No. 1 industrial company

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2012/05/14/BostonGlobe.com/Business/Images/20altra--90x90.jpg Altra: A manufacturer in motion

From elevators to wind turbines, lawn mowers to warships, Altra’s 20 companies make products that propel and harness the movement that powers industry.

No. 1 technology company

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2012/05/14/BostonGlobe.com/Business/Images/20ptc--90x90.jpg Parametric: Maker of the connected fridge, and other wonders

The company’s products help make sophisticated devices like smartphones smarter, but it’s also behind a whole different class of household appliance: more connected refrigerators.

No. 1 medical device company

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2012/05/14/BostonGlobe.com/Business/Images/20covidien--90x90.jpg Covidien turns medical devices into cash

Covidien has stitched together a bulging catalog of more than 50,000 obscure health products, ranging from surgical instruments to bandages, that together generate billions of dollars in sales a year.

No. 1 finance company

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2012/05/14/BostonGlobe.com/Business/Images/20eaton--90x90.jpg Eaton Vance: Rising tall in a tough year

In 2011 - a tough year for financial firms - the Boston-based mutual fund company had $1.2 billion in revenue, up 7 percent from the previous year.

No. 1 real estate company

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2012/05/14/BostonGlobe.com/Business/Images/20properties--90x90.jpg Boston Properties: A towering presence

It was among the few real estate firms to move forward last year with construction of new office projects.

No. 1 telecom company

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2012/02/28/BostonGlobe.com/Business/Images/28massmover_photo--90x90.jpg IPG burns bright

The Oxford-based maker of optical fiber lasers saw increased demand from heavy manufacturers.

No. 1 services company

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2012/05/16/BostonGlobe.com/Business/Images/05massmover--90x90.jpg Sapient back on top

Sapient’s history as a technology-focused company has clearly served it well in the current marketing climate.

No. 1 consumer company

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2012/04/08/BostonGlobe.com/Business/Images/08massmover_photo--90x90.jpg TJX keeps up discounting dominance

The Framingham powerhouse rode soaring sales and big profits to the top.

Globe 100 overview

Globe 100 | Overview

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2012/05/14/BostonGlobe.com/Business/Images/BostonGlobeFINAL--90x90.jpg The big comeback: The Globe 100 returns to full strength

Companies large and small returned to eligibility as the markets rebounded. For the first time in three years, there are 100 of the state’s top-performing public companies in our annual ranking.

Methodology

How we chose the Globe 100

The Globe 100 ranks the best-performing publicly traded corporations based in Massachusetts by how well they increased sales, profits, and returns for shareholders during 2011.

Letter from the business editor

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2012/05/16/BostonGlobe.com/Business/Images/byun_leung03_inhouse_cut--90x90.jpg Mass. business is bouncing back

For the first time since 2009, the Globe 100 features 100 companies. A strange milestone, but the Great Recession robbed many of the chance to make our list.