Charlotte companies among most valuable brands

A new ranking of the 500 most valuable brands in the U.S. lists seven in the Charlotte region.

The ranking, released Monday by brand consultant Brand Finance, includes Bank of America and its Merrill Lynch brokerage, Duke Energy and subsidiary Progress Energy, Family Dollar, Lowe’s and Nucor.

Combined, the seven have a brand value of $51.3 billion.

Charlotte’s Bank of America, with a brand value of $27 billion, is the state’s most valuable brand and the 12th most valuable in the U.S., behind No. 11 Wells Fargo at $30.2 billion.

Bank of America’s value is 19 percent higher than a year ago. Last year was the bank’s most profitable year since 2007.

A total of 13 North Carolina brands made the list, including Winston-Salem’s BB&T, which operates bank branches in the Charlotte region. Brand value dropped for BB&T to $2.7 billion compared with $2.8 billion last year. The company reported lower earnings per share and return on average assets last year.

Apple is the most valuable brand in the nation at $104.7 billion.