Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) isn’t just the most highly valued company on earth according to market cap. It’s also the most profitable firm on earth as well.
That’s according to Fortune which put Apple at the top of its most profitable companies list for the second consecutive year. The business magazine explains Apple’s rise to power:
After more than a decade of solid growth fueled first by the iPod music player and then by the even more popular iPhone, Apple finally appeared to hit a wall, with lackluster sales “relatively speaking” for other products such as the iPad and Apple Watch and a heavy reliance on upgraded phone models. But the most profitable publicly-traded company in the world is investing heavily in software and its efforts in new areas of opportunity, including automobiles, remain in development (and under wraps).
Apple also took home the #3 spot this year in the Fortune 500 rankings, behind only Walmart and Berkshire Hathaway. It was also Apple’s second straight year at #3 on that list, which ranks companies by revenue rather than profits. With $215 billion in annual revenue and $45.7 billion in profits, Apple enjoys a comfortable margin advantage over the average mega-cap company:
The world’s 500 largest companies generated $27.7 trillion in revenues and $1.5 trillion in profits in 2016. Together, this year’s Fortune Global 500 companies employ 67 million people worldwide and are represented by 34 countries.
Apple will likely never catch up to Walmart’s massive $485 billion in sales, but it dwarfs the retailer’s $13.6 billion in bottom line profit.
Apple Inc. shares were trading at $150.90 per share on Thursday afternoon, down $0.12 (-0.08%). Year-to-date, AAPL has gained 31.39%, versus a 11.68% rise in the benchmark S&P 500 index during the same period.