Fortune 500


DEFINITION of 'Fortune 500'

An annual list of the 500 largest companies in the United States as compiled by FORTUNE magazine. The list is put together using the most recent figures for revenue and includes both public and private companies with publicly available revenue data. Exxon Mobil, Walmart, General Electric and Chevron have vied for the top spots on the list in recent years. To be a Fortune 500 company is widely considered to be a mark of prestige.

BREAKING DOWN 'Fortune 500'

The collective performance of the Fortune 500 companies may be seen as one indicator of the country's overall economic performance. For example, in the midst of the 2008 recession, the Fortune 500 companies' collective 335% increase in earnings in 2009 was viewed as a possible sign of economic recovery. Companies' addition to and subtraction from the list also say something about the overall economy; for example, homebuilders dropped off the list after the housing market bubble burst.

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  1. What is the difference between the S&P 500 and the Fortune 500?

    The Fortune 500 and the S&P 500 are different measures of companies in the United States, and they are compiled by two ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. Do working capital funds expire?

    While working capital funds do not expire, the working capital figure does change over time. This is because it is calculated ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. Does working capital include inventory?

    A company's working capital includes inventory, and increases in inventory make working capital increase. Working capital ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. How can I calculate funds from operation in Excel?

    In general, the terms "work in progress" and "work in process" are used interchangeably to refer to products midway through ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. When does Q4 start and finish?

    Most companies such as Facebook have financial years that end on December 31st. For these companies, the fourth quarter begins ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. When is it useful to look at a company's fixed asset turnover ratio?

    It is useful to look at a company's fixed asset turnover ratio when an outside observer, such as an investor, wants to know ... Read Full Answer >>

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