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BP Microsystems Inc., based in Houston, Texas has been named one of the fastest-growing companies in the country by Inc. magazine, which today released its annual ranking of the Inc. 500, the comprehensive guide to America’s fastest-growing private companies.

The Inc. 500, published on October 15th, is an exclusive report on the companies and CEOs who are changing the face of American business. Noteworthy alumni include such household corporate names as Microsoft and Patagonia.

Established in 1985, BP Microsystems, Inc. is a global supplier of engineering and production device programmers and the leading supplier of vision-based automated programming systems. Setting the standard in device support, performance, ease-of-use, and cost-of-ownership, BP Microsystems provides total device programming solutions with a variety of device programmers including Universal Programmers, Concurrent Programming Systems®, Fine-Pitch Automated Programming Systems, and In-Line Programming Systems.

“The reason for making the Inc. 500 is simple,” said David Loeschner, Executive Vice President. “Our product line is strong, innovative, and we listen to the needs of our customers. Our goal is to provide our customers with a broad range of programming solutions, from single-site engineering programmers all the way to In-Line Programming Systems for SMT lines.”

California tops the Inc. 500 with 75 companies on the list and Texas is second with 38 firms. Virginia and Massachusetts tie for third, with 27 companies each. Georgia and New York share the fourth spot (24) and Illinois (23) rounds out the top five. The sales by the 18th annual Inc. 500 companies increased by an average of 1,715% (an average of over $22 million) in just five years.

A look at the Inc. 500 by industry indicates that, as in past years, computer-related companies dominate the rankings (46% of the 500), a 10% increase from the 1998 rankings. The remainder of the list is comprised of companies from the following industries: business services (15%), consumer goods and services (10%), financial services (6%), telecommunications (5%), construction (5%), health/medical (4%), industrial products (4%), transportation (2%), media (1%) and environment (1%).

This marks the 18th year that Inc. 500 has charted the progress of America’s most innovative and successful entrepreneurs. To be eligible for the Inc. 500, companies have to be independent and privately held through 1998, have at least $200,000 in sales in the base year, 1994, and their 1998 sales must have exceeded their 1997 sales. The ranking is based on the percentage increase in sales from 1994 through 1998. Holding companies, regulated banks, and regulated utilities are not eligible. Inc. verified all information using tax forms and financial statements from certified public accounts and by conducting interviews with company officials. BP ranked 475.