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Wal-Mart Reclaims No. 1 Spot On 'Fortune' 500 List

A shopping cart at a Wal-Mart store in Los Angeles.
Robyn Beck
AFP/Getty Images
A shopping cart at a Wal-Mart store in Los Angeles.

Wal-Mart has reclaimed the lead spot on the Fortune 500 list released today. For the past few years, the giant retailer has been battling it out with Exxon for top billing.

This year, Exxon Mobil dropped to No. 2.

Fortune writes about Wal-Mart:

"For fiscal year 2012, sales rose 5.9%, to $443.9 billion. Despite relatively strong sales, Wal-Mart must hold onto its U.S. shoppers, which make up 62% of the chain's net sales.

"Beyond the U.S., Wal-Mart continues to investigate allegations that executives in Mexico paid more than $24 million in bribes to speed the retailer's expansion there. The probe has widened to Brazil, India and China."

Here are some other highlights from the list:

-- Facebook, which went public in May 2012, made the list for the first time.

-- Its CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, 28, is the youngest on the list.

-- Total revenue for all Fortune 500 companies was up 2.7 percent over the past year. Total profits, however, were down 0.5 percent.

-- Apple, which ranks sixth on the list, was the second most profitable company on the list. The most profitable, writes Fortune, was Exxon:

"The energy giant fell just short of setting a company — and world — record for profits this year. The last world record was set by — you guessed it — Exxon Mobil, back in 2008."

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Eyder Peralta is NPR's East Africa correspondent based in Nairobi, Kenya.
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