Forbes began its second annual search for "America's Best Big Companies" with Market Guide's database of 1,600 companies with sales of at least $750 million. To make the list, companies had to pass a stringent set of hurdles measuring both long and short-term growth. According to the magazine, only one in three of America's giant firms made the cut.
"We wanted to compile a list that showed which companies had the numbers to prove they were leaders in their respective industries," said Forbes Statistics Editor Mike Ozanian.
To make the list, companies had to show a high return on capital and in sales growth, net income growth and growth in cash flow per share during the past five years including the last 12 months. In addition to scoring a company's absolute performance in growth and profitability, Forbes' system also took into account its performance compared to other companies in its industry. The Travel and Transport category includes airlines, freight forwarding, trains, trucking and shipping.
"To a large degree the new economy is being driven by the leadership and success of these big companies," said Ozanian.