Apple moves up ranks of Fortune 500

(MoneyWatch) In Fortune Magazine's annual list of the largest 500 companies based on revenue, Apple (AAPL) finally cracked the ranks of the top 10. The move shows that even though under attack by competitors and pressure by investors, Apple has continued to grow in success and wealth.

Apple's income was only exceeded by Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A), three petroleum companies -- Exxon Mobile (XOM), Chevron (CVX), and Phillips 66 (PSX) -- and Wal-Mart (WMT), whose sales of $469.2 billion dwarfed the $156.5 that Apple saw.

When it came to profits, Apple, with $41.7 billion, was number two, second only to Exxon Mobile's $44.9 billion. However, look at profits as a percentage of revenues, and Apple is only number 10 when it comes to turning sales dollars into earnings.

In a twist, Yahoo (YHOO) was number one in that category even though, in 494th place, it is only barely on the Fortune 500 list. Also ahead of Apple were MasterCard (MA), Qualcomm (QCOM), CF Industries Holdings (CF), Simon Property Group (SPG), Phillip Morris (PM), Franklin Resources (BEN), Priceline.com (PCLN), and Oracle (ORCL).

In assets, Apple with its enormous cash-on-hand war chest and total assets of $176.1 billion was 37th. However, no other high tech company was even in the top 50. The first entry after Apple is Microsoft (MSFT), 35 on the Fortune 500 list overall and 53rd in assets with $121.3 billion. IBM sits two positions lower with $119.2 billion.

And when it comes to a five-year-view of earnings per share, Apple was number one at $62.2. The next tech company was CA at number 5 with $54.4 per share. However, with Apple's falling margins, it isn't clear for how long it will remain on top.

  • Erik Sherman On Twitter»

    Erik Sherman is a widely published writer and editor who also does select ghosting and corporate work. The views expressed in this column belong to Sherman and do not represent the views of CBS Interactive. Follow him on Twitter at @ErikSherman or on Facebook.

Comments