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Ranked: The Most Profitable U.S. Companies, by Sector

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The Most Profitable U.S. Companies, by Sector

The Most Profitable U.S. Companies, by Sector

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U.S. corporate profits hit record levels in 2022, even as stocks fell into a bear market and inflation reached 40-year highs.

Given these headwinds, investors are watching corporate fundamentals very closely. Corporate profit margins provide a buffer against higher borrowing costs and price pressures and for many reasons, they are a key measure of financial health.

This graphic shows America’s most profitable companies by sector, using data from Fortune.

America’s Most Profitable Companies

Here are the U.S. firms with the highest annual profits in their sector. Data is based on the fiscal year ending on or before January 31, 2023 across companies in the Fortune 500.

Both public and private companies that are incorporated and operate in the U.S. are included.

NameSector2022 Annual ProfitAnnual % Change
AppleTechnology$99.8B5.4%
Exxon MobilEnergy$55.7B141.9%
JPMorgan ChaseFinancials$37.7B-22.1%
PfizerHealth Care$31.3B42.7%
Verizon CommunicationsTelecommunications$21.3B-3.7%
Home DepotRetailing$17.1B4.1%
VisaBusiness Services$15.0B21.5%
Procter & GambleHousehold Products$14.7B3.0%
TeslaMotor Vehicles & Parts$12.6B127.5%
UPSTransportation$11.5B-10.4%
Coca-ColaFood, Beverages & Tobacco$9.5B-2.3%
NucorMaterials$7.6B11.4%
DeereIndustrials$7.1B19.6%
McDonald'sHotels, Restaurants & Leisure$6.2B-18.1%
NikeApparel$6.0B5.6%
DuPontChemicals$5.9B-9.3%
D.R. HortonEngineering & Construction$5.9B40.3%
Lockheed MartinAerospace & Defense$5.7B-9.2%
NetflixMedia$4.5B-12.2%
Walgreens Boots AllianceFood & Drug Stores$4.3B70.6%
W.W. GraingerWholesalers$1.5B48.3%

Apple is the most profitable company in America. Reaching almost $100 billion in profits in 2022, it outpaces the profit leaders in both the energy and financials sectors combined. Furthermore, at the end of 2022, its net profit margin stood at nearly 25%.

Amid a maturing smartphone market, the company is focusing more on service-based revenue. iPhones make up roughly half of its total net sales, yet growth is plateauing. Last year, iPhone sales growth was 7%, compared to 39% the year before. Meanwhile, services sales—including cloud, AppleCare, and advertising—increased 14% annually.

Within the energy sector, Exxon Mobil took the top spot with record profits of over $55 billion. Profits jumped almost 142% last year as oil prices spiked with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Steep cuts in costs through the pandemic also helped to bolster the company’s returns.

JPMorgan Chase saw the highest profits in the financial sector. As the nation’s largest bank by assets, it saw a sharp decline in its investment banking division as higher interest rates made financing mergers and acquisitions less lucrative. Overall, profits sank more than 22% annually.

Corporate Profits in Perspective

Low taxes and interest rates contributed to about one-third of profit growth across nonfinancial companies in the S&P 500 over the last 20 years, a paper from the Federal Reserve shows.

Now, as interest rates climb higher, steeper costs could cut into bottom lines. The good news is so far, corporations have shown resilience to a shifting interest rate regime. In the first quarter of 2023, U.S. corporate profits fell moderately by just over 5%.

Profitability and Competitive Advantage

What does this mean for investors?

For investors looking for companies that can weather higher rates, profitability is one factor to consider. Companies with strong profitability can reinvest in their business, pay dividends, and better withstand road bumps from rising costs.

Going further, companies with high profitability often have a strong market share thanks to economies of scale lowering costs, brand loyalty driving demand, and economic moats. We can see this with Apple and Visa, for example.

Over time, this builds a sustainable competitive advantage. As companies preserve profitability, it adds value to shareholders, often supporting share prices over the longer-term.

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U.S. Debt Interest Payments Reach $1 Trillion

U.S. debt interest payments have surged past the $1 trillion dollar mark, amid high interest rates and an ever-expanding debt burden.

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This line chart shows U.S. debt interest payments over modern history.

U.S. Debt Interest Payments Reach $1 Trillion

This was originally posted on our Voronoi app. Download the app for free on iOS or Android and discover incredible data-driven charts from a variety of trusted sources.

The cost of paying for America’s national debt crossed the $1 trillion dollar mark in 2023, driven by high interest rates and a record $34 trillion mountain of debt.

Over the last decade, U.S. debt interest payments have more than doubled amid vast government spending during the pandemic crisis. As debt payments continue to soar, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) reported that debt servicing costs surpassed defense spending for the first time ever this year.

This graphic shows the sharp rise in U.S. debt payments, based on data from the Federal Reserve.

A $1 Trillion Interest Bill, and Growing

Below, we show how U.S. debt interest payments have risen at a faster pace than at another time in modern history:

DateInterest PaymentsU.S. National Debt
2023$1.0T$34.0T
2022$830B$31.4T
2021$612B$29.6T
2020$518B$27.7T
2019$564B$23.2T
2018$571B$22.0T
2017$493B$20.5T
2016$460B$20.0T
2015$435B$18.9T
2014$442B$18.1T
2013$425B$17.2T
2012$417B$16.4T
2011$433B$15.2T
2010$400B$14.0T
2009$354B$12.3T
2008$380B$10.7T
2007$414B$9.2T
2006$387B$8.7T
2005$355B$8.2T
2004$318B$7.6T
2003$294B$7.0T
2002$298B$6.4T
2001$318B$5.9T
2000$353B$5.7T
1999$353B$5.8T
1998$360B$5.6T
1997$368B$5.5T
1996$362B$5.3T
1995$357B$5.0T
1994$334B$4.8T
1993$311B$4.5T
1992$306B$4.2T
1991$308B$3.8T
1990$298B$3.4T
1989$275B$3.0T
1988$254B$2.7T
1987$240B$2.4T
1986$225B$2.2T
1985$219B$1.9T
1984$205B$1.7T
1983$176B$1.4T
1982$157B$1.2T
1981$142B$1.0T
1980$113B$930.2B
1979$96B$845.1B
1978$84B$789.2B
1977$69B$718.9B
1976$61B$653.5B
1975$55B$576.6B
1974$50B$492.7B
1973$45B$469.1B
1972$39B$448.5B
1971$36B$424.1B
1970$35B$389.2B
1969$30B$368.2B
1968$25B$358.0B
1967$23B$344.7B
1966$21B$329.3B

Interest payments represent seasonally adjusted annual rate at the end of Q4.

At current rates, the U.S. national debt is growing by a remarkable $1 trillion about every 100 days, equal to roughly $3.6 trillion per year.

As the national debt has ballooned, debt payments even exceeded Medicaid outlays in 2023—one of the government’s largest expenditures. On average, the U.S. spent more than $2 billion per day on interest costs last year. Going further, the U.S. government is projected to spend a historic $12.4 trillion on interest payments over the next decade, averaging about $37,100 per American.

Exacerbating matters is that the U.S. is running a steep deficit, which stood at $1.1 trillion for the first six months of fiscal 2024. This has accelerated due to the 43% increase in debt servicing costs along with a $31 billion dollar increase in defense spending from a year earlier. Additionally, a $30 billion increase in funding for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation in light of the regional banking crisis last year was a major contributor to the deficit increase.

Overall, the CBO forecasts that roughly 75% of the federal deficit’s increase will be due to interest costs by 2034.

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