The 2009 Fortune 500 List

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The 2009 Fortune 500 List

Postby sanha926 » Sun May 03, 2009 10:02 am

I received my latest issue of Fortune with the 2009 Fortune 500 list in the mail the other day. Here's a few preliminary observations:

1) 3 of the top 5 are oil companies (Exxon Mobil is now #1).

2) The big banks are doing fine: Citigroup, Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase are all still in the top 20, though they've moved down a couple of spots.

3) GM & Ford are still in the top 10, at #6 and #7 respectively.

4) Most of the big money losers (aside from Citi, ConocoPhillips, Ford and GM) are lesser known companies much further down on the list.

5) Of the companies that stumbled furthest from their 2007 rankings, AIG, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are the only notable financial services companies.

Has anyone else who's seen the list found anything of interest?

Edit: the list is also available online:
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Re: The 2009 Fortune 500 List

Postby DanielRose » Mon May 04, 2009 12:51 am

Apparently, some of the big investment banks are simply accounting hacks:
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Re: The 2009 Fortune 500 List

Postby sanha926 » Mon May 04, 2009 7:47 am

As far as I know the FASB relaxed mark-to-market rules on American banks earlier this year. Given that these rule changes are very recent (I think early April), I'm not sure whether they are reflected in the latest Fortune data or not.
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Re: The 2009 Fortune 500 List

Postby dtcochrane » Wed May 06, 2009 9:41 pm

The Fortune 500 is a problematic proxy for dominant capital not least because the ranking is based on sales not profits, assets or market capitalization. This gives you such anomalies as General Motors in 6th, while its market cap. ranks it 347th.

On the other hand, Bank of America still ranks 34th on the basis of market cap. Citigroup falls out the top 100 at 122.

I just went looking for Number 1 in terms of returns. I expected a climber. But no: Corning.
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Re: The 2009 Fortune 500 List

Postby Scott » Thu May 14, 2009 11:19 am

There are other issues pertaining to definitions - like, what is meant by profits? Are profits considered before or after income tax. How is revenue calculated? Is the sale of capital assets considered revenue? What about interest on rents and leases? What could be meant by capital assets? How big a role of amortization contribute to distortion? Have changes occured within definitions themselves or how they are measured? Do financial lenders use amortization? Using sales, how is the value of inventory measured - the price of inventory when manufactured or when sold? Is there comparability between different industries ie manufacturing and financial? Of course, all these may be answered wihtin the footnotes, I confess I havent looked at it.
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