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Monday, April 02, 2001, updated at 17:03(GMT+8)

General Motors Driven from Top Spot of Fortune 500

Surging energy prices in the United States gave oil, gas and power companies new fuel in their ascension of the annual Fortune 500.

Oil giant Exxon Mobil Corp. surpassed automaker General Motors Co., rising to No. 1 from No. 3 with the company's highest-ever dlrs 210 billion in revenue for 2000. GM, which had revenue of dlrs 184.6 billion, fell to No. 3.

Other energy companies fared well in 2000, with Enron Corp., at No. 7, rising from No. 18. Duke Energy Corp. shot up to No. 17 from 69 and Reliant Energy Inc. made it up to No. 55 from 114.

The list of the largest publicly held companies, ranked by fiscal year 2000 revenues, has been compiled annually since 1955 by the editors of Fortune. GM, which had held the top spot on the list for 15 years, now trails No. 2 Wal-Mart Stores Inc. in addition to Exxon Mobil.

Other energy firms advancing included Texaco Inc., which went from No. 28 to No. 16; Chevron Corp., which was ranked No. 20, up from No. 35; and Dynegy Inc., which rose to No. 54 from No. 112.

The Internet slowdown and uncertainty about the economy hurt a number of companies, particularly telecom firms that slid in the rankings. AT-and-T Corp. fell from No. 8 to No. 9.

But a merger helped Verizon Communications Inc., formed when Bell Atlantic and GTE combined in May, leapfrog from No. 33 past rivals WorldCom Inc., No. 32, and SBC Communications, No. 14, to the No. 10 spot.

America Online Inc., which became the first purely Internet company to break into the list last year at No. 337, rose to No. 271. Since then, it has become AOL Time Warner Inc. by dint of its acquisition of Time Warner. The combined company's revenue of dlrs 36.2 billion would have made it No. 39 on the new list, though was not counted there because the deal didn't close until early this year.

Computer companies were led by International Business Machines Corp., which stayed in the top 10, but fell from sixth last year to No. 8.

Microsoft Corp. rose to 79 from 84, and Cisco Systems Inc., which makes equipment for the Internet, advanced to 107 from 146, despite the dot-com crash.

PC maker Dell Computer Corp. rose to 48 from 56 and Apple Computer Inc. rose from 285 to 236. Compaq Computer Corp., meanwhile fell from 20 to 27.

Wal-Mart, which remained in the No. 2 spot, had revenues of more than dlrs 210 billion. It draws the distinction as being the company with the most employees on the list, more than 1.2 million worldwide.

The top 10 also included Ford Motor Co. at No. 4, a position it held last year. General Electric stayed at the No. 5 position while Citigroup Inc., the largest financial services company in the nation, rose from seventh place to No. 6.

The highest ranked new company on the list is No. 57 Delphi Automotive Systems Corp., which was spun off by GM in May 1999.

Total profits for the 500 corporations grew 8.4 percent for the year, down from 1999's level of 28.7 percent, to dlrs 444 billion. Revenue grew by more than 13 percent to a combined dlrs 7.2 trillion for 2000. The 500 companies employed more than 24 million workers.

20 Biggest Companies in US

The Fortune 500 ranks the nation's largest companies, and is compiled by Fortune magazine on the basis of 2000 revenue. Below are the top 20 on the list. Each entry includes rank, name of company, headquarters, last year's rank and 2000 revenue in billions of dollars.

1. Exxon Mobil, Irving, Texas, 3, dlrs 210.392

2. Wal-Mart Stores, Bentonville, Arkansas, 2, dlrs 193.295

3. General Motors, Detroit, 1, dlrs 184.632

4. Ford Motor, Dearborn, Michigan, 4, dlrs 180.598

5. General Electric, Fairfield, Connecticut, 5, dlrs 129.853

6. Citigroup, New York, 7, dlrs 111.826

7. Enron, Houston, 18, dlrs 100.789

8. International Business Machines, Armonk, New York, 6, dlrs 88.396

9. AT New York, 8, dlrs 65.981

10. Verizon Communications, New York, 33, dlrs 64.707

11. Philip Morris, New York, 9, dlrs 63.276

12. J.P. Morgan Chase, New York, 31, dlrs 60.065

13. Bank of America, Charlotte, North Carolina, 11, dlrs 57.747

14. SBC Communications, San Antonio, 12, dlrs 51.476

15. Boeing, Seattle, 10, dlrs 51.321

16. Texaco, White Plains, New York, 28, dlrs 51.130

17. Duke Energy, Charlotte, North Carolina, 69, dlrs 49.318

18. Kroger, Cincinnati, 14, dlrs 49.000

19. Hewlett-Packard, Palo Alto, California, 13, dlrs 48.782

20. Chevron, San Francisco, 35, dlrs 48.069

In This Section

Surging energy prices in the United States gave oil, gas and power companies new fuel in their ascension of the annual Fortune 500.

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