For the Fortune ranking, corporate revenue data includes consolidated subsidiaries and reported revenues from discontinued operations but exclude excise taxes. For banks, revenue is the sum of gross interest income and gross noninterest income. For insurance companies, revenue includes premium and annuity income, investment income, realized capital gains or losses, and other income, but excludes deposits.
Leading the list by revenue growth is the American housing giant Fannie Mae. It saw 429.2% growth in revenue between 2009 and 2010. But, says Fortune, Fannie Mae’s leap (it is ranked 15 in the list of largest companies) “is mostly due to new accounting rules that the Financial Accounting Standards Board put in place in 2010. The troubled mortgage giant is, indeed, still troubled.”
Jizhong Energy Group from China came in second, with a 176.3% increase in revenue, followed by the other American housing giant Freddie Mac, with a 161.5% increase in revenue.
At the top of the list by profit growth was Bridgestone from Japan, which grew profits by more than 10,000% between 2009 and 2010. Germany’s Franz Haniel was second, with nearly 5,000% profit growth, and close third came Switzerland’s Adecco Group, also with nearly 5,000% increase in profits.
The top companies by % change in profits saw their fortunes drastically change in 2010 on the back of an improving economic outlook and rising global consumption, after a very tough 2009. This anomaly is unlikely to be repeated in the coming years, unless another major swing in global fortunes were to occur.
JX Holdings from Japan was the highest-ranked company appearing on both lists—coming in 7th by revenue growth and 14th by profit growth.
With the Fortune ranking, it is important to note that many factors can affect revenue growth, and the ranking is a snapshot that simply examines how revenue has changed over the period.
The Forbes list of the Global High Performers is the result of an industry-by-industry analysis of 26 sectors (excluding trading companies.) Forbes scores each company on long-term and short-term sales growth, profit growth, return on capital and total return to shareholders, as well as factoring in earnings forecasts. Once Forbes’ industry-specific rankings of fast-growing global companies are generated separately, the best five companies in each group are selected. In order to qualify they have to have sales of at least $1 billion and positive equity. Non-U.S. companies must trade in the U.S. as ordinary shares or American Depositary Receipts.
Exxon Mobile topped the latest ranking, with 5-year Average total Return at 4.1%. Second is JP Morgan Chase, also from the United States, with 5-year Average Net Income Growth of 9.5%.
According to Forbes, “there was big turnover on our list from last year. Only 46 companies on this year’s list are returnees.” Among them is Australia’s Newcrest Mining, with average five-year sales and earnings growth over 20%, and the US’ Priceline.com, with an average five-year earnings growth of 68%.
Overall, the 2012 Global High Performers have been increasing earnings at 18% annually, with an average 11% return to shareholders over the past five years.