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The ups, the downs, the twists of fate

A look at two decades of Top 1000 miscellany

By Steven Brearton

Of the eight listed firms with "Solution" or "Solutions" in their name, number that are profitable:
Number of times, since 1995, that all Big Five banks haven't been in the Top 10:
twice (2002 and 2000)
Longest consecutive streak as a Top 10 firm:
Bank of Montreal (13 years)
Number of personal finance and investment ads in our first Top 1000 issue, in 1984:
Number of advertisers still serving clients:
1 (Toronto-Dominion Bank)
Typical investment industry ad, 1984:
"COUGAR; the government guaranteed money multiplier! Double or triple your investment or much, much more! ...The key to this is compound interest, whereby interest is earned not only on the principal investment but also on the interest itself"
In 1993:
"Borders have fallen. Virtually all global markets are open to you....The world is rich with secure investments (often more rewarding than their domestic counterparts), offshore trusts and many other financial treasures. We can show you how to find them, and how to profit from them"
In 2002:
"No one can predict the market. But you'll be ready to capitalize on opportunities-whenever they arise"
Where General Motors of Canada, the nation's top revenue maker at$37 billion, would rank in global GDP:
59th, ahead of 139 nations,including Kazakhstan, the Dominican Republic and Guatemala
Occasions since 1989 that Rogers Communications or a subsidiary has appeared in the bottom 10 profitable companies:
In the bottom 25:
Number of times since 1998 that Rogers Wireless Communications has been the 963rd most profitable firm:
three (1998, 2000 and 2002)
Shareholder proposal voted down at Royal Bank's annual meeting this year:
Elimination of stock options.
Voted down at CIBC five years ago:
Capping executive salaries at 20 times the average pay of employees
Voted down at Inco Ltd. 20 years ago:
Cutting sulphur dioxide emissions at its Sudbury smelter
Of the Top 20 in our first Top 1000 issue, in 1984, number with head offices in Montreal:
In Greater Toronto:
Head offices in Montreal this year:
In Greater Toronto:
Number of the 12 companies profiled at length in the last three Top 1000 issues that saw a drop in profit the following year:
Average decline for all 12 firms:
Special advertising supplements in the 1984 Top 1000 issue:
City of Cornwall "Discover why we call Cornwall 'Eastern Ontario's Profit Centre"
In the 1993 issue:
Beer Connoisseur "Imported beer gives barbecued pork kebabs an international twist"
In last year's issue:
Schulich School of Business "Globalization is revolutionizing business education"
Percentage change in profits for Hip Interactive in 2001, the year after it ranked 666, "the mark of the beast":
For Star Choice Communications in 1998, the year after it ranked 666:
Average return on capital for public companies in 2002:
for private companies:
for federal Crown corporations:
Number of the 24 publicly traded tech firms in 1984 that remain on the Top 1000 list:
Number of companies in the Top 10 in profits that are also among the Top 20 in revenues:
Number of the 10 home furnishings and appliance firms in 1984 that remain on the Top 1000 list:
Number of companies in the bottom 10 in profits that are also among the Top 20 in revenues:
one (Bombardier)
Total revenue for all 24 high-tech firms listed in the 1984 issue:
$6.8 billion
2002 revenue for Nortel Networks Corp.
$10.6 billion
Percentage of Top 1000 firms that made less than Magna Corp. CEO Frank Stronach's compensation ($52.1 million for 2002)