Apple Inc.
Apple launched the iPhone 13 Pro in late 2021.

2022 IW 50 Best US Manufacturers: Take a Bow, Apple (Sorted by Revenue Growth)

July 18, 2022
Once again, the iPhone maker earns the No. 1 position on IW’s exclusive ranking of top manufacturing companies.

Manufacturers of computers and other electronic products, take a bow. You nabbed two of the top three spots, and three of the top five, in this year’s ranking of the IndustryWeek 50 Best U.S. Manufacturers, IW’s exclusive annual ranking of the United States’ top-performing manufacturing companies.

Moreover, seven other companies in this same industry vertical earned spots on the 2022 IW 50 Best, making it the best-performing manufacturing sector on this year’s list, followed by pharmaceutical makers with eight representatives.

Apple Inc., you take a couple of bows. You’ve returned to the top-ranked position in 2022, a spot you held in 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2016. And even when you weren’t No. 1, you danced awfully close to the top rung. This time around, revenue growth of 33.3% and a profit margin of nearly 26% bolstered your ascent to No. 1, up three slots from the previous year. 

That the computer and electronics products industry performed so well shouldn’t come as a complete surprise. PC shipments in 2021 were up nearly 15% over the previous year and at their highest level since 2012, according to market intelligence firm International Data Corp. And over at Apple, iPhone sales leaped by 39%, partly on new product launches, as the company achieved double-digit growth across every product and service.

Sales alone don’t earn a manufacturer a spot on the IW 50 Best U.S. Manufacturers, however. This ranking takes a more holistic approach to anointing the “best” than focusing on a single metric, or even a single year.

To see the IndustryWeek 50 Best U.S. Manufacturers mapped out across the United States, click here.

Specifically, contenders for the IW 50 Best first are drawn from the IndustryWeek U.S. 500, our annual listing of the top 500 publicly held U.S. manufacturing companies based on revenue. The 2022 IW 50 Best formula then examines additional performance metrics over a three-year period­—profit margin, revenue growth and an inventory measure—as well as return on assets and return on equity over a five-year time frame. The most recent year’s numbers are the most heavily weighted. The 2022 formula represents a slight tweak from 2021.

Oodles of Upstarts

In addition to Apple, lots of familiar faces dot the 2022 IW 50 Best; 23 of the manufacturing companies on the current ranking also held a spot in 2021. Interestingly, the two companies at the top of the heap last year, BWX Technologies Inc. and Lockheed Martin Corp., while still among IW 50 Best in 2022, slid 22 spots each to land at No. 23 and No. 24, respectively, in the ranks.

All that said, new faces outnumber the old. Similar to 2021, 27 companies on the current ranking did not appear in the previous year’s IW 50 Best. Moreover, two of those new faces in 2022 rank in the top 10—Trex Co. Inc. and Qualcomm Inc.

Most intriguing is Trex, which is slotted at No. 6. The maker of wood-alternative decking and railing earned its high-ranking position on the IW 50 Best in its very first year of eligibility. Net sales of $1.2 billion, revenue growth of nearly 36% and a 17.4% profit margin helped propel the company on and up the rungs of the IW 50 Best. Robust demand coupled with expanded capacity drove strong growth, the CEO said in an earnings release.

A few other interesting tidbits from the 2022 IW 50 Best:

  • The eight pharmaceutical manufacturers in the 2022 IW 50 Best compare with just two in the 2021 rankings.
  • Twelve of the companies making a repeat visit to the IW 50 Best slid in the rankings in 2022. Two occupy the same rank as in 2021.
  • Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. recorded the highest profit margin among the 2022 IW 50 Best companies, at 50.2%
US 50 RankUS 500 RankPrimary IndustryName2021 Revenue (in millions)2021 Profit Margin2021 Net Income (in millions)2021 Revenue Growth
4070Wood ProductsBuilders FirstSource Inc.$19,8948.67%$1,725132.4%
15354Fabricated Metal ProductsEncore Wire Corp.$2,59320.88%$541103.0%
2813PharmaceuticalsPfizer Inc.$81,28827.04%$21,97995.2%
1195PharmaceuticalsRegeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc.$16,07250.25%$8,07589.1%
7372ApparelCrocs Inc.$2,31331.37%$72666.9%
14333Electrical Equip., AppliancesAtkore Inc.$2,92820.08%$58865.9%
9256Wood ProductsLouisiana-Pacific Corp.$4,55330.24%$1,37763.3%
455Computers & Other ElectronicsNvidia Corp.$26,91436.23%$9,75261.4%
10275Medical EquipmentAlign Technology Inc.$3,95319.53%$77259.9%
49290Motor VehiclesWinnebago Industries Inc.$3,6307.77%$28254.1%
20212InstrumentsHologic Inc.$5,63233.23%$1,87249.1%
29100Computers & Other ElectronicsLam Research Corp.$14,62626.72%$3,90945.6%
42160Wood ProductsBoise Cascade Co.$7,9268.99%$71344.8%
845Communications EquipmentQualcomm Inc.$33,56626.94%$9,04342.6%
13131Primary MetalsSouthern Copper Corp.$10,93431.07%$3,39736.9%
6493PlasticsTrex Co. Inc.$1,19717.44%$20935.9%
19241Furniture & FixturesTempur Sealy International Inc.$4,93112.67%$62534.1%
4460Computers & Other ElectronicsApplied Materials Inc.$23,06325.53%$5,88834.1%
11Computers & Other ElectronicsApple Inc.$365,81725.88%$94,68033.3%
46209Medical EquipmentIntuitive Surgical Inc.$5,71029.85%$1,70531.0%
25424Computers & Other ElectronicsCirrus Logic Inc.$1,78218.32%$32630.1%
2177Computers & Other ElectronicsTexas Instruments Inc.$18,34442.35%$7,76926.9%
43330Petroleum & Coal ProductsValvoline$2,98114.09%$42026.7%
35213MachineryZebra Technologies Corp.$5,62714.87%$83726.5%
3324PharmaceuticalsAbbVie Inc.$56,19720.54%$11,54222.7%
3167PharmaceuticalsVertex Pharmaceuticals Inc.$7,57430.92%$2,34222.1%
12284InstrumentsMettler-Toledo Int'l. Inc.$3,71820.68%$76920.5%
16221BeveragesMonster Beverage Corp.$5,54124.86%$1,37820.5%
30229PharmaceuticalsEdwards Lifesciences Corp.$5,23328.73%$1,50319.3%
31183Computers & Other ElectronicsKLA Corp.$6,91930.04%$2,07819.2%
5285InstrumentsTeradyne Inc.$3,70327.40%$1,01518.6%
47345InstrumentsWaters Corp.$2,78624.87%$69317.8%
23Computers & Other ElectronicsMicrosoft Corp.$168,08836.45%$61,27117.5%
4529PharmaceuticalsMerck & Co. Inc.$48,70426.79%$13,04917.3%
3239BeveragesCoca-Cola Co.$38,65525.28%$9,77117.1%
50137ChemicalsAir Products and Chemicals Inc.$10,32320.33%$2,09916.6%
41365Motor Vehicle PartsAllison Transmission Holdings Inc.$2,40218.40%$44215.4%
2750PharmaceuticalsEli Lilly and Co.$28,31819.71%$5,58215.4%
37101Fabricated Metal ProductsIllinois Tool Works Inc.$14,45518.64%$2,69415.0%
1852Electrical Equip., AppliancesBroadcom Inc.$27,45024.54%$6,73614.9%
3914BeveragesPepsiCo Inc.$79,4749.59%$7,61812.9%
38145FoodHershey Co.$8,97116.47%$1,47810.1%
4816ChemicalsProcter & Gamble Co.$76,11818.79%$14,3067.3%
26208Computers & Other ElectronicsNetApp Inc.$5,74412.71%$7306.1%
36337Petroleum & Coal ProductsWestern Midstream Partners LP$2,87731.16%$8973.8%
2418Aerospace & DefenseLockheed Martin Corp.$67,0449.42%$6,3152.5%
17439PharmaceuticalsQuidel Corp.$1,69941.46%$7042.2%
3428Computers & Other ElectronicsCisco Systems Inc.$49,81821.26%$10,5911.0%
23388Aircraft and PartsBWX Technologies Inc.$2,12414.40%$3060.0%
2242Aerospace & DefenseNorthrop Grumman Corp.$35,66719.64%$7,005-3.1%
Data courtesy of Seeking Alpha and S&P Global
About the Author

Jill Jusko

Bio: Jill Jusko is executive editor for IndustryWeek. She has been writing about manufacturing operations leadership for more than 20 years. Her coverage spotlights companies that are in pursuit of world-class results in quality, productivity, cost and other benchmarks by implementing the latest continuous improvement and lean/Six-Sigma strategies. Jill also coordinates IndustryWeek’s Best Plants Awards Program, which annually salutes the leading manufacturing facilities in North America.

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