U.S. Companies Slip on Fortune Ranking

China, India move up the list

The number of U.S. firms among the Fortune 500 list of top global companies slipped to the lowest level in over a decade while Chinese, Indian and Mexican firms gained, Fortune magazine reported on July 9.

Wal-Mart Stores remained at the top of the list of the world's biggest companies by revenue at $378 billion. But the number of U.S. firms in the top 500 fell to 153, the lowest in over a decade.

Number two on the list was ExxonMobil with $372 billion in revenue, followed by Royal Dutch Shell ($355 billion) BP ($291 billion); Toyota Motor ($230 billion); Chevron ($210 billion); ING Group ($201 billion); Total ($187 billion); General Motors ($182 billion); and ConocoPhillips ($178 billion).

Overall, revenues for the Global 500 companies were $23.6 trillion, up 13%, and profits were up 3.9% to $1.6 trillion.

The U.S. still had the most companies on the list, but a falling dollar became an advantage to non-U.S. based companies, Fortune said. Japan had 64 firms and France had 39 to edge out Germany with 37 and Britain's 34. But China had an unprecedented total of 29 companies on the list -- as many as Italy, Spain, and Australia combined. The top Chinese firm was Sinopec with $159 billion in revenues. India had seven companies led by Indian Oil and Reliance Industries. Russia had five, the biggest being Gazprom.

While the Fortune ranking is based only on revenues, other rankings use profits or other factors. ExxonMobil remained the most profitable with $40.6 billion in net income in 2007. The biggest loss was General Motors' $38.7 billion.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2008

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