The World’s 50 Most Profitable Companies

50 most profitable companies of the world in 2021 during the COVID-19 pandemic
from Fortune's Global 500 list for 2021

Here is the list of the world’s most profitable companies in 2021:

RankCompanyFortune Global 500 RankProfit ($M)Profit Change
1 Apple 6 57411 +3.9%
2 Saudi Aramco 14 49287 -44.1%
3 SoftBank Group 184 47053 ---
4 Industrial & Commercial Bank of China 20 45783 +1.3%
5 Microsoft 33 44281 +12.8%
6 Berkshire Hathaway 11 42521 -47.8%
7 Alphabet 21 40269 +17.3%
8 China Construction Bank 25 39283 +1.7%
9 Agricultural Bank of China 29 31293 +1.9%
10 Facebook 86 29146 +57.7%
11 JPMorgan Chase & Co. 43 29131 -20%
12 Bank of China 39 27952 +3%
13 Tencent Holdings 132 23166 +71.5%
14 Alibaba Group Holding 63 22224 +3.6%
15 Samsung Electronics 15 22116 +19.9%
16 Amazon 3 21331 +84.1%
17 Toyota Motor 9 21180 +13.1%
18 Intel 108 20899 -0.7%
19 Ping An Insurance 16 20739 -4.1%
20 Bank of America 77 17894 -34.8%
21 Verizon Communications 45 17801 -7.6%
22 Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing 251 17344 +51.4%
23 UnitedHealth Group 8 15403 +11.3%
24 Roche Group 147 15229 +12.1%
25 Johnson & Johnson 94 14714 -2.7%
26 China Merchants Bank 162 14108 +4.9%
27 Sanofi 276 14031 +346.8%
28 Walmart 1 13510 -9.2%
29 Nestlé 79 13031 +2.7%
30 Procter & Gamble 128 13027 +234.3%
31 China Mobile Communications 56 12920 +6.4%
32 Home Depot 41 12866 +14.4%
33 Fannie Mae 62 11805 -16.6%
34 Bank of Communications 137 11409 +2%
35 Cisco Systems 221 11214 -3.5%
36 Sony 88 11054 +106.4%
37 Citigroup 82 11047 -43.1%
38 Morgan Stanley 204 10996 +21.6%
39 ThyssenKrupp 298 10725 ---
40 Comcast 64 10534 -19.3%
41 Sberbank 269 10527 -19.4%
42 Oracle 304 10135 -8.6%
43 Volkswagen 10 10104 -35%
44 Rio Tinto Group 256 9769 +22%
45 Industrial Bank 196 9656 +1.3%
46 Pfizer 281 9616 -40.9%
47 Goldman Sachs Group 193 9459 +11.7%
48 Huawei Investment & Holding 44 9362 +3.3%
49 Toronto-Dominion Bank 296 8841 +0.7%
50 Nippon Telegraph and Telephone 55 8643 +9.9%

The 2021 ranking of the world’s most profitable companies was compiled based on financial statements of the largest corporations by net profit for 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic changed the world dramatically. But for the 50 world's most profitable companies, the year 2020 was more or less business as usual. The trend of Chinese and American corporations struggling for global domination continues. It seems like China is winning the competition. The ranking also includes several German, French, Japanese, South Korean, Swiss, and Russian corporations. The biggest oil corporations, including Royal Dutch Shell, ExxonMobil, Total, Petrobras, Gazprom, and Lukoil, vanished from the list because of sharp oil-price drops in 2020.


Many investors are eager to beat the market by buying stocks of companies that will enter the list of the top 50 largest and most profitable corporations in 10 or 20 years. As Warren Buffett showed at the recent Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting, the list of the world's largest corporations by capitalization has undergone significant changes over thirty years. It can be extremely difficult to identify companies that will become leaders in new industries. Yes, we can predict with a fairly high probability that electric cars, cultured meat, and renewable energy will become hot industries by the beginning of the 2030s and will significantly improve our lives. But it can be difficult for a private investor to recognize a future Amazon, Google, or Apple in a small startup that’s just issued an IPO – especially when the number of similar startups in the same industry is often measured in the hundreds.

Source: Fortune

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About the Author

Sergey Karpenko

Sergey Karpenko is a co-founder of Asian-links.com and a value investor who has lived in Asia for many years.

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