What Is A Fortune 500 Company?

Is this something to strive to be? Is there anything better?

Fortune magazine annually publishes a list of the top 1,000 companies in terms of gross revenue. The Fortune 500 are the top 500 from that list and the Fortune 100 is the top 100, naturally.

To be absolutely precise, it’s the top list of U.S. companies in terms of gross revenue.

It’s better to be in the Fortune 100 or the Fortune 50, if that’s what you mean. But there isn’t a more prestegious list of the top “x” companies if that’s what you mean, except perhaps the Dow Jones Industrials (30 companies selected by Dow Jones as a proxy for the overall market). I’d say that being a Fortune 500 company is more prestigious overall than being in the S&P 500.

Does the list encompass all US companies, or just publicly traded ones? Where would they get figures for privately owned enterprises?

I was just going to ask the same question.
Who keeps track of the privatly owned?
How is the total revenue reported? Taxes?

In addition to the 1,000/500/100 lists of U.S. companies, Fortune publishes a whole series of other lists of companies by desirability of working conditions, overall perfomance, various industires, etc. and still other lists ranking people. They also publish global lists and lists for individual other countries, (e.g., China).
Fortune: All Lists (2003)
As to privately held firms: Henry Ford went public a long time ago. I’m not sure how many privately held companies would have revenues exceeding the 2,928,000,000 of Bed, Bath, and Beyond which is the 501st company on the list. (Does the Sultan of Brunei hold his oil, privately?)

It’s the biggest public companies, and basically for the reason you described: private company information isn’t publically available. However, Forbes publishes a list of the biggest Private companies based on educated guesses, if you’re interested in that.

Cargill company, located here in the Twin Cities area, is privately held by the Cargill & Macmillan families, and is probably well up in the Fortune 500 range.

SAIC is not a publicly traded company. It is on the fortune 500.

Hmmmm. Earlier I found some link that I could’ve sworn said public only, and now I can’t find it. Further, gazpacho is right: SAIC is definitely private and definitely Fortune 500. So I dunno.

BTW, t-bonham@scc.net, Cargill tops the Forbes private company list.