Monday, April 20, 2009

Revenue doesn't equal profitability: Kodak, Xerox among 2009 Fortune 500

It would be helpful if there were a Fortune 500 list ranked by profit/head count. But they have revenue, they have size of profit. But to figure out if a company is strong you need to know how good they are at creating value with human capital. It's the only defensible advantage.

Anyway, here's the money line. (from my morning email alert from Seeking Alpha)
Overall, Fortune 500 earnings fell 85% last year, the biggest drop since the list began 55 years ago.
So where exactly is the good news about being a Fortune 500?

The Fortune 500 is good for bragging rights among a small circle. The overall size of revenue is good for bragging rights. But bragging rights don't help my IRA. Without a denominator the number is just a number.

I know a design firm that has three full time employees. They did $4,000,000 last year. Last time I looked Kodak was in the small cap category at Schwab. And Xerox was a mid cap.

And if someone could figure out a historical trend for market share then it would be a lot easier to figure out where to invest. Maybe if everyone spins off or at least gives a separate P&L for divisions that do different things that would really help. Then you could make an educated guess about whether there is secular growth or secular decline in the number of people who are going to buy those things.
Kodak, Xerox among 2009 Fortune 500 | | Democrat and Chronicle: "Eastman Kodak Co. and Xerox Corp. are once again on the 2009 Fortune 500 list, released Sunday.

Kodak, previously listed at 238, is No. 284 this year, and Xerox, previously ranked at 144 is now at 147."

Fortune magazine’s closely watched list ranks companies by their revenue in 2008.

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