IBM, GE, Pfizer Billed to be Among Most Profitable Companies in 2013

Exxon Mobil, IBM, General Electric and Pfizer are among publicly traded U.S. companies that are seen posting the highest profits this year, according to an annual analysis by 24/7 Wall Street.

The business news site expects Apple to top the earnings, with oil giant Exxon Mobil in second spot.

Keeping with a five-year tradition, the list of most profitable companies is dominated by oil companies, banks and big tech, the report said.

24/7 Wall St. said it used Capital IQ data and examined the top 100 companies in the Fortune 500 based on revenue to compile this list. Here’s a snapshot of the companies likely to be most profitable in 2010, along with excerpted comments from 24/7 Wall Street:

#2. Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM)
Forecast 2013 revenue: $473 billion, down 1%
Forecast 2013 earnings: $37 billion, up 2%
Stock price: $89.10
Market cap: $406.24 billion
“Like most large energy companies, Exxon has made a large bet on the oil sands business, a relatively new way to produce significant amounts of crude…In its annual ‘Outlook for Energy,’ the company said it expects to invest $185 billion in energy projects in the (next five-year) period.

6. (tie) International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE: IBM)
Forecast 2013 revenue: $107 billion, up 2%
Forecast 2013 earnings: $19 billion, up 10%
Stock price: $192.88
Market cap: $217.94 billion
“Its strength in sales to corporations and government has allowed it to largely avoid many of the troubles that have faced firms like Dell Corp. (Nasdaq: DELL) and Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ), which are more dependent on sales to consumers. IBM has significant operations in Europe and Asia. It sells hardware — including mainframe computers — software and IT services. It also has consulting operations and a finance division.”

8. General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE)
Forecast 2013 revenue: $148 billion, up 2%
Forecast 2013 earnings: $18 billion, up 11%
Stock price: $21.17
Market cap: $222.00 billion
“One of the major criticisms of GE management is that the company has grown very little over the past several years. Wall St. has reacted negatively, and the stock price has fallen by over a third over the past five years. GE CEO Jeff Immelt is highly visible in business and government circles, and currently heads the U.S. Jobs Council set up by President Obama.”

#9. Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE)
Forecast 2013 revenue: $58 billion, down 1%
Forecast 2013 earnings: $17 billion, up 6%
Stock price: $26.76
Market cap: $197.02 billion
“Pfizer’s largest challenge, like that of most other large pharmaceutical companies, is the expiration of patents for much of its drug portfolio. Cheaper, generic versions of these drugs have taken market share. In a recent example, Pfizer had to drop the price of Viagra in Canada to compete with generic versions sold there.”

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