Global 500: The top 25

Wal-Mart retakes the lead on Fortune's annual list of the world's biggest companies. See which other outfits top our list.

Royal Dutch Shell
3. Royal Dutch Shell
Global 500 rank: 3 (Previous rank: 3)
2006 Revenues (millions): $318,845
Headquarters: The Hague
Country: Netherlands
Get quote: RDSA

Europe's biggest company is also a fossil-fuel giant. Shell's particular strength is in natural gas; its soaring prices helped overall revenues grow 3.9% last year. Although it's the second most-profitable company in the world, with earnings of $25.4 billion, its profits grew only 0.5% last year because of slowdowns at its Nigerian operations and an increase in unplanned downtime at the company's U.S. refineries.

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Full list Old-economy outfits top Fortune's annual Global 500 list, thanks to rising oil prices and a slew of mergers that drove record profits. (more)
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