Today, Fortune releases its 62nd annual Fortune 500 list, which ranks companies by revenues and has become a benchmark for business success.
It was a tough year for the 500. Revenues were down 4.2% from a year earlier, and profits were down 11%. That reflected a particularly poor showing by the energy sector. Exxon (XOM), which used to vie with Walmart (WMT) for the list’s top spot, had just a little over half the revenues of the retail giant. Overall, the Fortune 500 had revenues of $12 trillion dollars, roughly two-thirds the size of the U.S. GDP.
Apple continued its extraordinary climb, up to the No. 3 spot this year, from No. 5 last year, and took top honor in profits. Second in profits was J.P. Morgan Chase (JPM), which enjoyed a 12.3% jump in earnings, and displaced Exxon in the number two spot. Amazon (AMZN) moved into the Fortune 500’s top 20 – at 18, up from 29. Other big movers included Facebook (FB) – jumping 85 spots to No. 157; and Netflix (NFLX), moving to No. 379 from 474. You can find a list of the ten companies that made the biggest gains here; and the 29 companies that fell off the list here.
Check out the full list. And I recommend you find some time today to read Beth Kowitt’s fascinating story on Monsanto, which is trying to overcome a mountain of critics as it struggles to feed the planet.
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