So Exxon Mobil has just broken its own record again, reporting a mind-boggling $11.6 billion profit on $138 billion in sales.
While it would be easy to protest -- and some will -- and easy to simplistically label it a windfall -- and many will -- the fact of the matter is that Microsoft is three times more profitable than Exxon.
Instead of only looking at the absolute numbers, professionals assess the degree of earnings power a company has via profit margins (net income divided by total sales). By that measure, Exxon doesn't even land on the medal platform of the the mega-cap corporations.
Herewith, the profit margins of the some of the biggest, using latest quarterly results:
- Exxon 8.4%
- Microsoft 27%
- Google 23%
- Johnson & Johnson 20%
- Apple 14%
- GE 10.8%**
- WalMart 3.2%
So the next time Congress thinks about hauling in the big oil CEOs to grill them about ruthless profiteering and gouging the American people, ask them to also invite Bill Gates, the world's 3rd-richest man -- and have him do some 'splainin'.
And dont even get me started on marketshare!!
More CNBC Investor Intelligence:
- Dow Oil & Gas Index
** GE is corporate parent of CNBC.