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In brief: It’s no secret that the world’s biggest tech companies make a lot of money. In the five seconds or so it’s taken you to read this, Apple generated around $8,800 in profit, while Alphabet became $5,445 richer, figures that dwarf the average American’s weekly wage of $1,237.
New research carried out by accounting software fintech business Tipalti reveals the huge profits some of the largest firms make every second, based on 2020 Fortune 500 figures. It shouldn’t come as a surprise to see Apple, which has a market cap of over $2 trillion, topping the list. Cupertino’s $1,752 per second equates to $105,116 per minute, $6.3 million per hour, or $151 million per day. For comparison, the median household income per year in the US during 2019 was $68,703.
It’s noted that Apple’s hourly profit is enough to buy 6,307 iPhone 12 Pros. The company was recently fined a total of $310 million for infringing a DRM patent and not shipping chargers with iPhone 12 handsets. It will take Apple just over two days to recoup this money, based on these figures.
Not all tech giants are turning a profit. Tipalti’s research has Tesla losing $27 per second ($2.7 million per day), while the world’s largest ride-hailing firm, Uber—a company that has famously never turned a profit—loses $270 per second, which works out at $23.3 million per day.
The highest non-tech company on the list is Bank of America, sitting behind Apple, Microsoft, and Alphabet. The bank’s $870 per second profit works out at $75 million each day.
It’s easy to imagine technology being the most profitable sector in the Fortune 500 list. While it does make $182 per second ($15.7 million per day) in profit, the industry is still behind Food and Beverages, which generates $232 per second (over $13,000 per minute) for a daily profit of $20 million.
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