Special Report

The 20 Most Profitable Companies in the World

20. Rosneft
> Net income from cont. operations: $17.1 billion
> Country: Russia
> Industry: Integrated oil and gas
> Revenue: $138.4 billion

With total earnings of more than $17 billion last year, excluding one time items and discontinued operations, Rosneft is one of the most profitable energy companies in the world and one of the largest by virtually any measure. According to the company, Rosneft accounted for about 40% of oil production and one-third of all oil refining in Russia. Last year, Russia produced more than 10.5 million barrels of oil per day, more than all but two other countries. Rosneft is also the third-largest producer of natural gas in Russia, which is itself the second largest natural gas producer in the world. More than two-thirds of the company is owned by the Russian government, while just 10.75% of shares are publicly traded.

19. JPMorgan Chase & Co.
> Net income from cont. operations: $17.4 billion
> Country: United States
> Industry: Diversified banks
> Revenue: $69.4 billion

JPMorgan Chase & Co. had $2.5 trillion in assets as of June, making it the largest bank holding company by assets in the U.S. In part because of the company’s substantial legal expenses in recent years, JPMorgan Chase reported a return on equity of just 9% last year, worse than it had in years past. Before discontinued operations and extraordinary items, the company reported a net income of $17.4 billion, more than all but a few other companies. The bank grew significantly in the wake of the financial crisis, as it was able to acquire the collapsed investment bank Bear Stearns and most of lender Washington Mutual’s operations. Today, JPMorgan Chase is one of just three bank holding companies with more than $1 trillion in deposits as of June as well as more than 5,000 branches.

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18. Vodafone Group plc
> Net income from cont. operations: $17.7 billion
> Country: United Kingdom
> Industry: Wireless telecommunication services
> Revenue: $63.9 billion

European telecom company Vodafone announced at the beginning of this year it had completed the sale of its 45% share in Verizon Wireless to Verizon Communications. The sale was priced at roughly $130 billion, making the deal one of the largest in recent history. While the agreement substantially reduced Vodafone’s overall size, the move is expected to improve its growth potential, and the company is still among the most profitable worldwide by net income from continuing operations, at $17.7 billion last year. Including the Verizon Wireless deal, the company reported a net income of 59.4 billions pounds, or $98.8 billion, last year, the highest among all companies reviewed.

17. Toyota Motor Corp.
> Net income from cont. operations: $18.2 billion
> Country: Japan
> Industry: Automobile manufacturers
> Revenue: $294.6 billion

Toyota is the world’s most profitable auto manufacturer, with $18.2 billion in earnings from continuing operations last year. Bolstering earnings, the company produced more than 9 million vehicles in its latest fiscal year, up from roughly 8.7 million the year before. However, the growth in operating profits, which rose from 1.3 trillion yen to nearly 2.3 trillion yen — or $22.3 billion — in its latest fiscal year, was largely due to favorable exchange rate movements. Toyota is the world’s largest auto manufacturer by vehicle sales as well as Japan’s largest company by market capitalization.

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16. AT&T Inc.
> Net income from cont. operations: $18.2 billion
> Country: United States
> Industry: Integrated telecommunication services
> Revenue: $128.8 billion

As part of a series of mergers within the telecom industry, AT&T — one of the largest providers of mobile and broadband services in the United States– announced it had agreed to purchase satellite TV provider DirecTV earlier this year. The purchase will likely only growth the company’s bottom line. Last year, AT&T earned over $18 billion from continuing operations. The company has a long history of being one of the dominant telecom players in the U.S. A predecessor company was so large that, in 1984, regulators disbanded the company into eight separate entities as part of antitrust proceedings against the firm. Among these entities — the so-called “Baby Bells” — was SBC Communications, which in 2005 bought its former parent and took on the name AT&T.

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