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The FSB 100 America's Fastest-Growing Small Companies
By

(FORTUNE Small Business) – The envelope, please... Our list, compiled with the help of Zacks Investment Research, considered only public companies with $200 million or less in revenue for 2000. We next ruled out any that had been in business less than three years as of Dec. 31, 2000, and any that don't trade on one of the major stock exchanges (i.e., no over-the-counter stocks). The remaining companies were then ranked based on three criteria: earnings growth, revenue growth, and total stock return, including dividends. Finally, we averaged the rankings to find the fastest growers. The result is the list you see below.

[KEY]

[A] EARNINGS-PER-SHARE GROWTH 3-year annual rate RANK

[B] NET INCOME Four quarters, to 12/31/00 (millions)

[C] REVENUE GROWTH 3-year annual rate RANK

[D]REVENUE Four quarters, to 12/31/00 (millions)

[E] TOTAL RETURN 3-year annual rate RANK

[F] STOCK PRICE As of 5/18/01

[G] NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES

2000 RANK COMPANY NAME TICKER CITY, STATE COMMENTS [A] [B] [C] [D] [E] [F] [G]

1 TRANSWITCH TXCC SHELTON, CONN. 317.9% $38.4 75.2% $155.1 186.3% $16.31 331 5 8 2 A producer of semiconductors for telecom companies, TranSwitch was on a tear right up until chip demand collapsed in early 2001. Can it ride out this market?

2 4KIDS ENTERTAINMENT KDE NEW YORK CITY 278.1% $38.8 138.5% $103.7 113.6% $17.58 88 7 2 9 This children's entertainment company handles licensing for Pokemon outside Japan. Previous hits include Cabbage Patch Kids, Transformers, and Power Rangers.

3 DYNACQ INTERNATIONAL DYII HOUSTON 170.9% $7.4 51.5% $29.7 126.6% $16.83 120 13 16 5 Dynacq provides medical services like home health care, outpatient surgery, X-rays, lab testing, and physician practice managemEnt.

4 MEASUREMENT SPECIALTIES MSS FAIRFIELD , N.J. 139.4% $8.1 45.7% $95.4 118.3% $22.90 890 16 21 7 Scales and pressure gauges provide 75% of its revenue, but this company develops about 30 new products a year. Next move: an overseas expansion.

5 VERITY VRTY SUNNYVALE, CALIF. 122.1% $38.8 47.5% $125.4 112.7% $16.08 360 17 19 10 A developer of software for corporate Websites and B2B exchanges, Verity serves 66 of the Fortune 100, including AT&T, Compaq, and Home Depot.

6 CREE CREE DURHAM, N.C. 100.6% $46.8 57.5% $142.0 96.4% $34.08 680 22 12 14 Cree makes light-emitting diodes, namely the blue LEDs used in mobile phones and dashboards. It dominates the market but has still been hit by the tech slowdown.

7 GENTNER COMMUNICATIONS GTNR SALT LAKE CITY 295.0% $5.7 34.7% $37.0 116.6% $13.66 170 6 38 8 Gentner's audio, video, and Web-conferencing systems let business people communicate with co-workers and clients regardless of where they're located.

8 ELANTEC SEMICONDUCTOR ELNT MILPITAS, CALIF. 117.2% $27.0 37.9% $126.2 107.8% $32.91 358 19 30 11 Elantec focuses on analog chips for video and optical-storage equipment. Thanks to a secondary stock offering, it now sits on a war chest of cash.

9 IDEC PHARMACEUTICALS IDPH SAN DIEGO 53.3% $53.4 51.2% $149.8 122.6% $57.05 490 44 17 6 A leading developer of cancer drugs, IDEC sells Rituxan (along with co-manufacturer Genentech) for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Five more drugs are in the pipeline.

10 COMPUDYNE CDCY HANOVER, MD. 72.5% $4.1 109.0% $130.6 43.4% $8.50 630 31 4 41 Specializing in security products like blast-proof doors and windows, CompuDyne helps protect banks and embassies. The company also sells to prisons, a big market.

11 ZOLL MEDICAL ZOLL BURLINGTON, MASS. 205.7% $9.8 28.9% $110.5 87.6% $23.52 520 10 51 17 Zoll sells pacemakers and other cardiac products. Its latest defibrillator is designed for public spaces like airports, to help heart-attack victims before EMTs arrive.

12 AMSURG AMSGB NASHVILLE 1,674.0% $9.1 34.2% $143.3 37.9% $23.60 614 1 40 43 With locations in 25 Southeastern states, Amsurg runs outpatient surgery centers and specialty physician practices. Analysts give management high marks.

13 NORTH COAST ENERGY NCEB TWINSBURG, OHIO 139.5% $4.9 52.2% $37.0 27.4% $4.50 140 15 14 60 An oil and gas exploration company, North Coast benefited from higher prices in 2000. It plans to develop 37 wells in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia.

14 METRO ONE TELECOM MTON BEAVERTON, ORE. 53.0% $9.7 79.8% $157.0 44.0% $49.68 5,400 45 6 40 Metro One provides high-octane directory assistance for wireless customers. It runs call centers that can find numbers for you, connect calls, even look up movie listings.

15 SPECTRALINK SLNK BOULDER, COLO. 237.9% $6.5 24.3% $54.1 72.5% $8.14 290 8 66 20 SpectraLink makes wireless phones that use a radio frequency and are designed for hospitals, factories, and big retail outlets--anyplace workers can't be out of touch.

16 ADVENT SOFTWARE ADVS SAN FRANCISCO 55.1% $25.8 41.5% $134.9 61.3% $57.94 701 43 25 26 In bull markets and bear markets alike, brokerage firms and hedge funds use Advent Software's financial service programs to help manage their clients' money.

17 MONTEREY PASTA PSTA SALINAS, CALIF. 176.6% $6.1 28.3% $48.0 48.9% $6.35 270 12 53 35 Starting with a single storefront in 1989, Monterey Pasta now sells more than 185 products to U.S. grocers. Snow-crab ravioli, anyone?

18 GREEN MOUNTAIN COFFEE GMCR WATERBURY, VT. 156.5% $4.7 23.3% $90.2 92.6% $29.10 390 14 72 15 Green Mountain doesn't grow its own beans, but it roasts, blends, and sells 60 varieties of coffee to restaurants, convenience stores, and airlines.

19 MAPINFO MAPS TROY, N.Y. 71.4% $9.2 26.2% $101.7 107.6% $30.05 550 33 56 12 MapInfo makes software that gives corporate clients and municipalities data on geography, demographics, and traffic patterns.

20 PERICOM SEMICONDUCTOR PSEM SAN JOSE 51.6% $21.1 37.4% $122.4 71.7% $17.09 220 48 33 21 This company's chips let customers speed up their in-house data networks. Despite lagging sales right now, Pericom's market is expected to double by 2004.

21 MACROVISION MVSN SUNNYVALE, CALIF. 22.2% $13.6 62.3% $80.1 165.2% $57.24 234 90 11 3 Initially launched to stop videocassette piracy, Macrovision now makes products to protect DVDs, pay-per-view movies, and even software.

22 POWER INTEGRATIONS POWI SAN JOSE 73.6% $19.8 41.2% $111.5 35.5% $18.71 237 30 26 47 Power Integrations makes components to convert AC power (from wall outlets) to DC for devices like mobile phones and PCs.

23 TRC TRR WINDSOR, CONN. 116.2% $6.5 24.5% $103.8 65.8% $47.55 1,000 20 64 23 This environmental services company helps businesses close contaminated sites. Con Ed in New York just signed a $103 million contract.

24 TALX TALX ST. LOUIS 61.8% $4.1 25.7% $40.3 88.1% $34.91 250 40 57 16 Talx provides applications that automate HR services like benefits and payroll at fortune 500 companies and government agencies.

25 ANAREN MICROWAVE ANEN EAST SYRACUSE, N.Y. 38.3% $14.2 33.0% $81.9 133.3% $19.50 400 70 41 4 This company makes components for aerospace and defense clients, like satellite communications equipment for Lockheed Martin.

26 IMPATH IMPH NEW YORK CITY 31.4% $13.0 55.4% $138.2 59.5% $39.20 947 78 13 28 Impath tests potentially cancerous tissues to assist doctors in diagnosis and in determining the best treatment. It also helps research new drugs.

27 DAKTRONICS DAKT BROOKINGS, S.D. 48.5% $8.2 29.6% $137.3 64.1% $29.31 710 51 49 24 Daktronics owns the market for electronic scoreboards, selling to pro sports teams, the PGA, and the Olympics.

28 XETA TECHNOLOGIES XETA BROKEN ARROW, OKLA. 40.1% $6.2 75.4% $107.0 32.0% $5.70 400 65 7 53 Xeta sells phone and voice/data systems for hotels. Recent tech woes have hurt--Xeta was forced to lay off employees in May.

29 QUIXOTE QUIX CHICAGO 849.3% $9.5 22.7% $89.8 35.3% $27.45 580 2 75 48 Quixote's products--like median dividers and energy-absorbing crash cushions--make highways safer. Recent highway legislation has helped sales.

30 RESMED RMD POWAY, CALIF. 40.8% $25.5 32.0% $127.0 78.3% $55.95 600 63 45 19 ResMed develops products for people with sleep-related breathing disorders, which affect about 20 million Americans.

31 ADVANTAGE MARKETING SYS. AMM OKLAHOMA CITY 92.6% $0.8 49.7% $27.1 -4.8% $2.75 93 23 18 93 This Oklahoma-based company sells dietary supplements and weight-loss products through its own network of independent distributors.

32 INTERLINK ELECTRONICS LINK CAMARILLO, CALIF. 74.0% $3.1 21.7% $33.9 62.5% $8.75 150 29 81 25 Interlink develops remote controls, wireless keyboards, and digital pointers--anything that people use to interact with electronic devices.

33 MOBILE MINI MINI TEMPE, ARIZ. 63.3% $13.2 24.1% $90.2 58.2% $31.14 1,225 38 67 30 Mobile Mini leases temporary storage space to more than 43,000 residential and corporate customers across 18 states.

34 TOLLGRADE COMMUN. TLGD CHESWICK, PA. 47.9% $27.5 32.1% $114.4 45.4% $34.05 411 53 44 39 Tollgrade sells test equipment for telephone, cable, and DSL companies that let them fix problems remotely, without sending a technician.

35 JB OXFORD JBOH BEVERLY HILLS 181.4% $5.0 22.5% $112.7 34.1% $1.70 238 11 76 50 This discount broker works with both mom-and-pop and institutional investors. The recent market correction has meant sagging revenue.

36 NETSMART TECHNOLOGIES NTST ISLIP, N.Y. 92.3% $2.4 51.9% $20.8 -10.6% $2.15 130 24 15 99 Netsmart develops health-care software to help track patients in substance-abuse programs, methadone clinics, and psychiatric hospitals.

37 TRIPLE S PLASTICS TSSS PORTAGE, MICH. 52.1% $7.3 25.3% $142.7 54.1% $5.07 730 46 60 32 Triple S makes plastic components for cell phones, but the telecom slowdown has hit hard. Revenue growth has slowed sharply in 2001.

38 COMPUTER NETWORK TECH. CMNT MINNEAPOLIS 69.5% $12.0 20.1% $176.1 101.9% $10.10 769 35 91 13 Computer Network helps corporate clients back up their data with software and hardware products designed to keep copies of important files safe.

39 EXACTECH EXAC GAINESVILLE, FLA. 35.5% $4.2 35.1% $41.9 58.7% $16.00 113 73 37 29 An aging population and strong management have contributed to higher sales for this maker of artificial joints like hips and knees.

40 CORP. OFFICE PROPERTIES OFC COLUMBIA, MD. 41.8% $15.1 178.1% $108.7 8.9% $10.39 150 60 1 86 This real estate investment trust, based outside Washington, D.C., gets a lot of business from the U.S. government, which rents about 15% of its office space.

41 RENNAISSANCE LEARNING RLRN WISCONSIN RAPIDS, WIS. 23.5% $22.9 47.1% $107.0 46.5% $44.28 1,000 88 20 38 This Wisconsin company makes software designed to improve reading, math, and writing skills for kids from kindergarten through 12th grade.

42 SOURCE INFORMATION SORC ST. LOUIS 51.0% $8.8 135.0% $98.2 -9.9% $4.51 900 49 3 98 Ever notice how candy bars are strategically placed in checkout lines? Source Info is one of the largest display-rack manufacturers for such impulse purchases.

43 SAUCONY SCNYB PEABODY, MASS. 89.8% $9.0 24.9% $165.7 26.3% $6.01 500 25 61 63 Saucony makes running shoes and athletic clothing. Founded by a Russian immigrant in 1898, it's the oldest company on the FSB 100 this year.

44 FACTSET RESEARCH SYSTEMS FDS GREENWICH, CONN. 37.6% $28.6 31.6% $144.8 53.9% $37.75 430 71 46 33 Bankers and brokers get their information from FactSet research, which distills about 100 separate databases into a single online source of financial news.

45 CHICAGO PIZZA & BREWERY CHGO HUNTINGTON BEACH, CALIF. 745.8% $1.9 20.9% $46.6 26.4% $3.10 1,510 4 87 62 The restaurant chain's 26 locations aren't in the Windy City--they're on the West Coast, in fact--but its signature deep-dish pizza recipe originated in Chicago.

46 CHRISTOPHER & BANKS CHBS PLYMOUTH, MINN. 42.2% $22.3 22.3% $186.3 82.8% $43.66 550 58 77 18 This Minnesota-based women's clothing retailer is expanding in 2002, with plans to build 80 new locations and renovate existing stores in the northern U.S.

47 MTR GAMING MNTG CHESTER, W. VA. 34.2% $15.1 40.3% $160.1 33.4% $9.52 1,400 74 28 51 The house always wins. Want proof? MTR Gaming saw steadily higher revenues from the casinos and off-track betting locations it owns in Nevada and West Virginia.

48 NESCO NESC TULSA, OKLA. 58.6% $3.6 43.6% $38.6 2.9% $2.02 300 42 23 89 Nesco contracts with petroleum-storage companies to handle their environmental problems, like maintaining and testing underground fuel tanks.

49 MEADE INSTRUMENTS MEAD IRVINE, CALIF. 50.4% $6.9 38.3% $122.7 12.9% $41.70 440 50 29 80 A top telescope maker, Meade sells to universities, labs, aerospace companies, and astronomy buffs. Growth on this planet comes in part from a recent acquisition.

50 THREE-FIVE SYSTEMS TFS TEMPE, ARIZ. 40.2% $14.8 32.3% $160.7 29.7% $16.32 2,070 64 42 54 Three-Five designs the liquid-crystal displays used in wireless phones and medical equipment. (The name, incidentally, comes from elements in the periodic table.)

51 AAON AAON TULSA, OKLA. 68.1% $12.8 22.9% $150.7 32.7% $21.75 1,027 37 73 52 Aaon makes air-conditioning and heating equipment for big commercial spaces. The company counts Wal-Mart, Home Depot, and Target as its biggest customers.

52 DATARAM DRAM PRINCETON, N.J. 41.1% $10.4 23.6% $137.6 56.3% $12.30 160 61 70 31 Dataram has been making memory chips for network servers since 1967. Its latest DDR (double-data rate) semiconductor increases memory and uses less power.

53 HANSEN NATURAL HANS CORONA, CALIF. 51.9% $3.9 24.9% $79.7 28.8% $3.15 107 47 62 57 This company sells sodas, smoothies, and energy drinks. A disastrous foray into alcoholic energy drinks (called Hard-E) made for soggy earnings in 2000.

54 TIDEL TECHNOLOGIES ATMS HOUSTON 43.5% $9.6 37.0% $75.9 13.5% $2.00 130 57 34 76 Tidel Technologies is in the cash business, manufacturing ATM machines for banks as well as drop safes used in convenience stores and gas stations.

55 NEW HORIZONS NEWH SANTA ANA, CALIF. 44.1% $11.0 43.0% $142.7 6.5% $17.29 1,290 56 24 87 With more than 1,200 classrooms and 1,400 instructors, New Horizons owns computer-training centers in the U.S. and franchises them around the world.

56 REHABILICARE REHB NEW BRIGHTON, MINN. 121.7% $1.5 27.2% $60.3 -7.5% $2.85 280 18 54 96 Rehabilicare develops pain-management products like nerve stimulators. Earnings fell in 2000 due to a settlement over alleged Medicare fraud, but sales are strong.

57 MATEC MXC HOPKINTON, MASS. 62.9% $3.0 19.8% $26.4 47.0% $4.50 151 39 92 37 After selling off some product lines during the past couple of years, MATEC now focuses solely on the quartz crystals used in electronics to control frequencies and time.

58 GROUP 1 SOFTWARE GSOF LANHAM, MD. 80.9% $8.3 16.3% $91.8 37.4% $14.41 390 26 99 44 Sick of junk mail? This company sells software to make direct-mail campaigns better targeted and more effective. Two recent acquisitions give it better technology.

59 INTEGRAL SYSTEM ISYS LANHAM, MD. 48.5% $4.0 26.7% $38.9 27.1% $21.50 220 52 55 61 Integral Systems develops software that integrates satellites with equipment on the ground. NASA, among other clients, uses its products to create flight simulations.

60 APPLIED INNOVATION MGMT. AINN DUBLIN, OHIO 794.4% $10.2 19.0% $116.1 15.9% $15.25 310 3 94 74 Applied Innovation develops software that helps telecom companies manage their voice and data networks. Every one of the regional Bells is a client.

61 K-V PHARMACEUTICAL KV.A ST. LOUIS 38.5% $26.1 25.7% $166.3 37.3% $23.40 630 67 58 45 With more than 60 patents, K-V develops drug-delivery technologies like time-release capsules that allow medicine to be taken less frequently.

62 EMBREX EMBX DURHAM, N.C. 69.9% $7.5 16.7% $37.8 42.5% $14.09 199 34 97 42 This company makes biotech products that help automate the poultry industry. Its equipment can inoculate chicks against avian diseases before they hatch.

63 BROOKTROUT INC BRKT NEEDHAM, MASS. 79.4% -$3.4 29.0% $141.8 -6.4% $6.62 374 27 50 95 Brooktrout makes hardware and software for corporate voice-mail systems. The telecom slowdown hit hard, but BRKT recently sold off a software division to raise cash.

64 ICT GROUP ICTG LANGHORNE, PA. 39.6% $6.7 28.4% $198.6 28.8% $15.24 8,800 66 52 56 ICT runs 34 call centers throughout the U.S. to field customer-service queries in the financial services, health-care, and insurance industries, among others.

65 BOSTON PRIVATE FINAN. BPFH BOSTON 30.3% $9.7 31.3% $76.2 35.8% $20.60 227 81 48 46 This bank holding company provides wealthy individuals with financial services like asset management. In April it posted its 33rd straight quarter of improved earnings.

66 INNODATA INOD HACKENSACK, N.J. 15.4% $6.2 22.2% $39.4 217.5% $6.74 14,025 97 78 1 Innodata helps media companies convert their books, newspapers, magazines, and other print content into Internet-ready digital files.

67 SAWTEK SAWS APOPKA, FLA. 45.7% $89.2 20.8% $175.8 51.9% $30.60 770 55 88 34 "SAW" stands for "surface acoustic wave," but all you need to know is that it makes wireless phones work better. Sawtek designs components for the base stations.

68 KENT FINANCIAL KENT BEDMINSTER, N.J. 226.2% $1.6 20.2% $6.5 13.0% $3.87 18 9 90 79 Kent is the holding company for T.R. Winston, a broker-dealer operating primarily in the Northeast. Recently reduced trading volume has hurt sales.

69 BTU INTERNATIONAL BTUI NORTH BILLERICA, MASS. 71.7% $5.4 22.9% $98.4 13.7% $6.01 318 32 74 75 BTU sells equipment used to make semiconductors. Though profitable in 2000, it scaled back expectations for this year due to slack demand.

70 DEWOLFE DWL LEXINGTON, MASS. 61.3% $5.5 24.6% $195.6 13.0% $7.69 2,829 41 63 78 DeWolfe is a real estate firm with more than 120 offices throughout New England. Lately it has grown mainly through acquisitions--16 in the past two years alone.

71 EPIQ SYSTEMS EPIQ KANSAS CITY, KAN. 33.9% $2.1 37.7% $23.3 13.4% $31.04 120 75 31 77 Chapter 11 is profitable for EPIQ. The company develops software to help bankruptcy trustees figure out who owes--and owns--what.

72 MAIN STREET BANK MSBK MARIETTA, GA. 14.3% $12.7 88.3% $71.4 11.6% $17.80 360 98 5 82 Called First Sterling Banks until this year, Main Street owns community banks around Atlanta. It's now trying to grow through acquisitions.

73 SPECTRUM CONTROL SPEC FAIRVIEW, PA. 27.0% $10.3 35.4% $132.6 23.2% $8.00 1,467 85 35 65 Spectrum's products protect telecom equipment from electromagnetic interference. Management just announced a $6 million buyback.

74 DSP GROUP DSPG SANTA CLARA, CALIF. 68.2% $49.8 19.5% $109.5 28.2% $20.30 217 36 93 58 DSP develops software and hardware for telecom and wireless companies and specializes in voice-recognition technology.

75 PS BUSINESS PARKS PSB GLENDALE, CALIF. 11.3% $51.2 73.0% $150.6 12.9% $26.55 100 99 9 81 This real estate investment trust currently owns about 13 million square feet of office space in 11 states on the West Coast and in the South. 76 KOALA KARE DENVER 20.5% $4.0 68.6% $61.6 -0.5% $4.05 400 91 10 92 Koala designs products that make the world more child-friendly, like highchairs in restaurants and changing tables in public bathrooms.

77 STV GROUP STVI DOUGLASSVILLE, PA. 75.8% $5.0 18.8% $159.3 19.6% $10.75 1,220 28 95 71 This architectural firm designs buildings for the private and public sectors. In April in announced it would buy up all outstanding shares and go private.

78 TECHNE TECH MINNEAPOLIS 28.1% $30.7 21.4% $108.5 60.3% $36.35 390 83 83 27 Winner of "best ticker symbol" (TECH), Minneapolis-based Techne makes biological products to aid drug researchers.

79 MEDICIS PHARMACEUTICAL MRX SCOTTSDALE, ARIZ. 16.4% $36.1 40.8% $155.7 20.2% $56.39 175 96 27 70 Medicis develops treatments for skin problems like acne and psoriasis. Earnings grew in 2000, but the stock has been blemished lately.

80 SWIFT ENERGY SFY HOUSTON 16.9% $59.2 37.5% $189.4 21.3% $36.29 180 95 32 68 This Houston-based energy company is swiftly acquiring, developing, and profiting from oil and gas reserves in the U.S. and New Zealand.

81 AVERT AVRT FORT COLLINS, COLO. 41.9% $2.7 23.3% $17.6 22.3% $16.00 100 59 71 66 As its name implies, Avert lets employers avoid bad situations by doing background checks on potential hires. It has more than 14,000 clients.

82 OPINION RESEARCH OPI SKILLMAN, N.J. 28.9% $3.3 44.7% $160.9 -5.8% $7.50 3,400 82 22 94 This international market research firm began operations in 1938. Sears and GM were clients back then and have been ever since.

83 KEY PRODUCTION KP DENVER 27.9% $28.0 22.0% $87.0 47.3% $20.25 70 84 79 36 Key Production drills for oil and natural gas in the continental U.S. Thanks in part to higher prices, earnings per share increased fourfold in 2000.

84 FOILMARK FLMK NEWBURYPORT, MASS. 33.2% $3.1 35.1% $66.3 3.3% $6.37 430 77 36 88 Foilmark makes metallic stamping foils used to laminate anything from pearls to paperback books. Sales more than doubled in 2000.

85 FIRST BANKS AMERICA FBA CLAYTON, MO. 41.0% $17.3 32.3% $123.7 -8.7% $28.55 645 62 43 97 The parent of First Bank of Texas and First Bank of California, FBA lends to businesses and real estate developers.

86 NATIONAL MERCANTILE MBLA LOS ANGELES 102.6% $2.9 15.7% $15.3 2.0% $7.10 56 21 100 90 MBLA is a commercial bank based in Los Angeles that serves entertainment clients. It doubled its net income in 2000 and opened a new branch in March targeting health care and nonprofits.

87 DIANON SYSTEMS DIAN STRATFORD, CONN. 18.8% $6.6 16.4% $95.7 67.3% $42.54 699 93 98 22 Dianon tests tissue samples and body fluids for cancer and genetic diseases, and typically gets answers back within 48 hours. A sophisticated tracking system lets doctors find results online.

88 STRATEGIC DIAGNOSTICS SDIX NEWARK, DEL. 46.9% $1.6 24.0% $25.9 0.9% $3.97 194 54 68 91 Strategic Diagnostics makes kits to test water and crops and ensure that they're safe from toxins or pesticides. A recent acquisition should strengthen its position in the water business.

89 ON ASSIGNMENT ASGN CALABASAS, CALIF. 30.9% $19.3 21.8% $195.1 29.1% $21.90 295 79 80 55 Call it a temp agency for the health-care business. On Assignment can help you fill short-term spots for a clinical researcher, a lab assistant, or even an HMO finance whiz.

90 ICU MEDICAL ICUI SAN CLEMENTE, CALIF. 24.6% $11.8 21.7% $56.2 34.5% $36.57 420 87 82 49 Every year thousands of health-care workers are infected with hepatitis and HIV from accidental needle sticks. ICU makes disposable intravenous systems to help reduce this risk.

91 SIEBERT FINANCIAL SIEB NEW YORK CITY 37.0% $8.0 20.6% $44.8 27.7% $5.04 138 72 89 59 Founded by the matriarch of Wall Street, Muriel Siebert (first woman to hold a seat on the NYSE, back in 1967), SIEB offers discount brokerage services to individual investors.

92 DIODES DIOD WESTLAKE VILLAGE, CALIF. 38.5% $14.9 21.4% $118.5 16.9% $9.30 791 68 83 72 One of the oldest chipmakers, Diodes, founded in 1959, makes "discrete semiconductors"--those designed for a single, specific purpose. They are used in electronics, mobile phones, and autos.

93 AMERICAN TECH CERAMICS AMK HUNTINGTON STATION, N.Y. 33.4% $11.6 24.3% $82.0 9.8% $9.80 690 76 65 85 AMK makes ceramic and porcelain capacitors for military and commercial products like satellites and missile defense systems. Growth in Europe helped boost 2000 sales.

94 VIASAT VSAT CARLSBAD, CALIF. 18.2% $9.4 23.7% $143.2 24.4% $19.27 350 94 69 64 Viasat designs digital satellite, telecom, and wireless equipment for the Defense Department and commercial customers. Per-share earnings were up in 2000, but the stock has suffered lately.

95 TRANSCONTINENTAL REALTY TCI DALLAS 23.1% $34.2 34.6% $159.3 -14.2% $11.40 285 89 39 100 TCI is a Dallas-based real estate investment trust that owns rerental apartments and commercial property throughout the country. It's now hoarding cash for an acquisition binge.

96 HERLEY INDUSTRIES HRLY LANCASTER, PA. 10.7% $7.7 31.6% $72.5 11.3% $18.08 580 100 47 83 Herley makes microwave technology components for defense contractors both here and overseas. Last year nearly a third of total sales came from foreign markets.

97 SHENANDOAH TELECOM SHET EDINBURG, VA. 30.7% $12.1 21.2% $57.1 21.0% $30.00 210 80 85 69 Founded in 1902, ShenTel has been around nearly as long as the telephone. The company provides communication services like long distance and cable to homes in the Shenandoah Valley.

98 TOFUTTI BRANDS TOF CRANFORD, N.J. 19.3% $1.0 25.6% $13.1 10.1% $1.95 11 92 59 84 Soy story: New Jersey-based Tofutti makes dairy-free, cholesterol-free ice cream, cheese, and other foods from soybeans and corn for the 20% of Americans who are lactose-intolerant.

99 RICA FOODS RCF CORAL GABLES, FLA. 38.4% $2.3 18.7% $123.8 16.8% $3.25 3,500 69 96 73 About 70% of all chicken consumed in Costa Rica comes from Rica-bred chicks. Next to hatch: an expansion into the poultry markets in both Brazil and Nicaragua.

100 EXCEL TECHNOLOGY XLTC EAST SETAUKET, N.Y. 26.3% $15.7 21.1% $107.7 21.5% $21.71 555 86 86 67 Long Island-based Excel makes electro-optics systems like lasers for scientific research, manufacturing, and even medical uses. Operating cash flow is moving in the right direction.