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MDU Resources rejoins Fortune 500 after decade-long absence

BISMARCK (AP) — North Dakota-based MDU Resources Group Inc. has rejoined the Fortune 500 after a decade-long hiatus.

The energy and construction company headquartered in Bismarck ranks No. 486 on the annual list of the country’s 500 largest publicly traded companies.

MDU is the only North Dakota company on the list. The company had been on list previously for two years, ending after 2010 when it ranked 498. The company ranked 524 last year.

Fortune’s list, released this week, ranked companies by their revenue in 2020. MDU said its revenue last year increased 16.3% percent to a record $5.53 billion, from $5.33 billion the year before.

The company was established in 1924 in Minnesota, as a small utility company serving western North Dakota and eastern Montana. MDU moved its headquarters to Bismarck in 1968.

MDU now has operations in 46 states and about 16,000 employees.

MDU Resources Group is the parent company of Bismarck-based Montana-Dakota Utilities, Fergus Falls, Minnesota-based Great Plains Natural Gas Co., Seattle-based Cascade Natural Gas Corp. and Boise, Idaho-based Intermountain Gas Co.

MDU has 1.1 million utility customers in eight states, company spokeswoman Laura Lueder said.

Along with its construction road-building companies, MDU subsidiaries construct and maintain natural gas pipelines and electric and communication lines.

MDU sold its oil and gas exploration and production businesses in 2008, Lueder said.

“They were capital-intensive businesses and required a lot of money to operate and grow,” she said. Since 2008, “our regulated energy delivery and construction materials and services platforms have grown to replace that revenue.”

Last year, the company posted earnings of $390.2 million, the second-highest on record and up from $335.5 million in 2019.

MDU reported a drop in revenue from its utility and construction materials divisions in 2020, but an increase from its gas pipeline division and record revenue from its construction services subsidiary, at $2 billion.