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Apple jumps to No. 56 in annual Fortune 500 rankings

post #1 of 12
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Fortune magazine on Thursday released its annual list of the Fortune 500 U.S. companies with the highest gross revenue in 2010, and Apple moved up 15 spots to take the 56th overall position.

Apple took in $36.537 billion in revenue in 2009, a 12.5 percent increase from its totals in 2008. The Mac maker ranked as the third-largest company in the computers and office equipment category, behind only HP ($114.552 billion, 10th overall) and Dell ($52.902 billion, 38th overall).

Apple was also the 26th-most-profitable company in the rankings, with its $5.704 billion in 2009 profits beating companies like Walt Disney and McDonalds, but coming short of partner AT&T and rivals Google and Microsoft.

The rankings also show how 2009 was an exemplary year for AAPL investors, who saw a 146.9 percent return in the 12-month span. The average annual return rate from 1999 to 2009 was 23.4 percent over the 10-year period.

Apple, however, did not make the cut for Fortune's list of the "100 Best Companies to Work For." Tech companies that appeared on both that list and the Fortune 500 included Microsoft, intel, Qualcomm and Google.

Topping the Fortune 500 this year was Wal-Mart, which took in $408.214 billion in revenue, and $14.355 billion in profit. Other noteworthy companies and their revenues found in the top 100: AT&T (7th, $123.018 billion), Microsoft (36th, $58.437 billion), Intel (62nd, $35.127 billion), and Amazon.com (100th, $24.509 billion).

Fortune has had high praise for Apple of late, naming Steve Jobs the "CEO of the Decade" last November. While that honor was an editorial decision, Thursday's newly revealed Fortune 500 rankings are based purely on raw numbers.

But the magazine wasn't the only one to credit Jobs with Apple's success. In December, Jobs was also named the world's best-performing CEO for increasing his company's market cap a whopping $150 billion over a 12-year span. Jobs finished comfortably in first place of the Harvard Business Review rankings, well ahead of second-place Yun Jong-Yong of Samsung Electronics. And in March, Barron's declared Jobs was the most valuable CEO in the world.
post #2 of 12
Revenue is a somewhat meaningless metric to measure 'success'. For instance, the US Government is the largest 'revenue-generating' entity in the world.

It's market value that counts. And Apple is, amazingly, the third most valuable company in the US!
post #3 of 12
15.6% profit margin isn't too shabby either.
post #4 of 12
Agree with first post - let's look at Market Cap - that's an indication of success in my book. (Especially as a stockholder.)
post #5 of 12
All of these numbers have inherent problems as generic ways of measuring corporate success.

Market cap is nothing more than an instantaneous snapshot of investor sentiment and more dependent on what investors think is going to happen than what has happened.

Revenues don't necessarily translate into profitability.

Profit tell you more about success than the other two, but masks important factors such as return on investment. Big industrial companies generate huge profits, but usually at very small margins over invested capital.
Please don't be insane.
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Please don't be insane.
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post #6 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post

Market cap is nothing more than an instantaneous snapshot of investor sentiment and more dependent on what investors think is going to happen than what has happened.

Yes, it is a 'snapshot,' but I disagree that market cap is 'sentiment'. (In the short-run, swings in market cap could be sentiment-driven). But really, it's a snapshot of investors' expectations of future free cash flows discounted at the appropriate risk-adjusted cost of capital. No more, no less.

And, expectations are rather more than sentiments, in my book.

'Profit' in the accounting sense of the term is often meaningless, because of the 'accrual' nature of measuring inflows and outflows, and because it has become such a highly massaged and managed number in the case of too many companies.
post #7 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Yes, it is a 'snapshot,' but I disagree that market cap is 'sentiment'. (In the short-run, swings in market cap could be sentiment-driven). But really, it's a snapshot of investors' expectations of future free cash flows discounted at the appropriate risk-adjusted cost of capital. No more, no less.

And, expectations are rather more than sentiments, in my book.

'Profit' in the accounting sense of the term is often meaningless, because of the 'accrual' nature of measuring inflows and outflows, and because it has become such a highly massaged and managed number in the case of too many companies.

We're probably saying much the same thing in different ways. There's a lot of sentiment in market cap, because of the nature of earnings multiples and how they reflect expectations. Investors are using what they feel the future will be like to price stocks on any given day, so it's not at all unusual for multiples of earnings to change drastically over a short period of time -- months, even weeks. Fortune is using measurements which at least can capture an entire year of something tangible and objective.

Incidentally, in looking at the complete Fortune 500 list, I see that AIG is placed at number 16, even though they lost $11 billion last year. Revenues they got, profits they don't.
Please don't be insane.
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Please don't be insane.
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post #8 of 12
Hello, you should also include Cisco in the companies that you mention.. Cisco has been in all "Best Companies to Work for" lists since they started making it -- it is i think in top 20, and is also in Fortune 500 ofcourse -- and yes it *is* a tech company!
post #9 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by grkhetan View Post

Hello, you should also include Cisco in the companies that you mention.. Cisco has been in all "Best Companies to Work for" lists since they started making it -- it is i think in top 20, and is also in Fortune 500 ofcourse -- and yes it *is* a tech company!

Apple will never be a top company to work for. It may well be a top company to have worked for (CV/resume value) but from the people I know who work there, they drive you like a slave and don't pay anywhere near top $ (since they believe that the value of the name to the employee is worth many $s). Over the lifetime of a career, it probably is but it is cold comfort when you are there. Apparently, they burn you out, use you up and spit you out.
I have pitched work there a couple of times and they are an interesting company. The functions that drive their success (design, engineering, stores, etc.) are amazing cutting edge operations but the ancillary bits are stone age by comparison (e.g business sales). Just goes to show, you don't have to be great at everything, just the important things.
post #10 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Revenue is a somewhat meaningless metric to measure 'success'. For instance, the US Government is the largest 'revenue-generating' entity in the world.

It's market value that counts. And Apple is, amazingly, the third most valuable company in the US!

I agree that it is not very informative about success, but it is pretty informative about raw size. As you say, the us govt is the largest revenue generating entity in the world, and I don't think that anyone would argue that the us grovt is unimportant. So the metric does have meaning in some contexts
post #11 of 12
Not bad for a company that's still going bankrupt, has no idea how to sell computers, should just shelf OS X and convert everything to Windoze, came out with a touch screen phone that no one wanted which should've included a physical keyboard, and whatever other negative nattering anyone can remember from the critics.
post #12 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by JimDreamworx View Post

Not bad for a company that's still going bankrupt, has no idea how to sell computers, should just shelf OS X and convert everything to Windoze, came out with a touch screen phone that no one wanted which should've included a physical keyboard, and whatever other negative nattering anyone can remember from the critics.

Not agree with you. I'm an AMD desktop PC and Windows supporter but I don't think Apple is going to bankrupt. They sell their own 'computers', whether people like it or not, it still a computer
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