On Friday, Fortune published its annual much-hyped list of the largest, wealthiest, and most profitable companies in the US. It will likely come as no surprise that Apple secured a pretty lofty ranking on the list this year. In fact, it's the best overall placement Apple has received on the venerable list.
Leapfrogging better than 20 places to break into the top 50 this time around, Apple enjoys a cushy spot at #35 on this year's "Fortune 500" list. With better than $65 billion in revenue to thank for the elevated placement, Apple is now ahead of Microsoft, Del, Pepsi, Best Buy, Goldman Sachs, and even Lockheed Martin.
So what was Apple's secret to success as reflected by the company's revised rankings? According to Fortune, Apple "not only continues to expand its reach in existing markets, it also keeps creating new ones." Additionally, Apple is tops on the Fortune 500 list in terms of average annual investment returns during the previous ten years. Incredibly, Apple has averaged 45% in annual growth.
Take the iPad, which showed the world the power of tablet computing when it was introduced last year. iPad 2 followed, and was one of the most highly anticipated electronic products this year. CEO Steve Jobs' appearance at its debut in March reassured shareholders worried about his most recent medical leave. Regardless of who's in charge, though, investors have plenty of reason to believe Apple's magic spell on consumers can continue.