Fastest-growing rank: 63
Get quote: NUE
3-year average annual return: 50%
For ages, it seemed that growth in the steel industry had gone the way of T. rex, but a quick scan of this year's list makes it clear that those industrial dinosaurs are back, and they've been enjoying a new era of gargantuan growth. With commodity prices buoyed by increased global demand and industrywide consolidation, revenues and earnings have jumped throughout the sector in recent years.
But two of the companies - mini-mill operators Nucor and Steel Dynamics - merit special attention because they have more going for them than just improved pricing power.
"The thing that separates these companies in my mind," says Goldman Sachs analyst Aldo Mazzaferro, "is that they are also growing their unit volume rather than just [relying on] price appreciation."
Nucor, for example, has ramped up shipments from 12 million tons in 2001 to an estimated 23 million this year. Revenues have jumped from $4.3 billion to $16 billion.
See more Fastest-Growing data for Nucor