Home      Discussion      Topics      Dictionary      Almanac
Signup       Login
Fortune 500

Fortune 500

Discussion
Ask a question about 'Fortune 500'
Start a new discussion about 'Fortune 500'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Encyclopedia

The Fortune 500 is an annual list compiled and published by Fortune
Fortune (magazine)
Fortune is a global business magazine published by Time Inc. Founded by Henry Luce in 1930, the publishing business, consisting of Time, Life, Fortune, and Sports Illustrated, grew to become Time Warner. In turn, AOL grew as it acquired Time Warner in 2000 when Time Warner was the world's largest...

magazine that ranks the top 500 U.S.
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 closely held and public corporations as ranked by their gross revenue after adjustments made by Fortune to exclude the impact of excise taxes companies collect. The list includes publicly and privately-held companies for which revenues are publicly available. The first Fortune 500 list was published in 1955.

Wal-Mart
Wal-Mart
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. , branded as Walmart since 2008 and Wal-Mart before then, is an American public multinational corporation that runs chains of large discount department stores and warehouse stores. The company is the world's 18th largest public corporation, according to the Forbes Global 2000...

 was the largest company on the list in 2007 and 2008. ExxonMobil
ExxonMobil
Exxon Mobil Corporation or ExxonMobil, is an American multinational oil and gas corporation. It is a direct descendant of John D. Rockefeller's Standard Oil company, and was formed on November 30, 1999, by the merger of Exxon and Mobil. Its headquarters are in Irving, Texas...

 was in second place in 2007 and 2008, but overtook Wal-Mart
Wal-Mart
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. , branded as Walmart since 2008 and Wal-Mart before then, is an American public multinational corporation that runs chains of large discount department stores and warehouse stores. The company is the world's 18th largest public corporation, according to the Forbes Global 2000...

 in 2009. Wal-Mart once again regained the top spot in 2010. One should note that the revenue and profit numbers are for the year previous to the named year: therefore the 2010 list ranks companies by 2009 revenues.

Although the Fortune 500 list is the most familiar one, similar gross revenue lists of the top firms range from the highest ranking Fortune 100 including the top one hundred to the broader ranking Fortune 1000
Fortune 1000
Fortune 1000 is a reference to a list maintained by the American business magazine Fortune. The list is of the 1000 largest American companies, ranked on revenues alone...

that includes the top thousand firms. While the membership on the smaller lists are somewhat stable, the ranking on the lists may change over time, depending upon revenues and often, because of mergers among firms already listed.

The original Fortune 500 was restricted to companies whose revenues were derived from manufacturing, mining, or energy exploration. At the same time, Fortune published companion "Fortune 50" lists of the 50 largest commercial banks (ranked by assets), utilities (ranked by assets), life insurance companies (ranked by assets), retailers (ranked by gross revenues) and transportation companies (ranked by revenues). These have been consolidated into one single list, so the Fortune 500 as it exists today includes companies that in previous years would have been on one of the "Fortune 50" lists.

The concept of the Fortune 500 was created by Edgar P. Smith, a Fortune Editor.

External links