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Globe 100 honors top Mass. companies in 25th anniversary edition

Springfield gun maker Smith & Wesson tops the 2013 Globe 100 rankings of Massachusetts businesses.

Suzanne Kreiter/Globe staff

Springfield gun maker Smith & Wesson tops the 2013 Globe 100 rankings of Massachusetts businesses.

Executives of the best-performing companies featured in the 25th anniversary edition of the Globe 100 rarely bump into each other in the course of business.

But those firms have something important in common -- they all produced record or near-record 2012 financial results that propelled them to the top of the Boston Globe’s annual ranking of public companies in Massachusetts.

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The entire Globe 100 list will be published Sunday at BostonGlobe.com/Globe100, and in a Boston Sunday Globe special magazine supplement.

Globe 100 will also feature a special 25th anniversary Hall of Fame list ranking the best-performing Massachusetts companies over the past quarter century.

Smith & Wesson Holding Corp. of Springfield secured the No. 1 spot on the 2013 Globe 100 list by achieving revenue growth of more than 40 percent last year, significantly improving profit margins, and delivering an average return on equity of more than 55 percent.

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Smith & Wesson sales continued to surge after intense public debate on gun ownership and White House efforts to introduce new gun control legislation. In March, the company said that, despite increasing production, it was unable to meet market demand for its firearm products.

Second on the 2013 Globe 100 was Framingham retailer TJX Cos. Global Partners of Waltham, an energy services company, was third, followed by American Tower Corp. of Boston, an owner and operator of more than 54,000 communications towers around the world. Parexel International Corp. of Waltham, a global biopharmaceutical services company, took fifth place.

The Globe 100 magazine also analyzed the performances of nearly 500 companies that have appeared on at least one of the 25 annual listings.

TJX topped the Hall of Fame ranking with the highest aggregate performance over the last quarter century. The retailer was one of just four companies to appear on every Globe 100 and topped the annual rankings twice.

Financial services giant State Street Corp. of Boston was second on the Hall of Fame list, followed by the Boston investment firm Eaton Vance Corp. EMC. Corp., the data storage company based in Hopkinton, was fourth in the all-time rankings, followed by Framingham retailer Staples Inc.

The Globe 100 magazine and online package will also honor a dozen top Massachusetts innovators for their work in a wide range or organizations. The Globe 100 Innovators of 2013 include data scientist Michael Schmidt; Anant Agarwal, president of the online education collaboration edX; Gui Cavalcanti, founder of the Artisan’s Asylum in Somerville; Care.com founder Sheila Lirio Marcelo; nanomedicine researcher Omid Farokhzad, fertility expert Jonathan Tilly; social entrepreneurs Molly Baldwin of Roca and Marquis Cabrera of Foster Skills; Rethink Robotics founder Rodney Brooks; Lars Albright, founder of the online app business SessionM; and Tom Delbanco and Jan Walker, creators of OpenNotes at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

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