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May 29, 2006

Stocks: Hot Growth Companies: BusinessWeek announces its annual ranking of America's 100 fastest-growing small companies.

BusinessWeek explores the trends that fueled the growth of hot small companies in the USA.

BusinessWeek June 2006

VAALCO Energy tops BusinessWeek's annual "Hot Growth" list of 100 companies to watch. Other companies making the cut this year include Hansen Natural (No.2), Under Armour (No.6), Blue Nile (No.10), and Netflix (No.29).

BusinessWeek's cover story "Hot Growth Companies" is available online at http://www.businessweek.com and will be on newsstands later today.

The 100 companies in BusinessWeek's 2006 ranking may not be big, but they're strong, agile, and fiercely competitive. Together, they're a powerful economic force in the USA. Small businesses produce 14 times as many patents per employee as large companies do, and they are twice as likely to turn those inventions into successes, according to a US congressional report. They account for half of the private gross domestic product, create more than 60% of net new jobs each year, and pay 44.3% of the private payroll.

To determine who's hot and who's not, BusinessWeek combs a database of 5,275 public companies with revenues of $50 million to $1.5 billion a year. They are then ranked by sales and earnings growth, as well as return on capital over three years. To be considered for the final ranking, companies must have a market cap of $25 million or more and a stock that trades for at least $5 a share. Only finalists whose shares rose at least 5% over the past 12 months were included. Recent profit shortfalls can also cause companies to get the ax. Of those still standing, the top 100 make the list.

During the vetting of the Hot Growth contenders, an economic quirk emerged. The rising thirst for petroleum has driven prices up, translating to gold for the 14 oil and energy-services companies on the list. Over the past three years, VAALCO Energy Inc.'s revenues have increased more than eightfold, while profits are up 75 times, to $33.7 million, from just $445,000 in 2002. That not only put VAALCO on BusinessWeek's Hot Growth list for the first time, it allowed it to debut at No.1.


The top 10 companies on BusinessWeek's annual list of 100 "Hot Growth Companies" are:

Rank Company
1 VAALCO Energy (EGY)
2 Hansen Natural (HANS)
3 Palomar Medical Technologies (PMTI)
4 W&T Offshore (WTI)
5 NAVTEQ (NVT)
6 Under Armour (UARM)
7 VASCO Data Security Intl. (VDSI)
8 Programmer's Paradise (PROG)
9 LCA-Vision (LCAV)
10 Blue Nile (NILE)


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Edited & Posted by the Editor | 4:40 AM | Link to this Post






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