Top 100 analysis: M&A critical to explosive growth

Acquisitions and contract wins play important role for companies looking to boost their growth

Ranked No. 22 on the Top 100, URS Corp. was found to be the fastest-growing publicly traded company on the list, according to analysis of financial data.

The company grew 69.4 percent during 2008, according to an analysis by the investment bank Houlihan Lokey. They looked at all of the revenue and earnings for the publicly traded companies on the 2009 Top 100

The Top 100 rankings themselves are based on government-procurement data.

Part of URS’ growth came from the acquisition in late 2007 of the Washington Group International. That deal was valued at $3.1 billion. WGI became the core of URS’s Washington Division, which pulled in $4.3 billion in 2008 revenue, the company said in its filings. The Washington Division also includes other parts of URS that were pulled together after the acquisition.

Acquisitions also played a role in the growth of VSE Corp., ranked No. 31. The company had the second highest growth rate of 59.8 percent. The company credited in part the 2007 acquisition of Integrated Concepts and Research Corp. and the early 2008 acquisition of G&B Solutions for its growth.

The company also reported scoring big with its Rapid Response contract with the Army.

Many of the company's on the chart below, such as Stanley Inc. and ManTech International Corp. credit the combination of internal growth — winning new contracts — and acquisitions with fueling their growth.

The chart shows the top 10 companies on the 2009 Top 100 ranked according to their annual growth rate. More information on financial performance and other factors can be found by visiting the Top 100.

Rank                      Name                                                   Growth Rate
22                           URS Corp.                                             69.4%
31                           VSE Corp.                                             59.8%
53                           FLIR Systems Inc.                                 38.2%
45                           Stanley Inc.                                             35.3%
19                           Jacobs Engineering Group Inc.               34.6%
6                              KBR Inc.                                                  33.0%
81                            Comtech Telecommunications Corp.     31.2% 
11                            ITT Corp.                                                 29.9%
48                            ManTech International Corp.                    29.2%
72                            NCI Information Systems Inc.                  28.3%

About the Author

Nick Wakeman is the editor-in-chief of Washington Technology. Follow him on Twitter: @nick_wakeman.

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