Lessons Learned From the Top Five Fortune 500 Companies in The World

Several multinational companies and corporations have become so large that they control many of the global economic parameters. However, when it comes to counting down the top five largest grossing companies in the world, it may come as quote a surprise as to some of the names on the list.

The Fortune 500 ranks companies based on their total revenue and market share to create the ultimate list. It features some of the top players in America, and it reveals their earnings, faults and speculations for future growth.

Facebook HQ
photo credit: Marco pakoeningrat / Flickr

When looking over the list, it’s clear that web-based companies are creeping increasingly higher amongst the ranks of more traditional brick and mortar stores. Facebook, Netflix and Amazon have all pushed their way much higher on the list over recent years, and that trend is set to continue.

From supermarket chains to oil and gas companies, we count down the top five most valuable businesses in America, and reveal what lessons can be learned from their success.

5. Mckesson

photo credit: Connectologist / Flickr

At fifth place is the largest pharmaceutical company in the United States, McKesson. In 2015 they took just over $181 billion in revenue. Mckesson have enjoyed rapid growth in the past, partly sure to (questionable) inflation of drug prices. However, recent backlashes and headwinds are slowing the company’s growth and even putting it at jeopardy. They are fighting back by purchasing bolt-on companies, and by implementing a savings plan that is set to cut back $180 million over the coming years. We can learn from them that when times get tough, you need to implement changes quickly and effectively.

4. Berkshire Hathaway

Warren Buffett of Berkshire Hathaway
photo credit: Pinterest

In fourth place is Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, with a revenue of $210.8 billion. The investing and insurance conglomerate now owns dozens of companies, from the car insurance brand Geico to Fruit of the Loom clothing.While most of their revenue is thanks to Buffett’s entrepreneurial skills, the company have stayed ahead in the game by investing in many major brands. They now own a big portion of Kraft Heinz and also own a private equity firm called 3G.

3. Apple

Apple Macbook

It’s probably not much of a surprise to see Apple ranking on this list. The tech supergiant made $233.7 billion in revenue in 2013 and they continue to grow year after year. Apple constantly invest in interesting areas. They are working on a huge project, nicknamed project Titan, which is centered around creating a high-quality electric car to rival other electric automobiles on the market. The car is not set to be available for a couple of years, but when released it could see Apple thrive some more. Several debatable ‘flops’ such as the Apple Watch have caused some setbacks, but Apple seem to learn from their mistakes and use them to create more forward thinking tech that pleases the masses.

2. Exxon Mobil

Exxon gas station
photo credit: WIkimedia Commons

Love them or hate them, Exxon Mobil rank in second place on the Fortune 500 top companies list. They grossed over $246 billion in revenue in 2015. They are the largest oil and gas company (publicly traded) in the world based on their market share, and they have undertaken numerous efforts to improve their safety rating as well as their profitability. However, Exxon’s viewpoints on climate change are still unclear and they are under investigation for allegations of providing misleading information to investors, which could affect their revenue in the long-run.

1. Wal-mart

Wal-mart hybrid truck
photo credit: Walmart / Flickr

Coming in at the number one spot is none other than the huge supermarket chain, Wal-Mart. It may come as a surprise to many that Wal-Mart actually grosses way more than the leading publicly traded oil and gas company in the world, but it is true. Walmart made an incredible $482.1 billion in revenue in 2015. Wal-Mart has continuously adapted to the times to ensure that it remains top of the list when it comes to revenue, plus they pride themselves in having excellent customer service and happy workers. They actually raised worker’s pay rates fairly significantly in 2015, and invested a lot of money in tech, which saw their profits increase in the last quarter.

These are just the top five of the 500 companies listed on Forbes Fortune 500 list. Other companies include UnitedHealth Group, CVS Health, General Motors, Ford Motor and AT&T. By browsing through the companies listed, and learning up about their history, you can take home some important insights which can be applied to your own business or work.