Fortune 500 rank: 4
Refiner ConocoPhillips spun off its downstream assets to form Phillips 66 last April. The new company posted healthy profits as crude oil prices dropped and refiners' margins increased, with earnings of $5.4 billion in 2012 vs. $3.6 billion in 2011. The solid performance allowed Phillips 66 to return $400 million of capital to shareholders in 2012 through dividends and share purchases. The company recently announced plans to form a master limited partnership of its midstream and chemical segments, with an IPO expected later in 2013.
Wal-Mart retook the top spot, Berkshire Hathaway made the top five, and Apple grew enormously.