Apple leapt nine spots to become the 6th rank company in the Fortune 500, Fortune magazine's list of the biggest companies by revenue. In 2012's rankings, Apple was ranked 17th, but revenues grew to US$156.5 billion, enough to rank it just behind fifth ranked Berkshire Hathaway.
Fortune's writeup on Apple:
Apple is bigger than ever -- the company cracked the Fortune 10 this year. But it’s a high-pressure job, being king of the hill. At Apple's press event this past October, it maintained more than disrupted with its software upgrades and iPad mini announcement.
Also, CEO Tim Cook had to apologize a lot in the past year -- once in September for the failure of Apple’s maps app, and then to Chinese consumers this April for slow repair services -- this in a market that Cook said this past January would be Apple's largest.
Still, when every executive wants to invent the iPod of ___, Apple remains an innovation icon.
As noted above, Fortune's ranking is determined by revenue. At the top of the list is Wal-mart, with revenues of $469.2 billion, three times Apple's. On the other hand, Apple's profits of $41.73 billion for calendar 2012 were almost three times Wal-mart's profits of $17 billion.
Impressive as they are, however, Apple's earnings would only be enough to secure the #2 spot behind ExxonMobil. Ranked as the second largest company with $449.9 billion in revenue, the energy giant earned $44.9 billion in profits. The next closest company was energy giant Chevron, the #3 company with $233.9 billion in revenue and $26.2 billion in earnings.