Atheros was initially a WLAN vendor which expanded its product portfolio to feature high-performance Ethernet and Bluetooth technologies. With the strong growth of the GPS market the company decided last year to also diversify in this field. In December 2007 Atheros acquired u-Nav Microeletronics, a fabless GPS semiconductor manufacturer for $54 million.
The company's market share gains in the wireless industry have led to a three-year annual revenue growth rate of 44 percent, which is a key measure in Fortune's ranking criteria. Atheros also achieved consecutive quarterly revenue growth throughout the entire three-year Fortune assessment period, June 30, 2005 to June 30, 2008.
FORTUNE 100 ranking
Companies that qualify for FORTUNE's 100 Fastest-Growing Companies list must be incorporated in the U.S.; have a minimum market capitalization of $250 million; have a stock price of at least $5; and have been trading continuously since June 30, 2005. In addition, qualifying companies must have revenue and net income for the four quarters ended on or before June 30, 2008, of at least $50 million and $10 million, respectively; and have posted a compound annual growth in revenue and earnings per share of at least 25 percent annually over the three years ended on or before June 30, 2008. All companies are ranked by their revenue growth rate, their EPS growth rate, and their three-year annualized total return to investors for the period ended June 30, 2008. The overall rank is based on the sum of the three ranks.