Thriving in hard times

Amid the Great Recession, these companies are growing fast by offering services buyers can't go without -- like life-saving medical breakthroughs.

1 of 5
BACKNEXT
Back from the brink
Every week 100 human hearts are flown into Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport and delivered on a bed of ice to the Kennesaw, Ga., facility of CryoLife (FSB 100 #23).

There the organs, which less than 24 hours earlier had beaten in the chests of their donors, are carefully dissected. Aortic valves, pulmonary arteries and other essential parts are removed, treated and kept in a liquid nitrogen deep freeze of -400°F until they are whisked away to hospitals around the country for implantation in patients.

Cryopreserving human tissue is a profitable business for CryoLife, but it's also a challenging one. Started in the early 1980s as a six-person operation run from a small laboratory near Atlanta's airport, CryoLife is now a public company with 435 employees and 2008 revenues of $105 million. But before returning to profitability in 2007, CryoLife struggled through a dark period marked by a patient death, numerous lawsuits and a product recall that threatened to kill the company.

"It was remarkable that the company was able to recover at all," says Raymond Myers, an analyst with Emerging Growth Equities, an equity research firm in King of Prussia, Pa.

Read about how CryoLife restarted its flatlining business.

NEXT: Profiting from toxic waste

Email | Print | Share  |  RSS
 
google my aol my msn my yahoo! netvibes
Paste this link into your favorite RSS desktop reader
See all CNNMoney.com RSS FEEDS (close)
LAST UPDATE: Jul 06 2009 | 9:44 AM ET
Sponsored by
5 small stocks ready to soar The FSB 100 is filled with fast growers, but money managers picked these 5 small-caps as stocks with especially bright prospects. More
FSB 100: The full list Meet the No. 1 fastest growing company ... More
Where are they now? We check back in with several of last year's FSB 100 companies to find out if their torrid growth has continued. More

Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.