The Top 50: Lanxess is top performer among region's public companies

Chemical producer bests Verizon and GlaxoSmithKline

Lanxess, the German chemical producer with its North American headquarters in Findlay, was the best performing company among the 66 public companies with major operations in the region that were analyzed by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

United Kingdom-based GlaxoSmithKline, whose consumer healthcare unit is based in Moon, finished second, followed by telecommunications provider Verizon.

The rankings are based on seven factors: revenue and revenue growth during a company's most recent fiscal year; net income and net income growth for that fiscal year; market capitalization (a measure of a company's worth determined by multiplying its share price by the number of shares outstanding); 2011 stock performance; and return on equity, a measurement of how effectively a company's managers deploy capital provided by shareholders.

Lanxess will report its 2011 results this week, after the Top 50 in Business deadline. It earned its position based on a strong 2010. The chemical company placed in the top 10 in three of the categories, including having the highest growth in earnings among the companies analyzed.

Glaxo finished 10th or better in five of the categories, including No. 1 rankings in market cap and return on equity. The maker of Tums, Aquafresh toothpaste and other healthcare products employs about 450 in the region.

Verizon's third-place finish was based on its sheer size. The New York-based company reported the heftiest profits among the companies analyzed -- $10.2 billion -- and finished second in revenue and market cap.

Kennametal turned in the best performance among companies headquartered in Western Pennsylvania, placing fifth. The Latrobe area toolmaker finished among the top 10 in two of the seven categories, including a third-place finish in earnings growth.

Two small Western Pennsylvania banks were among the best 10 performers, reflecting progress that financial institutions have made in recovering from the collapse of credit markets in 2008.

Fidelity Bancorp, the parent of 13-branch Fidelity Bank, placed seventh. Its status as the region's second-best performing stock last year -- only vitamin and supplement provider GNC Holdings did better -- and a fourth-place finish in earnings growth earned it a spot among the elite.

Eighth place went to AmeriServ Financial. The Johnstown bank had the second-highest earnings growth among the 66 companies analyzed.

Another small regional bank, WVS Financial, finished 12th thanks to big improvements in revenue and earnings from a year ago. WVS is the parent of West View Savings.

Moving from a $15.7 million loss in 2010 to a $17.5 million profit last year helped newcomer TMS International finish ninth. The Glassport steel industry services provider, which went public in April, also posted a 31 percent improvement in revenue last year.

Len Boselovic: or 412-263-1941. First Published March 20, 2012 4:00 AM


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