Apple moves up 56 spots to #55 on Fortune Global 500 List

Today, FORTUNE magazine released the FORTUNE Global 500 list, its annual ranking of the world’s largest corporations ranked by revenue. U.S. companies made up the majority of this year’s list with 132, followed by 73 Chinese companies and 68 from Japan. China overtook Japan in terms of the number of companies on the list, with a net gain of 12 from last year. The number of European companies on the list this year is down by double digits— there are a total of 161, which is 11 less than last year, a 6.4% decrease. On the presence of U.S. companies among the Global 500, FORTUNE editors write: “Although the U.S. still hosts the lion’s share of Global 500 corporations, no country has lost more companies during the last decade. There are 132 U.S.–headquartered businesses on this year’s list, down from 197 a decade ago.”

FORTUNE editors report: “Despite financial turmoil in Europe and disasters in Japan, the world’s largest corporations had record profits and revenues in 2011.” FORTUNE Global 500 companies posted record revenues of $29.5 trillion, up 13.2% over 2010. Total profits rose 7%, to $1.6 trillion, roughly equal to the gross domestic product of India.

FORTUNE editors also write, “Corporations around the world continue to be adept at wringing productivity out of their workers. Total employment at the Global 500 grew by just 4.9%, to 60.7 million, but revenue per worker grew at almost twice that rate, climbing to $463,212, up from $428,970 in 2010.”

Royal Dutch Shell regains the #1 spot this year, displacing Wal-Mart out of the top position that it had for two years. Eight of the top 10 companies on the list are in the energy business, followed by commercial banks as the second largest industry on the Global 500 and the auto industry in third place. Apple moved up 56 spots from last year, coming in at #55. Wal-Mart, Exxon Mobil, General Motors and Mitsubishi are the only other companies to ever top the Global 500.

See the full Global 500 here.


  1. I see MS is 119th, one place above Target.

    That’s funny and sad at the same time. Come on Target, you can do better then that. Better expand on those Apple products.

  2. Apple should easily make the top 20 next year as their revenues should be in the $160~165 billion range. Profit-wise, it’s possible that Apple will become #1 based on the results of the past two quarters which are the first two of fiscal 2012.

    Longer-term (5 years or more), could Apple ever become #1 by revenues and overtake the likes of Royal Dutch Shell, Exxon and Walmart? I don’t think there is any doubt that Apple will be the most profitable with a dominant position for the foreseeable future.

  3. What’s so great about being #55, when their main competitor in Electronics is rated #20 Fortune Global Top 500 and #1 in Electronics with Samsung’s Global Conglomerate holdings they dwarf most publically held companies in the Top 50 as one of the wealthiest and most successful family run businesses (Chaebols) in the World!

    1. Apple will overtake Samsung in 2012 or 2013 at the latest. The Samsung conglomerate’s total revenues including electronics is still well below $250 billion. You also have to remember that Samsung Electronics also has TV’s, displays and semiconductors (a lot of which they sell to Apple), refrigerators, microwave ovens, washers & dryers, rice cookers, etc. as well as smartphones, tablets and PC’s.

      1. $250 Billion? ah….. haha…. of course you’re using Wiki stats from 2 years ago and even they are ridiculous estimates on one of the largest privately held Family business in the World. In 2011 Samsung Electronics alone near doubled Apple 100 Billion in revenue and we’re talking about a Global Family Conglomerate that doesn’t have to release either their earnings are financial holdings to the public ever!

        If you are one of the fools that somehow believes Market Cap, Cash and Profits tell the whole story, then you are sadly delusion and juvenile in your thinking. Business runs in cycles and really great companies like Samsung are always spending those so called profits and cash on investing in their future w/ $42 Billion on CAPEX spending alone. Not to mention near 9 Billion on R&D in over 30 research centers all over the World ranked #2 in spending to IBM in R&D and #2 to Intel in Electronics chip making design and fabrication business!

        By the way the Samsung Chaebol although nobody knows what they’re actually worth as a whole, has been estimated (w/ holdings not even counted) over a Trillion Dollars. Not the Saudi Royals I know, but that still puts the Samsung Chaebol (family worth) in the top 10 in the World!

        They build largest Super Freighter ships. Largest and most expensive Ocean Oil Platforms. Mine their own rare earth elements used in screen making. Build tallest skyscrapers, including #1 The Burj in Dubai. One of the largest Banking and Insurance Companies in Asia (includes Hong Kong and Singapore). Build their own Industrial equipment to do this all with. Largest Screen Maker by far. Largest Memory Maker by a long shot supplying near 80% of the Worlds needs in modules that are re-sold by most of the so called memory makers on the Planet!

        So it will be a cold day in hell Apple comes even close to the $240 Billion in Revenue Samsung Electronics is expected to bring in this year alone and you can thank Apple for supplying near 13 Billion of that by years end!

        1. Look, I’m a Korean and lived a good portion of my life there. You are talking out of your ass. Your words don’t mean shit. Samsung Electronics just reported that they’ll do around $37 billion in revenues and a little over $5 billion in net profits. Does that seem like Samsung will hit $250 billion in revenues this year? Let’s say approximately $40 billion x 4. Do you know how to do arithmetic? Don’t bother replying, a-hole troll.

  4. Remember why koreansamsung does as well as they do… They copy successful products… SLAVISHLY! How many times recently have you seen a Korean car on American roads and said, “look at that Mercedes, honey! Oh, nevermind, it’s a Hyundai!”. The courts are letting them get away with this as seen in brittians recent decision in the apple vs Samsung patent decision.

  5. Now I’m no economist, but at first it seems ludicrous to see that revenue is twice the rate of employee payouts, but it’d be more interesting to see what the profits verse employee hire rates. I’m sure commodity prices have had an mpact on most fortune 500 profit margins, making the notion of ‘squeezing more of one’s employees’ moot. I think that comment alludes to some sort of social persuasion.

  6. There may be more electronic companies like Samsung that are higher on the list than Apple. However, Apple is rising the ranks fast and in a few years it will top Samsung for #1.

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