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The S&P 500's Leanest Companies

The Most Revenue Per Employee

Unemployment hit 8.9 percent in April and some predict that number could climb to over 10 percent in 2009 as major companies streamline operations to combat the recession.  But how far can this streamlining really go? For many companies, revenues hinge on worker productivity, and for most operations, per-worker profits and revenues are many multiples of average employee salaries. The measure of revenue per employee also helps shed light on a firm's money-making efficiency and likelihood it will

Unemployment hit 8.9 percent in April and some predict that number could climb to over 10 percent in 2009 as major companies streamline operations to combat the recession. 

But how far can this streamlining really go? For many companies, revenues hinge on worker productivity, and for most operations, per-worker profits and revenues are many multiples of average employee salaries. The measure of revenue per employee also helps shed light on a firm's money-making efficiency and likelihood it will retain jobs. The best companies require  the least number of workers to make the most money.

Using data from ThomsonReuters, we look at how much revenue S&P 500 companies generated per employee over the past 12 months (Q2 2008 - Q1 2009), compared within each of the S&P 500’s 24 industry groups. Of note, data on the entire banking industry group and some finance-related institutions are not tracked. Note: because many banks report revenue as interest income and not sales on their financials, we have excluded them from this analysis for a more apples-to-apples comparison. 

So, which companies make the most revenue per employee? Click ahead to find out!

By Ariel Nelson & Paul Toscano
Posted 26 May 2009

Automobiles & Components

Industry Leader: Harley Davidson (HOG)Annual revenue per employee: $641,612Annual profit per employee: $62,848Employees: 9,300Industry Laggard: Johnson Controls (JCI)Annual revenue per employee: $234,450Annual profit per employee: -$2,600Employees: 140,000
Photo: AP

Industry Leader: Harley Davidson (HOG)
Annual revenue per employee: $641,612
Annual profit per employee: $62,848
Employees: 9,300

Industry Laggard: Johnson Controls (JCI)
Annual revenue per employee: $234,450
Annual profit per employee: -$2,600
Employees: 140,000

Complete Sector Information

Consumer Durables & Apparel

Annual revenue per employee: $1,591,921Annual profit per employee: -$478,769Employees: 1,600Annual revenue per employee: $161,411Annual profit per employee: $11,892Employees: 46,600

Industry Leader: KB Home (KBH)
Annual revenue per employee: $1,591,921
Annual profit per employee: -$478,769
Employees: 1,600

Industry Laggard: VF Corp. (VFC)
Annual revenue per employee: $161,411
Annual profit per employee: $11,892
Employees: 46,600

Complete Sector Information

Consumer Services

Industry Leader: H & R Block (HRB)Annual revenue per employee: $436,295Annual profit per employee: $51,172Employees: 9,700Industry Laggard: Starwood Hotels (HOT) Annual revenue per employee: $38,338Annual profit per employee: $1,248Employees: 145,000
Photo: Daquella Manera

Industry Leader: H & R Block (HRB)
Annual revenue per employee: $436,295
Annual profit per employee: $51,172
Employees: 9,700

Industry Laggard: Starwood Hotels (HOT)
Annual revenue per employee: $38,338
Annual profit per employee: $1,248
Employees: 145,000

Complete Sector Information

Media

Industry Leader: Viacom Inc. (VIA)Annual revenue per employee: $1,253,304Annual profit per employee: $100,522Employees: 11,500Industry Laggard: Interpublic Group (IPG)Annual revenue per employee: $151,173Annual profit per employee: $6,784Employees: 45,000
Photo: Juan de Dios Santander Vela

Industry Leader: Viacom Inc. (VIA)
Annual revenue per employee: $1,253,304
Annual profit per employee: $100,522
Employees: 11,500

Industry Laggard: Interpublic Group (IPG)
Annual revenue per employee: $151,173
Annual profit per employee: $6,784
Employees: 45,000

Complete Sector Information

Retailing

Industry Leader: Amazon.com (AMZN)Annual revenue per employee: $962,319Annual profit per employee: $33,237Employees: 20,600Industry Laggard: Gap Inc. (GPS)Annual revenue per employee: $108,403Annual profit per employee: $7,216Employees: N/A
Photo: AP

Industry Leader: Amazon.com (AMZN)
Annual revenue per employee: $962,319
Annual profit per employee: $33,237
Employees: 20,600

Industry Laggard: Gap Inc. (GPS)
Annual revenue per employee: $108,403
Annual profit per employee: $7,216
Employees: N/A

Complete Sector Information

Food & Staples Retailing

Industry Leader: Costco Wholesale (COST)Annual revenue per employee: $972,688Annual profit per employee: $15,932Employees: 75,000Industry Laggard: Whole Foods Market (WFMI)Annual revenue per employee: $169,962Annual profit per employee: $2,201Employees: 46,800
Photo: AP

Industry Leader: Costco Wholesale (COST)
Annual revenue per employee: $972,688
Annual profit per employee: $15,932
Employees: 75,000

Industry Laggard: Whole Foods (WFMI)
Annual revenue per employee: $169,962
Annual profit per employee: $2,201
Employees: 46,800

Complete Sector Information

Food, Beverage & Tobacco

Industry Leader: Archer Daniels Midland (ADM)Annual revenue per employee: $2,697,790Annual profit per employee: $73,007Employees: 27,600Industry Laggard: Pepsi Bottling Group (PBG)Annual revenue per employee: $204,371Annual profit per employee: $2,874Employees: 66,800
Photo: AP

Industry Leader: Archer Daniels Midland (ADM)
Annual revenue per employee: $2,697,790
Annual profit per employee: $73,007
Employees: 27,600

Industry Laggard: Pepsi Bottling (PBG)
Annual revenue per employee: $204,371
Annual profit per employee: $2,874
Employees: 66,800

Complete Sector Information

Household & Personal Products

Industry Leader: Clorox (CLX)Annual revenue per employee: $656,024Annual profit per employee: $63,253Employees: 8,300Industry Laggard: Estee Lauder (EL) Annual revenue per employee: $239,159Annual profit per employee: $11,378Employees: 32,000
Photo: EMPTV

Industry Leader: Clorox (CLX)
Annual revenue per employee: $656,024
Annual profit per employee: $63,253
Employees: 8,300

Industry Laggard: Estee Lauder (EL)
Annual revenue per employee: $239,159
Annual profit per employee: $11,378
Employees: 32,000

Complete Sector Information

Energy

Annual revenue per employee: $7,609,147Annual profit per employee: $436,833Employees: 3,206Annual revenue per employee: $190,448Annual profit per employee: $15,724Employees: 26,912
Photo: AP

Industry Leader: Murphy Oil Corp. (MUR)
Annual revenue per employee: $7,609,147
Annual profit per employee: $436,833
Employees: 3,206

Industry Laggard: Nabors Industries (NBR)
Annual revenue per employee: $190,448
Annual profit per employee: $15,724
Employees: 26,912

Complete Sector Information

Diversified Financials

Industry Leader: NASDAQ OMX (NDAQ)Annual revenue per employee: $1,486,727Annual profit per employee: $115,983Employees: 2,507Industry Laggard: Leucadia National Corp. (LUK)Annual revenue per employee: $281,047Annual profit per employee: -$579,882Employees: 3,584
Photo: AP

Industry Leader: NASDAQ OMX (NDAQ)
Annual revenue per employee: $1,486,727
Annual profit per employee: $115,983
Employees: 2,507

Industry Laggard: Leucadia National (LUK)
Annual revenue per employee: $281,047
Annual profit per employee: -$579,882
Employees: 3,584

Complete Sector Information

Insurance

Industry Leader: MBIA Inc. (MBI)Annual revenue per employee: $9,560,455Annual profit per employee:  $1,034,971Employees: 420Industry Laggard: Amer. Int’l Grp. (AIG)Annual revenue per employee: $151,129Annual profit per employee: -$843,043Employees: 116,000

Industry Leader: MBIA Inc. (MBI)
Annual revenue per employee: $9,560,455
Annual profit per employee:  $1,034,971
Employees: 420

Industry Laggard: Amer. Int’l Grp. (AIG)
Annual revenue per employee: $151,129
Annual profit per employee: -$843,043
Employees: 116,000

Complete Sector Information

Real Estate

Industry Leader: Host Hotels & Resorts (HST)Annual revenue per employee: $23,236,360Annual profit per employee: $1,204,546Employees: 215Industry Laggard: CB Richard Ellis (CBG)Annual revenue per employee: $159,611Annual profit per employee: -$35,981Employees: 30,000
Photo: AP

Industry Leader: Host Hotels & Resorts (HST)
Annual revenue per employee: $23,236,360
Annual profit per employee: $1,204,546
Employees: 215

Industry Laggard: CB Richard Ellis (CBG)
Annual revenue per employee: $159,611
Annual profit per employee: -$35,981
Employees: 30,000

Complete Sector Information

Health Care Equip. & Services

Industry Leader: AmerisourceBergen (ABC) Annual revenue per employee: $7,196,345Annual profit per employee: $49,938Employees: 9,700Industry Laggard: Lab Corp of America (LH)Annual revenue per employee: $162,775Annual profit per employee: $17,132Employees: 28,000
Photo: AP

Industry Leader: AmerisourceBergen (ABC)
Annual revenue per employee: $7,196,345
Annual profit per employee: $49,938
Employees: 9,700

Industry Laggard: Lab Corp of America (LH)
Annual revenue per employee: $162,775
Annual profit per employee: $17,132
Employees: 28,000

Complete Sector Information

Pharmaceuticals & Biotech

Industry Leader: Gilead Sciences (GILD)Annual revenue per employee: $1,630,249Annual profit per employee: $610,931Employees: 3,441Industry Laggard: Life Technologies Corp. (LIFE)Annual revenue per employee: 210,912Annual profit per employee: -$1,320Employees: 9,700

Industry Leader: Gilead Sciences (GILD)
Annual revenue per employee: $1,630,249
Annual profit per employee: $610,931
Employees: 3,441

Industry Laggard: PerkinElmer Inc. (PKI)*
Annual revenue per employee: $241,813
Annual profit per employee: $15,249
Employees: 8,500

*Originally listed was Life Technologies (LIFE), but it was brought to the attention of CNBC that due to a recent merger of companies, ThomsonReuters data did not reflect the combined revenues for Life Technologies over the past 12 months. This ranking has been changed to reflect this correction

Complete Sector Information

Capital Goods

Industry Leader: Fluor Corp. (FLR)Annual revenue per employee: $833,934Annual profit per employee:  $28,746Employees: 27,958Industry Laggard: Fastenal Corp. (FAST)Annual revenue per employee: $166,072Annual profit per employee: $19,098Employees: 12,736
Photo: AP

Industry Leader: Fluor Corp. (FLR)
Annual revenue per employee: $833,934
Annual profit per employee:  $28,746
Employees: 27,958

Industry Laggard: Fastenal Corp. (FAST)
Annual revenue per employee: $166,072
Annual profit per employee: $19,098
Employees: 12,736

Complete Sector Information

Commercial & Professional Services

Industry Leader: Dun & Bradstreet Corp. (DNB)Annual revenue per employee: $350,816Annual profit per employee: $72,490Employees: 4,900Industry Laggard: Cintas Corp (CTAS)Annual revenue per employee: $114,852Annual profit per employee: $9,175Employees: 34,000
Photo: Diaper

Industry Leader: Dun & Bradstreet (DNB)
Annual revenue per employee: $350,816
Annual profit per employee: $72,490
Employees: 4,900

Industry Laggard: Cintas Corp (CTAS)
Annual revenue per employee: $114,852
Annual profit per employee: $9,175
Employees: 34,000

Complete Sector Information

Transportation

Industry Leader: CH Robinson (CHRW) Annual revenue per employee: $1,040,377Annual profit per employee: $45,005Employees: 7,481Industry Laggard: United Parcel Service (UPS)Annual revenue per employee: 116,782Annual profit per employee: 5,864Employees: 426,000
Photo: AP

Industry Leader: CH Robinson (CHRW)
Annual revenue per employee: $1,040,377
Annual profit per employee: $45,005
Employees: 7,481

Industry Laggard: UPS (UPS)
Annual revenue per employee: 116,782
Annual profit per employee: 5,864
Employees: 426,000

Complete Sector Information

Semiconductors & Semi Equip.

Industry Leader: Broadcom (BRCM)Annual revenue per employee: $605,318Annual profit per employee: $6,559Employees: 7,185Industry Laggard: National Semiconductor (NSM)Annual revenue per employee: $224,877Annual profit per employee: $30,164Employees: 6,500
Photo: Huang jia hui

Industry Leader: Broadcom (BRCM)
Annual revenue per employee: $605,318
Annual profit per employee: $6,559
Employees: 7,185

Industry Laggard: National Semi (NSM)
Annual revenue per employee: $224,877
Annual profit per employee: $30,164
Employees: 6,500

Complete Sector Information

Technology Hardware & Equip.

Industry Leader: Apple Inc. (AAPL) Annual revenue per employee: $1,052,781Annual profit per employee: $156,813Employees: 32,000Industry Laggard: Molex Inc. (MOLX)Annual revenue per employee: $89,650Annual profit per employee: -$1,552Employees: 32,160

Industry Leader: Apple Inc. (AAPL)
Annual revenue per employee: $1,052,781
Annual profit per employee: $156,813
Employees: 32,000

Industry Laggard: Molex Inc. (MOLX)
Annual revenue per employee: $89,650
Annual profit per employee: -$1,552
Employees: 32,160

Complete Sector Information

Software & Services

Industry Leader: Google Inc. (GOOG)Annual revenue per employee: $1,093,892Annual profit per employee: $214,768Employees: 20,164Industry Laggard: Convergys Corp. (CVG)Annual revenue per employee: $36,855Annual profit per employee: -$1,344Employees: 75,000
Photo: AP

Industry Leader: Google Inc. (GOOG)
Annual revenue per employee: $1,093,892
Annual profit per employee: $214,768
Employees: 20,164

Industry Laggard: Convergys Corp. (CVG)
Annual revenue per employee: $36,855
Annual profit per employee: -$1,344
Employees: 75,000

Complete Sector Information

Materials

Industry Leader: CF Industries (CF)Annual revenue per employee: $2,622,933Annual profit per employee: $391,133Employees: 1,500Industry Laggard: Ecolab Inc. (ECL)Annual revenue per employee: $227,464Annual profit per employee:  $15,204Employees: 26,500

Industry Leader: CF Industries (CF)
Annual revenue per employee: $2,622,933
Annual profit per employee: $391,133
Employees: 1,500

Industry Laggard: Ecolab Inc. (ECL)
Annual revenue per employee: $227,464
Annual profit per employee:  $15,204
Employees: 26,500

Complete Sector Information

Telecommunication Services

Industry Leader: American Tower Corp. (AMT)Annual revenue per employee: $1,349,998Annual profit per employee: $208,207Employees: 1,198Industry Laggard:  Embarq Corp. (EQ)Annual revenue per employee: $368,388Annual profit per employee: $47,313Employees: 15,000
Photo: TheBusyBrain

Industry Leader: American Tower (AMT)
Annual revenue per employee: $1,349,998
Annual profit per employee: $208,207
Employees: 1,198

Industry Laggard:  Embarq Corp. (EQ)
Annual revenue per employee: $368,388
Annual profit per employee: $47,313
Employees: 15,000

Complete Sector Information

Energy

Industry Leader: Murphy Oil Corp. (MUR)Annual revenue per employee: $7,609,147Annual profit per employee: $436,833Employees: 3,206Industry Laggard: Nabors Industries Ltd. (NBR)Annual revenue per employee: $190,448Annual profit per employee: $15,724Employees: 26,912
Photo: AP

Industry Leader: Integrys Energy (TEG)
Annual revenue per employee: $2,554,798
Annual profit per employee: -$36,859
Employees: 5,191

Industry Laggard: Pinnacle West (PNW)
Annual revenue per employee: $441,095
Annual profit per employee: $6,926
Employees: 7,500

Complete Sector Information