Packing a Powerful Lineup

I received a visit in early 2008 from Terry McWilliams, founder of a Louisville area-based investor relations firm. After conducting a successful equity/investment conference in his home state, he was looking to bring the idea to Indiana. The initial event did take place that fall at the then recently opened Lucas Oil Stadium.

Terry and a team of supporters are back in 2010 with a strong list of Hoosier companies that are going to talk about their performance and their future plans. The primary audience: analysts, fund managers and institutional investors. And, as Terry explained in a recent e-mail, the people who can benefit the most are "those with companies that plan to go public, as they can witness the investor commuications process from a front row seat."

You can check out the details of the September 9 event (at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway this time around). It’s certainly a bit of a niche audience/event, but anytime you can get the likes of the following in one place to talk about their organizations, that’s a good thing — and an insight into our immediate and longer-term economic future from some executives who are at center stage of the battle.

Big names: Eli Lilly, Cummins, Steel Dynamics, NiSource, Zimmer, Hillenbrand, Interactive Intelligence, a variety of banks and more. Michael Oxley, co-author of the Sarbanes Oxley Act, will deliver a keynote presentation.

Indiana’s Big Fish in the Manufacturing Sea

Industry Week recently released its list of the world’s 1000 largest manufacturers. While the usual suspects retain top spots (No. 1 Exxon Mobil Corp., No. 2 Royal Dutch Shell PLC and No. 3 BP PLC), an Indiana company received notoriety for scaling the list.

Fort Wayne-based Steel Dynamics Inc. jumped 246 spots to No. 465 (the company was No. 711 in 2008). No other U.S. company achieved such a large gain and only two other company gained more spots on the list – India’s Tata Steel Ltd. moved up the ranks by 384 and China’s Jiangxi Copper Co. Ltd. gained 377 spots.

IW notes that Steel Dynamics achieved significant growth “after a strong first nine months in 2008. The company posted a loss in the fourth quarter when steel shipments fell 34% from the third quarter.” Steel Dynamics posted an 84.3% growth in revenue last year, according to the report.

The Industry Week 1000 ranks the largest publicly held manufacturing companies based on revenue. With 290 companies on the list, the United States dominates. Other Indiana-based companies held steady in the ranks, gaining a spot or losing a few:  Eli Lilly & Co. ranked No. 201; Cummins Inc. No. 284; and Zimmer Holdings Inc. No. 781. Numerous other companies with operations in the Hoosier state are included in the ranks.