The perception of success among the biggest companies in America isn’t always completely in line with reality. Often, companies that one might assume to be the most profitable are actually lagging behind others that aren’t as large or well-known. What’s more, the most profitable businesses aren’t always the ones with the highest stock prices.
If you’re going to invest successfully, you need to know the ins and outs of the companies you’re investing in, particularly with regards to their profits. While the most profitable companies aren’t always the best investments, sticking to businesses that are making the most money isn’t the worst investing strategy to follow.
So, can you spot which company turned the bigger profit in fiscal year 2017? Take this quiz to find out.
Which Company is More Profitable, Amazon or Walmart?
Walmart is the reigning king of retail, but Amazon is on the forefront of the ongoing shift to online shopping.
So which company is delivering the goods for its investors?
Walmart is More Profitable
Walmart 2017 Net Income: $13.6 billion
Amazon 2017 Net Income: $3 billion
Online retail might be the wave of the future, but brick-and-mortar shopping is still the backbone of the retail industry. Walmart is more profitable, and it’s not even close. Not only is the retail giant making nearly five times as much money, but it has more than double the total sales. Despite this, Amazon’s stock has soared in the past decade while Walmart’s stock hasn’t gained nearly as much.
Which Company is More Profitable, Ford or Tesla?
The Ford Motor Company has been around since 1903 and has played an essential role in the development of the automobile industry, from the Model T to the assembly line. Tesla, meanwhile, was founded exactly 100 years later in 2003, with the goal of building top-quality electric vehicles that will disrupt the industry Ford played a crucial role in building.
So, which one has a business model that’s driving more profits?
Ford is More Profitable
Ford 2017 Net Income: $7.6 billion
Tesla 2017 Net Income: -$770.8 million
Excitement about the company’s future is what’s driven Tesla’s stock up so high — not profits, of which there are none. Tesla faces other troubles, too. Still, it’s worth noting that while market enthusiasm has driven Tesla to a valuation of almost $60 billion, to Ford’s just over $40 billion, Ford brought in 22 times more sales in 2017 in addition to about $8 billion more in profit.
Which Company is More Profitable, Apple or Google?
Perhaps no two companies have better represented the new economy than Apple and Alphabet, the two most valuable companies in the world. Apple pioneered the smartphone and the tablet, and Alphabet, Google’s parent company, helped redefine the internet you use those phones and tablets to access.
Do you know which company made more money last year — without Googling it on your iPhone?
Apple is More Profitable
Apple 2017 Net Income: $48.4 billion
Alphabet 2017 Net Income: $12.7 billion
Sure, 2017 was something of a down year for Google, with profits down 35 percent from 2016 and 22.5 percent from 2015, but with Apple pulling in almost four times what Alphabet does, it’s not as though that made the difference. Both Apple’s and Google’s stocks soared in the past year.
Which Company is More Profitable, Bank of America or Wells Fargo?
Wells Fargo and Bank of America are the second and third largest commercial banks in the country, and they have very similar levels of consolidated assets, with Wells Fargo controlling $1.74 trillion to Bank of America’s $1.73 trillion.
So which of these financial institutions should investors bank on?
Wells Fargo is More Profitable
Wells Fargo 2017 Net Income: $22.2 billion
Bank of America 2017 Net Income: $18.2 billion
Similar asset levels produced similar profit levels, but Wells Fargo clearly managed to do a stronger job of leveraging their resources to produce an additional $4 billion in profits despite being in the public crosshairs for scandals surrounding their sales practices.
Which Company is More Profitable, JPMorgan Chase & Co. or Goldman Sachs?
JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs are two of the oldest and most venerated (or, depending on who you ask, infamous) names in investment banking on Wall Street.
But which bank had healthier financials last year?
JPMorgan Chase is More Profitable
JPMorgan Chase 2017 Net Income: $24.4 billion
Goldman Sachs 2017 Net Income: $4.3 billion
In this case, it’s actually the “Chase” that may make the biggest difference. JPMorgan’s 2004 merger with one of the biggest commercial banks in the country has given it a major additional source of profit that Goldman Sachs, which had remained exclusively in investment banking until it began offering online banking services in 2016, simply can’t match. JPMorgan Chase’s profits are more than five times those of Goldman Sachs.
Which Company is More Profitable, AT&T or Verizon?
Verizon and AT&T are the two largest phone service providers in the country by a long shot, with each counting enough subscribers to double that of third-place finisher T-Mobile and to eclipse the combined subscribers of third and fourth place companies T-Mobile and Sprint.
But do you know which company had more profits last year and which one phoned it in?
Verizon is More Profitable
Verizon 2017 Net Income: $30.6 billion
AT&T 2017 Net Income: $29.5 billion
This one was razor close, but Verizon edged out AT&T by $1.1 billion last year. Can you hear them now? No matter which company you use, follow these tips and tricks to cut your phone and cable bill in half.
Which Company is More Profitable, Twitter or Snapchat?
Facebook is the biggest and most valuable social media stock by a wide margin, but which of these two also-rans is doing better? The new kid on the block, Snap, Inc., held its IPO in March 2017, while Twitter has somehow become one of the old guard, having been publicly traded since 2013.
So which company are millennials making, like, more successful?
Twitter is More Profitable
Twitter 2017 Net Income: -$108 million
Snap, Inc. 2017 Net Income: -$3.4 billion
Twitter is your winner by way of losing a lot less money last year than Snapchat, which had an operating loss of almost $3.5 billion. The company isn’t doing itself any favors by getting on Rihanna’s bad side.
Which Company is More Profitable, Chevron or Exxon?
Chevron and Exxon Mobil are two of the world’s largest oil companies, each pumping over 2.5 million barrels of oil every day.
But which one is pumping more profits to its shareholders?
Exxon is More Profitable
Exxon Mobil 2017 Net Income: $19.7 billion
Chevron 2017 Net Income: $9.2 billion
While Chevron is producing a little more than 2.5 million barrels a day, Exxon is pulling over 4 million out of the ground per diem, and its profits were nearly double those of Chevron as a result.
Which Company is More Profitable, Microsoft or Oracle?
Microsoft and Oracle are two of the largest software companies in the world and the primary source of the fortunes behind the men who rank number one and number five, respectively, on the Forbes list of the Richest People in America (Bill Gates and Larry Ellison).
But which company has done a better job of turning software into hard cash?
Microsoft is More Profitable
Microsoft 2017 Net Income: $21 billion
Oracle 2017 Net Income: $9.3 billion
Microsoft’s vast software empire produced more than twice the profit and revenue as Oracle in the 2017 fiscal year. Profits at Microsoft are on the rise, up 26.2 percent from 2016 to 2017, after clocking a 37.8 percent gain from 2015 to 2016, thanks to CEO Satya Nadella’s steady leadership.
Which Company is More Profitable, Johnson & Johnson or Procter & Gamble?
It’s the battle of the ampersands, and the healthy dividends, as two consumer goods conglomerates square off. Johnson & Johnson owns Band-Aid, Tylenol and Neutrogena, among others, while Procter & Gamble’s brand portfolio boasts Crest, Tide and Old Spice.
But which company is providing their investors with the soothing balm of higher profits?
Procter & Gamble is More Profitable
Procter & Gamble 2017 Net Income: $15.3 billion
Johnson & Johnson 2017 Net Income: $1.3 billion
Procter & Gamble wins the battle, but most certainly not the war. Johnson & Johnson cleared $15 billion in each of the last two years but took a $13.6 billion charge associated with the new tax bill in the final quarter of 2017 that wiped out most of the year’s profits. Long story short, Johnson & Johnson was making some accounting changes to pave the way for the $66 billion it has stored overseas to return to the U.S.
Procter & Gamble, meanwhile, saw a one-time boost in income of over $5 billion due to the completion of its sale of Beauty Brands to Coty.
Johnson & Johnson made $16.5 billion to Procter & Gamble’s $10.5 billion in 2016, and $15.4 billion to Procter & Gamble’s $7 billion in 2015.
Which Company is More Profitable, McDonald’s or Burger King?
McDonald’s and Burger King are staples of the fast food scene, feeding cheap, quick burgers to generations of Americans. McDonald’s remains independent, while Burger King merged with Tim Hortons in 2014 to form Restaurant Brands International, a company that then went on to purchase Popeyes last year.
But which company has beefier profits?
McDonald’s is More Profitable
McDonalds 2017 Net Income: $5.4 billion
Restaurant Brands International 2017 Net Income: $1.23 billion
That’s right, the Big Mac vanquished the Whopper. And chicken and biscuits and coffee and donuts, while it was at it. The combined might of Tim Hortons, Popeyes and Burger King still managed to produce just a fifth of the profits that Ronald McDonald did last year.
Which Company is More Profitable, Disney or Netflix?
Disney is an entertainment empire that represents some of the biggest players in the old guard or the culture industry, including network television (ABC), cable television (ESPN, Disney Channel), movies (Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm) and amusement parks. Netflix, meanwhile, has exploded in the first two decades of existence from a mail-order DVD company to a streaming giant poised to redefine the entertainment industry.
But which one is streaming more money into its coffers?
Disney is More Profitable
Disney 2017 Net Income: $9 billion
Netflix 2017 Net Income: $558.9 million
In fact, Disney is almost 20 times more profitable — and that’s even after Netflix tripled its 2016 profits last year. Netflix may be the entertainment company of the future, but it has a long way to go before it can challenge the House of Mouse.
Which Company is More Profitable, Walgreens or CVS?
Walgreens (which also owns Duane Reade) and CVS each operate over 8,000 retail pharmacy locations in the U.S. Walgreens merged with Alliance Boots in 2014 to form the Walgreens Boots Alliance, and has an additional 4,722 retail locations worldwide under the Boots, Benavides and Ahumada brands. CVS, meanwhile, is in the process of attempting to acquire health insurer Aetna in a deal that has the potential to create major ripples across the American healthcare industry.
So which company do you think is doing a better job of filling their shareholders’ prescriptions for higher profits?
CVS is More Profitable
CVS 2017 Net Income: $6.6 billion
Walgreens Boots Alliance 2017 Net Income: $4.1 billion
While Walgreens is the drug store arm of a broader retail company, CVS’s store locations are actually the face of a much larger pharmaceutical services company that brought in over 50 percent more profits than Walgreens Boots Alliance last year. CVS is an affordable stock to buy in today’s market, too.
Which Company is More Profitable, FedEx or UPS?
The first question in this quiz focused on just how big online shopping had gotten, and this last question involves two of the companies that may be benefitting the most from it: two of the country’s largest shipping companies.
So, is it FedEx or UPS that has delivered more profits for their shareholders?
UPS is More Profitable
UPS 2017 Net Income: $4.9 billion
FedEx 2017 Net Income: $3 billion
What can brown do for you? Turns out, it can make a lot more money. UPS’s 2017 profits were over 60 percent higher than its chief rival’s, despite the fact that FedEx boosted its profits last year by 64.7 percent from the year prior and 185.4 percent over 2015.
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About the Author
Joel Anderson is a business and finance writer with over a decade of experience writing about the wide world of finance. Based in Los Angeles, he specializes in writing about the financial markets, stocks, macroeconomic concepts and focuses on helping make complex financial concepts digestible for the retail investor.