America, Inc: Corporate America earned $12 trillion in revenue last year

August 6, 2014 8:21 AM

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American business is a beast. Here is its income statement, as of June 30, 2014:

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$12 trillion in sales, over the last year (not including financial firms). The costs of doing business remain high, but even at an aggregate profit margin of 6.9%, American enterprise is generating $835B in profits. 

We can think of each economic sector as a subsidiary of America, Inc. Here is how they stack up.

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Consumer stocks alone make up $4.2T of total sales, but margins are lower at 5.4%. Energy continues to dominate, as offshoots of Rockefeller’s original Standard Oil—Exxon and Chevron—continue to produce massive profits 155 years after the first “rock oil” was discovered in Pennsylvania.

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America, Inc. continues to lead in technology, where its companies are earning an aggregate profit margin of 12.7%. Telecom and Utility stocks are much smaller “subsidiaries,” with combined sales of less than $700B, but both sport healthy margins.

America, Inc. is a quite the business: diversified, innovative, and massively profitable. This begs a question for millennials: would you rather sit in cash, or buy a slice of America Inc. ($SPY) with the click of a button?

Note: I’ve excluded financials for this post, because they don’t fit cleanly into traditional income statements. With financials (banks, insurance companies, etc) included, total sales would be roughly $14T and net income would top $1T. To be included in this calculation, a company has to be domiciled in the U.S., ADRs and other foreign stocks listing on a U.S. exchange are NOT included. I’ve excluded micro caps, but they don’t add up to much. Private companies are NOT included in these calculations.

Photo by Thomas Hawk

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