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By Isabel Contreras
 

Despite another year of relentless volatility stemming from a global pandemic, enhanced by international armed conflict and supply chain issues, U.S. companies managed to continue growing.

 

The 20th annual Forbes Global 2000 list ranks the world’s largest public companies with composite scores of market value, sales, profits and assets captured during the 12 months ended April 22. After ballooning growth in 2021, America’s top 10 public companies experienced more humble progress this year. The group’s combined market value remained almost flat, rising by 3% to $9.9 trillion; they recorded combined sales exceeding $2.3 trillion (up 4% from last year), and assets at roughly $12.3 trillion (down 7%). This, while profits soared by more than 61% to over $509 billion.

Omaha-based Berkshire Hathaway saw similar remarkable profit growth which helped boost it to the top spot on this year’s Forbes Global 2000 list. Billionaire partners Warren Buffett, 91, and Charlie Munger, 98, produced nearly $90 billion in profits last year, up 53% from the previous year. Berkshire reported a record $27.5 billion in after-tax operating profits to help push it to the top spot over Jamie Dimon’s JPMorgan Chase.

 

During the investing and insurance conglomerate’s yearly shareholder’s meeting last month, Buffett expressed optimism and resilience despite daunting market prospects and rising inflation. “If you do something valuable and good for society, it doesn’t matter what the U.S. dollar does,” Buffett said. “Sometimes markets do crazy things. That’s good for Berkshire, not because we’re smart, but because we’re sane.”

 
 

Berkshire Hathaway dethroned JPMorgan Chase as the largest American public company, a position the investment bank held onto for three consecutive years. JPMorgan now ranks second among U.S. companies and #4 in the Global 2000 list, falling behind ICBC and Saudi Aramco. The bank’s stock fell 15% in the year leading to April 22, when it closed at $126.81, underperforming compared to the S&P 500’s modest 2% growth in that same period.

Amazon rose to the third spot in the U.S. list, rallying from No. 5 last year and No. 13 the year before. The Seattle-based giant maintained persistent growth as online shopping continues to boom. Sales shot up 22% in the last year to around $470 billion, despite the higher prices and interest rates threatening consumers, keeping the company at No. 2 worldwide in terms of sales. Amazon’s streak is unlikely to stop soon: sales growth in its top categories — including home furnishings, beauty and hobby products — is expected by eMarketer to outpace competitors.

Original Article – Forbes

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