Definition

Fortune 500

Contributor(s): Emily McLaughlin

The Fortune 500 is Fortune Magazine's annual ranking of the United States' 500 largest corporations, ranked by revenue.

In addition to revenue, the Fortune 500 list provides Fortune Magazine's readers with more detailed information about the United States' largest corporations, including information about after-tax profits, assets, stockholders' equity, market value and earnings per share for each company. The list is important because it provides the general public with a sense for which companies and industries have the most potential to influence the economy in the United States.  

Included in the running for the top 500 are public companies that are headquartered and incorporated in the United States, all of which must file financial statements with a government agency. In 2013, the top ten companies on the Fortune 500 list were Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Exxon Mobil, Chevron Corp., Phillips 66, Berkshire Hathaway, Apple, General Motors, General Electric, Valero Energy and Ford Motor. In 2003, the top ten companies were Wal-Mart Stores, General Motors, Exxon Mobile, Ford Motor, General Electric, Citigroup, Chevron Texaco, IBM, AIG and Verizon Communications. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This was last updated in October 2013

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