Amazon may be dominating the headlines and on Wall Street, but it’s still Walmart that leads the retail sector when it comes to profits.
Walmart turned a profit of $14.7 billion in its latest fiscal year. That averages out to more than $40 million per day — including weekends.
Amazon, by comparison, nets about $1.6 million per day on average, based on the company’s financials for its most recently completed fiscal year.
We analyzed the latest annual financials of America’s 20 largest companies to find out what they net in a single day.
The largest companies were determined based on their rank in the latest Fortune 500 list, which is based on revenue — essentially, gross income.
We then used net income to determine each company’s daily profit.
As it turns out, even though Walmart tops the list for its revenue — and has a commanding lead over Amazon in terms of profit — the big box retailer is not the most profitable company in the top 20. Far from it.
Wal-Mart Stores Inc., which does business as simply Walmart, turns a profit of $40,257,534 per day.
That figure accounts for the retail giant’s three main divisions: Walmart U.S., Walmart International and Sam’s Club.
2. Exxon Mobil
Exxon Mobil Corp. took its current name in 1999, when the Exxon and Mobil oil companies merged.
Today the corporation is an umbrella for five brands across every continent except Antarctica: Exxon, Mobil, ExxonMobil, Esso and XTO Energy. It generates a daily profit of $44,246,575.
Not only is Apple Inc. the most profitable company on this list and in the entire Fortune 500 — it’s also the only one to net nine figures per day or even come close to that mark, turning a profit of $125,169,863 per day.
4. Berkshire Hathaway
The second-most profitable company on this list is Berkshire Hathaway Inc., with $65,980,822 per day.
The conglomerate, which has become synonymous with its investing guru of a CEO, Warren Buffett, has several dozen subsidiaries. They include household names such as:
- Benjamin Moore
- Dairy Queen
- Fruit of the Loom
- Kraft Heinz
- See’s Candies
Fortune counts the health care sector’s McKesson Corp. as the largest pharmaceutical distributor in the United States.
The company nets $6,186,301 per day.
6. UnitedHealth Group
UnitedHealth Group Inc. includes UnitedHealthcare, which provides health benefits, and Optum, which provides health services such as pharmacy benefit management.
The company nets $15,926,027 per day.
7. CVS Health
Are you sensing a health care theme? CVS Health Corp. is among five health-oriented companies that made this list.
It comprises the retail chain CVS Pharmacy as well as CVS MinuteClinic, CVS Caremark and CVS Specialty. It turns a profit of $14,347,945 per day.
If you shop at the retailer, check out “8 Steps to Save Big at CVS.”
8. General Motors
General Motors Co. nameplates include Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet and GMC, as well as several sold in other countries.
The company that helped Detroit earn its nickname the Motor City nets $26,539,726 per day.
The other American auto company to make this list is Ford Motor Co., with a daily profit of $20,200,000.
AT&T Inc. offers integrated communications across its many brands, netting $36,561,644 per day.
The conglomerate counts itself as the largest provider of pay TV in the U.S. and in the world, a result of its acquisition of DirecTV last year.
Other well-known AT&T brands include the mobile carriers AT&T and Cricket.
11. General Electric
General Electric Co. is the only company on this list to record a net loss for its latest fiscal year.
GE’s “profit” from its latest fiscal year averages out to negative $16,783,562 per day.
The company’s divisions operate in about 10 sectors, including oil and gas, and the company’s net loss has been attributed partly to plunging oil prices.
GE has also been selling off assets, most notably in its finance division, GE Capital.
AmerisourceBergen Corp. is a pharmaceutical distribution company. Its 1.5 million product lines are distributed to 15,000 retail pharmacy locations and more than 50,000 health care facilities.
The company nets $3,912,134 per day.
Like competitor AT&T, Verizon Communications Inc. offers integrated communications across multiple brands.
Verizon turns a bigger profit, though — $48,983,562 per day.
The only other oil and gas company to make this list, Chevron Corp. nets $12,567,123 per day.
This membership warehouse club nets $6,438,356 per day.
Costco Wholesale Corp. has 723 warehouses, 506 of which are in the U.S. and Puerto Rico. Competitor Sam’s Club, by comparison, has 655 clubs in the U.S. and Puerto Rico.
If you belong to Costco or are considering joining, be sure to check out “8 Ways to Squeeze the Most From Your Costco Membership.”
16. Fannie Mae
The Federal National Mortgage Association, commonly referred to as Fannie Mae, is the only company on this list that started out as a federal agency.
It was established in 1938 via an amendment to the National Housing Act.
Today, Fannie Mae is technically classified as a government-sponsored enterprise and nets $30,010,959 per day.
The nation’s largest grocery store company, Kroger Co., turns a profit of $5,586,301 per day.
Its chains include not just Kroger but also Dillons Food Stores, Fred Meyer, Fry’s Food Stores, Quality Food Centers (QFC), Ralphs, and Smith’s Food and Drug Stores. If you live near any of these, be sure to check out “7 Ways to Save Cash at Kroger and Its Affiliates.”
Amazon.com Inc. nets $1,632,877 per day.
That’s the lowest positive profit among these 20 largest U.S. companies. As Bloomberg columnist Shira Ovide recently put it, though, Amazon’s low profit margins stem from its “strategy of plowing nearly every dollar of profit into new endeavors.”
The company has become the fourth-largest company in the world by stock market value because it is branching into every conceivable corner of business and is absorbing a bigger share of consumers’ and businesses’ spending. Amazon generates about one-quarter of all U.S. e-commerce retail sales, and it is gobbling share from brick and mortar, too.
If you’re a fan of the e-commerce giant, check out “10 Strategies to Save Big Bucks on Amazon.”
Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. is the holding company that owns the drugstore chain Walgreens, based in the U.S., and Boots, based in the U.K. It nets $11,432,877 per day.
If you live near a Walgreens store, check out “8 Ways to Save at Walgreens.”
HP Inc. took on its current name after Hewlett-Packard split into two publicly traded companies, HP Inc. and Hewlett Packard Enterprise, last year.
HP Inc. focuses on personal computers and printers, netting $12,476,712 per day.
What surprises you most about the profits of the nation’s largest companies? Share your thoughts with us by commenting below or on our Facebook page.
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