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U.S. 153
Japan 64
France 39
U.S. Postal Service 785,929
Sinopec 634,011
Hon Hai Precision Industry 550,000
Exxon Mobil $40,610
Royal Dutch Shell $31,331
General Electric $22,208
FAQ and methodology
All companies on the list must publish financial data and report part or all of their figures to a government agency. In the U.S., private companies and cooperatives... More
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FAQ Clarifications, Definitions, and Explanations
Clarification
Ping An Insurance, China, had revenue of $18.0 billion in 2007 and would have ranked 462 on the Global 500.

Tata Steel's revenue for fiscal year end March 31, 2008 -- released by the company after the Global 500 publication deadline -- was $32.8 billion. Had the information been available, the company would have placed 231 on the list. The company ranked 315th in the listing, based on revenue for the four quarters ended Dec. 31, 2007, of $25.7 billion.

Definitions and Explanations
Revenues and profits
All companies on the list must publish financial data and report part or all of their figures to a government agency. In the U.S., private companies and cooperatives that produce a 10-K are included. Figures are as reported, and comparisons are with the prior year's figures as originally reported for that year. Fortune does not restate the prior year's figures for changes in accounting.

Revenue figures include consolidated subsidiaries and reported revenues from discontinued operations but exclude excise taxes. For banks, revenue is the sum of gross interest income and gross noninterest income. For insurance companies, revenue includes premium and annuity income, investment income, realized capital gains or losses, and other income, but excludes deposits.

Profits are shown after taxes, after extraordinary credits or charges if any appear on the income statement, and after cumulative effects of accounting changes. Figures in parentheses indicate a loss. Profit declines of more than 100% reflect swings from 2006 profits to 2007 losses. Profits for partnerships and cooperatives are reported but are not comparable with those of the other companies on the list because they are not taxed on a comparable basis. Profits for mutual insurance companies are based on statutory accounting.

Data shown are for the fiscal year ended on or before March 31, 2008. Revenue and profit figures for non-U.S. companies have been converted to U.S. dollars at the average exchange rate during each company's fiscal year (ended Dec. 31, 2007, unless otherwise noted).

Assets and equity
Assets shown are those at the company's fiscal year-end. Stockholders' equity is the sum of capital stock, paid-in capital, and retained earnings on the same date. Minority interest is not included.

Figures for non-U.S. companies have been converted to U.S. dollars at the exchange rate at each company's fiscal year-end.

Employees
The figure shown is either a fiscal year-end or yearly average number, as published by the company. industry tables

Companies are included in the industry that represents the greatest volume of their revenues. Industry groups are based on categories established by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget. Medians

No attempt has been made to calculate medians in groups with fewer than four companies. The medians for profit changes from 2006 to 2007 do not include companies that lost money in 2006 or lost money in both 2006 and 2007, because no meaningful percentage changes can be calculated in such cases.

Credits
This year's Fortune Global 500 was prepared under the direction of senior list editor L. Michael Cacace and senior reporter Richard K. Tucksmith. Reporter Cindy Kano (Tokyo) reviewed and verified figures for Japanese companies. Editorial assistant Zhang Dan (Beijing) provided figures for Chinese companies. Staff in Britain, France, Germany, India, and South Korea gathered data in those countries. Reporter Douglas Elam helped compile and verify the data. Marilyn Adamo, director of Fortune's Business Information Research Center, provided supporting documentation, and database administrator Larry Shine supplied the technical support. Data provided by Thomson Corp. and Mergent Inc. aided the process.

Contacts
If you have further questions about the Fortune 500, please e-mail lists@cnnmoney.com.

From the July 21, 2008 issue
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