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The Boston Globe OnlineBoston.com Boston Globe Online / Business / 2001 Globe 100

Corporate training firm faces slowdown



Growth's rewards prove tough to sustain
A look at this year's Growth 50 list shows that in the new economy -- whatever that may come to mean -- growth is unpredictable and hard to maintain. Continued

1. ACT Manufacturing Inc.
2. Provant Inc.
3. Analog Devices Inc.
4. Sapient Corp.
5. Foilmark Inc.

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The Growth 50

hile Provant, a provider of corporate employee training, nears the top of The Globe 100's growth list, its share price has been hurt by recent earnings woes.

With the weakening economy's effect on corporate training expenditures, the Boston-based firm reported on May 9 adjusted diluted earnings per share of 3 cents, far below a year-ago estimate for the quarter of 9 cents a share.

Shares are trading at about $3, near a 52-week low, and have not recovered from a first-quarter 2000 decline of nearly 75 percent that was prompted by an earnings warning.

Provant is second on The Globe 100 growth list, with two-year average sales growth of 62.72 percent and two-year average profit growth of 130.3 percent. But those figures largely reflect 1999 earnings growth.

Among Provant's corporate clients are such household names as 3M, America Online, Jaguar, and The New York Times Co. (parent company of The Boston Globe). The company's government contracts include a $13 million deal with the US Air Force, announced last month.



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