About Northwest 100
Welcome to the 16th edition of the Northwest 100, The Seattle Times' annual look at what goes into success among the Pacific Northwest’s publicly held companies.
Every business, whether a multibillion-dollar manufacturer or a T-shirt shop, has a primary mission: Use its resources as efficiently as possible to make money for its shareholders. Our goal in ranking the Northwest's publicly traded companies is to see which ones best accomplish this task.
Each company was ranked on four dimensions: sales per employee, operating income, return on equity and stock-price appreciation. Those factors were chosen to measure performance up and down the income statement — from bringing in revenue to rewarding shareholders.
We also measured each company's performance over its last two fiscal years, to weed out the flashes in the pan and one-hit wonders.
No ranking system, however, will fit all companies equally well, and our methodology produced some anomalies.
Amazon.com, for instance, didn't make the top 100 despite respectable performances in three of the four categories. But since Amazon had negative average common equity in 2005, it had no measurable return on equity for that year; that dragged down its combined ROE score for 2005 and 2006.
Amazon finished 124th out of 128 companies ranked.
Some other familiar names missed the cut this time around, among them Weyerhaeuser (101st place), Potlatch (114th), Cutter & Buck (111th) and HouseValues (116th).
We at The Seattle Times are proud of the Northwest 100. We hope you find it useful.
Free print copies of this special section are available at the Seattle Times main office, 1120 John St., Seattle; Eastside bureau, 1200 112th Ave. N.E., Suite C-145, Bellevue; and Snohomish County bureau, 1133 164th St. S.W., Suite 101, Lynnwood. Lobby hours are 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Editor: Becky Bisbee
Reporter: Drew DeSilver
Northwest 100 research: Gary Dougherty
Desk editor: Jane MacDonald
Page designer: Boo Davis
Cover illustration: Boo Davis
Graphics: Michele McMullen, Whitney Stensrud
Online producer: Mark Deichmiller
Online designer: Will Bassin
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