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The Boston Globe The Globe Business sectionThe Globe 100
The Boston Globe Online
By Maria Shao, Globe Staff

Here today, gone tomorrow

Whatever happened to Teradyne Inc.? A year ago, the semiconductor equipment company walked away with Company of the Year honors, the Globe 100's top award. But this year, the Boston-based company didn't even make it onto the Globe 100 list.

Blame it on a downturn in the cyclical semiconductor market. Teradyne, which sells testing equipment to the world's microchip makers, saw its 1996 profits dive 41 percent, to $93.6 million, while sales fell 1.6 percent to $1.17 billion.

That's not the only change: Last week, Teradyne chairman Alexander d'Arbeloff stepped down as chief executive of the company he founded 37 years ago. President and chief operating officer George Chamillard took the CEO title, while d'Arbeloff remains chairman.

Teradyne's disappearance is unusual in the Globe 100's nine-year history. The only other Company of the Year that fell off the list completely the following year was Concord Computing Corp., the top company in 1989. Its disappearance from the roster was due to a move in headquarters from Woburn to Memphis.

Brides and bridesmaids

If there were a trophy for consistency, Parametric Technology Corp. would get it. This year, the Waltham software company came in No. 4 on the Globe 100, the seventh straight year it has made it among the top five. Yet the company has never garnered the Company of the Year distinction.

Always a bridesmaid, but never the bride.

Thanks to its leading position in the market for product design software known as CAD-CAM, Parametric has prospered year in and year out on the Globe 100 overall performance roster. Parametric also has been a familiar name on the Globe's Growth 50 rankings, which measure revenue growth.

Since 1991, when Parametric first appeared on our Globe 100 list, the company has seen its sales surge 26-fold to $658.2 million last year and its market value rise 19-fold to $5.75 billion.

All the way to the altar next year?

Bank notes

New England's two largest banks seem to be moving in opposite directions _ Fleet Financial Group Inc. on the up escalator and BankBoston Corp. on the down escalator. But that's partly because some special one-time events skewed results.

BankBoston Corp. made it to only 86th place on the Globe 100 this year, down from No. 30 a year ago. But New England's second-largest bank actually performed better than its bottom line suggested. A $180 million restructuring charge for the acquisition of BayBanks Inc. reduced 1996 net income to $650 million from $678 million in 1995. And the bank paid a price for its hefty presence in Latin America, where declining interest rates bit into interest income.

Meanwhile, Fleet, the region's largest bank, vaulted to seventh place from 81st a year ago. The acquisitions of Shawmut National Corp. and NatWest Bancorp. in 1995 and 1996, respectively, not only made Fleet bigger, but boosted its profit margins sharply. That's because Fleet cut costs, shed assets, and replaced lower-yielding assets with higher-yielding loans after the mergers. And unlike BankBoston, Fleet was helped by the fact that it didn't have special charges in 1996 for mergers. Those charges - $490 million worth - had been taken in 1995.

More finding the 'Net

When last year's Globe 100 went to print, just 42 companies had corporate Internet sites where they could tout their wares on the World Wide Web. But today, with the Web and the 'Net becoming seemingly ubiquitous, 77 of this year's Globe 100 companies have home pages set up.

What a difference a year makes.

Finneran at 100 luncheon

TJX Cos. and the other companies on this year's Globe 100 will be honored today at the Globe 100 luncheon, to be held this year at the Westin Hotel, Copley Place. Guest speaker will be Thomas M. Finneran, speaker of the Massachusetts House of Representatives.

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