Monday, April 03, 2000

AOL breaks into elite Fortune 500




BY PETER SVENSSON
The Associated Press

        NEW YORK — Despite the startling rise in high-tech firms, just one purely Internet company — America Online Inc. — broke into the ranks of the Old Economy stalwarts this year, and only at No. 337 in the annual Fortune 500.

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Fortune 500 list
        Other technology companies benefiting from the Internet boom climbed in Fortune's rankings, but there was little evidence of the Internet start-ups that have turned twentysomethings into millionaires because the list is based on 1999 revenue, not the companies' stock values.

        MCI Worldcom Inc., one of the world's largest carriers of Internet traffic, hit No. 25, up from No. 80, in the list released Sunday and appearing the mag azine's April 17 issue. Dell Computer Co., the largest seller of computers in the country, went to 56 from 78.

        Microsoft Corp., the company with the highest market value, rose to 84 from 109, and Cisco Systems Inc., which makes equipment for the Internet, advanced to 146 from 192.

        AOL wasn't the only history-maker. Amgen Inc. became the first biotechnology company, landing at 463. And Hewlett-Packard Co., No. 13, was the highest-ranking Fortune 500 company with a female chief executive, Carleton Fiorina.

        General Motors Corp. remained No. 1 for the 12th consecutive year, with revenues of $189 billion.

        Investment bank Goldman Sachs Group Inc., which went public last year, is the highest-ranked newcomer, at No. 54.

        Total profits for the 500 corporations grew 28.7 percent, thanks to a roaring economy and a recovery from the Asian financial crisis, which pulled earnings down by 1.8 percent in 1998.

        Revenues grew by 10.2 percent, also an improvement on 1998 growth of 4 percent.

       



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