Anyone eyeing the big winners on this year's list of companies in the region with the fattest profits can't be faulted for feeling a little deja vu.
The top four firms on the list — Verizon, GlaxoSmithKline, Comcast and Siemens AG — all are repeats, all finishing in the same order as they did the previous year.
The only change among the top five came from Germany's Bayer AG, which rose one notch to No. 5.
The pharmaceutical giant with its North American headquarters in Robinson bumped Pittsburgh-based PNC Financial Services Group, which dropped to sixth place.
PNC's one-rung decline means all of the top five profit-generators last year were headquartered outside the Pittsburgh area, although the companies had to have major operations here to be included in the listings.
PNC had enjoyed the top spot as the region's most profitable company in five of six years before the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette added companies based elsewhere to the rankings in 2011 as a way to reflect the region's increasingly global economy.
Overall, the 50 companies on the list showed a resurgence in earnings for 2013.
Profits rose at 37, with 30 of them posting double-digit gains.
That was markedly better than in 2012, when roughly half the companies saw earnings fall.
The company with the biggest percentage gain in profits for 2013 was Royal Philips Electronics, based in the Netherlands, which saw net income skyrocket to $1.6 billion from a loss of $48 million a year earlier. The Dutch conglomerate is the parent company of Murrysville-based medical equipment maker Respironics.
Pittsburgh-based PPG Industries posted the second-biggest gain among the Top 50 as its profits more than tripled to $3.2 billion, up from $941 million.
The glass, chemicals and paint maker, a fixture in the region since 1883, benefited from acquisitions and stronger demand for its automotive and aerospace coatings.
— Patricia Sabatini: email@example.com or 412-263-3066.
First Published May 13, 2014 11:10 AM