File - Record iPhone sales over the holidays and a 70-percent rise in China powered Apple to the largest profit in corporate history.
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It is stunning that Apple managed to sell 74 million smartphones in the fourth quarter of last year.At the same time, though, it is not a surprise that Apple is the most profitable company in the world.Apple is the company for our times and so it seems natural that it should make the most money.In that context it is striking to consider the companies that have led the U.S. profits table over the past six decades. Looking down a list of the 10 most profitable companies in the S&P 500 for each of the past 60 years, the continuity is astonishing.Only three companies break this pattern.Now it is 12 per cent while finance, professional services and health care have gone from 7 to 21 percent.Exxon and Chevron appeared on the 1955 list, and six decades later they remain near the top.
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