On paper, it looks as if the HispanicBusiness Fastest-Growing 100 took more than a 17 percent tumble from revenues of $11 billion in 2009 to revenues of $9.1 billion in 2010. But the fastest-growing list is not static. The list is fluid with an everchanging cast of companies. For example, of the 100 companies listed in 2009, only 45 returned to the directory.
The reasons for this ever-shifting cast vary. Sometimes a company chooses not to apply for the HispanicBusiness 500 directory, a requirement to be considered for the fastest-growing list (15 companies on the directory last year were not on it this year). Other companies decide not to declare their 2006 revenues, necessary to compute their five-year sales growth on which the Fastest-Growing 100 rankings are based. In other cases, flat or declining revenues lessen their five-year sales growth percentage, bumping a company off the list.
Any combination of these factors could be considered the reason that revenues for the Fastest-Growing 100 dropped by $1.9 billion from 2009 to 2010. But this year, there might be a simpler, more direct reason -- the absence of two powerhouse companies from the list, Molina Healthcare Inc. and Brightstar Corp.
Molina ranked No. 52 on the 2010 fastest-growing list, with $3.7 billion in sales for 2009. In February, Molina announced revenues of $4 billion for 2010, up 264 percent from the $1.1 billion reported five years before. That would have been enough to rank Molina right around No. 15 on the Fastest-Growing 100 list.
Brightstar Corp. did not make the fastest-growing list last year because a drop in revenues from $3.5 billion in 2008 to $2.8 billion in 2009 seriously lessened its five-year sales growth, but it bounded back with revenues of $4.6 billion in 2010. That was double its revenues of $2.3 billion five years ago, enough to have ranked it in the very low 40s on the Fastest-Growing 100 list.
Had both companies made the fastest-growing list, their 2010 combined revenues would have pushed total sales of the Fastest- Growing 100 to nearly $17.7 billion -- a phenomenal leap of 60.9 percent, or $6.7 billion, from 2009 total revenues. Molina, which was No. 1 on the HispanicBusiness 500 directory for 2009, chose not to submit information for this year's directory, making it ineligible to be considered. Brightstar's jump in revenues landed it in the No. 1 spot of this year's HispanicBusiness 500 directory, but it fi led paperwork in April to go public and went into a quiet period, meaning it could not comment on its finances under Securities and Exchange Commission regulations, thus keeping it off the fastest-growing list.
Economic Rough Times
While the overall results of the fastest-growing companies are a snapshot of the financial health of Hispanic-owned businesses over time, these companies are not immune to the yearly ups and downs of the economy. Though the brutal recession ended in 2009, a slumbering economic recovery continues to batter the business environment.
Seventeen companies on the fastest-growing list this year were not on the 2010 HispanicBusiness 500 directory, but of the remaining 83 companies that were, (20) posted revenue losses from 2009 to 2010. The combined revenue drop came to $89.4 million. The service and construction sectors suffered the most losses. Eight service-sector companies had combined revenue decline of $51.4 million, while six construction-sector companies posted combined revenue decline of $15 million. Rounding out the 20 were two each in the automotive and finance sectors, and one in the manufacturing sector.
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