Current stock value: $77.97 per share
One-year range: $57.20-$79.20
2012 revenue: $447 billion
2012 net income: $15.7 billion
It’s been a rocky year thus far for Wal-Mart: In February, leaked e-mails from the companies top executives warned that the start to the company’s 2013 sales season was set to be its worst in seven years, setting off widespread concern that consumer spending would be gravely affected by concerns over federal budget cuts and the end of the payroll tax holiday. (So far, it hasn’t.) Furthermore, Wal-Mart’s Mexico subsidiary faces allegations of bribing government officials to help open more stores. An investigation of the bribery scandal by The New York Times recently won a Pulitzer prize.
But Wal-Mart still dominates the US retail scene by a huge margin. In 2011, the company made $454 million in worldwide retail sales. Its closest competitor? The Kroger supermarket chain, which pulled in $85.5 million.
Three Chinese companies made the Top 5 in the Businessweek list last year. The last time the five largest companies in the world were US-owned was 2004, and the makeup has changed somewhat: Citigroup and General Electric have dropped out of the Top 5 since then.