Wal-Mart loses Fortune 500 crown

21 April 2009

NEW YORK: Wal-Mart, the US retailer, has lost its position as the biggest American company by revenue to ExxonMobil, the oil firm, in the latest annual Fortune 500 rankings, despite the fact it was described as a "rare recession-buster".

Having taken the top spot in last year's poll, Wal-Mart saw its revenues rise 7.1% to $405 billion (€314bn; £279bn) for the fiscal year to June 2008, but still slipped behind oil giant Exxon, which registered a comparative total of $442bn.

Chevron, ConocoPhillips and General Electric made up the top five, with General Motors, Ford, AT&T, Hewlett Packard and Valero Energy closing out the top ten.

PepsiCo was the best-performing company by sales in the food consumer products category, and was ranked in 52nd position in all, with revenues of $43.2bn, just ahead of Kraft, with $42.9bn.

Coca-Cola, in 73rd overall, posted revenues of $32bn, with Coca-Cola Enterprises registering a further $21.8bn, compared with the total of $13.8bn attributed to Pepsi Bottling.

The world's biggest advertiser, Procter & Gamble, took 20th position, up three places on last year, with revenues of $83bn, and profits of $12bn.

Time Warner, in 48th place, topped the rankings among media companies, ahead of Walt Disney, in 60th, and News Corp, in 70th.

Google's revenues of $21.8bn left it outside the top 100, but its profits of $4.2bn were greater than the Bank of America, in 11th place.

Omnicom Group came in two places outside the top 200, but up from 211th last year, with revenues of $13.4bn, and profits of $1.0bn.

Forbes estimates that its total return to investors grew by 0.3% from 1998 to 2008, while its earnings per share increased by 14.2% over the same period.

Interpublic Group was ranked in 361st place, up from 373rd last year, with revenues of just under $7bn and profits totalling $295m.

According to Forbes, in terms of earnings per share, its growth rate has declined by 7.3% between 1998 and 2008, with its annual return to investors down 20.2% over the ten years under assessment.

Data sourced from money.cnn.com; additional content by WARC staff