For its sixth annual ranking of the world's largest publicly held manufacturing companies, IndustryWeek partnered with Thomson Financial (formerly Primark Corp.), a subsidiary of Toronto-based Thomson Corp., a global information-services company. Thomson Financial's global databases were used to identify all publicly held manufacturing firms meeting IndustryWeek's SIC code criteria. The actual cutoff for inclusion on the IW 1000 list was $1.62 billion in revenues. Thomson Financial obtained the latest financial information on these companies. This process was supplemented with Internet-based research. Erik L. Fine, a Charlotte, N.C.-based information consultant, managed the data project. Manufacturing companies were defined according to criteria established by IW. They included: 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 company on last year's list; computer software companies whose primary business is the manufacture of software programs; oil and gas companies that derive approximately 50% of their revenues from the refining of oil and gas products; and companies that derive approximately 50% of their revenues from the manufacture of mined materials. Because all publicly held manufacturing companies were eligible, a number of subsidiaries or associate companies that are publicly traded separately from their parent company made the list along with the parent. The data elements are based on information obtained directly from publications distributed by the corporations. To more accurately reflect the company's core business, only revenue numbers from continuing operations were used. Currency valuations in U.S. dollars were made using exchange rates as of Dec. 31, 2000. Where 2000 data are not available, 1999 data are provided. An asterisk next to the company name on the IW 1000 list indicates that 1999 data were used. Where 1999 figures are given, profit growth is for 1998-99. An "NA" appears in cases where data were not available. A not-meaningful code (NM) was used for the return on equity and debt-to-equity ratios when equity was negative. In instances where companies showed negative net income for the comparative year, an "NM" appears in the profit-growth column. An "NA" appears in cases where data were not available. Accounting standards and terminology vary from country to country. Direct comparison of figures, even when terms appear to be the same, can be misleading.