The Fortune 500 companies list is an annual list compiled and published by Fortune magazine that ranks the top 500 U.S. closely held and public corporations as ranked by their gross revenue. Included on the list are firms that are incorporated in the U.S. and operate in the U.S., and file financial statements with a government agency. This includes private companies that file a 10-K or a similar financial statement with a government agency, and mutual insurance companies that file with state regulators. It also includes businesses that file with a government agency but are owned by private companies, domestic or foreign, that do not file such financial statements. The first Fortune 500 companies list was published in 1955.
- Wal-Mart Stores. Ranked #1 on the 2010 Fortune 500 companies list, Wal-Mart is a corporate behemoth that knocked Exxon Mobil out of the top spot to lead the Fortune 500 again this year.
- Amazon. Coming in at #100 on the most recent list, Amazon was #1 in its category (Internet Services and Retailing), edging out Google.
- Walt Disney. Walt Disney was ranked #57 overall and #1 in the Entertainment category.
- General Electric. GE moved up one spot to #4 overall and lead its category under the leadership of CEO Jeffrey Immelt.
- Bank of America Corporation. Bank of America (#5) was ranked #1 in the Commercial Banks category despite having to repay $45 billion in TARP funds and holding billions of dollars of residential and commercial mortgage debt.
- Berkshire Hathaway. Warren Buffet’s “little” company climbed from #13 to #11 and recorded its largest net-worth gain ever and arranged its biggest deal, a $26 billion purchase of Burlington Northern railroad.
- Publix Super Markets. Publix earns a spot on the Fortune 500 companies list and has never had a layoff in its 80 years history. Pretty impressive in these economic times.
- Home Depot. Tight credit, a sluggish housing market, and almost double digit unemployment dropped Home Depot four slots to #29 on the list.
- Microsoft. Bill Gates’ company dropped one spot to #36 but the stock price is climbing steadily.
- United Parcel Service. “Brown” holds firm at #43. This is remarkable when you consider that the world's largest package delivery firm is a bellwether for the international economy. The recession translated into double-digit revenue and profit declines in 2010 for UPS.
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