Apple dips one spot to #4 in 2018 Fortune 500 rankings, leads in profits

Posted:
in General Discussion edited May 21
Even with continued growth, Apple has slipped to fourth place in this year's Fortune 500 chart, which ranks the biggest U.S.-based corporations in terms of revenue.

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The company was outpaced by Walmart, Exxon Mobil, and major Apple investor Berkshire Hathaway, Fortune said. Apple's revenues were up 6 percent annually to more than $229.2 billion, but below Berkshire Hathaway's $242.1 billion and well distant of Walmart's $500.3 billion.

The displacement was linked to the rise of Exxon, which rose from fourth place to second with just under $244.4 billion. Apple had occupied third place for the past two years, after a mostly continuous climb which saw it rise from 56th place in 2010.

The company was still the most profitable on the 2018 list, with $48.3 billion in net income. Following this metric Berkshire Hathaway came in second at $44.9 billion, while third and fourth belonged to Verizon and AT&T. Walmart was actually just 20th, famous for using low prices to undercut competitors.

Apple's success comes "despite the overall saturation of smartphones," Fortune noted. Analysts have worried that industry trends could come back to bite Apple, which is extremely dependent on iPhone revenues no matter the health of its Mac and iPad businesses.

Products like the Apple Watch, AirPods, and Apple Music have also done well, but would likely sink without the iPhone as a driver -- particularly since the Watch still requires an iPhone to function.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 18
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,269member
    Exxon went up because price of oil and gas went up. As soon as pricing goes down they well fall back.
    entropys
  • Reply 2 of 18
    maestro64 said:
    Exxon went up because price of oil and gas went up. As soon as pricing goes down they well fall back.
    It is all energy - not just gas. Also many of those companies start diversifying energy sources. Saudi Arabia goes solar heavy investments for example.
  • Reply 3 of 18
    spice-boyspice-boy Posts: 605member
    oh no here comes that beleaguered title any day now
    lkruppracerhomie3mac_dogcornchipjony0
  • Reply 4 of 18
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,586member
    This is the only metric that matters:  "The company was still the most profitable on the 2018 list"
    jasenj1nunzyjony0
  • Reply 5 of 18
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,057member
    maestro64 said:
    Exxon went up because price of oil and gas went up. As soon as pricing goes down they well fall back.
    Exactly! I already commented on that for the article in MacRumors.

    as I said there, this is a concept too simple for analysts and those in finance to understand. The price of oil was almost 50% less last year. At some point, it will drop again.

    did the commentators mention that Berkshire also dropped? No.
    jony0
  • Reply 6 of 18
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,057member

    maestro64 said:
    Exxon went up because price of oil and gas went up. As soon as pricing goes down they well fall back.
    It is all energy - not just gas. Also many of those companies start diversifying energy sources. Saudi Arabia goes solar heavy investments for example.
    In this case, it’s simply the rising price of fossil fuels that accorded for this move. Apple could have sales of $260 billion this fiscal year. They are on track for that. So unless the price of fuel continues to rise, they will move to number 2, ahead of Berkshire as well.
  • Reply 7 of 18
    tzeshantzeshan Posts: 1,753member
    maestro64 said:
    Exxon went up because price of oil and gas went up. As soon as pricing goes down they well fall back.
    Oil is much higher this year than last. 
    nht
  • Reply 8 of 18
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 6,403member

    Apple's success comes "despite the overall saturation of smartphones," Fortune noted. Analysts have worried that industry trends could come back to bite Apple, which is extremely dependent on iPhone revenues no matter the health of its Mac and iPad businesses.

    Products like the Apple Watch, AirPods, and Apple Music have also done well, but would likely sink without the iPhone as a driver -- particularly since the Watch still requires an iPhone to function.
    Even a broken clock is right twice a day as the old saying goes. We’ve been hearing this twaddle repeated for over ten years now. I suppose that one day it might actually happen but don’t you think Apple’s executive team is smart enough to realize this and are preparing for it. All good things come to an end and I suspect Apple will have morphed into a different company with a different business model by the time it comes to pass. On the other hand Apple has always made the choice to build the premium product and stick to the premium market. Many products have long since been commoditized but their respective premium brands have remained profitable. I can buy a commodity toaster from Walmart for $10 or I can buy a Cuisinart or KitchenAid toaster for $50 that will have last a long time and have useful features the Walmart toaster doesn’t. That’s essentially what the smartphone market has become when it comes to Android (Walmart) and Apple (Cuisinart). 
    aegeanbrucemc
  • Reply 9 of 18
    retrogustoretrogusto Posts: 668member
    The price of iPhones went up last year too, but I don’t see it going down very much anytime soon. 
  • Reply 10 of 18
    rogifan_newrogifan_new Posts: 3,237member
    Kind of hard to compare to Berkshire as it’s a holding company of a bunch of other companies that don’t have anything to do with each other. And of course Exxon will go up or down depending upon the price of oil. Only constant is Walmart at #1 and I don’t see anyone overtaking that spot anytime soon.
  • Reply 11 of 18
    rogifan_newrogifan_new Posts: 3,237member
    MacPro said:
    This is the only metric that matters:  "The company was still the most profitable on the 2018 list"
    If profit is all that matters how come this ranking is based off of revenue? Sure you can sort it by other metrics like profits, industry or number of employees but the rank is based on revenue, not profits. If you sort by market cap only 2 of the top 5 in profits are in the top 5 of market cap (Apple and Berkshire).
  • Reply 12 of 18
    nunzynunzy Posts: 662member
    Apple makes more profit than anybody, even companies with higher sales. How much profit does Google make, huh?

    And Microsoft? They make less profit!

    Apple is the richest. They keep the most money. They are the best! Apple is number one when it comes to moolah.

    Tim knows what Wall Street wants - profit. Tim will do anything for profit. That's why he's the boss. Wall Street keeps him because he rakes in more than anybody.
  • Reply 13 of 18
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,586member
    MacPro said:
    This is the only metric that matters:  "The company was still the most profitable on the 2018 list"
    If profit is all that matters how come this ranking is based off of revenue? Sure you can sort it by other metrics like profits, industry or number of employees but the rank is based on revenue, not profits. If you sort by market cap only 2 of the top 5 in profits are in the top 5 of market cap (Apple and Berkshire).
    Yes of course, sorry was hastily said in context not isolation, but I should have written #4 revenue and highest profit.
  • Reply 14 of 18
    rogifan_newrogifan_new Posts: 3,237member
    nunzy said:
    Apple makes more profit than anybody, even companies with higher sales. How much profit does Google make, huh?

    And Microsoft? They make less profit!

    Apple is the richest. They keep the most money. They are the best! Apple is number one when it comes to moolah.

    Tim knows what Wall Street wants - profit. Tim will do anything for profit. That's why he's the boss. Wall Street keeps him because he rakes in more than anybody.
    OK now I know you’re just trolling.
    nunzycornchip
  • Reply 15 of 18
    Oh, noes! From #3 to #4. I think that's what's called the beginning of the end. Apple appears to be going in the wrong direction as far as Wall Street is concerned. Well, I must admit it was a nice ride while it lasted. DOOMED! /s
  • Reply 16 of 18
    brucemcbrucemc Posts: 1,437member
    nunzy said:
    Apple makes more profit than anybody, even companies with higher sales. How much profit does Google make, huh?

    And Microsoft? They make less profit!

    Apple is the richest. They keep the most money. They are the best! Apple is number one when it comes to moolah.

    Tim knows what Wall Street wants - profit. Tim will do anything for profit. That's why he's the boss. Wall Street keeps him because he rakes in more than anybody.
    Actually, Alphabet makes about half as much profit as Apple...so they are very profitable...while Facebooks is well behind...and we won't even mention the profit of Amazon...
  • Reply 17 of 18
    viclauyycviclauyyc Posts: 290member
    Isn’t Berkshire Hathaway a investment company? I won’t what is their overhead other than salary and buying other company share. 
  • Reply 18 of 18
    For what it’s worth, if Warren Buffett buys ALL of Apple (which he wants to), the combined revenues from Apple and Berkshire will overtake Walmart. And profit? Well, insanely great profits. 
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