Fortune 500: Apple is now the most profitable company in the world

The Global 500 shrank a little over the past year. After reaching a record high of $33.3 trillion in the 2020 edition, total revenue for the world’s biggest companies fell 4.8% to $31.7 trillion this year. It was the first decline in half a decade. The culprit, of course, was the response to COVID-19, which slammed huge swaths of the global economy as countries went into lockdown. Regardless, the heft of the Global 500 remains formidable: The combined sales of the companies on the list are equal to more than one-third of global GDP. Apple is now the most profitable company in the world.

Fortune Global 500:

The pandemic created challenges and opportunities for Apple. CEO Tim Cook had to close stores and send home engineers. But with Apple customers worldwide working and learning from home, iPad and Macintosh computer sales skyrocketed to their highest levels ever. And fiscal-year revenue hit an all-time record too, of $275 billion. That helped Apple’s stock price soar; it gained 80.7% in 2020. As that year wound down, regulators fixed their sights on Apple for potentially abusing its power over the iOS app store. A House Judiciary antitrust subcommittee report in October concluded that Apple “exerts monopoly power” in its app store to harm competition and increase prices for consumers. Meanwhile, testimony in an antitrust lawsuit filed by Fortnite developer Epic Games will likely increase pressure on legislators to limit Apple’s power.

MacDailyNews Take: Fortune’s Top 3 Most Profitable Companies in the World:

  1. Apple: $57.411 billion profit on $274.515 billion in revenue
  2. Saudi Aramco: $49.286 billion profit on $229.766 billion in revenue
  3. SoftBank Group: $47.052 billion profit on $56.213 billion in revenue


  1. Apple is dooooomed. I’m sure Rod Hall still has a Sell rating on Apple with a price target in the low $100 range.

    What’s so odd is how Tesla has a P/E of 600 and no one blinks but Apple has a P/E of around 30 and some analysts say that’s much too high for Apple. Go figure. I know it doesn’t really matter what analysts say, but it’s still weird.

  2. It’s common to respond to these articles by saying that Apple should lower their prices. I’ve done this. But it occurs to me – if Apple did this, would they be able to meet the resulting demand? Is Apple currently producing as many Macs as they can?

    1. Give the man a prize, Johnny! Apple has well over a million contract workers producing its current lineup. Lowering the price enough to double unit sales would require finding another million people with the requisite skills and work ethic. I suppose China could provide that much slave labor, but Apple would have ethical objections, even if you could get the same quality as from voluntary labor paid well above the local market average wage. Apple’s First World customers complain now about how long it takes for an order to be filled. What would happen to the company’s satisfaction rating if wait times increased substantially?

      1. Show TxUseless the door, Johnny!

        Covid related shortages worldwide in components and adjusting labor forces are the reason for product delays.

        Certainly Apple is not clueless how to ramp up production to produce twice as many Macs, Texas the ideal location where MacPros are made.

        Your opinion preaching labor shortages got old years ago, a subject you know little about, then the usual speculation follows guessing outcomes. While you sell Apple short, I do not.

        If the world’s richest company in history, the world’s first company approaching $2.5 trillion and recently Fortune 500 declaring Apple is now the most profitable company in the world, well, if they can’t get it done from the labor pool on planet Earth to choose from, no one will.

        No, your post is obviously more about thinly veiled mocking an idea disguised as analysis than it is about Apple expanding and growing Mac market share penetration like never before. Using Tau Myx as a pawn is truly despicable, but to be expected from a known liar without a conscience.

        Enjoy your private snide joke LITTLE MAN, I could not care less…

  3. Apple stock is the worst on the exchange LOL!! They made the most profit in history and the stock went DOWN !! I am dumping all my 20K in AAPL because its a LOSER stock.. It not because they are a bad company its because the market hates them.. they should be at 200.. or more,.. but when they are the most profitable company and they make the most money in a quarter.. and I lose money because the market drives the stock down.. I am out.. AAPLE needs to figure out how to get their stock up again.. profits and products is not doing it !

    1. You lost money on AAPL? When did you buy, the day before yesterday? On Jan. 4, 2021, the first day of trading this year, AAPL closed at $129. Monday, it closed at $145.52, up 12.8062% YTD. Let’s see, $20,000 at 12.8062% would be a $2,561.24 profit for you — not counting two dividend payouts. I don’t think it’s Apple stock that’s the loser here …

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