Posted: June 01, 2010

Colorado’s Top 100 Public Companies

Guess who's No. 1 -- again?

Mike Taylor

Qwest Communications International is once again the state's top-ranked public company based on 2009 revenues, but it could be for the last time. The Denver-based telecommunications carrier that was founded in 1996 by billionaire Phillip Anschutz announced in April it would be acquired by Louisiana-based CenturyTel in a $10.6 billion stock swap.

The merger is subject to approval by shareholders, the Federal Communications Commission and the Department of Justice and is expected to be completed by early 2011. Assuming the combined company is headquartered in Monroe, La., where CenturyTel is based, that would leave Broomfield-based Level 3 Communications, a fiber-optic network provider that ranks No. 8 among the state's public companies, as the largest Colorado-based telecom.

Another of note is Littleton-based TW Telecom, which provides last-mile connections into cities and buildings. TW Telecom (TWTC) had revenues of $1.2 billion last year to rank No. 16 among Colorado-based public companies.

Among other notables in this year's Top 100, Englewood-based Echostar Corp., founded in 1996 by Charlie Ergen, spun off Dish Network in 2008, and the companies now operate independently and are listed separately in the Top 100 Public Companies ranking. Dish Network (DISH), a provider of satellite TV services, ranks No. 2 in this year's Top 100 with revenues of $11.7 billion last year. Echostar (SATS), a provider of satellite television equipment, ranks No. 11 with revenues of $1.9 billion last year.

See the complete list.

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Mike Taylor is the managing editor of ColoradoBiz. He writes about small-business money issues and how startups are launched. Email him at mtaylor@cobizmag.com.

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