The new Fortune 500 list is out, the annual ranking of the top publicly traded companies in the United States.
So, who’s No. 1? It depends on which way you parse the list. California is No. 1 in terms of companies on the list headquartered in the state, with 53, edging out Texas (52) and New York (50)
Overall, ExxonMobil is No. 1, reflecting its nearly $453 billion in revenue. Energy is also a clear No. 1, occupying four of the top 12 slots on the list, and with it the energy industry in Texas and California, where all of those companies are based.
The banking and financial services sector is heavily represented, too, with mortgage giant Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and global banking powerhouses Bank of America, J.P. Morgan Chase and Citigroup occupying spots in the top 25. (It should also be noted that top 25 conglomerates General Electric and Berkshire Hathaway have financial services holdings, too)
The U.S. auto industry is making a solid showing on the 2012 list, with General Motors and Ford taking top 10 spots and recording enormous gains in profitability. Hewlett Packard can lay claim to the title of top communications and information technology company, followed by AT&T, Verizon, Apple and IBM.
And the impact of the health care, life sciences and pharmaceutical industry on the economy can be seen by the presence of major players in different aspects of health care in the top 25. Two enormous delivery and distribution companies – McKesson and Cardinal Health – are 14 and 21 on the ranking, respectively. Pharmacy benefits operator CVS Caremark is No. 18 and insurer UnitedHealth Group is No. 22.
So what’s the value of having a Fortune 500 company headquartered in your region? Beyond the prestige, there’s the matter of jobs, and good-paying ones, too. Overall, the companies on the 2012 Fortune 500 employ more than 17 million people in the United States alone.
In the Charlotte NC region, for example, the eight Fortune 500 headquarters do more than just provide jobs – they also support a full range of endeavors that make the community a better place to live. Bank of America, No. 13 on the list, has done everything from supporting cultural institutions to underwriting academic programs at colleges to securing naming rights on the stadium where the Carolina Panthers play. And Fortune 500 headquarters are a magnet for other investment and job creation by companies that want to do business with them and a breeding ground for entrepreneurial talent that often starts innovative new companies.
Some communities have been fortune to have legacy industries that spawned Fortune 500-caliber companies, others have gone out and recruited them. What’s your community’s strategy? Share your thoughts and your successes on landing a major corporate player and the risks and rewards in doing it.