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Ten Fastest Growing Tech Companies of 2012

Forbes recently released their annual list of fastest growing tech companies for the US. But while many average investors and tech junkies are aware of heavy hitters like Apple, there are other hidden gems that may rival that company’s historic growth in the coming years. To make the cut for the list, a tech company must have sales growth of at least 10% a year for the past three years. Furthermore, they must have a market capitalization of at least $500 million, and annual revenue of $150 million or more.

Yet despite these hefty growth requirements, plenty of companies have been able to outpace and impress. Here is the list for those who beat out the rest for a top ten slot.

10

Shutterfly

Business: Online photo services
Sales (previous 12 months): $473 million
Sales growth (previous 12 months): 54%
Sales growth (3-year average): 30%
Estimated earnings-per-share growth: 19%
Shutterfly (SFLY) is an online service that lets people share, print and preserve their digital photographs. Customers can also create other photo-based products such as stationery, personalized calendars, bound photo books, greeting cards, etc..

9

Cognizant Technology Solutions

Business: IT (Information technology)
Sales (previous 12 months): $6.1 billion
Sales growth (previous 12 months): 33%
Sales growth (3-year average): 31%
Estimated earnings-per-share growth: 20%
Cognizant Technology Solutions (CTSH) provides clients custom information technology, consulting and outsourcing services. The company is benefiting from the slow economy, where employers are looking for ways to streamline their IT services and cut costs. Many companies are also realizing the increased importance of technology in the workplace.

8

Riverbed Technology

Business: Network gear
Sales (previous 12 months): $745 million
Sales growth (previous 12 months): 24%
Sales growth (3-year average): 31%
Estimated earnings-per-share growth: 20%
Riverbed Technology (RVBD) has helped solve problems dealing with information technology by offering professional solutions. Their Steelhead products allow customers to improve applications performance and ease access to data over networks by supplying faster data transfer speeds.

7

Aruba Networks

Business: Wireless equipment
Sales (previous 12 months): $465 million
Sales growth (previous 12 months): 44%
Sales growth (3-year average): 31%
Estimated earnings-per-share growth: 25%
Aruba Networks (ARUN) allows users to connect to corporate information resources on distributed enterprise networks. Its diverse portfolio of network locations and applications enables users to have secure access to all corporate services regardless of their device or network.

6

Ebix

Business: E-commerce software
Sales (previous 12 months): $169 million
Sales growth (previous 12 months): 28%
Sales growth (3-year average): 32%
Estimated earnings-per-share growth: 20%
Ebix (EBIX) supplies software and e-commerce services to the insurance industry worldwide. It has more than 30 offices in multiple countries including the United States, Australia, Singapore, New Zealand, Canada, China, Japan and India. Because of its global reach, Ebix can provide multiple exchanges worldwide that help garner $100 billion dollars in insurance business every year.

5

Equinix

Business: Data centers
Sales (previous 12 months): $1.7 billion
Sales growth (previous 12 months): 27%
Sales growth (3-year average): 32%
Estimated earnings-per-share growth: 23%
Equinix (EQIX) connects businesses, partners, and customers around the world with its high-performance data centers. Platform Equinix enables more than 4,000 enterprises, along with 690 network service providers, to grow their businesses, improve performance for applications and protect their digital assets.

4

Athenahealth

Business: Health-care services
Sales (previous 12 months): $351 million
Sales growth (previous 12 months): 34%
Sales growth (3-year average): 33%
Estimated earnings-per-share growth: 30%
Athenahealth (ATHN) has a cloud-based business and clinical services model based on proprietary practices and electronic health-record software. It provides to its clients a continuously updated payer knowledge base and integrated back-office service operations. It has clients in 46 states as well as Washington DC. In 2012, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) named Athenahealth one of the 50 most innovative companies in the world in their publication, Technology Review Magazine.

3

Qlik Technologies

Business: Business software
Sales (previous 12 months): $337 million
Sales growth (previous 12 months): 37%
Sales growth (3-year average): 40%
Estimated earnings-per-share growth: 37%
Qlik Technologies (QLIK) sells software that delivers data analysis and reporting solutions. QlikTech offers a software platform called QlikView, which combines search functionality and enterprise-class analytics. Customers that use the software are numerous including Autodesk (ADSK), Kraft Foods (KFT) and Nasdaq OMX Group (NDAQ) as well as middle-market customers.

2

Apple

Business: Computer hardware and software
Sales (previous 12 months): $142 billion
Sales growth (previous 12 months): 63%
Sales growth (3-year average): 43%
Estimated earnings-per-share growth: 18%
Apple (AAPL) is the designer and manufacturer of many consumer electronics such as the iPod, iPad and iPhone. It also sells a various array of other offerings including software, services, peripherals, networking solutions and third-party applications.

1

LinkedIn

Business: Social networking
Sales (previous 12 months): $522 million
Sales growth (previous 12 months): 115%
Sales growth (3-year average): 89%
Estimated earnings-per-share growth: 60%
LinkedIn (LNKD) operates the world’s largest professional network on the Internet. Started in 2003, the company’s network boasts more than 150 million members in 200 countries and territories. Its platform allows users to search, connect, and communicate with business contacts, learn about career opportunities, join industry groups, research organizations and share information. It also has a number of other supporting applications such as smartphone apps to enable easier, more user-friendly peer networking.