Microsoft. Bank of America. Boeing. These businesses are all Fortune 500 companies. Published annually by Fortune Magazine, the list makes up the 500 largest corporations in the United States ranked by sales.
The demand to work for Fortune 500 companies is always present because of their prestige and the possibly hefty salaries that come with working for them. Because most people tend to associate the most prestigious companies with the Fortune 500s, there are a quite a few corporations on the list that might be surprising to the general public.
Companies such as Home Depot (No. 13), Target (No. 27) and Albertsons (No. 35), are all on the list, at times even outranking better-known and seemingly more prestigious businesses.
Perhaps the biggest surprise to the general public is that Wal-Mart has once again topped the list for the fourth straight year. In 2004, Wal-Mart made $288.189 billion in sales, an increase of 11 percent from the previous year.
Exxon Mobil retained its number two position with sales of $270.772 billion, up 27 percent from the year before.
Coming in at a distant third is General Motors with sales of $193.517 billion.
Within the top 10 there were only two changes from the previous year, with No. 9 (AIG) and No. 10 (IBM) switching places.
Other notable companies on the list are Bank of America (No. 18), Boeing (No. 25), Dell (No. 28), Microsoft (No. 41) and The Walt Disney Company (No. 54).
Since the list’s first publication in 1954, only Wal-Mart, General Motors and Exxon have reached No. 1.
The companies that experienced the most growth were ones that dealt with natural resources. In 2004, there was an increase of Fortune 500 companies hiring employees. All over the United States, Fortune 500 companies are growing at unprecedented rates.
Members of the American Marketing Association at UC Irvine have a variety of opinions about Fortune 500 companies. Said Peter Thupsoonthorn, vice-president of membership and second-year economics major, ‘I hope to work for an investment firm or within the financial aspects of a [Fortune] 500 company. I think it’s really competitive [to find a job in a Fortune 500 company], but if you have experience