Earlier today Fortune published the 2016 edition of its annual ranking of the 500 largest U.S. corporations in business. Here are a few takeaways that you’ll need to know:
1. Walmart (WMT) took the top spot for the fourth straight year despite a dip in revenues.
2. Apple (AAPL) moved up to No. 3 and led all companies with $53 billion in profits.
3. Facebook (FB) continued its ascent, jumping 85 spots to No. 157 with nearly $18 billion in sales.
4. Amazon.com (AMZN) ranks at No. 18. The online book retailer that CEO Jeff Bezos built has turned into an e-commerce giant, reaching $100 billion in annual sales faster than any other company. Amazon’s cloud-computing business, Amazon Web Services, brought in nearly $8 billion in sales in 2015. Propelled by 29% annual sales growth, Amazon has rocketed up the 500 over the past decade and this year debuts in the top 20. With a recent market value of $280 billion, it’s already worth more than No. 1 Walmart.
5. Boeing (BA) ranks at No. 24. The airplane manufacturer soared to record revenues of $96.1 billion last year. A $480 billion backlog of commercial plane orders, built up as Boeing struggled to meet demand for its 787 Dreamliner, is offsetting lower defense sales. The company delivered a record 762 commercial airplanes in 2015, or a 60% increase from four years earlier. Boeing, which turns 100 this year, is promising higher cash flow as it continues to ramp up production.
6. Goldman Sachs (GS) ranks at No. 74. Sales and profits both fell at the investment bank as it faced strong headwinds—from a slowing China to falling commodity prices to a $5 billion settlement for its role in selling toxic mortgage bonds that helped spark the 2008 financial crisis. The Goldman business unit that includes private equity investments and corporate loans—and is the company’s second-biggest source of pretax earnings—saw its net revenues drop by 20% in 2015.
7. Starbucks (SBUX) ranks at No. 146. Robust results have become the order of the day for the coffee giant, with 23 consecutive quarters of global comparable-store sales growth of 5% or more. In 2015 the company added 767 net new stores in China and Asia Pacific. Net revenues at Starbucks’ company-owned stores in the Americas—including the core U.S. market—rose by 9.7% to $11.9 billion last year thanks to increased food sales and more mobile transactions.
8. Dollar Tree (DLTR) ranks at No. 180. The discount retailer made a big jump in the rankings by acquiring competitor Family Dollar and its roughly 8,200 stores in July 2015. The merger added $6.2 billion in sales but further lowered margins on the chain’s low-priced products. Walmart remains the most-visited retailer in the U.S., but Dollar Tree is becoming more mainstream. according to a survey last year, the ultra-discounter was the fifth-most-common destination for shoppers.
9. Chesapeake Energy (CHK) ranks at No. 223. Low oil and natural-gas prices drove the Oklahoma energy company to a net loss of $14.7 billion in 2015 despite cost cutting. The shocking death of former CEO Aubrey McClendon in a single-car accident in March cast a pall over 2016 too. Thanks to the shale boom, pioneered in part by Chesapeake, drilling activity and oil production in the U.S. surged in recent years. But in 2015 lower oil prices led to a sharp dropoff in the number of wells drilled.
10. Reynolds American (RAI) ranks at No. 266. Despite a national slowdown in tobacco use, the parent company of Camel and Pall Mall cigarettes reported a 26% year-over-year gain in revenues thanks to its 2015 acquisition of rival Lorillard, which owns leading brand Newport. Vaping is on the rise, and Reynolds has benefited from strong sales of its “Vuse” brand. The impact of new federal rules banning e-cigarette sales to customers under age 18, however, remains to be seen.
11. Campbell Soup (CPB) ranks at No. 337. The venerable maker of canned food saw slowing sales of its namesake products. It continued the effort to inject healthy food options into its mix with the acquisition of hummus maker Garden Fresh Gourmet last June. Revenue growth at the company’s simple meals unit, which includes soups and Prego sauces, has stagnated. In response, Campbell has pledged to remove all artificial ingredients by 2018.
12. Salesforce.com (CRM) ranks at No. 386. Revenue from subscriptions to its cloud-based customer service products grew by 38% in 2015. With $4 billion in uncollected billings, Salesforce could reach $10 billion in annual sales faster than any software firm in history. Led by co-founder and CEO Marc Benioff, Salesforce has become the biggest player in the customer relationship software market within 17 years of founding, beating out the likes of Oracle (ORCL) and Microsoft (MSFT).
13. JetBlue Airways (JBLU) ranks at No. 405. Combine rising passenger traffic with a 35.6% drop in average fuel costs, and JetBlue ended up with record profits of $677 million last year. The airline also received a 10% boost in revenues received from excess-baggage fees and reservation changes. Airports across the U.S. drew huge crowds in 2015 as carriers operating routes in the States flew a record number of passengers. That led to a sixth straight year of cumulative profitability for the volatile industry.
14. Frontier Communications (FTR) ranks at No. 461. Frontier, which last made the 500 in 2012, provides voice and wireless service to 3.4 million customers in 29 states. The Connecticut company added 384,800 broadband subscribers after acquiring AT&T’s wire-line operations in its home state. Web-surfing, Netflix-watching (NFLX) customers have been good to Frontier. The company added around 30% more broadband subscribers over the past two years, leading to $200 million in increased data service sales.
A version of this article appears in the June 15, 2016 issue of Fortune.
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