Top public companies based on growth

Leaders see gains in a broad measure of categories, with RTI International Metals at the top

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Companies landing atop the heap in the region's growth category this year generally can boast double-digit gains across all performance categories -- firing on all cylinders as the saying goes.

The growth rankings consider four standard measures of performance: how much revenues have grown, how much profits have grown, how much the company's stock price rose and how effectively management used shareholders' money to generate profits -- a ratio known as return on equity.

The growth rankings give the region's smaller companies a fighting chance to make it to the top of the charts.

Unlike the formula used to anoint Pittsburgh's overall top performer, the growth formula ignores a company's market capitalization, actual revenue and actual net income, so that size is taken out of the equation.

PG graphic: Ranking the PG Top 50 by growth
(Click image for larger version)

This year's winner was RTI International Metals, which saw profits more than triple in 2012 to $23.5 million on revenue that shot up almost 40 percent. That performance, plus a nearly 20 percent gain in the company's stock price, more than made up for a subpar 3.2 percent return on equity.

The Moon-based titanium maker has benefitted from a push into lucrative markets in the aerospace and medical device industries while lessening its reliance on federal defense business.

Capturing the No. 2 spot was Wilmerding-based Wabtec, a maker of components for locomotives, mass transit buses and subway and freight cars.

Like the remainder of the top five, Wabtec posted double-digit gains in all four performance categories, including a nearly 50 percent jump in profits that were led higher by a resurgence in the rail industry.

Philadelphia-based cable TV/entertainment giant Comcast finished at No. 3, aided most by a nearly 60 percent boost in its stock price.

Rounding out the top five were two retailers: Downtown-based vitamin and supplement leader GNC Holdings -- pumped up by an 88 percent surge in profits -- followed by the Cranberry teen clothing company rue21, which skipped down the runway with a 31 percent gain in its stock price.


-- Patricia Sabatini: or 412-263-3066 First Published May 3, 2013 4:00 AM

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