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Fortune 500: What Exactly Is It?

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If you follow business news closely, then you might have heard about Fortune 500.

But do you really know what Fortune 500 is?

Well, in simple words, it's a list of the top 500 U.S. companies.

Fortune Magazine releases this list every year and has been doing so since 1955.

Edgar P. Smith, an editor of the magazine, was the brainchild behind the list.

Every year, the magazine ranks companies after looking at various factors, including their most recent fiscal year’s revenue.

It doesn't matter if the companies are private or public as long as they are U.S.-based, with fully transparent financial records.

It's interesting to note that companies regularly boast about being in the Fortune 500, as it is seen as a hallmark of corporate prestige.

As of now, 1,800 U.S. companies have made it to the list. 

General Motors  (GM) - Get General Motors Company (GM) Report topped the list in 1955 and is still in the list's top 20 today.

As of 2019, Walmart  (WMT) - Get Walmart Inc. Report is at the top of the list, followed by Exxon Mobil  (XOM) - Get Exxon Mobil Corporation Report , Chevron  (CVX) - Get Chevron Corporation Report , Berkshire Hathaway undefined, and Apple undefined .

Also, Fortune 500 companies represent two-thirds of the U.S. GDP

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