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Apple #88 on Fortune's 100 fastest-growing companies

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As big as Apple is -- 98,000 employees worldwide, with 2013 revenues of about US$171 billion -- it's still growing like a much smaller, nimbler company. Fortune's 2014 list of the 100 fastest-growing companies is out, and Apple is in the #88 spot.

The ranking is a bit lower than last year's #38, but the company has been on the Fortune list for eight consecutive years, quite an achievement in what many consider to still be a tough economy.

What got Apple into the ranking? An earnings per share, three-year annual growth rate of 26 percent, a revenue three-year annual growth rate of 28 percent, and a total return three-year annual rate of 27 percent. The company also beat the Standard & Poor's three-year annual growth rate.

With Apple's executives saying that the company has its best product lineup ever in the works for release in the next few months, Apple might make it back into the list next year for a nine-year streak.

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