is a reference to a list maintained by the American business magazine Fortune
. The list is of the 1000 largest American companies, ranked on revenues alone. Eligible companies are any which are incorporated in the United States, and for which revenues are publicly available (this list has a larger universe than "public companies
," as the term is commonly understood, meaning "companies whose common stock trades on a stock market
"). The Fortune 500
is the subset of the list that is its 500 largest companies.
The list draws the attention of business readers seeking to learn the influential players in the American economy and prospective sales targets, as these companies tend to have large budgets and staff needs.
In 2007 and 2008, number 1 on the list was Wal-Mart Stores