Companies looking for a way to please Wall Street and get their stock prices up have a solution: fire employees.
There are 14 companies in the Standard & Poor's 500, including office equipment maker Pitney Bowes, defense contractor Lockheed Martin and grocer Safeway, that have methodically eliminated jobs each and every year for the past five fiscal years. And these stocks are outperforming the market both in the short term and long term.
Shares of these chronic job cutters, on average, are up 18.8% over the past twelve months. That tops the 15.5% gain by the Standard & Poor's 500 during the same time period. And over the past five years, the job cutters are beating the market by an even wider margin, gaining an average 269% while the S&P 500 is up 103%.
Below is a list of the five companies that not only reported a smaller workforce each out of the past five years, but that also cut the largest percentage of employees over the past five years (the full list of the 14 chronic job cutters is at the bottom of this post):