The 225 S&P 500 companies that share full reporting information received 46.3% of their sales outside of the U.S. in 2010, down slightly from the 46.6% they received in 2009 and quite a bit less than the 47.9% that foreign sales comprised of their total revenues in 2008, S&P Indices said.

“While the percentage of foreign sales posted a slight tick downward in 2010, we believe that multiple changes in currency, membership and contracts negate any strong implication to the second yearly drop,” said Howard Silverblatt, senior index analyst at S&P. “Looking at these results on a proforma basis, foreign sales ticked up for the year, a direction we feel will continue as non-U.S. growth outpaces U.S. domestic growth.”

Broken out by sector, information technology continues to dominate, with more than 56% of its declared sales coming from outside the United States.

Income taxes paid to foreign entities increased 27.7% to $117.3 billion in 2010, up from $91.9 billion in 2009. Within the United States, S&P 500 companies paid $101.7 billion in domestic taxes in 2010, a 9.7% increase from the $92.7 they paid in 2009.

“In 2010, S&P 500 issues paid more income tax to foreign countries than to Washington,” Silverblatt said. “Only 46.4% of all income taxes paid by U.S. companies went to Washington in 2010, versus 53.6% paid abroad. Apparently, jobs weren’t the only major export in 2010.”



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