agasfer (agasfer) wrote,
agasfer
agasfer

Бизнес-шмизнес

Обзор индустрии в районе Вашингтона ДиСи. К сожалению, это неполная копия статьи, но картинка ясная: хорошо дела только у оборонки и реалторов. Нужна ли народу такая экономика?

На обложке бизнес-секции печатного издания картинка: Пакмэн, торчащий из танка, чавкает долларовые пачки в лабиринте.

В Бетезде, оказывается, есть какая-то контора, которая занимается обогащением урана. Веселенькое соседство.

Крупнейший емплойер в эрии: МакДоналдс, 30,000 работников.

Надо б вечерком изучить матерьял подробнее.

From Technology's New Aims, a Revival

Monday, April 28, 2003; Page T03

THE STORYLINE, BY NOW, IS WELL KNOWN.

In the 1990s, the rise of the Internet and telecommunications deregulation remade the corporate landscape of the Washington area. Then, just as fast, it was unmade, and the traditional titans of finance, real estate and defense reasserted themselves on The Post 200.

Dozens of articles, those written about individual companies and about the region as a whole, have been written in the business pages that hew to this basic script.

It's time to write a new one.
If the Iraq war has been the biggest world story in the past year, the big story in Washington business has been technology in the service of war. Defense technology companies wrought the biggest change in The Post 200 for 2003.

First, a few facts gleaned from our research into the largest public and private companies that do business here.

Using the universe of local public companies as a guide, Washington's corporate community is shrinking in some ways, growing in others.

A year ago, 161 public, non-bank companies called the Washington area home. As of today, that number is 146. Companies moved, were bought or went out of business.

The total reported revenue of the area's public companies in 2002 was $253.7 billion, compared with $239.8 billion in 2001. Their total employment in the region fell to 111,036 at the end of 2002, from 114,036 at roughly the end of 2001. In 2002, 30 companies had more than $1 billion in annual revenue; in 2001, 32 did.

Of the 146 public companies here, 98 had an increase in revenue and 91 were profitable. In 2001, 87 companies increased their revenue from 2000, and 80 were profitable. A Washington area public company would have earned on average about $26 million in 2002. The average would have been $12.6 million in 2001.

What these numbers tell us in the main is that the shakeout from the 2000 Nasdaq Stock Market crash was most severe in 2001. In 2002, the companies that remained had pared their costs, were gaining more business and were more profitable.

Billions were invested in communications and software technologies in the 1990s, much of it in the service of newfangled companies that promised to bring super-powerful telecommunications and computing muscle to everyday people. The Internet bubble promised incalculable wealth from the application of new technologies.

As we all know, it didn't quite work out that way.

The advances brought about by billions of dollars in stockholder investments are often, today, advances in search of new applications. Many have found their way to the defense sector, and it is in that realm that the Washington business community is percolating. Increases in the defense budget aren't all going toward building and buying better guns. The Bush administration's Defense Department envisions a military that can win wars using technology, and the area's defense contracting community is rising to the occasion.

Of the 13 new companies on this year's list of the largest public companies, five are primarily engaged in defense technology.

Veridian Corp., debuting at No. 35, is a good example. It makes a variety of security-related stuff, including systems that detect chemical and biological weapons. Four-fifths of its employees hold security clearances. Its initial public offering of shares in June raised $227 million. Its revenue grew 21 percent last year. One of its recent contracts is with the Defense Department to develop responses to terrorist threats, or, as it says, "asymmetric threats to national security."

SRA International Inc. of Fairfax is similar. It, too, had its IPO last year and is engaged in several security-related enterprises, most of them bringing technology to bear. Its activities include mining electronic databases and planning for disaster response, and last year it bought a company that will add to its surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities. Of note was SRA's strategy of de-emphasizing its commercial business as it sought to go after more plentiful, profitable and reliable defense business. In fact, many defense companies with operations in the area are pursuing a similar strategy for the next decade.

SI International Inc. of Reston was the last local defense contractor to go public last year. It pursues an amalgam of information security jobs with the Defense Department, and it, too, has experienced a decline in its private-sector business.

In all, five local defense companies went public in 2002, three since The Post 200 was published in April 2002. No other local company completed an IPO last year.

Sensytech Inc. in Newington, Va., and Integral Systems Inc. of Lanham, Md., are two newcomers to this year's list, making the cut by virtue of their growing revenue. Both firms have long been among the smallest of Washington's public companies, but the growing demand for high-tech defense gave each a record year in 2002.

Sensytech makes things to locate enemies, intercept their communications and keep them from intercepting yours. Integral makes software that manage satellites, and its fastest-growing customer is the Air Force.

Finally, four companies that aren't based here, Northrop Grumman Corp., Computer Sciences Corp., Raytheon Co. and Science Applications International Corp., are among the 15 largest employers of any private company in the Washington area, and most of their operations here are in the realms of high-tech defense. Computer Sciences and Northrop, through acquisitions and internal growth, expanded their workforces here by 4,600 and 3,600 people, respectively.

So, the technology business in Washington is far from dead. For now, it has just been redeployed.

-- Terence O'Hara
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