The World’s 50 Most Profitable Companies
Here is the list of the world’s most profitable companies in 2020:
|Rank||Company||Fortune Global 500 Rank||Profit ($M)||Profit Change|
|4||Industrial & Commercial Bank of China||24||45195||+0.4%|
|6||China Construction Bank||30||38610||+0.3%|
|7||JPMorgan Chase & Co.||38||36431||+12.2%|
|9||Agricultural Bank of China||35||30701||+0.1%|
|10||Bank of America Corp.||58||27430||-2.5%|
|11||Bank of China||43||27127||-0.4%|
|12||Ping An Insurance||21||21627||+33.2%|
|13||Alibaba Group Holding||132||21450||+63.8%|
|23||Royal Dutch Shell||5||15842||-32.2%|
|25||Johnson & Johnson||104||15119||-1.2%|
|32||China Merchants Bank||189||13443||+10.4%|
|37||China Mobile Communications||65||12145||+3.4%|
|41||Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing||362||11452||-4.9%|
|44||Bank of Communications||162||11186||+0.5%|
The ranking of the most profitable companies in the world in 2020 was compiled on the basis of financial statements of the largest corporations by revenue for 2019. That is, this ranking does not reflect the consequences of the global coronavirus pandemic, which caused the so-called corona-crisis in the global economy. We will see the consequences of the coronavirus in the 2021 ranking, which will be published on our website in September 2021. Radical changes in the composition of the most profitable corporations are expected. For example, oil and gas industry profits will be severely reduced due to the dramatic collapse in oil and natural gas prices in the first half of 2020. Accordingly, there will be fewer oil and gas corporations in the 2021 ranking. Air travel, the travel industry in general, and small businesses around the world will be hit hard. However, companies from these sectors usually do not appear in the ranking of the world’s top 50 most profitable companies.
The content of the current ranking can be described as calm and predictable. There are few newcomers. Changes in positions are almost imperceptible. The trend of Chinese and American corporations struggling for global domination on our planet continues. Due to the trade war between the United States and China unleashed by U.S. President Donald Trump, the growth in profits in Chinese state corporations has tended to stagnate. But the hard landing of China's economy, predicted by some respected economists, is still a long way off.
For the second consecutive year, Saudi Aramco, the oil giant of Saudi Arabia, is the world’s most profitable company. It is now a publicly traded company listed on the Saudi Stock Exchange (Tadawul). We were pleasantly surprised by the jump in net profit of Berkshire Hathaway, the brainchild of the legendary American investor Warren Buffett. However, these super-positive results are not a miracle, but just a reflection of unrealized gains from stock investments in Berkshire Hathaway's portfolio. The ranking also includes several German, Japanese, South Korean, Swiss and Russian corporations. Traditionally, American IT giants like Apple, Microsoft, Alphabet (the parent company of Google), Facebook and Amazon.com, the leader of US Internet commerce, reap generous year-over-year profits.
Why is there no Tesla in the list of the 50 most profitable corporations? It’s quite simple: Tesla generates continuous losses every year. But Elon Musk, its founder, is successfully changing our world for the better, promoting the idea of electric vehicles, solar energy, space travel, and the colonization of Mars. As a result, numerous private investors idolize Musk and adore buying Tesla shares, which is driving their prices to cosmic heights. Some people even manage to get rich on such speculations.
About the Author
Sergey Karpenko is a co-founder of Asian-links.com and a value investor who has lived in Asia for many years.
Sergey believes that Asia has become the powerhouse for the global economy in the 21st century. Despite all its complexities, Asia offers tremendous opportunities for investors to get rich by cashing in on this vibrant region’s explosive growth.
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