The World's Top 100 Companies: Revenue Versus Profits

Tyler Durden's picture

Just over a month ago, Visual Capitalist published a very tidy data visualization that summed up the top 50 companies in the world by revenue, based on data from Forbes.

But, as Jeff Desjardins notes, just looking at revenue numbers doesn’t give a full picture on how these companies compare – and many investors care much more about a different performance metric: profit.

Roday’s data visualization from Ishtyaq Habib shows the top 100 biggest companies by market value, but uses circles to represent both the revenue and profit for each company. There’s also an interactive version of the same chart here as well, which highlights the specific numbers for each company highlighted.


Courtesy of: Visual Capitalist



The first noticeable difference in this version?

It’s that Apple is unparalleled in its ability to make money. In fact, Apple’s 2016 profit of $45 billion is far bigger than any other company, including Berkshire Hathaway ($24 billion), JPMorgan Chase ($24 billion), Wells Fargo ($22 billion), Alphabet ($19 billion), Samsung ($19 billion), Toyota ($17 billion), Johnson & Johnson ($16 billion), or Walmart ($14 billion).

The only companies that can compare with Apple were Chinese banks like ICBC, Agricultural Bank of China, or China Construction Bank, but in many ways these state-owned enterprises are on an entirely different playing field, anyways.

Also impressive: Apple’s profits are bigger than the revenues of massive companies like Coca-Cola ($41.5 billion) or Facebook ($27.6 billion).


Unfortunately, not every company can make a 21% profit margin on $217 billion of revenue like Apple.

Other organizations need to rely on razor-thin margins and volume to make things work. Walmart only brought in $14 billion of profit off of a whopping $485 billion of revenue – a margin of just 2.8%. Meanwhile, fast-growing Amazon was in a similar boat with margins of 1.7%, largely provided by its wildly successful AWS service.

Lastly, it is also worth noting that some on the list did not make a margin at all. These are mostly companies that are suffering from the challenges of down cycles in natural resources. Chevron and mining giant Glencore, for example, were two of the Top 100 Companies that both lost money in 2016, while BP essentially broke even.

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Yen Cross's picture

   Welcome to [TURDS]fangs Non GAAP forward EPS.

Dame Ednas Possum's picture

Can the analysis be expanded further to illustrate how much tax they all avoided and how much they spent buying-off regulators, politicians and other 'officials' working in the best interest of society? 


Yen Cross's picture

 At 25X "trailing earnings", EPS [ S&Piss]  ZIRP plus 125 basis points OIS/on excess reserves, what could go wrong???

hooligan2009's picture

yep - redraw the charts on corporate taxes paid v corporate tax rates in countries where revenue is earned, adusted for tax breaks given by local cities, states and countries.

though to be fair, you could tag in income taxes paid on salaries and bonuses.

amzn's margins would be negative if it paid the tax rates it was liable to pay without tax evasion and tax breaks given at the expense of everyone else with whom it competes at a local level.

Yen Cross's picture

 I was joking about ~Marriage~ with a buddy of mine recently.

  He said that 50% of marriages' end-up in divorce.


   Being the smart guy that is<> He asked me if I would drive my 599GTO- knowing I had an "50/50" chance of getting home alive. [like marriage}

   That is all ~ Bitchez

 No hope for smowflakes/

canisdirus's picture

50-50 over a lifetime or a single trip? Over a lifetime, it might be worth the risk.

50% of marriages end in divorce, sure, but over 80% of first marriages end in death of one of the participants. The rate of the latter is even higher with educated couples, people that attend a church regularly, those of a certain age range when they marry, etc.

If you want to succeed in marriage, your chances are much higher with someone that hasn't yet failed at it. If you want to succeed in driving, drive like people that don't die from it, not like those that do.

IronForge's picture

Time to force AAPL to make/produce goods/services sold here generated here.

pitz's picture

Yup, Apple makes themselves such a convenient bullseye/target.  So much cash on hand (even if it is pre-tax, and encumbered).  So much offshore activity.  Its just a matter of time before they're going to encounter an AT&T-like event, or at least some crackdown on their outsourcing.

stacking12321's picture

yes, because having the government point a gun at someone and tell them what to do, ALWAYS leads to a good outcome, with no unintended consequences.

have you thought about a career in politics?

IronForge's picture

Big Picture, you fail to see

VK's picture

17 US Intel agencies have revenue from your wallet, sorry, budget share of $75 Bn a year. US gov spends $600 Bn a year on military bombing of deserts. All the Profit of all the companies listed in America is $1 Trillion or so. Enough to run .gov for 4 months or less. USSA the biggest corporate on the planet, they own a share in every company, every person, cradle to grave taxation.

DelusionsCrowded's picture

Yeh , and the Fed Reserve 'Bank'ing ponzi scheme is coming to an end . A lot an angry creditors with broken dreams .

Debugas's picture

all it tells is that iphones are overpriced

djrichard's picture

Hmm, now which company is paying out the high salaries to give all these other companies their profit?

Ouagadoudou's picture

but but .... where is Amazon ?

tostaky06's picture

Between Alphabet and Intel ... 

Moe Hamhead's picture

It looks like Allergan is nothing but profit!

canisdirus's picture

There are a couple more near the bottom of this chart. They're more interesting to me than the big bubbles with much smaller profits. Who are these people producing nearly 100% profit on everything they do? I see two in pharmaceuticals.

overmedicatedundersexed's picture

somehow yellen & co, think this is normal and just fine..go figure

amadeus39's picture

My impression is that banking is the most profitable business and China has a lot of very profitable companies. Banks, of course.


canisdirus's picture

It looks like Pharma is actually doing better than even banking. This doesn't entirely surprise me.

Iconoclast421's picture

They should put a P/E in there too. Then AMZN's bubble would spill out beyond the borders. Hehe I said bubble.

DelusionsCrowded's picture

Where's the CIA drug running operations ?

Dickweed Wang's picture

Apple makes 21% off 217 billion in sales??  That just confirms their products are WAY overpriced and the people that buy that stuff these days are complete suckers.  I will never buy another Apple product again (I bought an Itouch about 10 years ago) . . .

zippedydoodah's picture

If they are overpriced, then they are very succesful at selling them to people who think they aren't overpriced.

Perhaps Amazon should raise all their prices by 20% and be the new number one. Or perhaps business isn't as simple as you imagine.