What is the Fortune 100?

The Fortune 100 is an annual list of the 100 largest companies in the United States. Fortune magazine publishes the list.

How Does the Fortune 100 Work?

Companies that report their financial data to a United States government agency are eligible for consideration in the Fortune 100. This typically excludes private companies. Subsidiaries of foreign companies incorporated in the U.S. are also excluded.

The Fortune 100 ranks companies by revenue, which generally includes revenues from discontinued operations when revenues are reported on a consolidated basis. However, the list also discloses the after-tax profits, assets, stockholders' equity, market value and earnings per share of each company. The list also shows each company's total return to investors, which considers the price appreciation and reinvested dividends of the most widely held or actively traded class of each company's stock.

Why Does the Fortune 100 Matter?

The Fortune 100 is actually a subset of the Fortune 500, which is a definitive list of the country's largest and often most influential companies. The Fortune 100 list includes the largest of the Fortune 500.

A company's fall in rank or failure to make the list could indicate or reflect trouble for the company or its industry as a whole, and a move up the list generally signals good news. To be on the Fortune 100 is somewhat prestigious, although it is not the only list that celebrates the growth of business and entrepreneurship in the U.S. Inc. magazine publishes an annual list of the nation's fastest growing private companies.