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Cover Story - April 2008

Texas’ Top Contractors

Related Links:
  • Making the List
  • 2008 Top Contractors Chart
  • 2008 Top Contractors ranked by subcategories
  • While the U.S. economy may face uncertain times, findings from Texas Construction’s Top Contractors survey testify that the state's construction market experienced another strong year in 2007.

    The 130 Texas firms in our annual Top Contractor rankings collectively billed about $22.3 billion in the state in 2007, an increase of nearly $5 billion reported from the previous year, which was also a robust one for growing Texas construction firms. Worldwide, the collective revenue generated by these firms increased by nearly $11  billion; $87.2 billion was reported from all projects worldwide in 2007 compared to the previous year's $76.5 billion.

    Texas' Top Contractors

    Balfour Beatty Construction completed the Natural Science & Engineering Research Laboratory building at the University of Texas at Dallas in Richardson.

    The 130 Top Contractors ranking includes firms earning more than $10 million from Texas revenue. Of those, 100 firms earned $50 million or more instate. More than 60 firms reported earnings in excess of $100 million for 2007, nearly 10 more than the previous year's ranking.

    How we do it

    Texas Construction’s top-list rankings are conducted much like those of Engineering News-Record, which like Texas Construction, is a McGraw-Hill Construction publication. We begin by spreading the word about the survey and rankings at the start of the year, making every effort to reach as many general contracting and construction-management firms in Texas as possible, including some contractors based out of state but performing substantial work in Texas. We attempt to list as many Texas offices as possible, and include the name and location of the largest project that broke ground instate in the previous calendar year for each firm we rank. The list spans the industry; it includes contractors working in a variety of  sectors from public and private general building and heavy/highway transportation to industrial and site infrastructure.

    The result is the information provided on the Top Contractors chart, shown on the following pages. It is derived from surveys completed by Texas construction firms, primarily collected via an online questionnaire. The ranking results are based on the revenue reported for 2007 by each company for work performed in Texas. Worldwide revenues are also included.

    Rankings are also broken out into specialty categories based on the percentage of revenue generated in various industry sectors.

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    Top-list leaders

    Austin Industries of Dallas reclaims the No. 1 spot in this year's Top Contractors ranking with $1.43 billion in Texas revenue. Last year the firm ranked No. 2, but previously had a three-year run in the top spot. In the specialty breakout categories, this year Austin Industries ranks No. 1 in general building and No. 2 in transportation.
    Zachary Group of San Antonio moves into the No. 2 spot from last year's third, with approximately $1.18 billion total reported from its Texas operations for 2007. The firm reported nearly $2.2 billion for all work. Zachry keeps its No. 2 slot in the industrial/process/power subcategory, and also remains No. 3 in transportation.

    In the No. 3 overall spot is Jacobs Engineering of Houston. The majority of the firm's revenue comes from the private sector in the industrial/process/power category, where it claims the No. 1 slot.

    D.E. Harvey Builders climbs into the No. 4  slot overall with $593 million instate, earning nearly $200 million more than the previous year's instate revenue of $386 million and moving up from the ninth slot in last year's ranking. The firm is No. 1 in the interiors breakout category and No. 4 in general building.

    Another big jump was for Houston-based Manhattan Construction Co., which places No. 5 overall with $514 million, up from $259 million in the previous year. The majority of its revenue came from the general building subcategory, where it places No.2..

    Rounding out the top 10 are: No. 6, Williams Brothers Construction Co. of Houston with $488.9 million in Texas, and still No. 1 in transportation; No. 7 Turner Construction Co. in Dallas, with $456.2 million in Texas, making it fifth in general building and fourth in interiors; No. 8 Gilbane Building Co. of Houston with $422.1, ranking third in general building; and No. 9, The Beck Group of Dallas with $392.2; and Lee Lewis Construction of Lubbock at No. 10.

    Firms leading the breakout categories that did not make the top ten this year were Hensel Phelps Construction Co. of Austin, which tops the list in the manufacturing category. The firm came in at No. 12 overall.

    Although No. 31 out of 130, Oscar Renda Contracting of Roanoke ranks No. 1 in the water supply and sewage/waste disposal subcategories. And Austin-based Joe Bland Construction LP, while 75 out of 130, claims the No. 1 spot for site infrastructure.


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