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Pandemic shakes up list of most profitable companies

The businesses and sectors that have struggled and thrived during the pandemic have gradually become clearer, with the latest Forbes Global 2000 list highlighting some of the early economic implications of the recent turmoil.

Amazon has climbed to 10th place, due to the surge in online shopping, from being 22nd in last year’s list.

Saudi Aramco, the world’s largest oil company, plunged from being the most profitable company to third, due to the fall in oil prices. Other oil companies were affected as such. The likes of ExxonMobil, BP and Royal Dutch Shell, though not in the top 10, all three were still ranked among the top 350 companies in the overall list.

Meanwhile, Apple and Microsoft, topped the chart, due to the work from home trend, having been third and fourth on the basis of profits last year. 

Berkshire Hathaway stays among the most profitable listed companies, while Facebook joins alongside the likes of Alphabet.


Source: Forbes Global 2000 List - 2021/Statista

The chips aren’t down for Toyota

Shares in Toyota, hit a record high on Tuesday (18 May) on the back of continued optimism that it is coping with a global electronic chip shortage better than its rivals.

Last week, Toyota forecast a return to prepandemic levels of profit this year, as it was not witnessing any major short-term impacts from the shortage of semiconductor chips that are used in various parts of a car.

Toyota, which has reportedly been stockpiling semiconductor chips, said it had benefited from improvements to its supply chain management following the Fukishima earthquake in 2011 and is now able to assess alternatives more speedily.

However, while investor sentiment pushed shares past their previous peak in 2015, Toyota warned that the chip shortage, which is effecting rivals forcing them to slow or suspend production, remains a “fluid” situation.

Credir: James LeVeque/ Flickr

Cloud on the horizon for Baidu

Chinese tech giant Baidu reported a 25% increase in total revenue in its latest quarterly results, beating analyst estimates. Owed to diversification in its business to compete against key rivals.

The company has expanded its cloud services, artificial intelligence and smart transport technology footprint as it competes for advertising sales.

Non-advertising revenue, which includes the cloud business recorded growth of 70% year-on-year.

The positive results saw Baidu’s US-listed shares rise around 3.5% in pre-market trading on Tuesday (18 May).

Baidu is already listed on the US Nasdaq index but in late March it raised $3.1bn with a secondary listing in Hong Kong.

Credit: Simone Brunozzi/ Flickr

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