Many electrical construction firms are hanging on by their fingernails while waiting for the market to turn around, said Peter Corogin, president of Westlake, Ohio-based Lake Erie Electric. The number of bidders on individual projects has doubled, and some contractors appear to be bidding at cost to keep their electricians busy.
“There is not enough work out there for all the competitors, resulting in too many contractors going after the same projects,” Corogin says. “A lot of companies are disrupting the market and weakening the industry by bidding to stay in business rather than to make a profit.”
Electrical contractors hoped for a strong economic recovery in 2003, but due to the continued softness of the construction market, sales dropped for half of the firms on EC&M's fifth annual listing of the Top 50 Electrical Contractors. Overall, however, the companies managed to post a 1.4 percent average gain in sales from 2002 to 2003 compared with an 8 percent drop from 2001 to 2002.
Almost half of the respondents to EC&M's Top 50 survey named the stagnant economy as their top challenge for 2005, followed by the skilled labor shortage. The U.S. Department of Labor estimates that 550,000 new construction jobs will be created through 2008, and 240,000 workers will leave the industry every year due to retirement and other reasons. Compounding the problem, the average age of the construction worker is 49, according to the Construction Education Foundation of Georgia. As these baby boomers plan for retirement, the construction industry will need to train the workforce of tomorrow.
To find out more about the 2004 Top 50 firms, visit www.ecmweb.com/research to purchase an exclusive research report, which features detailed capsule summaries, a list of contact information for each firm, and a sample cover letter and survey. The report also includes information on the hot and cool markets, the top players in certain industries, the 10 firms with the largest sales gains and drops, firms' biggest challenges for 2005, and the companies' forecast for 2004 sales.
|1||Integrated Electrical Services Inc.||Houston||$1,448,600,000|
|2||EMCOR Group Inc. (1)||Norwalk, Conn.||$1,264,870,000|
|3||Quanta Services Inc. (2)||Houston||$1,028,337,000|
|4||Henkels & McCoy Inc.||Blue Bell, Pa.||$516,000,000|
|5||MYR Group Inc.||Rolling Meadows, Ill.||$437,822,000|
|6||Utility Services Inc. (3)||Bismarck, N.D.||$434,177,000|
|7||Mass. Electric Construction Co.||Boston||$371,177,309|
|9||InfraSource Services Inc. (4)||Media, Pa.||$330,000,000|
|10||SASCO Group||Santa Clara, Calif.||$301,000,000|
|11||Xcelecom Inc.||Hamden, Conn.||$293,600,000|
|12||Cupertino Electric Inc.||San Jose, Calif.||$261,000,000|
|13||Rosendin Electric Inc.||San Jose, Calif.||$230,000,000|
|14||Bergelectric Corp.||Los Angeles||$226,000,000|
|15||Morrow-Meadows Corp.||City of Industry, Calif.||$198,095,171|
|16||Amelco Corp.||Gardena, Calif.||DP|
|17||Red Simpson Inc.||Alexandria, La.||$191,375,123|
|18||Helix Electric Inc.||San Diego||$186,000,000|
|19||Motor City Electric Co.||Detroit||$170,521,000|
|20||Sachs Electric Co.||Fenton, Mo.||$165,000,000|
|21||Sargent Electric Co.||Pittsburgh||DP|
|22||Petrocelli Electric Co. Inc.||Long Island City, N.Y.||$146,500,000|
|23||Aldridge Electric Inc.||Libertyville, Ill.||$133,000,000|
|24||Aneco Electrical Construction Inc.||Clearwater, Fla.||$131,385,683|
|25||Wayne J. Griffin Electric Inc.||Holliston, Mass.||$128,000,000|
|26||E-J Electric Installation Co.||Long Island City, N.Y.||$125,500,000|
|27||Consolidated Electrical Services (5)||Norwood, Mass.||$125,000,000|
|28||Truland Systems Corp.||Reston, Va.||$119,046,798|
|29||The Newtron Group Inc.||Baton Rouge, La.||$117,000,000|
|30||Faith Technologies Inc.||Appleton, Wis.||$108,000,000|
|31||Tri-City Electrical Contractors Inc.||Altamonte Springs, Fla.||$102,000,000|
|32||Rex Moore Electrical Contractors & Engineers||West Sacramento, Calif.||$101,000,000|
|33||Miller Electric Co.||Jacksonville, Fla.||$94,500,000|
|34||Guarantee Electrical Co.||St. Louis||$94,105,000|
|35||Hunt Electric Corp.||St. Paul, Minn.||DP|
|36||Inglett & Stubbs LLC||Mableton, Ga.||$82,000,000|
|37||EEI Holding Corp.||Springfield, Ill.||$81,800,000|
|39||Lake Erie Electric||Westlake, Ohio||$78,827,619|
|40||Oregon Electric Group||Portland, Ore.||$78,000,000|
|41||Cache Valley Electric Co. Inc.||Logan, Utah||$76,326,623|
|42||Cleveland Electric Co.||Atlanta||$75,000,000|
|43||MMR Group Inc.||Baton Rouge, La.||$74,000,000|
|44||Gaylor Group Inc.||Carmel, Ind.||$73,264,000|
|45||Industrial Specialty Contractors LLC||Baton Rouge, La.||$72,000,000|
|46||Kelso-Burnett Co.||Rolling Meadows, Ill.||$68,407,306|
|47||Collins Electrical Co. Inc.||Stockton, Calif.||$66,217,000|
|48||Mona Electric Group Inc.||Clinton, Md.||$65,100,000|
|49||O'Connell Electric Co.||Victor, N.Y.||$63,875,436|
|50||Hatzel & Buehler Inc.||Wilmington, Del.||$61,893,245|
|DP: Declined to participate. This company's ranking is estimated based on information from Dun and Bradstreet's Million Dollar Database.|
| (1) EMCOR provides mechanical, electrical, and end-to-end facilities services. Its total sales were $4.5 billion for 2003. |
(2) Quanta's 2003 sales of $1.028 billion include electrical and datacom services only and exclude fiber, tree trimming, gas, and other unrelated services.
(3) Utility Services, a business unit of Bismarck, N.D.-based MDU Resources, acquired Kansas City, Mo.-based Capital Electric Construction Co., Inc., which ranked 29th on EC&M's 2003 listing with 2002 sales of $114.3 million.
(4) InfraSource Services, Inc.'s pro forma 2003 electrical construction sales of $330 million include work specific to high-voltage transmission lines, overhead and underground T&D, and turnkey electrical substations, and do not reflect revenue from its other divisions.
(5) Consolidated Electrical Services is a subsidiary of Constar International, which ranked 27th on the 2003 listing with sales of $116 million.