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IW 500 Largest U.S. Manufacturers -- Who's In, Out, Up, Down?

May 11, 2006
This year's IW U.S. 500 highlights Oil's obvious boom, but still offers some surprises.

Quick. What has 33 industries, represents 40 states and boasts nearly $4.9 trillion in revenue?

The answer: This year's IW U.S. 500, a list of the nation's largest manufacturers as ranked by revenue.

IndustryWeek has been tracking the successes of the top U.S.-based manufacturers, and not surprisingly, petroleum and coal producers dominate this year's list.

With 38 companies on the IW 500 list, total revenues for 2005 added up to $1.13 trillion.

Indeed, Exxon Mobil Corp., No. 1 on the list, posted a four-year revenue growth of 73.4%. The Irving, Texas-based company also had 42.6% profit growth in 2005. Its performance also placed the company on the IW 50 Best Manufacturers list.

See Also...
IW U.S. 500 -- MethodologyIW U.S. 500 Alphabetical ListSearch The IW U.S. 500
The runner-up industry to petroleum and coal is the computers-and-other-electronics industry, which posted $507 billion in revenue in 2005. Of the 51 companies representing the industry, Dell Inc. (No. 14 on the list and also an IW 50 company.) grew revenues 79.4% since 2002, and posted 17.4% profit growth in 2005. Motor vehicles ranks third on the list of top-producing industries.

The 10 companies that appear on this year's list brought in $409 billion in revenue. This year's biggest mover on the IW U.S. 500 list is Aleris International Inc. The Cleveland-based aluminum maker went from No. 444 in 2005 to No. 281 in 2006. Its revenues doubled from $1.2 billion to $2.4 billion, and its profit margin surged 1.9% to 3% during the same period.

In a surprising move, Houston-based energy company Dynegy Inc. dropped 169 places on the list to land at No. 302. Its revenues plummeted from $6.2 billion to $2.3 billion.

Dynegy sold off its energy-trading unit and sold its gas processing business in 2005 to Targa Resources Inc. for $2.35 billion, according to company statements.

As for newcomers, there are 23 companies making their first appearance on the list. Debuting at No. 39 is Rupert Murdoch's New York-based News Corp. The printing and publishing company features filmed entertainment, cable network programming, newspapers, book publishing and magazines in its portfolio of businesses.

Murdoch called 2005 "the best year in News Corp.'s 52-year history," according to the company's annual report."

Indeed, the company posted $23.9 billion in revenue, a 9% profit margin, profit growth of 25.5% and 6% return on equity.

He also notes, "Strategically, we also excelled. We completed our reincorporation in the U.S."

Thus explaining its swift move to the top of the list in its freshman year.

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