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Surprising Middle Market Companies

Middle market firms are defined as having revenues generally between $50 million and $1 billion. They create 40 percent of Gross Domestic Product and employ 40 percent of America’s workforce.

It’s those two percentages that have many analysts saying these companies form the backbone of the U.S. economy and represent a lifeline to economic recovery.

Despite the economic downturn, the middle market is thriving, which makes it the sector most likely to drive job creation domestically — middle market companies tend to hire more U.S. workers than any other firms.

The companies are geographically diverse and span every industry from retail to manufacturing. They represent brands that you are likely to encounter on a daily basis — from that morning cup of coffee to your iPhone case, to how you listen to the radio. There’s even a famous hot dog among them.

But only 20 percent of middle market companies are publicly traded, since the vast majority are owned by private-equity firms or families.

So how do you invest and seize on this growing sector? We’ve put together a list of middle market companies that trade on Wall Street and offer possible investing opportunities.

Note: The 2011 revenues (TTM) for each company are included in our list.

Posted 30 July 2012

Photo: Scott Eells | Bloomberg | Getty Images