Fortune smiles on top 500

Exxon Mobil, Ford, Hewlett-Packard and Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway all made the top 10 of the Fortune 500.

DOUGLAS E. JESSMER | Times photo illustration

Exxon Mobil, Ford, Hewlett-Packard and Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway all made the top 10 of the Fortune 500.

Exxon Mobil is No. 1

Oil producers saw some of the biggest revenue increases as a rebellion in Libya and high demand worldwide pushed oil prices higher. The price of benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude oil soared 19 percent. Brent crude, which helps set the price of foreign oil varieties, surged 38 percent between 2010 and 2011. Revenue rose for Exxon Mobil Corp., based in Irving, Texas, even though the company struggled with lower production and high refining costs. It earned $41 billion last year on revenue of $486 billion. Two other petroleum companies — Chevron and ConocoPhillips — ranked third and fourth, behind Wal-Mart.

Wal-Mart is No. 2

Now at No. 2, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. reported 4 percent lower earnings in its latest fiscal year: net income of $15.7 billion on revenue of $446.95 billion. Higher expenses squeezed profits as the Bentonville, Ark., retail giant also looked for ways to lower prices.

The rest of the top 10

Rounding out the top 10 were automaker General Motors Co., industrial and banking giant General Electric Co., Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc., mortgage provider Fannie Mae, Ford Motor Co. and technology giant Hewlett-Packard Co. Hewlett-Packard is new to Fortune's top 10 this year, knocking out Bank of America, which fell to No. 13. Bank of America's revenue has been hit on several fronts by a combination of a weak economy and new regulations that cut how much the bank could collect in credit card and checking account fees. It earned $1.4 billion last year on revenue of $94.4 billion.

Fortune smiles on top 500 05/07/12 [Last modified: Monday, May 7, 2012 10:18pm]

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