"The worst crime against working people is a company which fails to operate at a profit," American labor leader Samuel Gompers once said. That's not a charge that would be brought against any of the following 10 manufacturing companies. In fact, the company that starts off our countdown finished 2015 in with nearly $9 billion in net income. Check out our gallery to see what manufacturer topped the profit list for the IW U.S. 500.
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10. Cisco Systems Inc.
Cisco Systems Inc.
Cisco (IW500/21) manufactures the networking equipment that makes the internet work. The company's sales rose 4% in 2015 to $49.2 billion and net income was just shy of $9 billion, a 14.4% jump. Noting that Cisco will benefit from increasing investment in the Internet of Things (IoT), Steve Heller writes for The Motley Fool that "the company's leading position in networking infrastructure could make it a major benefactor thanks to the IoT driving increased hardware spending."
9. General Motors Co.
Brian Kersey for Maven
General Motors (IW 500/3) continued its post-bailout comeback in 2015, posting sales of $152.35 billion and seeing net income more than double to $9.68 billion. Vehicle deliveries increased 8.6% in North America and sales rose 14.2% in China. CEO Mary Barra stressed that GM was investing for the future in "connectivity, autonomous, car-sharing and electrification." The car shown above is part of GM's Maven car-sharing program, operating in Chicago, New York City, Ann Arbor, Boston and Washington,D.C.
8. Oracle Corp.
Though revenue remained essentially flat in 2015 for Oracle (IW 500/31), net income fell nearly 10% from $10.95 billion in 2014 to $9.93 billion. Analysts are split on their opinions of how well the company is doing in transitioning to becoming a provider of cloud-based services. In announcing its most recent financial results on June 16, Oracle stressed that SaaS and PaaS revenues rose 66%.
7. Intel Corp.
Intel (IW 500/20) tread water financially in 2015, as revenue fell 1% to $55.4 billion and net income also slid, down 2% to $11.4 billion. While the company's Client Computing Group saw revenue drop 8%, the data center business rose 11% and the Internet of Things group grew 7%. In April 2016, Intel announced a restructuring designed to "accelerate its evolution from a PC company to one that powers the cloud and billions of smart, connected computing devices." In an effort to pare costs, the company will reduce its workforce by 12,000 (11%) by mid-2017.
6. Microsoft Corp.
Microsoft (IW 500/10) had net income of nearly $12.2 billion on sales of $93.5 billion in 2015. Net income fell almost $10 billion as Microsoft took a $7.5 billion charge related to its 2014 purchase of Nokia, championed by former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. Microsoft paid $7.9 billion for the Finnish company's smartphone business. Microsoft has also seen its margins squeezed as it invests in cloud infrastructure in order to support its growing service businesses such as Azure. CEO Satya Nadella predicted annual commercial cloud revenue of $20 billion by fiscal year 2018.
5. IBM Corp.
IBM's (IW 500/12) revenue dropped nearly 12% in 2015 to $81.7 billion but net income grew to $13.2 billion. "Together, cloud, analytics, mobile, social and security grew 26% and delivered $29 billion in revenue," Martin Schroeter, IBM’s SVP and chief financial officer, told analysts, or 35% of the company's revenue. The systems hardware business also grew, up 8% to $2.4 billion, with servers offsetting a decline in storage hardware.
4. Johnson & Johnson
Johnson & Johnson
Johnson & Johnson (IW 500/16) CEO Alex Gorsky should be smiling; his company had net income of $15.4 billion on revenue of $70 billion. While those figures were down from 2014, the company, like many other U.S. manufacturers, saw its results negatively impacted by the strong dollar, with international sales taking a 14.2% currency hit. "Johnson & Johnson delivered strong underlying growth in 2015, driven by the performance of our Pharmaceutical business and iconic Consumer brands," said Gorsky. In January, J&J announced it would restructure its medical devices business, hoping to accelerate innovation and save up to $1 billion.
3. Exxon Mobil Corp.
Oil and natural gas giant ExxonMobil (IW500/1) topped the IW 500 with revenue of $268.86 billion in 2015, but that was a 35% plummet from 2014 as oil prices swooned. Exxon also saw its net income cut in half, from $33.6 billion to $16.1 billion. Still, the company stresses that it is focused on the long-term, where it forecasts a 25% growth in energy demand from 2014 to 2040.
2. Gilead Sciences Inc.
Coming in second on our list of the terrifically profitable with a net income of $18.1 billion is Gilead Sciences (IW 500/34). Headquartered in Foster City, Calif., the biopharmaceutical company racked up sales of $32.6 billion in 2015 and had an eye-popping profit margin of 55.48%. Gilead has 7,000 employees and its products, sold in more than 30 countries, include treatments for HIV and chronic hepatitis. The company is also making forays into treatments for autoimmune diseases and cancer.
1. Apple Inc.
And then there was Apple (IW 500/2). The House that Steve Jobs Built continued its legacy of success in FY 2015 with net income of $53.39 billion. That's right - Apple raked in an average of $1.02 billion in net income per week. At the heart of Apple's money-making machine is the iPhone. Apple sold 232 million of them in 2015, up more than 20% from 2014. In 2016, Apple has seen its sales momentum slow. In the second quarter, sales for the iPhone were 51.2 million units, down substantially from the 61.2 million of the previous year. But with an iPhone 7 on the way, expect to see the company bounce back as it launches a new product cycle.