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Big Comeback for Bay Area Technology

The Internet implosion of 2000 left citizens of the San Francisco Bay Area in an economic swoon that’s lasted nearly four years. But the signs of recovery are growing plainer, especially in the technology sector. The largest 200 companies in…

The Internet implosion of 2000 left citizens of the San Francisco Bay Area in an economic swoon that’s lasted nearly four years. But the signs of recovery are growing plainer, especially in the technology sector. The largest 200 companies in the Bay Area had combined profits of $32.7 billion in 2003, up from a collective loss of $8.8 billion in 2002. The stock value of these companies increased by 59 percent over 2002 levels, to $1.4 trillion. And nine of the ten best-performing companies in the region were in the areas Technology Review covers most closely, including biotechnology, the Internet, and computing. That’s all according to the San Francisco Chronicle, which released its annual listing of the Chronicle 200 on Monday.

The ten best-performing companies in the Chronicle 200, as determined by percentage revenue growth and profit growth, return to investors, and market value, were:

1) SanDisk (memory cards, Sunnyvale)
2) Genentech (biopharmaceuticals, South San Francisco)
3) Juniper Networks (networking equipment, Sunnyvale)
4) Advanced Micro Devices (microchips, Sunnyvale)
5) Yahoo! (Internet portal, Sunnyvale)
6) Lexar Media (memory cards, Fremont)
7) Symantec (security software, Cupertino)
8) Align Technology (orthodontics, Santa Clara)
9) Atmel (microchips, San Jose)
10) Netflix (Internet DVD rentals, Los Gatos)

Job growth in the Bay Area hasn’t kept pace with the general economic recovery; California claimed only 5,200 of the 308,000 jobs added nationwide in March. But as technology-related businesses recover, the Bay Area economy can’t help but follow. Electronics and technology services account for 40 percent of the region’s revenues, 28 percent of profits and 62 percent of market capitalization, according to the Chronicle.

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