The BusinessWeek 50

This year's list is the most diverse in the ranking's history.
Check out the Class of 2005.

 THE IMPACT OF THE BW 50

The combined power of the BW 50 companies

No. of Employees 1,161,419
Total Revenue $1,245.1 billion
EBITDA $229.2 billion
Total Assets $2,296.0 billion
Total Debt $473.9 billion
Total Equity $664.8 billion
Market Cap $2,391.5 billion
Enterprise Value $2,241.1 billion
Data: Capital IQ Learn More

The Best Performers


Profiles of the BusinessWeek 50

Start here for in-depth information about this year's top performers. On each page you'll find a corporate snapshot, vital investing info, data about the CEO and board of directors, and links to drill deeper in each category


Stars That Fell from Grace

Here's a look at some BusinessWeek 50 stalwarts, such as GE and Pfizer, that didn't make the cut this year

  Investing for Growth

Cat Sinks Its Claws Into Services

Dirty, greasy work could help Caterpillar thrive during the next downturn


  VC Backers

Venture-capital firms and the BW 50 companies they invested in

Edison Venture Fund Caremark Rx, Symantec
Invesco Private Capital Adobe Systems, Starbucks
Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers Electronic Arts, Symantec
Morgenthaler Partners Apple Computer, Nextel Communications
Sequoia Capital Partners Apple Computer, Cisco Systems, Electronic Arts, Symantec, Yahoo!
Venrock Associates Apple Computer, Caremark Rx, Gilead Sciences
Data: Capital IQ

Sunoco's Sweeter Spot

Why its shares are trading at a premium over those of its peers in oil refining


A New Blueprint At Pulte Homes

CEO Dugas' plan for insulating the red-hot homebuilder from downturns


All The Rage Since Reagan

Nike's Air Force 1, introduced in the '80s, still grabs attention -- and huge margins


Strong Lattes, Sour Notes at Starbucks

Starbucks' adventures in media bars aren't playing out as planned


Delivering the Goods at FedEx

Founder-CEO Frederick Smith reflects on the company's high-flying growth


Can Caremark's Health Hold Up?

Its drug-benefit business is soaring, but it faces a growing set of legal challenges


Nucor: Soaring On Wings of Steel

It snapped up 10 mills during the downturn and is now reaping the benefits from high steel prices


Nucor's "Chance to Do It Right"

CEO Dan DiMicco explains the philosophy that propelled the company to steel industry leadership -- and No. 1 on the BusinessWeek 50


ExxonMobil: The Oil Patch's Cautious King

With its wide resource base, the energy giant doesn't sacrifice returns to win new drilling opportunities


This Time, Dow Gets Its Man

Last fall, Stavropoulos turned over the CEO job at Dow Chemical for the second time. The first time, his successor lasted two years


The Right Chemistry at Dow

CEO Andrew Liveris has achieved stellar results since taking the helm in 2004. Chairman William Stavropoulos explains how he and his board found the right man to lead a tough turnaround


The Barker Portfolio: Top Prospects

What's your appetite for risk? Here are three portfolios that go from low to high

TABLE: Portfolio Picks

Mavericks in the Growth Corral

RS MidCap Opportunities' John Wallace and Jay Sherwood have earned good returns buying names that the typical growth manager wouldn't


The Small-Cap Growth "Minefield"

This group has been on a winning streak, but S&P analyst Markos Kaminis warns that an inflationary environment could create problems


Slide Show: Beyond the BW 50

From Harley-Davidson and AFLAC to Weyerhaeuser and Intel, here's a look at some of the biggest names that didn't manage to crack this year's elite lineup

  Tech Outlook

Carefully Clearing Yahoo's Clutter

A design whiz aims to enhance the home page -- without fixing what ain't broke

 TECH SECTOR PERFORMANCE

In A Bind Over Stents

Safety concerns about the devices from J&J and Boston Scientific could open the way for rivals


Qualcomm: The Son Gets The Call

Paul Jacobs, taking over the cell-phone giant, faces challenges his dad never did


A Test of Zimmer's Agility

The artificial joint maker has the lead in a hot business. But it faces a Justice probe and price pressures


In the Pink of Health

How CEO Larry Glasscock keeps WellPoint so fit


Gilead's Big Growth Spurt

The small biotech rivals the majors in HIV drugs. Now it must expand beyond its niche


Autodesk: A Software Vet's Growth Spurt

Now 23 years old, it has diversified its lines and moved into red-hot markets abroad


Autodesk: "We're the 'It' Company"

That's how CEO Carol Bartz explains the design software outfit's impressive growth -- with doubled profits and a tripled stock price


Yahoo: Exporting An Uber-Brand

The challenge is to establish itself in foreign markets where Net use is expected to explode


Behind Yahoo's Breakout

COO Dan Rosensweig discusses the company's stunning financial comeback -- $840 million in profits -- and the portal's future plans


Beware of High-Flying Tech Stocks

Yes, a few companies deserve their pricey valuations, but even those come with a dose of risk. Many others are just too dicey


Making a Case For Tech Stocks

S&P's Scott Kessler says despite the usual risks, lots of technology companies have solid fundamentals and good valuations


  SCOREBOARD

  The Best and Worst of the S&P 500 Companies

Interactive Scoreboard: S&P 500

See how companies in the S&P 500-stock index stack up against one another based on total return, sales and profit growth, net margins, return on equity, and more


Interactive Scoreboard: Mid-Cap 400

Find the best- and worst-performing mid-cap companies by one- and three-year total returns


Interactive Scoreboard: Small-Cap 600

Find the best- and worst-performing small-cap companies by one- and three-year total returns


Performance Ranking By Industry (.pdf)


Report Card of the S&P 500 (.pdf)


CEO Compensation

See how much each BusinessWeek 50 CEO earned, in two tables sorted by name and amount


Alphabetical List of the S&P 500 (.pdf)


BW 50 Methodology


Glossary and Footnotes


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