When it comes to big, powerful, multinational companies, everyone knows Walmart, Apple and Amazon. But you might be surprised at how many companies with tens of billions in annual revenue you’ve likely never heard of. In some cases, the names and industries aren’t consumer-facing, in which case it makes sense that the average person might not recognize them. But you probably use the products of many companies with names that don’t seem directly tied to their own brands, so we’re here to clear the air on those.
To come up with the list, GOBankingRates started with the list of Fortune 500 companies, sorted by revenue. Next, we picked out the first 25 companies we considered unfamiliar to the average consumer. Click through the list below to learn more about these unfamiliar but huge companies across the country.
Last updated: Sept. 19, 2019
- Revenues: $208.3 billion
- Employees: 68,000
McKesson is the seventh-largest company in the U.S. in terms of annual revenue, but it’s one you might overlook unless you’re in the healthcare field or visit the pharmacy frequently. The company, founded in 1833, is now a global leader in healthcare technology, supply chain management solutions and retail pharmacy, among many other health-related fields. One-third of all pharmaceuticals used by Americans every day are delivered by McKesson, and it’s the fourth-largest pharmacy chain.
- Revenues: $167.9 billion
- Employees: 20,500
Just from its name, you might think AmerisourceBergen is the combination of different companies — and you’d be right. In 2001, AmeriSource Health, with $13 billion in annual revenue at the time, merged with Bergen Brunswig, which had $22 billion in annual sales. AmerisourceBergen is another giant healthcare-related company that ranks No. 10 on the Fortune 500 and now generates more than $167 billion in annual revenue.
- Revenues: $136.8 billion
- Employees: 50,200
There’s clearly plenty of money to go around in the behind-the-scenes world of healthcare, considering that the top three names on our list are all competitors in the same field. Cardinal Health provides medical products, pharmaceuticals and solutions designed to enhance supply chain efficiency. It operates in 46 countries and works with nearly 85% of U.S. hospitals.
- Revenues: $97.1 billion
- Employees: 60,350
Marathon Petroleum is a massive integrated energy company based in Findlay, Ohio. Across its 16 refineries, the company has the capacity to produce more than 3 million barrels of crude oil per day, making it the largest refining system in the nation. Some readers are probably familiar with the company’s Speedway brand of retail convenience stores.
- Revenues: $60.1 billion
- Employees: 47,300
Although many of the largest companies in the U.S. can trace their roots back to the turn of the 20th century and even earlier, Centene got its start just 35 years ago, in 1984. Beginning as a nonprofit Medicaid plan, the company has grown to become the largest Medicaid managed care organization in the nation.
- Revenues: $56.9 billion
- Employees: 41,600
If you noticed a theme with this list, you’re not imagining things. Humana is yet another giant healthcare company with annual revenues above $50 billion. The company provides group health insurance and individual Medicare plans in addition to a wide range of health-related products and services.
- Revenues: $54.4 billion
- Employees: 11,768
Energy Transfer is an energy company that transfers, stores and terminals natural gas and oil products, mainly through pipelines across 38 states. The company was formed only 23 years ago, making its rise to more than $50 billion in yearly revenue pretty impressive. Many Americans are probably familiar with its Sunoco subsidiary.
Pictured: Sunoco gas station; Sunoco, Inc. is a subsidiary of Energy Transfer
- Revenues: $46.7 billion
- Employees: 229,000
HCA Healthcare is one of the nation’s leading providers of healthcare services, managing 185 hospitals and 119 free-standing surgery centers across 21 states and the U.K. The company has been named one of the most ethical companies in America 10 years in a row by the Ethisphere Institute.
Pictured: London Bridge Hospital, operated by HCA Healthcare
World Fuel Services
- Revenues: $39.7 billion
- Employees: 5,000
World Fuel Services got its start in 1984 as a marine fuel brokerage company and has since evolved into a diversified energy services firm that mainly serves the marine, aviation and land transportation industries. The company works with more than 50 types of fuel and energy products in about 200 countries.
- Revenues: $38.9 billion
- Employees: 270,000
Considering how this list is dominated by healthcare and energy corporations, you might think TJX is an oil-drilling company or hospital supplier. Actually, it’s one of the few companies on the list with brands that are familiar to the average consumer. TJX is the parent company of retailers TJ Maxx, HomeGoods, Marshalls, Sierra and Homesense. It also operates in Canada, Europe and Australia.
- Revenues: $37.2 billion
- Employees: 14,000
Tech Data might sound like a generic name for a generic company, but Fortune has named it one of the world’s most admired companies for 10 years running. The company is the world’s leading end-to-end technology distributor, with complete product lines in mass storage, peripherals, networking and communications, software and more. Tech Data is probably not familiar to many consumers because it doesn’t sell products directly to end users, just to resellers and retail dealers in the U.S., Canada, Latin America, the Caribbean and Europe.
Enterprise Products Partners
- Revenues: $36.5 billion
- Employees: 7,000
Enterprise Products Partners is another huge oil and gas outfit that provides a wide range of energy services. One of the nation’s largest publicly traded partnerships, Enterprise Products Partners primarily provides energy gathering, transportation and storage services. It also has a marine transportation business that mainly operates in the U.S. Inland and Intercoastal Waterway systems.
- Revenues: $36.1 billion
- Employees: 105,600
General Dynamics is one of America’s largest aerospace and defense companies. In addition to building nuclear-powered submarines and communications systems, General Dynamics builds Gulfstream business jets. Other products include weapons systems and munitions, IT solutions and ships.
- Revenues: $35.9 billion
- Employees: 33,383
Exelon is one of the largest power generators in the U.S., operating in 48 states; Washington, D.C.; and Canada. Depending on where you live, you might be familiar with some of Exelon’s business units, which include Delmarva Power, ComEd, BGE, Atlantic City Electric and Constellation.
Plains GP Holdings
- Revenues: $34 billion
- Employees: 4,900
Plains GP is a holding company with a controlling general partner interest in another publicly traded master partnership, Plains All American Pipeline (PAA). PAA provides pipeline transportation, terminalling, storage and gathering services to the crude oil and natural gas industries.
- Revenues: $32.7 billion
- Employees: 30,000
AbbVie has been in the news quite a bit in 2019 after announcing it would acquire Allergan for a whopping $63 billion. This merger of Big Pharma giants brings together the maker of Humira with the maker of Botox, Juvederm and Coolsculpting.
- Revenues: $32.7 billion
- Employees: 10,495
CHS is a massive agribusiness cooperative owned by farmers and local cooperatives across the U.S. CHS helps farmers grow crops and connects growers to consumers around the globe. One of its prime services is buying grain from co-op members and distributing it to customers in more than 65 countries.
- Revenues: $29.7 billion
- Employees: 20,100
Arrow Electronics is a distributor of computer products and electronic components. Since its products are sold exclusively to original equipment manufacturers and commercial customers, most retail consumers are not familiar with the company. However, many consumers unknowingly use Arrow’s products, as they are used by well-known brands such as Nvidia, Intel, Panasonic and Texas Instruments.
- Revenues: $27.6 billion
- Employees: 1,701
Not to be confused with fellow Fortune 500 company Intel, INTL FCStone is a financial services company that provides OTC execution and clearing services along with a proprietary Integrated Risk Management Program. The company deals with governments, professional traders and institutions rather than individual investors, which is why many Americans might not be familiar with it.
- Revenues: $27.2 billion
- Employees: 3,266
PBF Energy is one of America’s largest independent petroleum companies. It owns and operates five refineries in the U.S. with a combined capacity of about 900,000 barrels per day. Products include aviation jet fuel, petrochemical feedstocks, heating oil, asphalt and sulphur.
- Revenues: $25 billion
- Employees: 26,300
Nucor is the most diversified steel and steel products company in North America as well as the continent’s largest scrap recycler. Because most consumers don’t build skyscrapers or bridges, there’s little reason the average American would be familiar with Nucor.
- Revenues: $24.5 billion
- Employees: 150,000
Fortune 500 companies are typically large and established, with the rankings not changing dramatically from year to year. DXC Technology smashed that model by jumping an incredible 252 spots to No. 122 in the Fortune 500 list, by far the biggest single-year mover. The company provides B2B IT services, including in the areas of analytics, cloud and platform, Internet of Things, consulting and security.
Thermo Fisher Scientific
- Revenues: $24.3 billion
- Employees: 69,200
Thermo Fisher Scientific bills itself as the world’s leader in “serving science,” meaning it provides services and products that are used in laboratories and clinics around the world. The company’s four main reporting segments are laboratory products and services, life sciences solutions, analytical instruments and specialty diagnostics. For most consumers, this means you might have been served by some of Thermo Fisher Scientific’s products during a hospital stay or doctor checkup.
- Revenues: $23.5 billion
- Employees: 28,000
PACCAR designs and builds premium light-, medium- and heavy-duty trucks in addition to providing customer support for such vehicles. If you’ve been out on the highway you’ve probably seen one of the company’s trucks under the Peterbilt, Kenworth or DAF nameplates.
- Revenues: $22.1 billion
- Employees: 199,000
Jabil provides manufacturing, design, supply chain and product management services for a number of different industries across 100 facilities in 29 countries. If you use any type of technology, you’re probably using a Jabil product. If you use an iPhone, for example, you’ll find some Jabil components in the palm of your hand.
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Photos are for illustrative purposes only. As a result, some of the images may not reflect the actual companies listed in this article.
About the Author
After earning a B.A. in English with a Specialization in Business from UCLA, John Csiszar worked in the financial services industry as a registered representative for 18 years. Along the way, Csiszar earned both Certified Financial Planner and Registered Investment Adviser designations, in addition to being licensed as a life agent, while working for both a major Wall Street wirehouse and for his own investment advisory firm. During his time as an advisor, Csiszar managed over $100 million in client assets while providing individualized investment plans for hundreds of clients.