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Apple soars into Fortune 500's top 10

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Despite the media's best attempts to make it appear that Apple is in dire financial straits, Fortune today reported that the company has made it into the top 10 of the Fortune 500 list.

Apple arrives in the top 10 in the number six spot, replacing HP (now No. 15) as the leading tech company. Here's the amazing thing -- just last year, Apple was listed as No. 17 in the Fortune 500. Two years ago Apple was a distant No. 35, the spot now occupied by Microsoft.

The ranking of the Fortune 500 is based on revenues, with Wal-Mart Stores at the top of the list with 2012 revenues of US$469.2 billion. Three US oil companies -- Exxon Mobil, Chevron and Phillips 66 -- made up the second through fourth positions respectively on the list, with Warren Buffett's investment firm Berkshire Hathaway just ahead of Apple in the No. 5 spot.

Apple's revenues for 2012 were $156.5 billion with profits of $41.7 billion. That profit figure was exceeded only by Exxon Mobil, which, as of today, has a market capitalization of "only" $406 billion compared to Apple's $433 billion.

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