Even during a pandemic, U.S. corporate profits collectively soared in 2021. The Bureau of Economic Analysis estimated profits from current production (corporate profits with inventory valuation and capital consumption adjustments) rose 25% in 2021. In dollar terms, corporations earned pre-tax profits of around $2.81 trillion, Axios reported.
But not all companies have had a profitable 2021, with some companies reporting losses last year. In fact, some large companies have been reporting losses for several years now. (On the other hand, these are corporations that made skyrocketing profits in 2021.)
To determine the largest companies that don’t turn a profit, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed data on revenue and net income from Security and Exchange Commission filings for the 1,000 largest public companies. Companies that have posted consecutive net losses in the last three fiscal years were ranked by annual revenue for the most recent fiscal year. Data on market capitalization is as of May 24, 2022, from Google Finance. All data is for the most recent period available.
Some companies have been reporting losses since launching. Uber (No. 4 on the list) has yet to report a full-year profit, though it did report its first quarterly profit when reporting third quarter 2021. Uber has been investing in its growing business though it was also hurt by the pandemic as well in 2020 and by the labor shortage in 2021.
Topping the list is Boeing. The company reported a loss of nearly $12 billion in 2020 as the pandemic depressed demand and production problems began. In 2019, the company reported the first annual profit in two decades because of costs related to the 737 Max crashes and challenges from the grounding of its bestseller. The company reported its third loss in a row in 2021 as production problems have prevented Boeing from delivering its 787 Dreamliner for more than a year.
As pandemic stress on the economy eases, perhaps some of these companies will once again return to profitability. For many others, however, the problems are more fundamental, related to their industries and ongoing consumer trends. (Here are 19 big companies that paid almost nothing or nothing at all in taxes in 2021.)
Click here to see the largest public companies that don’t turn a profit.
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