This financial services company made a big leap on the Fortune 500, with revenues up 138%. Yet its profits were relatively miniscule. Here's why: Among its many businesses, International Assets trades metals. Accounting rules force the firm to book entire trades as revenue, not just the profit at the end.
In 2009, the company expanded its trading operations from New York and London to epicenters Dubai and Singapore. The high price of gold also contributed to the revenue jump. But there's more to the firm's growth than accounting: The company merged with consulting firm FCStone last year, quadrupling assets and doubling staff.--J.S.