Wal-Mart again tops Fortune 500 list

(March 22, 2004) - (Bentonville-AP) -- Improving economic conditions gave many major companies record revenues last year, but none of them was able to knock Wal-Mart Stores off the top of the Fortune 500 list. The Bentonville-based retailer had sales of almost 259 billion dollars -- or more than a quarter of a trillion. As the world's largest retailer, Wal-Mart topped the list of the nation's largest publicly traded companies for the third straight year. Four other Arkansas companies also made the list. Springdale-based Tyson Foods was listed at 72nd; Alltel in Little Rock ranked Number 251; Little Rock-based Dillard's was listed at 258th; and El Dorado-based Murphy Oil came in at 340th. In terms of profits, Exxon Mobil was first with 21-and-a-half billion dollars in earnings. Wal-Mart had nine billion-50 million dollars in earnings. The annual ranking will be published in Fortune magazine's April Fifth edition.