1: MARTIN MARIETTA CORP. 6801 Rockledge Dr. Bethesda, Md. 20817

REVENUE: $3.92 billion LOSS: $191.8 million LOSS PER SHARE: $5.82 DIVIDEND: $1.34 ASSETS: $2.22 billion STOCKHOLDERS' EQUITY: $626.1 million RETURN ON EQUITY: NA EXCHANGE: NYSE EMPLOYES: 61,000 TOP EXECUTIVES: Thomas G. Pownall, chairman; Laurence J. Adams, president FOUNDED: 1961 DESCRIPTION: Martin Marietta is a diversified aerospace and high-technology company that derives much of its revenue from defense and other federal contracting. Its aerospace division is a prime contractor on the MX missile and also makes a number of other missile and rocket systems, including the Pershing II, the Copperhead, the Hellfire, the Titan and the giant external fuel tank for the Space Shuttle. The company also produces tail sections for the B1-B bomber and jet-powered backpacks for astronauts. Other Marietta divisions are managing the huge Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee as well as developing a new computerized national air traffic control system and a computerized system to track government employes' claims and benefits. The vestiges of Marietta's old-line construction materials division produce crushed stone for construction and magnesia products for metals production.

DEVELOPMENTS: Marietta has virtually completed a sweeping restructuring that was touched off by its costly defense against a takeover attempt by Bendix Corp. Marietta's entire 1984 net loss was the result of write-offs connected with the sale of most of its aluminum division, which joined the cement division and various construction materials operations as corporate castoffs.

The makeover has turned Marietta into an aerospace and high-tech powerhouse, and the company last year continued to play to its high-tech strengths by spinning new units off existing interests. It established an information and communications systems division to consolidate defense efforts involving command, control, communications and intelligence. The new unit is overseeing Marietta's preliminary work on the design and implementation of a new national air traffic control system.

The company also formed a new energy division to operate the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Marietta executives believe the company is uniquely qualified to run such projects because of its experience in managing large defense contracts.

Despite the growth of its high-tech businesses, aerospace continued to be Marietta's strongest field in 1984, as the company continued work on the MX missile and other defense contracts. Late in the year, Marietta emerged as the head of a team of companies bidding for contracts to do preliminary work on a manned space station project for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. 2: MARRIOTT CORP. 1 Marriott Dr. Bethesda, Md. 20058

REVENUE: $3.52 billion PROFITS: $139.8 million EARNINGS PER SHARE: $5.18 DIVIDEND: 46 1/2 cents ASSETS: $2.9 billion STOCKHOLDERS' EQUITY: $675.6 million RETURN ON EQUITY: 22.1 percent EXCHANGE: NYSE EMPLOYES: 120,100 TOP EXECUTIVES: J. Willard Marriott, chairman; J. W. Marriott Jr., president FOUNDED: 1927

DESCRIPTION: Marriott is an international hotel, entertainment and food conglomerate. It operates 142 hotels and resorts with more than 60,000 rooms, and more than 1,400 restaurants, including Roy Rogers, Big Boy and Hot Shoppes. The company's catering operations serve airlines around the world, and Marriott has concessions at 41 domestic and foreign airports. The company's Sun Line subsidiary operates three luxury ships that sail the Caribbean and Mediterranean.

DEVELOPMENTS: Marriott more than doubled the size of its food service business last year, while getting out of certain segments of the restaurant business. It acquired Gladieux Operations, a food-service firm with $100 million in annual sales, and Service Systems Corp., a former R. J. Reynolds subsidiary with $320 million in sales last year. At the same time, the company sold several eateries, including Casa Maria Mexican Restaurants, Hogate's, the Barley Mow and Charley's Place, as part of its plan to concentrate on Roy Rogers, Big Boy and Hot Shoppes.

Overall, sales increased 19 percent for the fiscal year ended Dec. 31, and net income climbed 21 percent above 1983. Marriott's sales and profits have doubled since 1980.

Marriott has become the nation's largest chain of company-operated (versus franchised) hotels, as measured by the number of rooms, and it plans to have more than 25,000 luxury-priced rooms by 1988. After successfully testing five moderately priced Courtyard hotels in Georgia, the company decided to expand Courtyard into a national chain with with more than 50,000 rooms by the early 1990s. Courtyard rooms are about two-thirds the price of luxury Marriott rooms.

Construction continued on the company's ambitious project in the heart of New York's Times Square, the giant Marriott Marquis Hotel. 3: CHESAPEAKE & POTOMAC TELEPHONE COS. (Owned by Bell Atlantic) 1710 H St. NW Washington, D.C. 20006

REVENUE: $3.26 billion PROFITS: $417 million EARNINGS PER SHARE: NA DIVIDEND: NA ASSETS: $7.49 billion STOCKHOLDERS' EQUITY: $3.03 billion RETURN ON EQUITY: NA EXCHANGE: NYSE (Bell Atlantic) EMPLOYES: 32,095 TOP EXECUTIVE: Thomas M. Gibbons, president and chief executive officer FOUNDED: 1883

DESCRIPTION: The companies, owned by Bell Atlantic, provide communications services, primarily local telephone service, for residential and business customers in the District, Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia.

DEVELOPMENTS: During the first year in which they were not part of American Telephone & Telegraph Co., C&P Cos. slightly increased profits and forged ahead with new service and business plans. After winning sizable rate increases in 1983, the companies sought more revenue increases last year in three of the four states they serve: $54.5 million in the District, $118.9 million in Maryland and $75.4 million in West Virginia. All the requests are pending.

The companies introduced new rate structures in Maryland that separate access to a dial tone from actual use. The same proposal is pending approval in West Virginia and the District. The concept previously was introduced in the District and was rejected by the Public Service Commission. All jurisdictions except the District now offer a form of local measured service, under which customers are billed according to time, distance and length of calls.

The C&P Cos. are expanding construction budgets for digital switching, which makes possible such services as high-speed data transmission, and for fiber-optic cables, or thin glass strands that transmit voice and data information via light pulses. In the District, the company began laying 5,800 miles of such cable for a $20 million fiber-optic loop; the loop will let area business customers transmit in less than a second more information than is contained in the entire 30 volumes of the Encyclopedia Britannica. The system is designed to save C&P in the District $17 million over the next 20 years.

C&P in the District also won a $55 million contract to construct a cable television system for District Cablevision; a contract to maintain the system will bring in extra revenue. Audiotex services, for which customers pay an additional charge to hear sports, "adult messages" or other information, were introduced in Maryland and the District.

C&P also trimmed its combined work force by about 1,000 employes through attrition and retirement, and it introduced new incentives that tie raises to performance. Finally, the companies began providing the "equal access" service that allows customers to reach the long-distance company of their choice without dialing a lengthy access code. 4: GIANT FOOD INC. P.O. Box 1804 Washington, D.C. 20013

REVENUE: $2.14 billion PROFITS: $45.2 million EARNINGS PER SHARE: $3.05 DIVIDEND: 80 cents ASSETS: $539.7 million STOCKHOLDERS' EQUITY: $228.7 million RETURN ON EQUITY: 21.4 percent EXCHANGE: Amex EMPLOYES: 17,800 TOP EXECUTIVE: Israel Cohen, chairman, president and chief executive officer FOUNDED: 1936

DESCRIPTION: Giant is a leading regional supermarket chain and the largest in the Washington area. It has more than a 41 percent share of the local market and a 20 percent share of the Baltimore market. Eighty of its 132 supermarkets are in metropolitan Washington. The company operates pharmacies in 74 of its supermarkets and a specialty gourmet store. In addition to its headquarters and distribution complex at Landover, Giant has a bakery in Silver Spring, a dairy and plastic-bottle plant in Landover, and an ice cream plant and semi-automated dry grocery and frozen-food warehouses in Jessup.

DEVELOPMENTS: Giant recently sold its Pants Corral retail clothing division to Carson Pirie Scott & Co. of Chicago for more than $2 million. The sale is not expected to have much effect on Giant's assets.

The chain ended fiscal 1985 with cash and short-term investments totaling $95.9 million and $68.4 million in working capital, giving it a strong base from which to launch the biggest expansion in its history. Giant plans to spend about $82 million in fiscal 1986 for new units, remodeling of existing stores and construction of support facilities.

Giant plans to open 23 new stores during the next three years with more than 1 million square feet, or an increase of 25 percent. It will add another 90,000 square feet by remodeling 11 existing stores. Of the new stores, six will be food-drug units, including five 52,706-square-foot prototype stores in metropolitan Washington.

Giant recently expanded its real estate division, GFS Realty, which will become more involved in construction of commercial buildings for other area companies.

Later this year, Giant plans to expand its food manufacturing and processing operations by opening soft drink and ice plants in Jessup. In a related development, Giant confirmed that it had renewed talks with Pathmark Supermarkets about the possibility of manufacturing some food items for the New Jersey chain. A Pathmark deal could lead to similar arrangements with other chains that do not have their own processing facilities, Giant said.

Giant continued to outperform the industry last year, reporting a return of 2.11 percent of sales, or a net profit of 2 cents on every dollar of sales. The industry average is just over 1 percent. 5: PRIMARK CORP. 8251 Greensboro Dr., Suite 700 McLean, Va. 22102

REVENUE: $2.04 billion PROFITS: $49.5 million EARNINGS PER SHARE: $5.26 DIVIDEND: $1.85 ASSETS: $1.38 billion STOCKHOLDERS' EQUITY: $381 million RETURN ON EQUITY: 13.7 percent EXCHANGE: NYSE EMPLOYES: 4,135 TOP EXECUTIVE: Robert W. Stewart, chairman FOUNDED: 1981

DESCRIPTION: Primark is a diversified energy and financial services holding company. It produces, ships and sells natural gas throughout Michigan through its Michigan Consolidated Gas division. Its Primark Financial Services division operates insurance companies, mortgage lenders and a savings bank. The company also offers medical education programs to hospitals through its Hospital Satellite Network unit.

DEVELOPMENTS: Primark has been moving through a corporate and management reshuffling designed to cope with changes in the natural gas industry, its primary business, and to ride out shaky times in its other, smaller divisions.

Like other utilities, Michigan Consolidated Gas has controlled expenses, stepped up marketing efforts and adopted flexible gas-purchasing mechanisms to increase profits in the face of partial deregulation of gas prices and slumping energy prices. The results were what Primark's 1984 annual report called an "outstanding" financial performance for the year ended Dec. 31.

Elsewhere in the company, Primark Financial Services lost money in 1984, but the company has revamped the division's management and expanded its operations -- including those of Westmark Savings Bank, opened in Orange County, California, last year -- and expects the division to make a profit this year. Primark's Hospital Satellite Network also is expanding, adding a variety of educational programs, many of them involving teleconferencing or broadcasting centralized medical conferences to hospitals. Last year Primark bought the 20 percent of Hospital Satellite Network it didn't already own; it expects the unit, which serves 179 hospitals, to begin turning a profit next year.

Primark Corp. last week purchased all outstanding stock of National Comtel Systems of Boston. NCS operates a patient telephone rental service that gives hospitals a way to recover the cost of providing telephone service to patients.

But Primark's biggest change in 1984 was probably the one it made in its headquarters site. The company shifted its corporate offices to McLean from Detroit in an effort to separate the holding company from its chief subsidiary, as well as to get closer to the regulators that hold sway over its energy and financial services businesses.