Fortune magazine’s latest top-100 list of the fastest-growing companies in the nation includes four home builders, three mortgage lenders and two Florida land developers.

Zacks Investment Research supplied data for the list, which gives equal weight to three factors: profit and sales growth for three years through first-quarter 2005, and three-year total return through June 2005.

Topping the ranking is Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Yahoo!, an Internet company that is sailing on online advertising profits. Google, because it just went public last year, wasn’t eligible for consideration in the list.

Compucredit, ranked second on the list, is a provider of branded credit cards to the sub-prime market; Ceradyne, at third, makes high-tech ceramics, including in-demand military armor; Vineyard National Bancorp., at fourth, is a Southern California bank that is benefiting from the real estate boom, according to a Fortune magazine announcement today.

Laserscope, at fifth, makes medical laser systems for prostate treatment and cosmetic procedures; KOS Pharmaceuticals, in sixth place, offers cholesterol and asthma drugs; ASV, at seventh, manufactures rubber-track earth-movers for farm use, landscaping, and construction; Sandisk, eighth, is the largest maker of memory cards for digital cameras and cell phones; Imergent, ninth, provides Web services for small businesses; and 10th-place Clinical Data provides blood and urine testing equipment to doctors’ offices.

The full list is available in the Sept. 9 issue of Fortune, which is available online today to subscribers and on newsstands Aug. 29.

“Something that struck us about this year’s Fastest-Growing list is that it’s no longer the corporate all-rookie team,” said Jon Birger, a senior writer for Fortune. “Among the 100, 54 have been publicly traded for at least 10 years, and 16 are among the 100 best-performing U.S. stocks of the past decade.”

“Yahoo’s return from the land of the dot-com dead has been well documented in this magazine,” Birger also said. “CEO Terry Semel wooed back the big advertising agencies Yahoo’s old management had brashly tried to bypass. Meanwhile, the proliferation of broadband Internet access and a widening array of Yahoo content made it possible for advertisers to target Yahoo’s 120 million monthly visitors in ever more sophisticated ways. The result has been a transformation of online advertising as well as of Yahoo’s bottom line.”

The magazine reported that while technology is still well represented, “the real story is energy.” Nineteen oil companies are among the top-100 Fastest-Growing Cos. list, and “housing is another hot industry.”

Home builder William Lyon Homes placed 25th on the top-100 list. Nobility Homes Inc., a Florida-based, manufactured-housing company, was 95th on Fortune’s list of the top-100 fastest-growing small public companies and its CEO rank 14th among the richest executives who hold major stakes in the companies that made the top-100 list.


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