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A $340b year rockets Exxon to top of Fortune list

Other oil firms rise; Wal-Mart falls to 2d

NEW YORK -- Skyrocketing energy prices propelled Exxon Mobil Corp. to the top of the 2006 Fortune 500 list, and consigned Wal-Mart Stores Inc. to the number two spot on the magazine's annual ranking of the nation's largest publicly traded companies.

Fortune compiled its list based on companies' 2005 revenues. Exxon Mobil raked in $340 billion in revenue, a 25.5 percent increase over 2004, and had $36.1 billion in profits, the most by any US company in history.

Exxon Mobil last appeared on top in 2001. Only Wal-Mart, Exxon Mobil, and General Motors Corp. have topped the list since its inception in 1954.

Wal-Mart had $315.654 billion in revenue, a 9.5 percent increase from last year. Because of its pervasive US presence, the world's largest retailer has struggled to sustain profit growth in the high teens as it had in previous years.

Other oil producers also rose in the rankings, boosted by crude prices that topped $70 a barrel and gasoline prices that surpassed $3 a gallon after hurricanes battered the Gulf Coast.

Both ChevronTexaco Corp. and ConocoPhillips saw revenues jump by 28 percent and 37 percent, respectively. Chevron climbed two spots to number four, while Conoco edged up to sixth from seventh place last year.

US automakers showed their vulnerability as sales have declined and benefit costs have risen. GM barely retained its hold on the number three spot, while Ford Motor Co. slipped to fifth place from fourth. GM's revenue decreased nearly a half-percent to $192.604 billion, while Ford's rose less than 3 percent to $177.21 billion.

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