Energy Revenue Changes Little; Truman Arnold Cos. Departs List

This year’s list of private energy companies hews very closely to the previous year’s, with a few major changes.

The biggest change is that this year, Truman Arnold Cos., which last year was the largest company on the list with annual revenue of $3 billion, is missing completely.

TAC, which has some offices in Texarkana, Texas, told Arkansas Business that the majority of its administration has moved to Dallas, disqualifying it from our list. That leaves West Memphis’ Flash Market Inc. as the only energy company among Arkansas’ largest private companies with annual revenue of more than $1 billion. It broke the $1 billion mark in 2011, rising that year from $873 million.

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One major jump on the list came from Mid-South Sales Inc. of Jonesboro, which surged from $92.4 million in 2011 to $143 million in 2012. Its employee count also rose from 65 to 77. The company has been growing steadily and in March 2012 it acquired the fuel, lube and fuel service business assets of Ritter Oil Co., including its two bulk fuel facilities in Marked Tree (Poinsett County) and Crawfordsville (Crittenden County).

Arkansas Electric Cooperatives Inc. saw its annual revenue jump from $357 million in 2011 to $438 million in 2012.

AECI sells machinery and services to other utility companies.

“Our transformer business is the second- or third-largest transformer business in the U.S.,” said Sandra Byrd, vice president of member and public relations. “We sell transformers not only to other electric cooperatives, but to investor utilities across the U.S. We’ve been incredibly successful over the last few years.”

She said AECI was growing both in sales volume and market share.

“We have some specialized designs that probably accounts for some of that, as well as a high-efficiency production capacity,” she said.

Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corp., a separate company that shares management with AECI, provides utility services in mostly rural areas. Its customers — actually members — benefit from the company’s profits in the form of dividends that can take the form of cash or credits for utility bills. AECC’s revenue fell slightly from $657 million to $653 million. Its employee count rose from 248 to 260.