Apple moves up one spot to No. 5 in 2014 Fortune 500 rankingsApple's meteoric rise in the prestigious Fortune 500 corporate rankings continued this year as the iPhone maker moved past Texas oil and gas giant Phillips 66 to take the fifth slot in the 2014 edition.
Apple was the only technology company to crack the top 15, with Hewlett-Packard's 17th-place showing the next best for a Silicon Valley firm. Joining Apple in the top five are retail monolith Wal-Mart, petrochemical behemoths Exxon Mobil and Chevron, and Warren Buffet's Berkshire Hathaway conglomerate.
Apple's stratospheric ranking is a marked change from its position just 10 years ago, when it ranked a relatively lowly 301st. Much of that improvement is owed to the blockbuster success of the iPhone and iPad, which have collectively sold more than half a billion units in the last seven years.
Those sales have translated into immense financial success. Apple's $170 billion in total revenue for 2013 —up nearly 10 percent year-over-year —is more than the revenue booked by fellow corporate icons Microsoft and Boeing combined.
At press time, Apple shares were trading at more than $630 in advance of a 7-for-1 stock split that the company says is designed to make it more accessible to independent investors. Apple is also in the midst of a $90 billion share buyback program and recently bumped its quarterly dividend to $3.29 per share.