Fortune magazine have just released its annual ranking of the top 500 US companies by revenue. Overall, total net income for companies on the list grew 350% for the year; this is the second-largest gain in the list’s 56 years. But total revenue fell by 8.7% for the year, the largest percentage decline since 1983.
This year sees Wal-Mart knock Exxon Mobil from the top slot to rule the Fortune 500 once again. Last year’s number one, oil giant Exxon Mobil, now in second place, took a gamble on the domestic natural gas market late last year buying Texas-based XTO Energy for $41 billion. But refining and exploration remain its backbone. Holding on to the number 3 spot is Chevron. With prices for crude oil and natural gas off sharply from their recent highs, revenue at the oil giant tumbled 37%, from $265 billion to $167 billion. The good news: production of oil and gas jumped 7%, thanks in part to a 57% success rate on its exploratory drilling.
Apple moved up 15 spots in the rankings to take the 56th largest company by revenues. Apple's 2009 revenues of approximately $36.5 billion, up 12.5% from 2008, were enough to place it one spot ahead of Disney, which features Apple CEO Steve Jobs as its largest individual shareholder. Apple also ranked 26th in the most profitable but still ranks behind HP (ranked 10th overall) and Dell (ranked 38th overall), in the "Computers, Office Equipment" industry rankings. Apple also scored highly in several other categories, including taking the top spot in shareholder returns over the past five years with an average return of 45.6%.
In the Internet Services and Retailing industry, Amazon came in first (ranked 100 overall), Google second (ranked 102 overall), and Liberty Media third (ranked 227 overall).
Click here to see the full list of America's largest corporations.
Photo from Creative Commons: Flickr: Leo Reynolds