Last Updated on 06/29/2021 by GS Staff
Is Harbor Freight Publicly Traded?
Harbor Freight is a private company and is not publicly traded. This means that you cannot purchase Harbor Freight stock through a broker. The company would need to file an Initial public offering (IPO) and go public before shares of its stock could be purchased by the general public. There is no guarantee that Harbor Freight will ever become a public company.
Who Owns Harbor Freight?
Eric Smidt is the primary owner of Harbor Freight Tools. He is also the company’s CEO and has held this position since 1999. Prior to his role as CEO, Smidt was president where he started in this position at the young age of 25 in 1985. Eric and his father started the company in the late 1970s as a mail-order tool business in North Hollywood California. The business was called Harbor Freight Salvage and its focus was on selling returned and liquidated products. The first Harbor Freight retail store was opened in Lexington, Kentucky in 1980. The company now has more than 1,000 stores in 48 states. Smidt is currently estimated to be worth $4.4 billion according to Forbes.
Will Harbor Freight Ever Be Public?
There has been speculation in the past that Harbor Freight would be public. For example, in 2010 the company hired new officers with experience at public companies along with refinancing millions in debt. Some experts believed this was a potential sign that Harbor Freight was about to perform a merger, acquisition, or file an IPO. Of course, the IPO never happened. Rumors and speculation of a public Harbor Freight stock will likely continue to emerge from time to time. However, it will all remain speculation until the day that the company actually announces an IPO. However, that day may never come. Only Harbor Freight knows if or when they will go public. Everything else is just noise.
Harbor Freight Publicly Traded Competitors
Since a Habor Freight stock is not an option at this time, here are a few publicly traded companies that you may wish to consider for further research.
- Stanley Black & Decker – The stock trades under the stock symbol SWK. They are one of the leaders in manufacturing tools and equipment. The company has been in business since 1843 and has paid dividends for 145 years. The company is behind several iconic names in tools including Craftsman, DeWalt, Bostitch, Irwin, Stanley, and Black & Decker.
- W.W. Grainger – Grainger trades under the symbol GWW on the NYSE. The company specializes in maintenance, repair and operating (MRO) products.
- Lowe’s – It trades under the symbol LOW. Most people recognize the company for being one of America’s top home improvement retailers. The company has been in business since 1921 and now has over 2,000 stores.
- The Home Depot – The number one home improvement retailer in the United States trades under the stock symbol HD. Most people recognize it for being a big-box hardware store that sells products such as tools, lawn supplies, lighting, paint, and lumber to DIYers and professionals. It has over 2,000 stores in United States, Canada, and Mexico with 1,900+ stores being located in the U.S.
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