Slicing and Dicing the IW US 50 Best Manufacturers Ranking
Building the overall ranking for the IndustryWeek 50 Best U.S. Manufacturers is just the starting point for our annual snap-shot of the largest U.S. manufacturers. Deep-dive slices and dices of the data reveal which company is the best of the best in various financial metrics and in various states and industries, as well as who's new, who's up, who's down, and who's out.
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A Diverse Set of Industries that are On—and Off—the List
Of the 28 primary industries tracked on the IndustryWeek U.S. 500, 20 are represented on the IndustryWeek 50 Best U.S. Manufacturers ranking.
Industries that failed to land a company on the list include the following:
- Fabricated Metal Products
- Furniture & Fixtures
- Medical Instruments & Equipment
- Primary Metals
- Rubber Products
- Stone, Clay, Glass & Concrete Products
- Wood Products
The Best of ...the Best of the Best
Eight industries are represented on the elite list of nine companies that managed to pull off the winning combination of double-digit performance in each of four financial metrics. They include the following:
- Gilead Sciences Inc. (IW500/45), Pharmaceuticals
- Oasis Petroleum Inc. (IW500/484), Petroleum & Coal Products
- Gentex Corp. (IW500/488), Motor Vehicle Parts
- Skyworks Solutions Inc. (IW500/371), Computers & Other Electronic Products
- Westlake Chemical Corp. (IW500/233), Chemicals
- Nordson Corp. (IW500/438), Machinery
- Middleby Corp. (IW500/450), Electrical Equipment & Appliances
- Wabtec Corp. (IW500/303), Railcar, Ships, & Other Transportation Equipment
- Polaris Industries Inc. (IW500/229), Railcar, Ships, & Other Transportation Equipment
Indeed, Gilead Sciences, Inc. (IW500/45) hit triple digits in two of the four metrics, managing 122% revenue growth and 106% return on equity.
The Best (IW 50) vs. The Rest (450 of the IW US 500)
The IndustryWeek 50 U.S. Best Manufacturers significantly outpaced the rest of the field in the six important financial metrics that are used to calculate the top-performing companies.
The Biggest Manufacturers of the Best
Some well-known big companies made the IW U.S. 50 Best Manufacturers list.
Big Movers Both Ways
Some years you have good years, sometimes not-so-good. These companies jumped or dropped 10 or more places in the ranking from last year.
Apple Knocked From Top of Inventory Turns Ranking
Comparatively little known Alon USA Partners LP (IW500/287), a petroleum refiner from Dallas, grabbed the Inventory Turnover Title from perennial winner Apple Inc. (IW500/3), the consumer electronics behemoth from Cupertino, Calif.
Greatest Return on Assets of the Best
A wide variety of industries also is represented among the top return-on-asset leaders.
Some Impressive Return on Equity
What's a company gotta do to make the Top ROE of the Best US Manufacturers list? Return more than 50%!
More than 52.8% that is.
Indeed, four of the Best returned more than 100%, with Mead Johnson Nutrition Co. (IW 500/234), maker of infant formula in Glenview, Ill., returned a whopping 247%.
Sometimes big companies find it difficult to grow the top line. Not so for Gilead Sciences Inc. (IW500/45) and Western Refining Inc. (IW500/88).
Companies had to deliver at least 20% profit margins to make the Top 10 of this elite ranking.