Some facts about the INC. 100 never change. Year after year our annual ranking of the fastest-growing privately-held smaller companies in the United States is dominated by young, healthy, innovative, highly productive concerns, and 1983 is no exception. On this latest list are 53 companies formed since 1973 and 36 corporations with sales of $100,000 or more per employee.

Manufacturers continue to outnumber service, mining, and drilling companies. Computer, data processing, and software concerns still make up about a third of the ranking. Cray Research Inc. (#74) in Minneapolis and Tandem Computers Inc. (#46) in Cupertino, Calif., hold on to their status as the only five-year veterans of the list.

Heading the 1983 INC. 100, though, is a new name, BRAE Corp. Founded in 1977, this San Francisco -- based company owns, leases, and manages transportation equipment, principally rail cars. Its growth is nothing short of explosive -- an 88,970% surge in sales during the last five years, a 193% increase from 1981 to 1982.

In second and third place are other names not on last year's list -- Altos Computer Systems in San Jose, Calif., and Pizza Time Theatre in Sunnyvale, Calif. Altos, a six-year-old microcomputer manufacturer, ranked first last year on the INC. 500, our annual ranking of the fastest-growing privately held smaller corporations in the United States. It went public in November. Sales by Altos soared 33,871% in the 1978 -- 82 base period and 138% from 1981 to 1982. Sales by Pizza Time Theatre (the company that made Chuck E. Cheese famous) multiplied 285 times in the past five years, a 28,430% increase.

Bringing up the tail of the 1983 INC. 100 are Xonics Inc. (#99), a manufacturer of medical imaging products headquartered in Des Plaines, Ill., and Intelligent Systems (#100), a 10-year-old, Atlanta-based maker of desktop microcomputers. Xonics' sales jumped from about $14 million in 1978 to nearly $87 million in 1982, a 504% increase. Intelligent Systems' revenues grew from $4 million in 1978 to $25 million in 1982, a sixfold increase.

Overall, 47 new names -- Comair (#27), Plasma-Therm (#80), and Ryan's Family Steak Houses (#32), among them -- and 53 old ones -- including Alaska Diversified Resources (#88), Lexidata (#20), and North American Watch (#95) -- appear on the 1983 INC. 100. One company takes its name from a saint, St. Jude Medical (#61) in St. Paul; another from a sinner, Godfather's Pizza (#44) of Omaha. One is named for a fruit, Apple Computer (#5) in Cupertino; another for a famous designer, Liz Claiborne, (#84) in New York City.

On the list are 17 computer manufacturers, 11 energy producers, eight data processors, five restaurateurs, and four cable television systems. Corporations with interests in medical and health products and services occupy 20 spots, and data communication and word-processing companies hold 3. All together the INC. 100 companies employ 68,273 people (58,480 more than they did in 1978) and retain a healthy median of 9.6% of their sales as aftertax earnings. On a sour note, median sales are down slightly from $29 million last year to $27 million this year.

Revenues have shot up 1,189% since 1978. In the past year, the companies overall report a 61% gain, a figure best described as spectacular when compared to the anemic 2% increase mustered in 1982 by the country's 500 largest corporations. Most impressive are the INC. 100's computer manufacturers and food-service companies. Since 1978, sales by computer makers have multiplied an average of 42 times. Sales by food-service corporations are about 72 times the 1978 level.

The companies on the 1983 INC. 100 are also larger than their counterparts from past lists. For example, 30 of the corporations on 1983 list posted sales of $50 million or more, and 21 had revenues in excess of $75 million. Thirteen topped $100 million, and four were over the $200 million mark. Average sales jumped from $50 million for the 1982 INC. 100 to $53 million for our current group of companies.

And this year's INC. 100 companies trace their roots to a greater variety of places. They hail from 30 states, with one-fifth based in California. Other front-runner states are New York with II companies; Texas with 10; Minnesota with 7; Colorado and New Jersey with 5 each; Pennsylvania with 4; and Connecticut, Massachusetts, Ohio, and Oklahoma with 3 each.

On the average, the companies on the 1983 INC. 100 roster are less than 12 years old, which means that they are as young as the corporations on last year's list. Just six of the class of 1983 -- Seneca Oil (#48), Key pharmaceuticals (#51), Victor Kellering (#67), Cable TV Industries (#98), International Game Technology (#87), and Matrix (#85) -- were formed before 1960, and only nine are 20 years old or older.

Sixteen of the companies were incorporated in 1976 (more than in any other year on the list) and 12 in 1972. Eleven were formed in 1968 and an equal number in 1974 and 1977. Forty-three of the 1983 INC. 100 grew by acquisition, 57 companies did not.

Leading the 1983 INC. 100 in sales is Apple Computer. Its 1982 revenues topped $583 million, a figure that may put the company in the ranks of the Fortune 500. (Sixty-four of last year's Fortune 500 companies had revenues of $580 million or less.)

Other standard bearers of the INC. 100's sales list are Tandem Computers, with 1982 revenues of $312 million; BRAE, $251 million; and Reeves Communications (#45) in New York, $231 million. Rounding out the list are Gold C Enterprises (#49) of Denver (1982 revenues of $2 million) and Nelson Research & Development (#47) of Irvine, Calif. (1982 sales of $2 million).

Net income is up -- from $345 million in 1981 to $463 million in 1982, compared to the 16% decline reported by the nation's 500 largest companies. The number of corporations reporting losses grew this year to 18% from 8%. Pengo Industries (#75), a Fort Worth -- based oil field equipment manufacturer, suffered the most, closing its 1982 books with $83 million written in red. Others experiencing losses were Seneca Oil in Oklahoma City, $5 million in the red; Hadron (#81) in Vienna, Va., posting a $5 million loss; and Ferrofluidics (#93) in Nashua, N.H., $2 million in the red. Ventrex Laboratories (#91) in Portland, Maine, Energy Conversion Devices (#14) in Troy, Mich., and Movie Systems (#10) in Des Moines, all ended the year with losses of more than $1.5 million.

Among the profitable concerns on the 1983 INC. 100, Hadson Petroleum (#69) in Oklahoma City is on top, with reported income of 47% of sales. Following it on the list are Flare (#22) in Midland, Tex., and Intertec Data Systems (#38) in Columbus, S.C., with profits of 31% and 29%, respectively.

The 1983 INC. 100 companies with the most impressive productivity rates (measured by dividing total sales by the number of employees) are SPM Group (#35) in Englewood, Colo., North American Watch, and United States Health Care Systems (#39) in Willow Grove, Pa.

But most of the INC. 100 fared well in this category. For example, 20 corporations reported sales per employee of $100,000 or more. Only 16 were below $50,000 in sales per employee, and just 3 fell in the $8,000-to-$20,000 sales range.

In employee growth, Consul (#17) in Eden Prairie, Minn., Apple Computer, and Healthdyne (#24) in Marietta, Ga., led the 1983 INC. 100. The number of people working for Consul soared from 35 in 1978 to 2,200 in 1982. In the same period, Apple Computer's employment jumped from 58 to 3,300. Healthdyne's roster of workers rose from 10 in 1978 to 500 in 1982. Others posting impressive growth in the number of employees are ISC Systems (#4) in Spokane, Wash., Altos Computer Systems, and Lexidata.

Absent from the 1983 INC. 100 are 49 companies whose names appeared on last year's list. The reasons these corporations failed to make the 1983 ranking vary. For example, Air Florida in Miami and Blocker Energy in Houston were disqualified because their 1981 sales exceeded those recorded for 1982. Sterling Oil in Tulsa was omitted because its sales growth dipped too low.

Among the also-rans this year were Kinder-Care Learning Centers, a franchisor of day-care centers, headquartered in Montgomery, Ala., and S.A.L. Cable Communications, a Melville, N.Y., supplier to the cable TV industry. Both reported sales growth of less than 500%, just below our cut-off point.

A third company missing from the 1983 INC. 100 is Convergent Technologies Inc., a producer of microprocessor-based and computer systems headquartered in Santa Clara, Calif. It posted a vigorous 31,321% gain in sales during the past three years, but its youth -- the company was formed in 1979 -- makes it ineligible for inclusion.

Other companies too young for the 1983 INC. 100 are Emulex Corp., a designer, manufacturer, and marketer of computer peripherals, headquartered in Santa Ana, Calif., and The Ultimate Corp., based in Clark, N.J., which has interests in minicomputer hardware and software systems. From 1979 to 1982, Emulex and Ultimate recorded impressive sales hikes of 6,110% and 11,194%, respectively.

TOP 10 PERFORMERS:

1982 PRODUCTIVITY*

Company Sales per

(INC. 100 rank) employee

SPM Group (35) $329,310

North American Watch (95) 306,230

U.S. Health Care Systems (39) 292.710

Cable TV Industries (98) 265,830

Liz Claiborne (84) 248,830

C3 (92) 200,730

Godfather's Pizza (44) 199,180

Apple Computer (5) 176,690

Alaska Diversified Resources (88) 165,350

Altos Computer Systems (2) 164,380

*Excludes capital-intensive energy developers and companies whose primary business is leasing or real estate.

1982 SALES LEADERS ($000)

Company (INC. 100 Rank) Sales

Apple Computer (5) $583,061

Tandem Computers (46) 312,143

BRAE (1) 251,176

Reeves Communications (45) 231,149

Liz Claiborne (84) 165,722

Intergraph (77) 155,642

Pengo Industries (75) 150,664

Tandom (12) 150,490

CPT (83) 145,027

Dysan (68) 142,756

INC. 100 PROFILE

Number of companies by industry

Manufacturing 51

Services 32

Mining (including oil and gas) 17

Total sales 1982 (million) $5,330.0

Change (197882) +1,177%

Change (1981-82) +61%

Total net income (million) $463.5

Change (1978-82) +1,400%

Change (198182) +34%

Median sales in 1982 (million) $27.1

Median sales in 1978 (million) $1.7

Compound average annual

sales growth

Total sales (1978-82) +89.0%

Range (1982) +56.5%-446.3%

Median (1982) +86.8%

Net income as percent of sales

Range 0.2%-47.3%

Median 9.6%

No. acquiring other companies 43

(1978-82)

No. incorporated since 1973 53

Total no. of employees

1982 68,273

1978 9,793

Change (197882) +597%

LEADERS IN

EMPLOYEE GROWTH

1978 1982 %age

Company (Rank) empl. empl. growth

Consul (17) 35 2,200 6,186

Apple Computer (5) 58 3,300 5,590

Healthdyne (24) 10 500 4,900

ISC Systems (4) 23 1,135 4,835

Altos Computer (2) 9 310 3,344

Lexidata (20) 13 445 3,323

Nutri/System (26) 100 3,300 3,200

Genentech (16) 17 440 2,488

BRAE (1) 28 668 2,286

BSN (82) 6 140 2,233

TOP 10 PERFORMERS:

1982 PROFITABILITY

Company Net income

(INC. 100 rank) as % of sales

Hadson Petroleum (69) 47.29

Flare (22) 31.45

Intetec Data Sys. (38) 28.83

Phoenix American (59) 25.56

C.P. Rehab (73) 19.06

Oxoco (53) 18.84

Electro-Biology (7) 18.75

Healthdyne (24) 18.31

Sykes Datatronics (66) 17.28

C3 (92) 17.20

WHERE THE INC. 100

COMPANIES ARE BASED

# of 1983 # of 1982

State INC. 100 Cos. INC. 100 Cos.

California 20 17

New York 11 15

Texas 10 15

Minnesota 7 7

Colorado 5 3

New Jersey 5 3

Pennsylvania 4 2

Massachusetts 3 1

Ohio 3 1

Oklahoma 3 4

INC. 100 INDEX

Trading Company (Rank)

OTC ADAC Laboratories (90)

OTC Alaska Diversified Resources (88)

OTC Altos Computer Systems (2)

OTC AM Cable TV Industries (60)

OTC Apple Computer (5)

OTC ASK Computer Systems (11)

OTC Barton Valve (70)

OTC Bio-Medical Sciences (6)

OTC Biochem International (13)

OTC BRAE (1)

OTC BSN (82)

OTC CACI (79)

NYSE C3 (92)

OTC CP Rehab (73)

OTC CPT (83)

OTC Cable TV Industries (93)

OTC Cetus (43)

OTC Chemical Investors (18)

OTC Cipher Data Products (86)

OTC Comair (27)

OTC Compucorp (65)

OTC Computer Associates Int'l. (94)

OTC Consul (17)

NYSE Cray Research (74)

OTC Crime Control (19)

NYSES Cullinet Software (97)

OTC Data Switch (25)

OTC Diagnostic/Retrieval Sys (96)

OTC Dietrich Resources (56)

OTC Dysan (68)

OTC Electro-Biology (7)

OTC Energy Conversion Devices (14)

OTC Ferrofluids (93)

OTC Flare (22)

OTC Genetech (16)

OTC Godfather's Pizza (44)

OTC Gold C Enterprises (49)

OTC Gulf Energy (50)

OTC Hadron (81)

OTC Hadson Petroleum (69)

ASE Health Extension Services (63)

OTC Healthdyne (24)

NYSE Heritage Communications (37)

OTC Immuno Nuclear (89)

OTC Intelligent Systems (100)

OTC Intergraph (77)

OTC Int'l. Game Technology (87)

ASE Intertec Data Systems (38)

OTC ISC Systems (4)

OTC Jefferson-Williams Energy (40)

ASE Key Pharmaceuticals (51)

OTC KLA Instruments (28)

OTC Lexidata (20)

OTC Liz Clairborne (84)

OTC Lomak Petroleum (52)

OTC LTX (36)

OTC M.D.C. (42)

OTC Machine Technology (55)

ASE Matrix (85)

OTC Medical Graphics (23)

OTC Micom Systems (15)

OTC Mid-America Petroleum (8)

OTC Miller Tech. & Communic. (62)

ASE Monument Energy (57)

OTC Movie Systems (10)

NYSE NBI (30)

OTC Nelson Research & Develop. (47)

OTC North American Watch (95)

OTC Nuclear Pharmacy (64)

OTC Nuclear Support Services (29)

OTC Nugget Oil (33)

NYSE Nutri/System (26)

OTC Oxoco (53)

OTC Oxygen Enrichment (21)

NYSE Pengo Industries (75)

OTC Phoenix American (59)

OTC Pizza Time Theatre (3)

OTC Plasma-Therm (80)

OTC Quality Systems (54)

OTC Reeves Communications (45)

OTC Ryan's Family Steak Houses (32)

ASE Scientic Leasing (78)

OTC Sea Galley Stores (71)

OTC Seneca Oil (48)

OTC Service Fracturing (72)

OTC Shopsmith (58)

OTC SPM Group (35)

OTC St. Jude Medical (61)

OTC Swanton (41)

OTC Sykes Datatronics (66)

OTC Tandem Computers (46)

OTC Tandon (12)

OTC Teleco Oilfield Services (9)

OTC Texas Energies (34)

OTC TransWestern Exploration (76)

OTC United States Health Care Sys. (39)

OTC Vector Graphic (31)

OTC Ventrex Laboratories (91)

OTC Victor Kellering (67)

OTC Xonics (99)

OTC-Over-the-counter, ASE-American Stock Exchange, NYSE-New York Stock Exchange.

Published on: May 1, 1983