Revenue Gains, Declines Split Among Largest Commercial Contractors

by George Waldon  on Monday, May. 28, 2012 12:00 am  

Business rebounded in 2011 and returned to 2009 levels for the state's 20 largest commercial contractors. Among this group, combined revenue totaled more than $1.87 billion.

The one-year change represented an 11.3 percent bounce from $1.68 billion in 2010. This year's list expanded to 30 companies, with 13 reporting gains and 12 reporting declines. The other five didn't report 2010 revenue or had no change.

(Click here for a PDF list of the state's largest commercial contractors. A spreasheet version of the list is available here.)

James H. Cone Inc. of Little Rock registered the biggest one-year increase of them all at 88.2 percent. The company ranked No. 6 with total 2011 revenue of $62.1 million.

Jimmy Cone said the past two years represent a nice spike in business.

"We are on a roller coaster," Cone said. "I don't see us maintaining that volume for 2012, but there are some opportunities that could really show up for us in 2013."

Three other firms recorded annual revenue growth north of 50 percent for 2011: No. 9 Clark Contractors LLC of Little Rock, 69.5 percent; tied at No. 19 Hill & Cox Corp. of Hot Springs, 64.3 percent; and No. 4 Latco Inc. of Lincoln (Washington County), 60 percent.

No. 7 CR Crawford Construction Inc. of Fayetteville has ridden out the past few years with a foundation of work for schools and retailers and restaurants that have continued to grow during the recession.

"It hasn't gotten any worse, and we've all made adjustments to this market," said Cody Crawford, company president. "The good competition is still around. A lot of the guys who shouldn't have been in the market aren't here anymore. It's a healthier environment.

"The private sector work has almost disappeared. There's no spec building of office buildings and retail centers."

The view from south Arkansas is slightly different at No. 11 Ideal Construction Co. of Crossett.

Mike Webb, company president, said his firm had to stretch beyond its normal market to land the Jonesboro Healthcare Center project in the face of increased competition.

"We had a good volume year," Webb said. "I see some dips coming up, so I don't know if we'll be able to maintain that.



Please read our comments policy before commenting.