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The July 24, 2006 issue of Fortune, featuring its Fortune 500 list

The Fortune 500 is an annual list compiled and published by Fortune magazine that ranks 500 of the largest U.S. corporations by total revenue for their respective fiscal years.[1] The list includes public companies, along with privately held companies for which revenues are publicly available. The concept of the Fortune 500 was created by Edgar P. Smith, a Fortune editor, and the first list was published in 1955.[2][3]

Although the Fortune 500 list is the most familiar one, similar gross revenue lists of the top firms range from the highest ranking Fortune 100 including the top one hundred to the broader ranking Fortune 1000 that includes the top thousand firms. While membership on the smaller lists is somewhat stable, the ranking on the lists may change over time depending upon revenues, and often because of mergers among firms already listed.

The original Fortune 500 was limited to companies whose revenues were derived from manufacturing, mining, or energy exploration. At the same time, Fortune published companion "Fortune 50" lists of the 50 largest commercial banks (ranked by assets), utilities (ranked by assets), life insurance companies (ranked by assets), retailers (ranked by gross revenues) and transportation companies (ranked by revenues). Fortune magazine changed its methodology in 1994 to include service companies. With the change came 291 new entrants to the famous list including three in the Top 10.[4]

While companies in the Fortune 500 have their headquarters in various locations, more than half of the companies are incorporated in the State of Delaware.[5]

There are alternative lists.[6][7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Fortune 500, USPages.com.
  2. ^ "Fortune 500 Companies". Fortune. Retrieved 10 August 2015. 
  3. ^ "Edgar Smith, 69, Dies; Retired Time Executive". New York Times. 
  4. ^ Groves, Martha (26 April 1995). "Service Now Counts With Fortune 500". Los Angeles TImes. Retrieved 26 April 2014. 
  5. ^ "Why Businesses Choose Delaware". Retrieved 17 October 2015. 
  6. ^ 100 Best Global Brands - BusinessWeek
  7. ^ Interbrand | Best Global Brands

External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fortune_500 — Please support Wikipedia.
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