U.S. Steel leads annual revenue list; Superior Well reaches top in growth

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Many of Pittsburgh's traditional corporations were bumped up a notch on the Top 50 ranking by total revenues -- thanks to Alcoa officially changing its headquarters address to New York City last year.

The aluminum maker, which still maintains a corporate center on the North Shore and other facilities in the region, topped the total revenue list a year ago with $26.2 billion in sales.

With its absence, U.S. Steel Corp. moved from second place to first, with 2006 revenue of $15.7 billion. Rounding out the top five were PPG Industries Inc., $11 billion; H.J. Heinz Co., $8.6 billion; PNC Financial Services Group, $6.6 billion; and Nova Chemicals, $6.5 billion.

After those stalwarts, the big revenue producers become a mixed bag of well-established and new corporate players. Sixth-ranked Wesco International, for instance, with revenues of $5.3 billion, is an electrical equipment supplier that spun out of Westinghouse Electric Corp. in 1994, while the 11th- and 12th-highest revenues were generated by retailers Dick's Sporting Goods ($2.9 billion) and American Eagle Outfitters ($2.8 billion).

The region's transition from reliance on heavy manufacturing to new economy enterprises such as services, software and medical technology is even more pronounced among companies ranked according to revenue change.

Topping that list with an 86 percent jump in annual revenue was Superior Well Services, an Indiana, Pa., firm that helps gas and oil companies pump energy from their wells. Its revenue rose to $245 million from $132 million in 2005, when it made its debut among the Top 50.

Next biggest revenue change, 67 percent, was generated by Ansys, the Cecil-based developer of engineering design software. Its revenue grew to $264 million, up from $158 million in 2005. Much of its growth was the result of last year's acquisition of Fluent Inc., a New Hampshire software company.

The third-highest jump, 58 percent, came from Atlas America, a Moon-based company that develops, produces and transports natural gas and oil. Its sales rose to $749 million, up from $475 million the prior year.

Other relative newcomers that made the top 10 based on revenue change were: Black Box Corp., a provider of data and voice networking equipment, up 35 percent; Wesco, up 20 percent: American Eagle Outfitters, up 20 percent; and II-VI Inc., a laser and optics maker, up 20 percent. All were launched after 1970.

Superior Well, Atlas America and II-VI also ranked among the top 10 revenue changes last year.

Three companies with traditional manufacturing operations also cracked the current top 10 based on revenue change: Allegheny Technologies, up 39 percent; Ampco-Pittsburgh, up 22 percent; and Universal Stainless, up 20 percent.

Companies with the largest decline in 2006 revenues were catalog and on-line retailer Blair Corp. of Warren, Pa., down 12 percent; North Pittsburgh Systems, a telecommunications firm, down 7 percent; and Wheeling, W.Va.-based bank holding company Wesbanco, down 6 percent.

Joyce Gannon can be reached at jgannon@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1580.


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