Most of the changes since last year’s Sales 100 was published stem from the buyout rage that has overhauled the American economy in so many ways.
Of the 13 companies that fell off the list, seven were the targets of buyouts: Lucky Stores was gobbled up by American Stores, Amfac was purchased by JMB Realty, KaiserTech Ltd. merged with Maxxam (No. 98 this year), Farmers Group became part of Batus, Lorimar Telepictures was acquired by Warner Communications, California First Bank bought Union Bank and assumed Union’s name (the new company ranks No. 82 this year) and Xidex sold out to Anacomp Inc.
Two other companies were toppled from the list by bankruptcy. Financial Corp. of America went under when its operating subsidiary, American Savings, was placed into government receivership. Maxicare, faced with huge losses, sought bankruptcy court protection as it attempted to reorganize.
The companies that survived or battled their way onto the list did a booming business in 1988. Their revenues grew 9.1%, and their profits zoomed 51.6%. The profit growth largely was attributable to the recovery enjoyed by the financial service companies on the Sales 100, according to Kevin Colosimo, vice president of MZ Group, the firm that provided data for The Times 100. Those firms’ profits were $3.1 billion higher in 1988.
California’s 100 largest companies remain an overwhelming force in the state’s economy, though their dominance has lessened a bit. Of the 921 publicly held companies surveyed by MZ Group, the Sales 100 contributed 84% of total revenues (down from 87% last year) and 89% of total profits (down from 93%).
More giants could fall off the roster by next year, as competition for the last slots remains fierce. This time around, newcomers filled 12 of the last 18 positions. And all the companies ranked from 101 and 125 had revenues of more than $400 million, Colosimo said.