration, Ltd. (NYSEMKT:GST), while not based in Montana, explores and develops coal bed methane property in the Powder River Basin of Montana and Wyoming. They also explore and develop oil and gas properties in North America and Australia. The stock has a forward P/E of 42. The stock trades on the American Stock Exchange.
Disclosure: Author does not own any of the above mentioned stocks.