Top Revenue: Firms that have links to the region fare well in revenue
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Judged by revenue alone, Pittsburgh companies were dwarfed in 2011 by several powerhouse businesses headquartered elsewhere but with a significant presence in Western Pennsylvania.
The top 10 companies on this year's list ranking firms by total revenue hark from places such as San Francisco, New York, Germany -- even Eden Prairie, Minn. And the top-ranked firm, health care services giant McKesson with $112 billion, and second place finisher, telecommunications company Verizon with $111 billion, set the bar pretty high.
A hometown firm doesn't make an appearance until the 14th slot.
That position is held by U.S. Steel, whose $19.9 billion exceeded those of other Western Pennsylvania-based businesses such as coatings and glass maker PPG Industries (18th place with $15 billion); food company H.J. Heinz (22nd with $10.7 billion); generic drug manufacturer Mylan (24th with $6.13 billion); and electrical, industrial and communications products company Wesco International (25th with $6.125 billion).
Smaller can be an advantage when it comes to showing a change in revenue, because percentage gains tend to be easier.
While Philadelphia-based communications company Comcast topped the revenue change rankings with a 47.2 percent increase, Saxonburg laser and infrared optics manufacturing company II-VI came in right behind that with a 45.7 percent gain.
II-VI has been busy on the acquisition front in recent years, closing last summer on the purchase of a Massachusetts telecommunications firm with revenue of $27 million.
Another example of a company that has used acquisitions to help spur growth is First Niagara, which ranked third on the revenue change list. The Buffalo, N.Y., bank, which showed a 43.6 percent revenue gain last year, entered the Pittsburgh market with the acquisition of National City branches in 2009 and continues to make strategic acquisitions to expand its reach into other markets.
In fourth place, German chemical company Lanxess managed to produce a 40.8 percent revenue gain, while the fifth-place spot was claimed by McCandless bank holding company WVS Financial, parent of West View Savings, with a 38.9 percent increase.
For those looking for signs of economic improvement, it might be worth taking note that the top 25 companies on the revenue change list all produced a minimum of a 15 percent gain in revenue. Seventeen of those 25 companies are based in Western Pennsylvania.
First Published March 20, 2012 12:00 am