Florida Trend | Florida's Business Authority


Regulatory reforms and skittish investors have combined to make it harder for companies to make initial public offerings. A regulatory crackdown on stock research in 2003 gave investment banks less incentive to employ stock analysts, whose reports tend to trigger buying and selling. Those who remain focus mostly on larger companies because investors tend to be more interested in those firms. A small company going public isn't likely to garner much attention, which limits its appeal among investors. Companies that consider going public face new costs and challenges as a result of the 2002 Sarbanes-Oxley law, which makes board members and executives more accountable for the accuracy of company books.


Accentia BioPharmaceuticals (Nasdaq-ABPI)
2005 Sales:
$25.2 million
1-Year Sales Growth: (-2.9%)
Chairman: Francis O'Donnell Jr.
Website: accentia.net

Accentia BioPharmaceuticals was formed to acquire companies and products that deliver specialty drugs to patients with respiratory conditions, cancer and chronic pain using patented delivery technologies. The company has about 10 products on the market, including antihistamines and a potential vaccine for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. The company also offers biologic manufacturing services, has developed a line of cell-production instruments and is pursuing licensing late-stage development products.

AmComp (Nasdaq-AMCP)
North Palm Beach
2005 Sales: $267.3 million
1-Year Sales Growth: 41.7%
CEO: Fred R. Lowe
Website: amcomp.com

AmComp is a holding company for firms that underwrite workers' comp insurance. It also provides numerous related services such as loss prevention advice and claims-handling strategies. AmComp has been through a few name changes and maintains subsidiaries under five wholly owned entities, including Pinnacle Administrative, AmServ and Pinnacle Benefits.

BabyUniverse (Nasdaq-POSH)
Fort Lauderdale
2005 Sales: $23.7 million
1-Year Sales Growth: 66.1%
Chairman, CEO: John C. Textor
Website: babyuniverse.com

BabyUniverse used the proceeds from its August 2005 public offering of 2 million shares to fund growth and acquisition. It bought DreamTimeBaby.com in September and PoshTots.com and PoshLiving.com in January. Together, the acquisitions aim to create a web-based retail site that covers the baby/toddler and maternity products segment and ultimately targets affluent women who like to shop online.

Ruth's Chris Steak House (Nasdaq-RUTH)
2005 Sales:
$214.5 million
1-Year Sales Growth: 11.6%
Chairman: Robin P. Selati
Website: ruthschris.com

Ruth's Chris Steak House includes 95 restaurants in 30 states and 10 franchisee-owned locations in Mexico, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Canada. The company plans to add five to eight company locations and four to six franchised locations over the next 12 months. It moved its headquarters from New Orleans to central Florida in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

Website Pros (Nasdaq-WSPI)
2005 Sales:
$37.8 million
1-Year Sales Growth: 61.4%
Chairman: David Brown
Website: websitepros.com

Website Pros' customers are businesses looking to establish a presence on the internet. Founded in 1999, the company offers a range of services from site design to online selling and maintenance. Website Pros sells to more than 50,000 small and midsize businesses, primarily on a subscription basis. In 2005, the company acquired eBoz and Leads.com.

See the Top 150 Florida Public Companies list here


Burger King Holdings (NYSE-BKC proposed)
2005 Sales:
$1.94 billion
2006 Employees: 36,400
CEO: John W. Chidsey
Website: burgerking.com

Burger King Holdings operates more than 11,100 restaurants in 65 countries. About 1,150 restaurants are company-owned, while the rest are franchises.

EduTrades (AMEX-EDX proposed)
Cape Coral
2004 Sales:
$38.9 million
2006 Employees: 117
CEO: Nicholas S. Maturo
Website: edutrades.com

EduTrades offers training and education courses for people interested in learning how to invest in the stock market and other financial instruments. EduTrades, a Whitney Information Network subsidiary, markets its courses through infomercials and direct marketing.

Mueller Water Products (NYSE-MWA proposed)
2005 Sales:
$1.75 billion*
2006 Employees: 7,000
CEO: Gregory E. Hyland The subsidiary of Walter Industries manufactures water infrastructure and flow-control products. Its products are used in industrial applications, including fire protection systems, gas distribution systems, water and wastewater treatment facilities, and water distribution networks.

PGT (Nasdaq-PGTI proposed)
North Venice
2005 Sales:
$332.8 million
2005 Employees: 2,400
CEO: Rodney Hershberger
Website: pgtindustries.com

PGT is the holding company of PGT Industries, a manufacturer of custom aluminum and vinyl windows, doors and sliding panels.

Tandem Health Care (Nasdaq-TAND proposed)
2005 Sales:
$543.3 million*
2005 Employees: 12,000
CEO: Lawrence R. Deering
Website: tandemhealthcare.com

Tandem Health Care operates about 80 nursing homes and other long-term care facilities in seven states. The company also provides diagnostic imaging, hospice, rehabilitation and pharmacy services.

VeriChip Corp. (Nasdaq-CHIP proposed)
Delray Beach
2005 Sales:
$24.6 million*
2005 Employees: 139
CEO: Kevin H. McLaughlin
Website: verichipcorp.com

The subsidiary of Applied Digital makes wearable and human-implantable radio frequency identification (RFID) microchips that are increasingly popular among parents, hospitals and governments. Each chip contains a number that can be used to access a database of information.

* Indicates pro forma sales data

See the Top 150 Florida Public Companies list here