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Since the 1950s, the business magazine Fortune has published a list of the 500 top-performing companies each year. Fortune 100 companies are the subset of that list that shows companies bringing in the most money. For 2019, top performers included big names such as Walmart, Amazon and Apple. The prestige of having your company in the Fortune 100 list can signal how much influence you have on the United States economy and can make your company attractive to investors, employees and customers.
TL;DR (Too Long; Didn't Read)
Bringing in revenues between approximately $31.9 billion and $514.4 billion in 2019, Fortune 100 companies are among the best on the Fortune 500 list. You can view these 100 companies and their financial data on the Fortune website.
Fortune 500 Definition and Features
When Fortune determines which companies to add to the Fortune 500 list, it looks at the results of private and public companies across various industries within the United States and ignores foreign subsidiaries. The company criteria have changed since just a few decades ago when only energy, manufacturing or mining companies qualified for the Fortune ranking. Regardless of industry, though, Fortune requires that the companies meet government financial-reporting requirements so that revenue information is visible to the public.
For determining the ranking and inclusion on the list, Fortune uses a company's total revenues for the year. What counts for revenues will depend on the type of organization. For example, Fortune notes that it doesn't consider deposits as revenue for insurance companies but does count capital gains and income from premiums, investments and annuities. When a discontinued company is included, Fortune doesn't count the revenue of any spin-off company that may have resulted.
Viewing the Fortune 100 Companies
If you're looking for a Fortune 500 vs. Fortune 100 list on the Fortune website, know that you won't actually see a separate Fortune 100 list. Instead, the Fortune 500 ranking on the magazine's website starts at number one, so you can simply focus on the first 100 companies and their financial details.
Along with showing each company's annual revenues for the fiscal year, Fortune displays the number of employees, total assets and total profits as well as percentage changes for revenue and profits. Each Fortune 500 company will also contain a short passage with anything notable that happened to the company during the year. This might explain interactions with competitors, changes in the industry or major acquisitions.
Examples of Fortune 100 Companies
For the 2019 Fortune 500 list, the magazine notes that these companies have combined revenues of $13.7 trillion. In fact, the top 12 companies brought in over $150 billion each. Here are the 10 top companies that qualified for the Fortune 100 along with their approximate 2019 revenues:
- Walmart: $514.4 billion
- Exxon Mobil: $290.1 billion
- Apple: $265.6 billion
- Berkshire Hathaway: $247.8 billion
- Amazon: $232.9 billion
- UnitedHealth Group: $226.2 billion
- McKesson: $208.4 billion
- CVS Health: $194.6 billion
- AT&T: $170.8 billion
- AmerisourceBergen: $167.9 billion
Importance of Fortune 100 Companies
When you have a Fortune 100 or Fortune 500 company, you get the benefit of name recognition and perception of a high-value company with the potential for high growth and profitability.
Not only does this mean you can get more customers choosing you over competitors but investors will likely feel more confident working with you when you want to expand or have a costly product idea. Job seekers are also more likely to find your company appealing, so you can have better luck finding highly skilled and experienced candidates.
On the other hand, not making the list or moving on the list can change how others view your company. For example, Fortune 500 companies signal those that have the most influence, so being left out entirely might hurt your competitiveness. However, moving up significantly on the list can help your company make a more positive impression.
- Fortune: Fortune 500
- Investopedia: Fortune 100
- Canvas: A Comprehensive Look at Common, Less Common, and Rare Fortune 500 Company Benefits
- Fortune: Methodology for Fortune 500
- Fortune: Fortune 500 - Search
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- Fortune. "Walmart Company Profile." Accessed Nov. 2, 2020.
Ashley Donohoe started writing professionally about business topics in 2010. Having experience running all aspects of her small business, she is knowledgeable about the daily issues and decisions that business owners face. She also has earned a Master of Business Administration degree with a leadership and strategy concentration from Western Governors University along with a bookkeeping certification. Some other places featuring her business writing include JobHero, LoveToKnow, PocketSense, Chron and Study.com.