11 Fascinating Facts About the Fortune 500

June 15, 2015

Recruiters’ jobs aren’t just about filling positions - they also have to act as talent advisors. This means having a good understanding of the latest trends and breakthroughs in the world of business.

For that, a great place to start is the Fortune 500, an annual list put out by Fortune magazine that ranks the top 500 U.S. companies by their revenue in the last fiscal year. The list includes a plethora of interesting information that everyone in the business should take note of.

This year’s list was just released, and 11 interesting facts jumped out.

1. Walmart made $100 billion more than any other U.S. company in 2014.

Again, Walmart has topped the Fortune 500 list, after it made an astonishing $485.7 billion in the 2014 fiscal year. That’s $100 billion more than the second company on the list, Exxon Mobile, which made $382.6 billion in 2014.

2. And, Walmart has more employees than the next five largest U.S. employers combined.

Walmart has 2.2 million employees. McDonald’s (420,000), IBM (412,775), Kroger (400,000), Home Depot (371,000) and Target (347,000) combined have 1.95 million working for them.

3. Despite all that, Walmart only has a 3% profit margin.

The company has one of the smallest profit margins of any on the Fortune 500 list (out of the ones that were actually profitable). That said, it still made $16.3 billion in profit last year, so no need to feel too bad for them.

4. Apple made $7 billion more in profit than any other U.S. company this past year.

Apple, conversely, has a 21 percent profit margin and made a ridiculous $39.5 billion in profit in the 2014 fiscal year. Exxon Mobil, second on the list, made an impressive $32.5 billion, far outpacing third-place Wells Fargo, which made a mere $23.1 billion in profit.

5. Which averages out to $406,481 in profit per Apple employee.

That’s one of the highest ratios of profit-to-employee on the list. Comparatively, Walmart earned roughly $7,437 in profit per employee. Other tech companies are closer to Apple’s number, as Google earned $269,477 in profit per employee and Microsoft earned $172,453.

6. Apple is also worth almost double what any other company is worth.

Apple has a market value of $725 billion, according to Forbes. That’s nearly twice as much as the next highest on the list, Google, which has a market value of $378 billion.

7. Fannie Mae holds $675 billion more in assets than any other U.S. company.

Fannie Mae has $3.25 trillion in assets, $675 billion more than second-place JP Morgan Chase, which has $2.57 trillion. Most of Fannie’s assets are real estate, as they are the nation’s largest mortgage holder.

8. Starbucks was 248 times more profitable this year than last.

The coffee shop chain made $2.07 billion in the 2014 fiscal year, up from $8.3 million in 2013, which represented the largest percentage increase in profit on the list. Granted, the company made $1.38 billion in fiscal year 2012 and $1.25 billion in 2011, so 2013 was a bit of an outlier. But, it still made nearly $700 million more in profit than it ever had before.

9. Conversely, Apache Corp lost $5.4 billion this past year.

Oil prices have sagged, thanks to more supply. While that's good for consumers, it's bad for oil companies like Houston-based Apache Corp. Target also lost over a billion dollars in the 2014 fiscal year - $1.64 billion, to be exact – and Amazon, thanks to its substantial investments, lost $241 million in 2014, despite seeing a 19 percent increase in revenue.

10. More women than ever are CEOs of Fortune 500 companies – but it’s only 4.8 percent.

I’m not sure whether to be excited that the number is a record high or disappointed that the record high is still only 4.8 percent. According to Fortune, 24 of the Fortune 500 companys’ CEOs are women, up from 20 a year ago. That’s the most ever female CEOs in the history of the list.

11. Overall, the Fortune 500 account for $12.5 trillion in revenues, $945 billion in profits and employee 26.8 million people worldwide.

That’s more than the GDP of Germany, the United Kingdom, France, Russia and India combined. Quite a bit of dough.

Click here to view the Fortune 500 for yourself. Any facts surprise you? Let us know by tweeting @HireOnLinkedIn.

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*Image by Walmart