2022 was a year of revenue growth for most of Arkansas’ 75 largest private companies, although the inflation plague after the coronavirus plague surely contributed to that metric.
The price to make the cutoff was $111.49 million, the revenue reported by Magnolia Banking Corp., the holding company for Farmers Bank & Trust Co., up from $96 million last year. Only nine of the 61 companies with confirmed revenue reported decreases from 2021.
Mountaire Corp. of Little Rock remained the largest private company headquartered in Arkansas as measured by revenue in fiscal 2022, reporting at least $3 billion in revenue for the second straight year.
Two more companies could catch up with Mountaire if they continue to grow revenue as they have in recent years. Arkansas Blue Cross & Blue Shield, also of Little Rock, reported an increase of more than 11%, pushing its revenue to $2.81 billion. It remains barely ahead of No. 3 Simmons Foods Inc. of Siloam Springs, which reached $2.8 billion on the strength of nearly 17% growth in sales last year.
Priority Wire & Cable Inc. and its subsidiary Priority-1 Inc. reported a second phenomenal year of revenue growth. Its 2022 sales total of $2.63 billion was $1 billion more than 2021 and nearly tripled its 2020 figure. The Priority companies of Little Rock, a wire and cable distributor and a freight brokerage, jumped from No. 9 to No. 4, pushing RML Automotive and McLarty Automotive Group each down a peg despite each adding at least $100 million to their sales totals.
Another mover among the 10 largest private companies was Bruce Oakley Inc. of North Little Rock. The commodities transporter and distributor reported revenue of $2.22 billion in 2022, up more than 62% from 2021, the fastest growth on the list. No. 17 Travel Nurse Across America pushed above the $1 billion mark for the first time by growing revenue almost 55%. Supercharged by the COVID-19 pandemic, TNAA has quadrupled its revenue in two years.
In and Out
No. 75 Magnolia Banking Corp. squeaked back onto the list after a year’s hiatus. A full year of revenue from Farmers Bank & Trust’s acquisition of Community First Trust Co. in 2021 and the acquisition of nine branches from Arvest Bank of Fayetteville in January 2022 contributed to its 20% increase in revenue, according to Vice Chairman and General Counsel Bruce Maloch.
Also back after a year on the sidelines are No. 70 Fourjay LLC/Dixie Chicken LLC, the North Little Rock franchisee of Wendy’s and Slim Chickens restaurants, and No. 74 First Paragould Bancshares Inc., the holding company for First National Bank of Paragould.
The only newcomer is No. 72 First Bank Corp of Fort Smith, the holding company for First National Bank of Fort Smith and Citizens Bank & Trust of Van Buren. Revenue for banking companies, a growing segment of this list, is measured by adding total interest income and total noninterest income.
Two companies dropped off the list because they are no longer Arkansas-owned private companies. Westrock Coffee Holdings LLC of Little Rock, which was No. 24 last year, went public in 2022 and will make its first appearance on Arkansas Business’ list of publicly traded companies on July 24. Intimidator Group of Batesville, No. 59 last year, was acquired by The Toro Co. of Bloomington, Minnesota, at the start of 2022.
Two more companies from last year’s list are missing because their reported or estimated revenue simply didn’t make the cut. SMA Inc. of Jonesboro reported revenue of $107 million in 2022, up from $100 million. Huffman & Co. of Little Rock, which was No. 75 last year with 2021 revenue of $96 million, did not respond to this year’s survey.