Even during a pandemic, U.S. corporate earnings have collectively soared in 2021. The Bureau of Economic Analysis estimated that current output earnings (corporate earnings with inventory valuation and capital consumption adjustments) have increased by 25% in 2021. In dollars, companies have made pre-tax profits. of about $2.81 trillion, Axios reported.
But not all companies had a profitable 2021, with some companies reporting losses last year. In fact, some large companies have been reporting losses for several years now. (On the other hand, these are companies that made skyrocketing profits in 2021.)
To determine the biggest companies that aren’t making a profit, 24/7 Wall St. looked at the Security and Exchange Commission’s revenue and net filing income data for the top 1,000 public companies. Companies with consecutive net losses over the past three fiscal years were ranked by annual revenue in the most recent fiscal year. Market capitalization data is as of May 24, 2022, from Google Finance. All data is for the most recent period available.
Some companies have reported losses since their launch. Uber (No. 4 on the list) has yet to report full-year earnings, although it reported its first quarterly profit when it released Q3 2021. Uber has invested in its growing business , although it was also affected by the pandemic as well in 2020 and by the labor shortage in 2021.
At the top of the list, Boeing. The company reported a loss of nearly $12 billion in 2020 as the pandemic depressed demand and production problems began. In 2019, the company recorded the first full-year profit in two decades due to costs related to the 737 Max crashes and challenges related to the grounding of its best-selling aircraft. The company reported its third consecutive loss in 2021 as production issues prevented Boeing from delivering its 787 Dreamliner for more than a year.
As the pandemic stress on the economy eases, perhaps some of these businesses will return to profitability. For many others, however, the issues are more fundamental, tied to their industries and ongoing consumer trends. (Here are 19 big companies that paid next to nothing or nothing in taxes in 2021.)
Click here to see the largest non-profit public companies.