As China gains ground, its best frenemy – the United States – account for the other half of the top 10 spots. Berkshire Hathaway and Wells Fargo WFC -0.51%both move up four spots to No.5 and No. 9, respectively. J.P. Morgan slides to fourth place as its total composite score slipped behind Agricultural Bank of China. Say goodbye to the two Europe-based companies in Top 10 last year,Royal Dutch Shell (No.11) and HSBC Holdings (No.14).
The list presents an annual snapshot of the ever-changing global business landscape. The U.S. holds onto its crown as the country with the most Global 2000 companies: 564. Japan trails the U.S. with 225 companies in aggregate, despite losing the most members (26) this year. China (mainland and Hong Kong) adds 25 to the list this year, more than any other country, for a total of 207. Two countries debut on the list this year: Mauritius and Togo.
Take a peek at the top of each metric, and you will find the best of the biggest.Apple AAPL -0.42%, which stays at No.15, is again the world’s most valuable company. Wal-Mart Stores WMT +0.65% remains the world’s sales leader, despite a steep drop in profit. Six years after being bailed-out in the financial crisis, mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac finally bring some good news to their investors. Fannie Mae not only consolidates its top spot in terms of total assets, but also has become the most profitable company. With a record $84 billion in profit, its accumulated payments to the federal government have now exceeded the amount it received during the 2008 bailout. Its competitor, Freddie Mac, also shines as the second most profitable company thanks to a 345% jump in profit ($49 billion).
If you are looking for big jumps in rank, you can start with some familiar personalities and the companies behind them. Thanks to Mark Zuckerberg’s newfound yen for helping Facebook make money, the social network has moved up 561 spots to No. 510 this year with 55% growth in sales and 2711% growth in profits. In a turnaround led by Meg Whitman, Hewlett-Packard, one of the biggest losers from last year (No. 438 in 2013), has returned to profitability and climbed 358 spots to No. 80. Media mogul John Malone, who made headlines with his bid to gobble up the rest of Sirius XM, also had a good run with Liberty Media LMCA -0.29%, which moves up 440 spots to No. 651 thanks to big jumps in profit and market value.
Last but not least, the list tells you how certain industries dominate the global business landscape. It is no surprise that banks and diversified financials still dominate the list with 467 members, thanks to their outsize revenues and massive total assets. The next three biggest industries by membership are oil & gas (125 companies), insurance (114), and utilities (110). In terms of growth, the semiconductor industry leads all sectors in sales (up 11%); diversified financial companies in aggregate have an astounding 90% growth rate in profit; construction leads asset growth (up 18%).
Source: Forbes.com by Liyan Chen