Apple leapfrogs titans of industry to land No. 6 spot on Fortune 500

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
Fortune magazine on Monday released its annual Fortune 500 list of America's top companies, as ranked by revenue, with Apple jumping 11 places from last year to pass giants in the automotive, healthcare and banking industries.

Fortune 500
Source: Fortune


As reported by Fortune's Philip Elmer-DeWitt, Apple's revenue during the last fiscal year was good enough to best heavyweights in a number of strong U.S. industries traditionally at the top of the list, granting the Cupertino company entry into the exclusive top-ten club for the first time ever.

Moving from 17th place to 6th, Apple streaked past J.P. Morgan, Bank of America, General Electric, Ford, General Motors, AT&T, Verizon, Hewlett-Packard, Fannie Mae and Valero. Apple is now the highest ranked tech company on the 500, with second place HP slipping down to the No. 15 spot.

Fortune's blurb about Apple:
Apple is bigger than ever -- the company cracked the Fortune 10 this year. But it's a high-pressure job, being king of the hill. At Apple's press event this past October, it maintained more than disrupted with its software upgrades and iPad mini announcement. Also, CEO Tim Cook had to apologize a lot in the past year -- once in September for the failure of Apple's maps app, and then to Chinese consumers this April for slow repair services -- this in a market that Cook said this past January would be Apple's largest. Still, when every executive wants to invent the iPod of ___, Apple remains an innovation icon.
In order to take the top position, currently held by Wal-Mart, Apple would have to triple its yearly revenue which stood at $156.5 billion last year. The company posted profits of $41.7 billion, however, a massive number bested only by Exxon Mobil's $44.9 billion. Of the top five firms, three were petrochemical companies.

Elmer-DeWitt notes that the rankings reflect Apple's booming fiscal 2012, at the end of which AAPL stock prices dropped precipitously. During Apple's quarterly conference call for the second quarter of 2013, the company announced reduced margins led to its first year-over-year decline in profits in a decade, but still managed to beat Wall Street estimates on revenues of $43.6 billion.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 35
    suddenly newtonsuddenly newton Posts: 13,737member


    Wal-mart's costs must be enormous! They sure take in enough revenue...

  • Reply 2 of 35
    It's over, Apple is doomed.

    (I'm never going to get tired of saying that either)
  • Reply 3 of 35
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    This time next year they'll likely be 3rd or 4th for revenue and have profits close to equaling the profits of slot one and two of this chart combined… but Apple is doomed¡
  • Reply 4 of 35
    just_mejust_me Posts: 590member


    Apple Doom

  • Reply 5 of 35
    flaneurflaneur Posts: 4,506member
    Clearly Apple needs to up its game. Information and knowledge have to be worth more than petrochemicals.
  • Reply 6 of 35
    jpellinojpellino Posts: 606member
    Every time something like this happens, John Dvorak grows another toe.
  • Reply 7 of 35
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,202moderator
    Wal-mart's costs must be enormous! They sure take in enough revenue...

    All store-based. That's why Apple shouldn't build too many stores. Wal-mart has 8,500 stores:

    http://www.journalnow.com/business/article_5ad539d5-d616-55ba-ab27-aeaf45b06074.html

    Their gross margins are lower too.
  • Reply 8 of 35
    Wal-Mart had some very public stories of difficulties with their in-store stocking operations, and they claimed that they had significant revenue impacts due to their target customers being severely affected by the economic downturn and subsequent lowering and delay of social welfare payments.

    That they were able to weather those storms and still end up on top of this list is remarkable.

    I'll only note that the 2, 3, and 4 spots are all oil companies. While they are indeed independent firms, it's a measure of the power of the sector that if they were a combined firm, they would absolutely crush any other firm on the list.

    Berkshire Hathaway is a holding company, for all practical purposes. None of their individually held companies would make it to the top 10 if they were ranked in isolation.

    So Apple has done quite a bang-up job making it to the 6 spot. Congratulations.
  • Reply 9 of 35
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,005member
    It beats me why profits are not the deciding factor in the ranking, surely turn over is far less important.
  • Reply 10 of 35
    anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 18,957member
    Marvin wrote: »

    All store-based. That's why Apple shouldn't build too many stores. Wal-mart has 8,500 stores:

    http://www.journalnow.com/business/article_5ad539d5-d616-55ba-ab27-aeaf45b06074.html

    Their gross margins are lower too.

    Yes, indeed. Retailing is one of the lowest margin businesses there is.
  • Reply 11 of 35
    anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 18,957member
    It beats me why profits are not the deciding factor in the ranking, surely turn over is far less important.

    Or even better, market cap (which is just the capitalized value of expected profits).
  • Reply 12 of 35
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    Yes, indeed. Retailing is one of the lowest margin businesses there is.

    I thought that honour goes to things with Android installed.
  • Reply 13 of 35
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member


    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

    I thought that honour goes to things with Android installed.


     



     


    Hi-yo!

  • Reply 14 of 35
    ericthehalfbeeericthehalfbee Posts: 3,999member


    Quote:



    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


     



     


    Hi-yo!



     


    One of the funniest pics I've seen in awhile.


     


    Now trying to figure out who the original was (I'm guessing maybe Buddy Rich).

  • Reply 15 of 35
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member


    Originally Posted by EricTheHalfBee View Post

    Now trying to figure out who the original was (I'm guessing maybe Buddy Rich).


     


    I went for "suited drummer" when I first found it, and I guess it's Bill Sargent, whoever that is.


     


  • Reply 16 of 35
    gtrgtr Posts: 3,231member
    just_me wrote: »
    Apple Doom

    MORE abbreviation!

    BC - Before Christ
    AD - Apple Doomed
  • Reply 17 of 35
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member


    Originally Posted by GTR View Post

    MORE abbreviation!



    BC - Before Christ

    AD - Apple Doomed


     


    We're roughly in AD 20 at this point, huh? Or is it AD 20 AD? 

  • Reply 18 of 35
    gtrgtr Posts: 3,231member


    In the future, when our kids get out of their Apple beds in the morning, eat breakfast from their Apple Food Preparers, stay at home and study using their 'Definitely The Absolutely Newest' iPads (seeing as schools have, for the most part, closed), log onto their Apple Communication Devices to do their job (while speaking Mandarin), then drive across to visit grandma and grandma (Yeah, you!) in their Apple cars, they're going to say:


     


    "You're shitting me! Apple only used to make archaic, unintelligent personal computers and players that could only play one form of media? That's not hella-cool.".


     


    Disclaimer: Please note that your version of the future may differ from the one depicted in this post, especially those of you that are trolls who will actually suffer an incredibly long bout of depression then end up committing suicide.

  • Reply 19 of 35
    gtrgtr Posts: 3,231member
    We're roughly in AD 20 at this point, huh? Or is it AD 20 AD? 

    I believe it begins in 1985, when Steve left Apple.

    Doom, it appears, is an exceedingly lengthy process.
  • Reply 20 of 35
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member


    Originally Posted by GTR View Post

    Doom, it appears, is an exceedingly lengthy process.


     


    That reads like a Douglas Adams line.





    Originally Posted by GTR View Post

    In the future, when our kids get out of their Apple beds in the morning, eat breakfast from their Apple Food Preparers, stay at home and study using their 'Definitely The Absolutely Newest' iPads (seeing as schools have, for the most part, closed), log onto their Apple Communication Devices to do their job (while speaking Mandarin), then drive across to visit grandma and grandma (Yeah, you!) in their Apple cars, they're going to say:


     


    "You're shitting me! Apple only used to make archaic, unintelligent personal computers and players that could only play one form of media? That's not hella-cool.".



     


    That's basically the polar opposite of It's A Wonderful OS! I post that too often.

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