The career-oriented networking portal LinkedIn Corp. (NYSE:LNKD) topped Forbes' 2013 list of America's 25 fastest-growing tech companies for the second consecutive year, while social networking giant Facebook (Nasdaq:FB) pushed IT behemoth Apple Inc. ( Nasdaq:AAPL) to third place on the list.
LinkedIn topped the list, logging 102 percent growth in average sales over the past three years and 51 percent growth in three-to-five-year estimated earnings per share, or EPS.
Facebook came in second, averaging 87 percent growth in sales for the past three years and 25 percent growth in estimated EPS. Apple, which was second on the 2012 list, placed third this year with 55 percent growth in sales and 15 percent growth in estimated EPS.
Cognizant Technology Solutions (Nasdaq:CTSH), the Teaneck, N.J.-headquartered Indian IT outsourcing firm, slipped three spots to No. 12. It's the only Indian technology company to make the Forbes list.
Although headquartered in the U.S., Cognizant is considered an Indian company, as it bases a significant portion of its operations and employees in India. The company last month displaced Infosys Ltd. (NYSE:INFY) to become the second-largest Indian IT services provider by revenues, according to global technology research and advisory company Gartner. Cognizant was ranked 9 and 11 on the Forbes list for the years 2012 and 2011, respectively.
The online search engine giant Google Inc. (Nasdaq:GOOG) was No. 17 on the list, while Forbes placed cloud-based health service provider Athenahealth Inc. (Nasdaq:ATHN) at No. 13.
The list ranks technology companies based in the U.S. on the basis of average sales for the past three years and estimated EPS. Forbes picks the ranked companies from more than 2,100 publicly traded technology firms. Only companies that report profit with a minimum revenue of $150 million and a market capitalization of at least $500 million are eligible.
The companies also are required to have sales growth of at least 10 percent for each of the past three years and over the past 12 months, and an EPS growth higher than 10 percent over the next three to five years to qualify for an entry on the list.