Apple has jumped two spots this year and taken the No. 3 spot in the Fortune 500 list of US companies, just behind Walmart and Exxon Mobil. Apple previously ranked No. 5 in 2015, and No. 6 in 2014.
As explained by Fortune, the annual list is based on companies’ total reported revenue for the fiscal year. Other important aspects of the rating methodology besides are profits, balance sheet, employees, earnings per share, and total return for investors.
Other notable companies in the top 10 are Berkshire Hathaway (#4), McKesson (#5), General Motors (#8), Ford Motors (#9), and AT&T (10).
The text highlighting Apple’s notable milestones in 2015 notes the slowdown in iPhone sales, the Apple Watch launch, and rumours of the electric car dubbed Project Titan:
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. Still the most profitable publicly-traded company in the world, Apple’s iPhone 6S and 6S Plus upgrades barely outsold their predecessors after arriving on the market at the end of 2015, while sales of the iPad tablet computer continued to shrink throughout the year. In April 2015, the Apple Watch arrived to mixed reviews and modest sales. And though debate raged for a bit about the state of Apple’s sales in China amid a slowing economy there — including an unusual August 2015 email from CEO Tim Cook to CNBC host Jim Cramer claiming no summer slowdown — the year ended on a weak note for the company in Asia. Lately, hopes have turned to the next iPhone upgrade cycle and a push to focus on India, where Apple’s market share remains miniscule. Still, even with the growing concerns, Apple’s next big leap came into view in 2015. Dubbed Project Titan and staffed with hordes of former car industry experts, Apple’s effort to leapfrog the automobile market with an electric masterpiece likely won’t reach consumers for a few more years. But when it does, Cook and company could be riding high again.
By the way, Apple’s $53 billion in profits for fiscal 2015 was much higher than the $16 billion posted by Exxon Mobil (#2) and Walmart’s $14.6 billion (#1).