Economy Watch: American Tower Tops U.S. Companies on Forbes’ List

The developer of wireless and broadcast communications real estate ranks as the largest U.S. public real estate company on Forbes' Global 2000.

American Tower Corp., a developer of wireless and broadcast communications real estate, which leases antenna space on multi-tenant communications sites, came in as the largest U.S. public real estate company on Forbes’ Global 2000, which lists the world’s largest public companies. The metrics that put the company in that position include sales of $6.8 billion, profits of $1.2 billion, and assets of $34.4 billion.

Among all of the 2,000 top public companies in the world, American Tower is number 571, according to Forbes. In its ranking, it barely edged out the better-known Simon Property Group, the second-highest U.S. real estate company on the list, with sales of $5.6 billion, profits of $2 billion, and assets of $31 billion. Simon is number 597 on the 2,000 list.

The next largest U.S. real estate companies are Annaly Capital Management, Prologis, Weyerhaeuser, CBRE Group, Public Storage, AvalonBay Communities, General Growth Properties and Ventas. Investors such as Blackstone, which have vast real estate holdings, but which do not specialize in real estate, are not classified as real estate companies for the purpose of the ranking.

The largest public real estate company in the world, according to the Forbes list, is China Evergrande Group, a Chinese investor with $46 billion in sales, $3.6 billion in profits, and $270.5 billion in assets. Next on the list are China Vanke and Country Garden Holdings, which are also Chinese investors. The largest non-Chinese public real estate company is Brookfield Asset Management, which is Canadian.