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What Is The Post 200?

Monday, May 12, 2008

The Post 200 starts with a list of the 100 largest public companies with headquarters in the District and its suburbs. The other half of the list is made up of many of the largest private companies, banks and nonprofit groups headquartered in the metropolitan area, as well as the region's largest employers, law firms and lobbying organizations.

Collecting the Information

Nearly 300 companies, law and lobby firms and nonprofit organizations located in the District, Virginia and Maryland were surveyed by The Washington Post. Information provided by public companies was checked against audited financial statements and annual reports on file with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Information from private companies that do not provide audited financial statements was taken at the companies' word, but figures provided were compared when possible with those of companies of similar size in the same industry. Figures on financial institutions came from the institutions whenever possible and were checked against SEC documents and data on file with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Data for the law and lobby firms and nonprofit groups came from Post surveys, which were compared with other public sources. Stock prices and related information, such as market capitalization and dividends, came from Bloomberg.

Compiling the Lists

Each list was created using its own methodology. Public companies were ranked by annual revenue, except banks, which were ranked by assets. Most private companies also were ranked by revenue, but a few entries are based on other metrics specific to their industry. Carlyle Group, for instance, was included because of the amount of money it has under management. Private companies that declined to provide any data were omitted, no matter how large they seem. Nonprofit groups were ranked by revenue, and large employers were judged by how many employees work in the metropolitan area. Law firms were ranked by the number of lawyers based locally, and lobbying firms were ranked by 2007 expenditures tallied by the Center for Responsive Politics. A few firms showed up on both lists. The charts reflect their placement in both categories, but they each received only one listing in The Post 200. Similarly, listings for some closely aligned companies were merged. FBR Capital Markets, for instance, was combined with Friedman, Billings, Ramsey Group Inc.; Saul Centers Inc. folded into the listing for B.F. Saul Co.; and J.E. Robert Cos. can be found under its public affiliate, JER Investors Trust.

Geographic Boundaries

The lists of public and private companies, banks and nonprofit groups were restricted to those that have headquarters in the District; in Prince George's, Montgomery, Anne Arundel, Howard, Charles, Calvert, Frederick and St. Mary's counties in Maryland; or in Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun, Fauquier, Frederick, Culpeper, and Prince William counties and the cities of Alexandria, Falls Church and Fairfax in Virginia. The remaining lists were made up of law and lobby firms and employers that maintain large operations within that geographic area.

Market Capitalization, Stock Performance

Market capitalization is a measure of a company's worth, computed by multiplying its stock price by the number of its outstanding shares at the close of trading March 31. Intraday highs and lows are for the 52-week period ended March 31.

Earnings Per Share

Reported on a fully diluted basis.

Dividends

Reported on an annual, per-share basis.

Abbreviations

CEO: chief executive officer. COO: chief operating officer. CFO: chief financial officer. EVP: executive vice president. NYSE: New York Stock Exchange. Amex: American Stock Exchange. Nasdaq: Nasdaq Stock Market. OTC: Over-the-Counter Bulletin Board. NA: Not available.

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