The World's Top 100 Companies: Revenue Versus Profits

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.


hooligan2009 Dame Ednas Possum Mon, 06/19/2017 - 06:20 Permalink

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.

In reply to by Dame Ednas Possum

canisdirus Yen Cross Mon, 06/19/2017 - 09:20 Permalink

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.

In reply to by Yen Cross

pitz IronForge Mon, 06/19/2017 - 02:59 Permalink

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.

In reply to by IronForge

VK Mon, 06/19/2017 - 03:15 Permalink

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.

Dickweed Wang Mon, 06/19/2017 - 09:44 Permalink

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 Mon, 06/19/2017 - 16:06 Permalink

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.