Western Digital thrives in a highly competitive industry partly due to its focus on controlling costs. In 2010 the company's revenue grew 32.2%, return on equity reached 43.3% and return on assets was 26.1%. The company attributes much of its success to operational efficiencies, including its vertically integrated business model and agreements with suppliers to drive down raw materials costs. In April 2010 the company purchased the magnetic media sputtering operations of Hoya Corp. and Hoya Magnetics Singapore Pte. Ltd. to secure glass substrate supplies.
No. 2: Apple Inc.
Apple's revenue grew 78.5% in 2010. The company's inventory turnover rate was 52.1, well above the IW 50 average of 12.05. Apple benefited from a 93% increase in iPhone net sales in 2010, accounting for $25.2 billion, or 39% of the company's total net sales for the year. Apple's success carried into the first three months of 2011, during which the company surpassed competitor Microsoft Corp.'s profit.
No. 3: Lorillard Inc.
Lorillard, last year's top-ranked IW 50 company, set market-share and profit records in 2010, driven by higher prices and a strong performance from its flagship Newport brand. On Nov. 1, 2010, the company launched a nonmenthol variety of Newport brand in the United States.
No. 4: Philip Morris International Inc.
In 2010 Philip Morris grew its global market share for the third-consecutive year, driven by the improved performance of its flagship Marlboro brand. The company also made several investments in emerging markets throughout the year, including a February announcement that its affiliate, Philip Morris Philippines Manufacturing Inc. and Fortune Tobacco Corporation would merge to form a new company called PMFTC. The Philippines is the sixth-largest global cigarette market, excluding the United States, with an estimated 2010 volume of 101 billion cigarettes.
No. 5: Tempur-Pedic International Inc.
Mattress manufacturer Tempur-Pedic International Inc. entered the IW 50 at No. 5 after not appearing on the list last year. The company's return on equity was ranked among the highest of IW 50 companies at 91.2%. The overall IW 50 return-on-equity average in 2010 was 45.8%. In 2010, the company introduced its Tempur-Cloud mattress line for consumers who want a soft sleep surface.