Top 20 most profitable companies in the world 2019

What comes to your mind when thinking about the most profitable companies in the world? Apple? Amazon? Walmart? How profitable are they? Let’s find out in this list of the 20 most profitable companies in the world. 

When talking about the biggest companies in the world, we can look at two things: Profit, or Revenue. But, if we look at both, we can get profit margin which is vital for any business’ long term success. I’m not saying that margins are going to be the same for all businesses, but if a company has the highest margins in their industry that’s definitely something to look out for. 

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In case the product isn’t unique or high quality, the company can’t charge higher prices hence their margins take a hit. That being said, here are the 20 most profitable companies in the world in 2019 and their respective profit margins.

20. China Development Bank: $16.74 Billion 

  • Revenue: $103.07 Billion
  • Profit: $16.74 Billion
  • Margin: 16.24%
  • Country: China

China Development bank is a state owned policy bank aimed at raising funds for large scale infrastructure projects. 

It is described as the engine for the government’s economic development policies. 

Bonds issued by the China Development bank is treated the same as PRC government bonds i.e. risk-free assets. 

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19. Toyota Motor Corporation: $16.98 Billion

  • Revenue: $272.61 Billion
  • Profit: $16.98 Billion
  • Margin: 6.23%
  • Country: Japan

Toyota Motor Corporation was founded by Kiichiro Toyoda, the son of Toyoda Loomworks founder Sakichi Toyoda. Initially their cars were sold by the name of Toyoda (based on the surname of its founder), but it was later changed to Toyota Motor Company in 1937.

Toyota is one of the Biggest car manufacturer (by volume) in the world. It is also the most profitable Automobile company. They’re known for making the most reliable cars.

18. Citigroup: $18.05 Billion 

  • Revenue: $97.12 Billion
  • Profit: $18.05 Billion
  • Margin: 18.59%
  • Country: USA

Citigroup is an American Investment Bank and Financial services corporation. It’s subsidiary, CitiBank is the 3rd largest bank in the United States. It has more than 200 million customers across 160+ countries.

17. AT&T: $19.37 Billion 

  • Revenue: $170.76 Billion
  • Profit: $19.37 Billion
  • Margin: 11.34%
  • Country: USA

AT&T is the largest telecom operator in the United States after Verizon. It is also the most profitable Telecommunications company in the world. The AT&T we see today isn’t the actual AT&T founded by Graham Bell. It was then called Bell Systems after the name of its founder.

In 1984, that company got split into 7 regional companies also known as the Baby Bells. Talking about the present day AT&T, 4 out of 7 Baby Bells (through acquisitions) came under SBC and was later renamed AT&T. The present day Verizon on the other hand is a result of merger between two Baby Bells namely Bell Atlantic and NYNEX. So, technically Verizon is also AT&T, but not presently owned by AT&T. 

16. Exxon Mobil: $20.84 Billion

  • Revenue: $290.21 Billion
  • Profit: $20.84 Billion
  • Margin: 7.18%
  • Country: USA

Exxon Mobil is one of the biggest oil companies in the world. In 1911 Standard Oil Company was split on the grounds of antitrust. Many years later, ExxonMobil and Chevron were formed from the merger of few Baby Standards. 

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Some of the remaining Baby Standards were acquired by British Petroleum. 

Today ExxonMobil is the largest Oil Company in USA. 

15. Intel Corporation: $21.05 Billion

  • Revenue: $70.85 Billion
  • Profit: $21.05 Billion
  • Margin: 29.71%
  • Country: USA

Intel is the second largest chip manufacturer in the world after Samsung. Their chips are widely used in Servers, Desktop, and Laptop Computers. They also tried getting into mobile chips market but failed due to high competition from Qualcomm & Samsung, among others. 

14: Facebook: $22.11 Billion

  • Revenue: $55.84 Billion
  • Profit: $22.11 Billion
  • Margin: 39.6%
  • Country: USA

Facebook is the biggest Social Media Company by Profits and market share (70%+). They also own WhatsApp and Instagram.

The platform was founded by Mark Zuckerberg in his Harvard Dormitory. 

13.Wells Fargo: $22.39 Billion 

  • Revenue: $101.06 Billion
  • Profit: $22.39 Billion
  • Margin: 22.16%
  • Country: USA

Wells Fargo is one of the big four Banks in America. In 2015, it had surpassed JP Morgan Chase and ICBC to become the most valuable Bank in the world due to its stock price surge. Currently, it is the 3rd most profitable American Bank.

12. Gazprom: $23.20 Billion

  • Revenue: $131.30 Billion
  • Profit: $23.20 Billion
  • Margin: 17.67%
  • Country: USA

Gazprom is a giant Russian Company owned by the Government of Russia. It deals in extraction, production, transportation, and sale of Natural Gas. It is the largest Natural Gas producer in the world.

11. Royal Dutch Shell: $23.35 Billion 

  • Revenue: $396.56 Billion
  • Profit: $23.35 Billion
  • Margin: 5.89%
  • Country: Britain/Netherlands

Royal Dutch Shell, commonly known as Shell is a British-Dutch oil and gas supermajor Company based in London. 


Royal Dutch Shell was formed in 1907 after amalgamation of Shell Transport & Trading company of the UK and Royal Dutch Petroleum company of Netherlands. It is presently the 2nd most profitable oil Company in the world. 

10. Bank of China: $27.23 Billion 

  • Revenue: $127.71 Billion
  • Profit: $27.23 Billion
  • Margin: 21.32%
  • Country: China

Bank of China is one of the largest commercial Banks in China. Although it is the smallest among the big four Chinese banks, it’s still one of the largest Banks in the world behind the other three Chinese banks in terms of Assets.

The Bank of China is also the 6th most profitable Bank in the world, slightly behind Bank of America. 

9. Bank of America Corp.: $28.15 Billion

  • Revenue: $110.58 Billion
  • Profit: $28.15 Billion
  • Margin: 25.46%
  • Country: USA

Bank of America is the 2nd largest American multinational Bank after JP Morgan Chase & Co. It was formed after NationsBank acquired BankAmerica in 1998. The Bank of America focuses towards Commercial Banking, wealth management, and investment Banking.

8. Agricultural Bank of China: $30.66 Billion 

  • Revenue: $139.52 Billion
  • Profit: $30.66 Billion
  • Margin: 21.98%
  • Country: China

Agricultural Bank of China is among the largest banks of China. It was the last big four banks of China to go Public. It is the 3rd most profitable Company of China and caters the needs of Agricultural sector.

7. Alphabet Inc: $30.74 Billion

  • Revenue: $136.82 Billion
  • Profit: $30.74 Billion
  • Margin: 22.47%
  • Country: USA

Alphabet Inc. was formed in 2015 as a restructuring of Google and its subsidiaries. Alphabet Inc. became the parent of Google and it’s Verdi’s subsidiaries. 

Google was created with an aim to organise the world’s information and today it is the most widely used search engine with over 90% market share. 

It is one of the biggest technology companies in the world. 

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6. JP Morgan Chase & Co.: $32.47 Billion

  • Revenue: $131.41 Billion
  • Profit: $32.47 Billion
  • Margin: 24.71%
  • Country: USA

JP Morgan Chase & Co. is the largest Bank and Financial Institution of the United States of America. The company was formed as a merger between several large US banks including JP Morgan & Co. and Chase Manhattan Bank. Chase Manhattan Bank was formed upon the purchase of Chase National Bank by the Bank of Manhattan Company. The bank of Manhattan Company was the 3rd oldest bank in the United States.

5. China construction bank: $38.50 Billion

  • Revenue: $151.11 Billion
  • Profit: $38.50 Billion
  • Margin: 25.48%
  • Country: China

China Construction Bank among the big four banks of China. It is the 2nd Largest bank in the world by Market Capitalisation. The China Construction Bank has more than 13,000 branches in China and presence in more than 7 countries worldwide. 

4. Samsung Group: $39.9 Billion

  • Revenue: $221.58 Billion
  • Profit: $39.9 Billion
  • Margin: 18%
  • Country: South Korea

Samsung is the Biggest semiconductor chip manufacturer in the World. It started out as a trading company but soon expanded into food processing, textiles, insurance, securities, and retail. 

Then in the late 1960s they entered the electronics industry. Currently Smartphones, and semiconductor business is the most profitable segment of the group. They are also the largest mobile phone manufacturer. It’s revenue was 17% of the South Korean GDP in 2013.

3. Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC): $45.00 Billion

  • Revenue: $168.98 Billion 
  • Profit: $45 Billion 
  • Margin: 26.63%
  • Country: China

Industrial and Commercial Bank of China is the largest Bank in the world by Revenue, Profits, Assets, Deposits, Loans, Customers and Employees. Although it was founded in 1984, its growth has kept pace with the Chinese Economy, allowing it to achieve this tremendous feat.

It’s a little strange that the most profitable Companies of China are its Big Banks.

2. Apple: $59.53 Billion

  • Revenue: $265.6 Billion 
  • Profit: $59.53 Billion 
  • Margin: 22.41%
  • Country: USA

Apple is undoubtedly one of the largest and most profitable companies on the planet. In 2019, it’s net profit was $59.53 Billion making it second only to Saudi Aramco in terms of profitability.

iPhone maker and the brainchild of Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniac was founded in a garage to sell Computers. But, over the years it started selling portable music players (iPod), smartphones (iPhone), and tablets (iPad) among other consumer technology gadgets. 

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They also make money through their apps and services like Final Cut, Logic Pro, Apple music, Apple TV, etc. But it doesn’t end there, they make some more revenue from App store listing fee and a percentage of 3rd party developer’s revenues.

Apple is the most profitable company in the United States.

1. Saudi Aramco: $111.1 Billion

  • Revenue: $355.91 Billion 
  • Profit: $111.1 Billion 
  • Margin: 31.22%
  • Country: Saudi Arabia

Saudi Aramco or the Saudi Arabian Oil Company is the most profitable company in the world. Not just that, it’s also the world’s largest publicly traded company by Market Capitalisation, valued at $1.8 Trillion. It’s profit for 2019 is estimated to be $111 Billion. 

It has access to the 2nd largest oil reserves in the world after Venezuela. In November 2019, the company sold its 1.5% stake to raise about $25 billion in the largest IPO ever. 

Summary

Here’s a recap of the most profitable companies in the world and their respective profits for 2019 in ascending order:

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  1. Saudi Aramco: $111.1 Billion
  2. Apple: $59.53 Billion
  3. Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC): $45.00 Billion
  4. Samsung Group: $39.9 Billion
  5. China construction bank: $38.50 Billion
  6. JP Morgan Chase & Co.: $32.47 Billion
  7. Alphabet Inc: $30.74 Billion
  8. Agricultural bank of China: $30.66 Billion
  9. Bank of America Corp.: $28.15 Billion
  10. Bank of China: $27.23 Billion
  11. Royal Dutch Shell: $23.35 Billion
  12. Gazprom: $23.20 Billion
  13. Wells Fargo: $22.39 Billion
  14. Facebook: $22.11 Billion
  15. Intel Corp.: $21.05 Billion
  16. Exxon Mobil: $20.84 Billion
  17. AT&T: $19.37 Billion
  18. Citigroup: $18.05 Billion 
  19. Toyota Motor Corporation: $16.98 Billion
  20. China Development Bank: $16.74 Billion 

Some facts about the most profitable companies in the world

  1. Nine out of twenty i.e. 45% companies in this list are banks.
  2. Facebook has the highest profit margins in this list.

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