If you're searching for industries in the U.S. with the wind at their back, you'll find them in nearly every corner of the U.S. economy, from energy to consumer goods to architecture and design.
Of these financially sound industries, a few stand out in particular: Support activities for mining are seeing the fastest rate of sales growth, with a 21.6 percent sales change over the past year, while averaging 10.5 percent net profit margins. Support activities include mining services such as the drilling and chemical treating of wells. Oil and gas extraction saw a slightly lower rate of growth, just under 19 percent, but saw very healthy net margins of more than 16 percent.
Financial information company Sageworks ranked the 10 industries with the strongest financial performance in the current economy according to sales growth and profitability during the 12-month period ending September 30, 2014.
Seven industries boast a sales growth figure above the 10 percent mark, with two of those industries--support activities for mining (21.6 percent) and oil and gas extraction (18.6 percent)--doubling the private company average in the previous 12 months.
Each industry on the list outperformed the private company average, looking at both sales growth and net profit margin.
“While private companies have seen sustained growth over the last several quarters, these are the 10 industries that outpaced the national average in both sales growth and net profit margin, which are 8.6 percent and 6.8 percent, respectively,” says Sageworks analyst Libby Bierman. “Looking at arguably the two most important financial metrics that we track, these industries are way ahead of the pack," she says.
Sageworks also listed the total current liabilities, as a percentage of overall assets, for these financially sound industries. This metric was included to give an indication of how highly leveraged these industries are, and how much room for borrowing they may have.
“From a credit analysis standpoint, you’re always looking at a company’s sales growth and profitability when you’re making a lending decision,” said Sageworks director Chuck Nwokocha. “These industries, on average, appear to be performing very well in those two categories.”