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Hottest companies on the Fortune 500

Jun 05, 2015

It's good to be on the Fortune 500, great to be a repeat performer, but even better to have made a big leap since last year. These 15 companies have risen more spots in the last year than any of the rest. They're the hottest companies of the 2015 Fortune 500, and some of them you know—Facebook, Salesforce—but some of them you may not.

1. SpartanNash

SPARTANASH_Family Fare_associate_1Courtesy of SpartanNash

This Michigan wholesale food distributor had a banner year, moving up an astounding 452 spots in rank, from the 800s to the 300s. With $7.91 billion in 2014 revenue, the company is No. 359 this year.

2. NGL Energy Partners

34Courtesy of NGL Energy Partners

NGL provides a wide range of energy services, including marketing, storage, and distribution of crude oil—and this year it jumped a wide range of slots on our Fortune 500. The Tulsa-based company shot up 257 slots, from No. 566 to No. 299, thanks to $9.70 billion in 2014 revenue.

3. Packaging Corporation of America

451 Packaging Corp_PCA Fortune 500 Photo

This manufacturer of packaging materials, based out of Lake Forest, Ill., is the third-biggest producer of freesheet in North America. (What is freesheet? Paper that is less than 10% groundwood pulp.) PCA's strong performance over the last year rocketed it 189 slots from No. 640 to No. 451. It took in $5.85 billion in 2014 revenue.

4. Arris Group

492 Arris ARRIS_Horsham_facility009Courtesy of ARRIS Group

Chances are good that you've seen the name Arris on a cable modem or small box sitting atop someone's TV. The company makes video and broadband hardware, and it's up 152 slots this year, from No. 644 to No. 492, with $5.32 billion in annual revenue.

5. Gilead Sciences

Supplied Gilead_GILEAD_11052012_LABS_MG_9018.1Courtesy of Gilead Sciences

Gilead is a biotechnology company that develops and sells commercial pharmaceuticals. Gilead sat out a recent M&A frenzy in the pharma space, but continues to grow: This year it jumps 132 spots, from No. 250 to No. 118. It had $24.90 billion in revenue last year—the largest of any of the 15 companies on this shortlist.

6. Trinity Industries

433 Trinity_Trinity Marine Barge PhotoCourtesy of Trinity Industries

Trinity is an industrial company with diverse holdings—it has its hands in energy, transportation, construction, and other sectors. The Dallas-based company leapt 126 slots on this year's list, moving from No. 559 to No. 433 thanks to $6.17 billion in annual revenue.

7. Murphy Oil


Courtesy of Murphy Oil

This Louisiana oil and gas company (not to be confused with popular Murphy Oil Soap, a Colgate-Palmolive household cleaner) chugged from No. 470 to No. 350 this year, a 120-slot rise. It had $8.26 billion in 2014 revenue.

8. Lithia Motors

482 Lithia Motors 008Courtesy of Lithia Motors

You may not be familiar with this Medford, Oregon-headquartered auto dealership, but it's the seventh largest in the U.S. It sold enough cars to drive up 120 slots, from No. 602 to No. 482 this year. Lithia had $5.40 billion in revenue last year.

9. Devon Energy

Devon EnergyCourtesy of Devon Energy

Based in Oklahoma, Devon is one of the largest producers of natural gas in the world, and it thrived in 2014, bringing in $19.57 billion in revenue last year and moving up 118 slots from No. 270 to No. 152.

10. Salesforce

great workplaces salesforce puppy force
Photograph by Brittany McLaren for Fortune

Business is good at the cloud computing giant Marc Benioff built to help businesses manage their customers. Salesforce jumped up 116 slots in rank, from No. 599 to No. 483, and had $5.37 billion in annual revenue.

11. Micron Technology

Micron Supplied_high_res_300mm_4Courtesy of Micron Technology

Don't say the USB stick is dead yet. This Boise, Idaho maker of semiconductors and flash memory drives did so well in 2014 ($16.36 billion in revenue) that it rose 112 slots from No. 302 on last year's list to No. 190 on this year's ranking. Those are hot wires.

12. Pioneer Natural Resources

496 Pioneer Natural Resources PXD_Production_Permian2Courtesy of Pioneer Natural Resources

Things are good for yet another oil and gas player: This independent one, based in Irving, Tx., is up 109 slots, moving from No. 609 into the Fortune 500 (barely) at No. 496, courtesy of $5.30 billion in revenue.

13. Advance Auto Parts

DIY_TM_M_001Courtesy of Advance Auto Parts

Here's a business you might know by its ubiquitous radio ads. Advance Auto Parts sells (what else?) auto parts, and it sold enough of them in 2014 to bring in $9.84 billion in revenue and leap 108 spots, from No. 402 to No. 294.

14. Facebook

FACEBOOK_Employees at Work

To think that just two years ago Facebook made its Fortune 500 debut, when CEO Mark Zuckerberg wasn't even 30 yet. Last year, its second year on the list, Facebook clocked in at No. 341. This year it reached No. 242, a leap of 99 slots. It had $12.47 billion in revenue. Do you "like" that?

15. Molina Healthcare

MOLINAHEALTHCARE20111105 molina hip-hop 13262717Photograph by Jeff Gritchen

Molina, which offers government-based healthcare programs and is based in Long Beach, California, had a big year, climbing 92 slots on the Fortune 500, from the bottom of the 300s (No. 393) to the top (No. 301 this year) with $9.67 billion in revenue.

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