Global 500 FAQ Definitions and Explanations

Revenue 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 2005 profits to 2006 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, 2007. 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, 2006, 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.


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.


No attempt has been made to calculate medians in groups with fewer than four companies. The medians for profit changes from 2005 do not include companies that lost money in both 2005 and 2006; no meaningful percentage changes can be calculated in such cases.


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. 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. Top of page

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