Apple has leaped from third to first place for profit and from twelfth to sixth place for revenue in the Fortune Global 500 rankings of the world’s biggest companies.
After reaching a record high of $33.3 trillion in last year’s rankings, total revenue for the world’s biggest companies fell 4.8 percent to $31.7 trillion this year. Even so, the combined sales of all of the companies on the list are equal to over one-third of global GDP. Walmart was again the world’s largest company, for the eighth consecutive year.
Apple’s revenue is reported as $274.515 billion, of which $57.411 billion is profit. This is a moderate increase from last year, when the company’s revenue was reported to be $260.174 billion, of which $55.256 billion was profit. Apple is also estimated to now have 10,000 more employees than it did last year, climbing to approximately 147,000.
Apple is now the most profitable company in the world according to the Fortune 500, followed by Saudi Aramco with $49.287 billion, SoftBank Group with $47.053 billion, and Industrial & Commercial Bank of China with $45.783 billion. For revenue, Apple is now only surpassed by Walmart, State Grid, Amazon, China National Petroleum, and Sinopec Group.
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.
Apple has ranked in the Fortune Global 500 top 20 since 2013. In June, Apple ranked third in the Fortune 500 list of America’s largest companies. Apple has now ranked in the top five for eight consecutive years.
The company recently reported record third fiscal quarter revenue of $81.4 billion and net quarterly profit of $21.7 billion, which corresponds to the second calendar quarter of this year.