Also placing on the list were global businesses that produce pharmaceuticals, medical supplies as well as household supplies and personal care items.
In the analysis below, we compare the top 10 export businesses based on asset values, sales and profitability. Also specified is the American city where each conglomerate has its headquarters.
United States Top 10 Major Export Companies
Below are United States biggest export companies organized by asset value. Shown within parentheses is the primary industry in which each company operates. Also shown is the change in asset value as of May 2016 compared to 2015.
- Exxon Mobil (oil, gas): US$336.8 billion, down -2.9% from 2015
- Apple (computer hardware): $293.3 billion, up 30.2%
- Chevron (oil, gas): $266.1 billion, up 4.8%
- Ford Motor (car/truck makers): $224.9 billion, up 11.4%
- General Motors (car/truck makers): $194.5 billion, up 17%
- Pfizer (pharmaceuticals): $167.5 billion, down -2.7%
- Johnson & Johnson (medical equipment, supplies): $133.4 billion, up 0.5%
- Procter & Gamble (household/personal care items): $129.1 billion, down -9.6%
- Cisco Systems (communications equipment): $112.6 billion, up 14.5%
- Intel (semiconductors): $105.5 billion, up 14.1%
Best known for trendy computer hardware, Apple posted the fastest increase in assets with its 30.2% gain from 2015. In second place was vehicle manufacturer General Motors (up 17%), followed by sophisticated communications network equipment provider Cisco Systems (up 14.5%).
Sales is the life blood of all business, but particularly for firms that compete in international trade. Yet only four of America’s largest export companies increased their year-over-year sales as of May 2016.
- Exxon Mobil: US$236.8 billion, down -39.9% from 2015
- Apple: $233.3 billion, up 34.2%
- General Motors: $152.4 billion, down -2%
- Ford Motor: $149.6 billion, up 1.8%
- Chevron: $129.9 billion, down -38.7%
- Johnson & Johnson: $70.2 billion, down -1.5%
- Procter & Gamble: $69.4 billion, down -18.1%
- Intel: $56.3 billion, up 6.8%
- Cisco Systems: $49.6 billion, up 3.5%
- Pfizer: $48.9 billion, down -7.3%
Computer hardware maker Apple posted the fastest increase in sales, up 34.2% from 2015. In second place was computer chip maker Intel (up 6.8%), followed by communications network equipment manufacturer Cisco Systems (up 3.6%). Global sales from automobile maker Ford Motor gained by a more modest 1.8%.
Despite the slowdown in sales, six of America’s top 10 export companies grew their profits as of May 2016 from the period one year earlier.
- Apple: US$53.7 billion, up 45.2% from 2015
- Exxon Mobil: $16.2 billion, down -50.5%
- Johnson & Johnson: $15.4 billion, up 11.4%
- Intel: $11.5 billion, up 19.5%
- Cisco Systems: $10.3 billion, up 26%
- General Motors: $9.7 billion, up 82.8%
- Procter & Gamble: $8.5 billion, down -22.5%
- Pfizer: $7.7 billion, down -64.8%
- Ford Motor: $7.4 billion, up 2.4%
- Chevron: $4.6 billion, down -78.6%
Chevron experienced the most severe shrinkage with its profits dropping -78.6%. Exxon Mobile’s profits were cut in half, taking a -50.5% loss. Falling oil prices can explain deteriorating margins for competitors in the cyclical petroleum industry, but not the financial slowdowns in other industries. A world-leader in pharmaceuticals, Pfizer had to a face a -64.8% decline in year-over-year profits. Consumer staples behemoth Procter & Gamble saw its profits whittled down by almost a quarter (22.5%).
Four of the 10 largest American export companies are based in the state of California. Michigan is the home office state for the two top automotive conglomerates.
- Exxon Mobil: Irving, Texas
- Apple: Cupertino, California
- Chevron: San Ramon, California
- Ford Motor: Dearborn, Michigan
- General Motors: Detroit, Michigan
- Pfizer: New York, New York
- Johnson & Johnson: New Brunswick, New Jersey
- Procter & Gamble: Cincinnati, Ohio
- Cisco Systems: San Jose, California
- Intel: Santa Clara, California
Note some of the above company offerings may include products other than the principal category shown within parenthesis under the Assets tab.
For example, Apple not only manufactures computer hardware but also markets software applications and operating systems. Similarly, Johnson & Johnson produces not only medical supplies but also personal care hygienic goods and surgical equipment.
See also United States Top 10 Exports, Highest Value US Export Products, Top United States Trade Balances, America’s Top 20 Export States and Capital Facts for Washington D.C.
Forbes 2016 Global 2000 individual company profiles, Example of top US company compiled for this study: Exxon Mobil. Accessed on July 8, 2016
Forbes 2015 Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on July 8, 2016
Trade Map, International Trade Centre. Accessed on July 8, 2016
Wikipedia, List of largest companies by market capitalization. Accessed on July 8, 2016
Wikipedia, List of largest companies by revenue. Accessed on July 8, 2016