> Operating margin: 26%
> Product revenue: $2.1 billion
> Market share: 34.6%
> Industry: Soft drinks
Like several other energy drink brands, Monster has come under some scrutiny for its brightly colored labels and flashy advertising, because such tactics tend to attract a young audience. One can of Monster has roughly five times the caffeine found in a can of Coke. Monster does not recommend that children or pregnant women consume its products. Despite bad press, Monster Beverage Corporation’s (NASDAQ: MNST) revenue has steadily increased in recent years. Sales rose more than 9% last year.
> Operating margin: 32%
> Product revenue: $18.7 billion
> Market share: 40.3%
> Industry: Tobacco
Despite a massive decline in American smoking habits since the 1960s, Marlboro cigarettes are still among America’s most profitable products. Altria Group (NYSE: MO), Marlboro’s parent company, shipped roughly 130 billion packs of cigarettes last year, including 111 billion packs of Marlboros, down slightly from the year before. The Marlboro brand, however, still dominates U.S. tobacco markets, controlling more than two-fifths of the tobacco market in America. The brand has been the top-selling cigarette nationwide for the past 35 years. While smoking is on the decline, the Marlboro brand can be found on a variety of smokeless tobacco products as well, including snus. Altria Group shipped 787.5 million units of smokeless tobacco products last year, up slightly from 2012.
> Operating margin: 41%
> Product revenue: $91.3 billion
> Market share: 45.0%
> Industry: Computer hardware
A majority of Americans now own smartphones, according to Pew Research Center. Last year, 45% of all smartphones sold in the U.S. were iPhones. The iPhone is one of the world’s most profitable products and a primary driver in Apples’ (NASDAQ: AAPL) financial success. The company’s fiscal 2013 sales increased by $14.4 billion, or 9%, from the year before. Much of the growth was due to strong iPhone 5 sales, as well as the successful introductions of iPhone 5S and lower-cost 5c. Net sales of the iPhone totaled $91.3 billion last year, up 16% from 2012, when sales increased by more than 70% from the year before. Interbrand named Apple the world’s most valuable brand last year.
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