Unexpectedly Intriguing!
April 24, 2006

Previously, we took the latest edition of the Fortune 500 and extracted the top ten employers from among the biggest US-based private sector companies. Today, we have a new list where we show just who the most profitable industries of the Fortune 500 are, ranking them according to their Earnings-to-Revenue ratio!

As an added bonus, we've put the data into a dynamic table format, which means that you may sort the data according to the various column headings from high to low, or from low to high (by clicking the column heading a second time.)

Most Profitable Companies in the 2006 Fortune 500
Sectors Revenues (millions $USD) Profits (millions $USD) Earnings/ Revenue (%)
Mining, Crude Oil Production 0,101,060.5 0,027,421.6 27.1
Computer Software 0,069,308.9 0,017,651.1 25.5
Savings Institutions 0,033,318.6 0,005,894.6 17.7
Commercial Banks 0,520,267.4 0,091,671.4 17.6
Pharmaceuticals 0,244,146.8 0,042,487.3 17.4
Internet Services & Retailing 0,034,078.8 0,005,851.0 17.2
Education 0,004,286.1 0,000,678.6 15.8
Network & Other Communication Equipment 0,100,065.8 0,015,665.1 15.7
Tobacco 0,082,481.5 0,012,107.3 14.7
Payroll Services 0,011,403.2 0,001,552.1 13.6
All U.S. Sectors 4,851,909.0 0,551,908.0 6.7

2005 was definitely a big year for the crude oil producers in the Mining and Crude Oil Production sector! Here's a quick list of the companies that Fortune listed in this sector (and their rank within the Fortune 500!):

Collectively, these companies account for $75,868 million USD in Revenue, $24,865.6 million USD in Profits and have an Earnings-to-Revenue ratio of 32.8%.

By comparison, the "Big Oil" companies with which most people are familiar are grouped together in Fortune's Petroleum Refining industrial sector, which collectively has $929,998.3 million USD in Revenue, $74,493.6 million USD in profits and an Earnings-to-Revenue ratio of 8.0%.

The top company in the Petroleum Refining sector is ExxonMobil (1), who also topped the Fortune 500 in both revenue and profits. The oil giant raked in $339,938 million USD in Revenue and $36,130 million in Profits, earning an Earnings-to-Revenue ratio of 10.6%, less than a third of the average profitability of the crude oil producers in 2005!

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