IndustryWeek partnered with Mergent Inc. to create the 2004 IW U.S. 500 ranking of the largest publicly held manufacturing companies headquartered in the United States. Located in New York City and Charlotte, N.C., Mergent acquired the Financial Information Services division of Moody's Investors Service in 1998. The organization has been collecting and delivering financial information for more than 100 years.
Mergent's global databases were used to identify all publicly held manufacturing firms meeting IndustryWeek's selection criteria. The actual cutoff for inclusion on this year's IW U.S. 500 list was just over $916 million in revenues, a 5% increase over last year. In addition to the team at Mergent, Erik L. Fine, a Charlotte, N.C.-based information consultant, oversaw the data collection effort.
The IW U.S. 500 includes:
- Manufacturing companies with a majority of their business in a manufacturing industry.
- Companies that generated less than 50% of revenues from manufacturing, but more revenue from manufacturing than the lowest-revenue-producing companies on this year's list.
- Computer software companies whose primary business is the manufacture of software programs.
- Oil and gas companies that derive at least 50% of their revenues from the refining of oil and gas products.
- Companies that derive at least 50% of their revenues from the manufacture of mined materials.
Mergent collected the financial data elements directly from reports distributed by the corporations. To more accurately reflect the companies' core businesses, only revenue numbers from continuing operations were used. Where 2003 data are not available, 2002 data are provided. An "NA" appears where data were not available. For companies that have recently changed their fiscal-year end, the most recent 12-month figures have been used.