Top 50: Emerging companies replace longtime fixtures

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Half a dozen longtime fixtures among the Top 50 companies ranked by revenues -- including Mellon Financial and Duquesne Light -- fell off the list this year as they merged or were swallowed up through acquisitions.

But while some historical names disappeared, some of the newcomers that emerged represent industries poised for future growth in the region, including an East End software company and a West Virginia-based gaming-entertainment operator.

Despite movement on and off the list, the top five companies didn't budge, starting with No. 1 U.S. Steel which generated $16.9 billion in sales last year. Rounding out the top five were PPG Industries, $11.2 billion; H.J. Heinz, $9 billion; PNC Financial Services, $6.7 billion; and Nova Chemicals, $6.7 billion.

Mellon, which was No. 7 last year based on 2006 sales, was acquired by The Bank of New York in July, and its local operations are now called The Bank of New York Mellon. Duquesne Light, No. 22 last year, went private through its June merger with Macquarie Infrastructure Partners.

Others no longer on the list are Wheeling-Pittsburgh Steel, acquired in November by Esmark; Blair Corp., the clothing and housewares company that merged with Appleseed's Topco Inc.; C-Cor, the telecommunications equipment business acquired by Arris Group; and North Pittsburgh Systems, the communications provider sold to Consolidated Communications Holdings.

A seventh company, Moon-based engineering firm Michael Baker Corp., did not make the list because it delayed disclosing 2007 earnings as it figures out accounting issues.

Snagging the bottom spot on this year's list was Wizzard Software, an Oakland company launched in 1996 that develops podcast networks. Sales were $3 million last year; the firm's shares trade on Amex.

Also new: Atlas Energy Resources, a subsidiary of Moon-based Atlas America that produces natural gas and reported $578 million in sales last year; Horsehead Holding, a Beaver County-based zinc producer that went public in August, $546 million; MTR Gaming, the Chester, W.Va.-based operator of racetracks, hotels and casinos, $445 million; HFF Inc., a real estate and financial services business that went public last year, $230 million; RTI International Metals, which moved its headquarters last year from Niles, Ohio, to Moon, $164 million; and WVS Financial, holding company for West View Savings Bank, $9 million.

Topping a separate ranking of companies ranked by change in revenues was Atlas Energy, which saw sales jump by 80 percent. Wizzard Software was second with sales growth of 74 percent. The only two companies on the list that had a revenue decline were CNX Gas, down 7 percent; and ESB Financial, down 12 percent.

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Joyce Gannon can be reached at or 412-263-1580.


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