Exxon tops Fortune 500 list of rich firms
NEW YORK - The Associated Press
Exxon Mobil tops Fortune 500 list once again thanks to high gas prices. AFP photoExxon Mobil has bumped Wal-Mart from first place among the Fortune 500 top revenue-generating U.S. companies thanks to rising oil prices.
Fortune Magazine released its annual list on May 7.
Oil producers saw some of the biggest revenue increases as a rebellion in Libya and high demand worldwide pushed oil prices higher. The price of benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude oil soared 19 percent. Brent crude, which helps set the price of foreign oil varieties, surged 38 percent between 2010 and 2011.
Revenue rose for Exxon Mobil, based in Irving, Texas, even though the company struggled with lower production and high refining costs. It earned $41 billion last year on revenue of $486 billion.
Now at No. 2, Wal-Mart Stores reported 4 percent lower earnings in its latest fiscal year: net income of $15.7 billion on revenue of $446.95 billion. Higher expenses squeezed profits as the Bentonville, Arkansas, retail giant also looked for ways to lower prices.
Two other petroleum companies, Chevron and ConocoPhillips, ranked next behind Wal-Mart.
Rounding out the top 10 were automaker General Motors Co., industrial and banking giant General Electric Co., Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, mortgage provider Fannie Mae, Ford Motor Co. and technology giant Hewlett-Packard.
Hewlett-Packard is new to Fortune’s top 10 this year, knocking out Bank of America, which fell to No.
13. Bank of America’s revenue has been hit on several fronts by a combination of a weak economy and new regulations that cut how much the bank could collect in credit card and checking account fees. It earned $1.4 billion last year on revenue of $94.4 billion.