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Largest and most valuable companies in the world for 2024

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Milan Cutkovic

The biggest companies in the world play a significant role in driving innovation, economic growth, and global trends.

These multinational giants operate across diverse industries from technology and media to energy and pharmaceuticals. They are closely watched by investors and the public for their financial performance, market impact, and societal responsibilities and some of them are at the forefront of the digital revolution.

 

Top 10 largest companies by market capitalization

#

Company

Market capitalization

1 Microsoft $3.144 trillion
2 Apple $2.909 trillion
3 NVIDIA $2.327 trillion
4 Alphabet (Google) $2.139 trillion
5 Amazon $1.935 trillion
6 Saudi Aramco $1.891 trillion
7 Meta $1.221 trillion
8 Berkshire Hathaway $891.64 billion
9 TSMC $806.95 billion
10 Eli Lilly $747.98 billion

 

Top 10 largest companies list

  1. Microsoft
  2. Apple
  3. NVIDIA
  4. Alphabet (Google)
  5. Amazon
  6. Saudi Aramco
  7. Meta
  8. Berkshire Hathaway
  9. TSMC
  10. Eli Lilly

 

1. Microsoft (MSFT)

(biggest company in the world)

Microsoft is a multinational technology company with headquarters in Redmond, United States. The company was founded in 1975 by Bill Gates and Paul Allen in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

The company started as a small software vendor for personal computers. 1980 marked the beginning of a new era for Microsoft as it entered a partnership with IBM to develop MS-DOS. Five years later, the first version of Windows was released, and Office Suite followed in 1989.

Throughout the 1990s, Microsoft dominated the market for personal computer software, with Windows becoming the most popular operating system worldwide, a title it still holds today.

Microsoft has a wide range of products and services, but the most famous ones are:

  • Windows: the most widely used operating system worldwide.
  • Office Suite: Microsoft Office includes applications like World, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook
  • Azure: Microsoft´s cloud computing platform
  • LinkedIn: the world´s most popular professional networking platform

Microsoft went public in 1986 when listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange. Like many other technology companies, Microsoft shares benefited immensely from the dot-com boom in the late 1990s but crashed back to earth when the bubble eventually burst.

Microsoft shares stabilised following the release of Windows XP and the Xbox gaming console, which both proved to be very successful products. After Satya Nadella became CEO, the company shifted its focus to cloud computing and services, which led to a sharp increase in the stock price during the second half of the 2010s. Microsoft extended its gains during the COVID pandemic, as remote work and cloud services became even more important.

 

2. Apple (AAPL)

Apple is a multinational technology company that produces a wide range of consumer electronics, along with software and services. The company was founded in 1976 by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne. Steve Jobs led the company until August 2011, when he resigned due to his deteriorating health. Tim Cook has been the CEO of Apple ever since.

Apple is most known for its flagship smartphone - the iPhone - but has grown its portfolio of products that today consists of the iPad, Mac, Apple Watch, Apple TV, AirPods, and HomePod. In addition to that, Apple develops its own software - which ranges from iOS, macOS, and tvOS to Safari and iTunes.

The company has also significantly grown its range of services, which includes Apple Music, Apple TV+, Apple Arcade, Apple News+, and the App Store.

Apple became a publicly listed company in 1980. Apple shares saw a slow and steady growth up until 2016, after which Apple gained significant momentum driven by an expanding customer base, successful product launches, and strong financials. Shortly after the COVID-19 stock market crash in March 2020, Apple shares have increased exponentially in value.

 

3. NVIDIA (NVDA)

NVIDIA is a US-based multinational technology company that is focused on designing and manufacturing graphics processing units (GPUs), application programming interfaces (APIs), and systems on a chip unit (SoCs).

The company was founded in 1993 by Jensen Huang, Chris Malachowsky, and Curtis Priem, who all previously worked at Sun Microsystems. NVIDIA initially focused on developing GPUs, and its first major success was the launch of RIVA 128 in 1997.

NVIDIA made further progress with its GeForce series and Tegra processors, as well as its advancements in the field of AI and Deep Learning.

The majority of NVIDIA´s revenues are generated from its Graphics segment, which includes GPUs. Another significant source of income is the Compute and networking segment, which includes data center platforms and AI solutions.

NVIDIA went public in January 1999, during the height of the dot-com bubble. After an initial period of high volatility, NVIDIA managed to establish itself as a key player in its industry and the stock price accelerated. In the 2010s, NVIDIA benefited from its entry into AI and the stock price experienced a period of rapid growth, which only increased after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. After a prolonged sell-off in 2022, NVIDIA shares saw a dramatic rebound and new all-time highs in 2023.

 

4. Alphabet (GOOG)

Alphabet Inc. is the parent company of Google. Google was founded in 1998 by Larry Page and Sergey Brin, who were both students at Stanford University at that time. Google´s early growth was rapid, with the company listing on the stock market only 6 years later.

Google´s most famous product is its search engine, which rose to popularity in the late 1990s. Products like Gmail and AdWords helped the company expand and Google Maps, Google Drive, and Google Photos followed later. The company also made several crucial acquisitions, such as buying Android in 2005 and YouTube in 2006.

Google´s main source of income comes from the online ads business. Other major sources are Google Cloud - the company´s cloud computing platform - and YouTube, as well as the Google Play Store and hardware sales.

Google went public in 2004 and benefited from doing so after the dot-com bubble burst. Shares saw steady growth during the 2000s, driven by the company´s rapid expansion. The company decided to perform a stock split in 2014 and a restructuring in 2015, which is when Alphabet Inc. was created. Alphabet shares soared during the second half of the 2010s, and the momentum increased even further during the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

5. Amazon (AMZN)

Amazon Inc. is a US-based multinational technology and e-commerce company. It was founded in 1994 by Jeff Bezos, who acted as CEO until 2021 and remains one of the largest shareholders to date.

The company was founded as an online bookstore but quickly expanded to sell a wider range of products. Amazon grew rapidly during the early 2000s and introduced Amazon Prime in 2005. A year later, Amazon Web Services (AWS) was launched, which would end up becoming a major source of income for the company.

Amazon is also known for launching the Kindle e-reader and Alexa, a voice-activated assistant. It made several key acquisitions, including the game streaming platform Twitch in 2014 and the grocery store chain Whole Foods Market in 2017.

Today, Amazon makes most of its money from its online retail marketplace, Amazon Web Services, Amazon Prime, and its fast-growing advertising business.

Amazon went public in 1997, during the dotcom boom. When the bubble eventually burst, Amazon shares suffered along with many other technology companies. Share prices rebounded as Amazon managed to diversify its business further. Rapid growth was seen in the 2010s, and the company reached a market cap of $1 trillion in 2018. The COVID-19 pandemic sharply increased the demand for e-commerce and online services, which benefited Amazon tremendously.

 

6. Saudi Aramco (2222.SR)

Saudi Aramco is an oil and gas company with headquarters in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. The government of Saudi Arabia is by far the largest shareholder.

The company was founded in 1933 as Arabian American Oil Company (ARAMCO) when an agreement was formed between Saudi Arabia and US-based Standard Oil Company. The Saudi government took full control of the company in 1980, renaming it Saudi Arabian Oil Company or Saudi Aramco for short.

Saudi Aramco´s primary business is the exploration, production, refining, and distribution of petroleum and petrochemical products. The company is significant to Saudi Arabia´s economy, which relies heavily on oil revenues.

Saudi Aramco went public in 2019, leading to the largest IPO in history, raising $29.4 billion. Despite the large amount of cash raised, only 1.5 % of the company was actually floated, with the rest still owned by the Saudi government.

Saudi Aramco shares have remained steady since the IPO, trading in a range of 25-35 SAR for most of the time. The stock offers an attractive dividend yield but remains very sensitive to oil prices.

 

7. Meta (META)

Meta Platforms Inc. is a US-based technology company. It was previously known as Facebook until its rebranding to "Meta", which was supposed to highlight a shift of focus to the metaverse. The company has its headquarters in Menlo Park, California, and remains one of the largest technology companies worldwide.

Facebook was founded in 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg and four of his roommates as a social networking platform for students. Its popularity grew quickly, and the company used its initial success to make a few key acquisitions such as Instagram in 2012 and WhatsApp in 2014. It also launched its own standalone messaging app called Messenger and a virtual reality headset.

Meta makes money primarily from selling advertising space on its various social media platforms. Other sources of income are Reality Labs, which includes its augmented and virtual reality products, and the net fees it receives from customers using the payments infrastructure.

Meta went public in 2012 and its shares saw a steady rise until 2018, when it started to struggle due to privacy scandals and disappointing earnings. It recovered shortly after and benefited from the technology sector´s pandemic boom. However, Meta´s winning streak ended in 2022, which turned out to be a turbulent year for the company. Investors started to lose faith in the Meta´s metaverse strategy. Falling DAU (daily active users) numbers and a slowdown in the ads business added to the negative sentiment. Meta rebounded in late 2022, after hitting a 7-year low.

 

8. Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.B)

Berkshire Hathaway is a multinational conglomerate holding company that was originally founded in 1839 as a textile manufacturing company. Warren Buffet and his business partner Charlie Munger began investing in the company during the 1960s. After they gained control of the company, they turned it into a conglomerate and diversified its holdings significantly.

Berkshire Hathaway is focused on acquiring and holding ownership stakes in companies across various industries. It invests in sectors such as insurance, manufacturing, energy, technology, media, financial services, and consumer products.

Its CEO and long-time chairman Warren Buffett - also known as the "Oracle of Omaha" - is a respected and widely followed investor and Berkshire Hathaway´s annual shareholders meeting in Omaha has been consistently attracting a large crowd.

Berkshire Hathaway has been known for its financial strength and stability. Its large cash holdings protected the company during recessions and financial crises.

Berkshire Hathaway´s stock has seen tremendous growth over the decades. Despite that, it has never paid out any dividends to its investors, which is unique for a blue-chip stock. Warren Buffett explained that he prefers to reinvest all earnings for growth instead of paying out dividends.

 

9. TSMC

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) is the world´s largest semiconductor manufacturer and has its headquarters in Hsinchu, Taiwan. The company was founded in 1987 by Morris Chang as the world´s first dedicated semiconductor foundry.

Semiconductors are essential parts found in electronic products such as smartphones, PCs, laptops, and gaming hardware. TSMC experienced rapid growth from the 2000s onwards and Taiwan established itself as a global hub for semiconductor manufacturing. TSMC´s clients include tech heavyweights such as Apple, Qualcomm, AMD, Broadcom, NVIDIA, Intel, and Amazon.

TSMC went public in September 1994 on the Taiwan Stock Exchange. The company listed its American Depositary Shares (ADS) on the New York Stock Exchange in October 1997.

Share prices of TSMC experienced a stratospheric rise in 2020 as COVID-19 led to a surge in chip demand. The stock saw a reversal in 2022 - triggered by global risk aversion - but recovered in 2023, almost reaching a new all-time high.

 

10. Eli Lilly (LLY)

Eli Lilly is a US-based pharmaceutical company with headquarters in Indianapolis, Indiana. It was founded in 1876 by Eli Lilly and has grown to become one of the world´s largest pharma companies.

Eli Lilly initially focused on the production of medications but expanded its variety of products significantly over its long history. Eli Lilly produces medicines for a wide range of areas - including cancer, cardiovascular, diabetes, endocrine, immunology, neuroscience, and pain. The company is also heavily involved in pharmaceutical research & development.

Some of Eli Lilly´s most recognizable products include Prozac (for treating clinical depression) and its diabetes drug Humalog (fast-acting insulins used to control high blood sugar).

Eli Lilly floated on the stock market in 1952 under the ticker symbol "LLY". Shares have appreciated steadily over the past few decades but gained significant momentum since 2020. The company has been on the investor radar and was able to boost its market share by producing a strong pipeline of new products, including the diabetes/obesity drug Mounjaro.

 

Top 10 largest companies in the world by different categories

 

Biggest companies by number of employees

#

Company

Number of employees

1 Walmart 2,100,000
2 Amazon 1,500,000
3 Foxconn 826,608
4 Accenture 733,000
5 Volkswagen 650,951
6 Tata Consultancy Services 614,795
7 DHL Group 589,184
8 BYD 570,100
9 Compass Group 500,000
10 United Parcel Service 500,000

 

Most valuable companies by revenue

#

Company

Revenue

1 Walmart $638.78 billion
2 Amazon $554.02 billion
3 Saudi Aramco $502.35 billion
4 Sinopec $473.53 billion
5 PetroChina $435.30 billion
6 Berkshire Hathaway $401.77 billion
7 Apple $383.28 billion
8 United Health $359.98 billion
9 CVS Health $347.80 billion
10 Exxon Mobil $346.17 billion

 

Most profitable businesses by earnings

#

Company

Earnings

1 Saudi Aramco $247.43 billion
2 Apple $114.30 billion
3 Berkshire Hathaway $100.30 billion
4 Microsoft $95.02 billion
5 Alphabet (Google) $78.78 billion
6 Gazprom $76.74 billion
7 JPMorgan Chase $63.52 billion
8 Exxon Mobil $61.00 billion
9 ICBC $58.89 billion
10 China Construction Bank $55.33 billion

 

Richest companies by total assets

#

Company

Total assets

1 ICBC $6.209 trillion
2 Agricultural Bank of China $5.402 trillion
3 China Construction Bank $5.283 trillion
4 Bank of China $4.434 trillion
5 Fannie Mae $4.329 trillion
6 JPMorgan Chase $3.898 trillion
7 Freddie Mac $3.271 trillion
8 Bank of America $3.153 trillion
9 HSBC $3.02 trillion
10 BNP Paribas $2.854 trillion

 

Richest companies by net assets

#

Company

Net assets

1 Berkshire Hathaway $534.72 billion
2 ICBC $513.13 billion
3 Saudi Aramco $467.87 billion
4 China Construction Bank $432.34 billion
5 Agricultural Bank of China $393.86 billion
6 Bank of China $375.52 billion
7 JPMorgan Chase $317.37 billion
8 Bank of America $287.06 billion
9 Alphabet (Google) $273.20 billion
10 Samsung $269.16 billion

 

Top 10 largest companies in the world by country

 

United States of America (USA)

#

Company

Market capitalization

1 Microsoft $3.144 trillion
2 Apple $2.909 trillion
3 NVIDIA $2.327 trillion
4 Alphabet (Google) $2.139 trillion
5 Amazon $1.935 trillion
6 Meta $1.221 trillion
7 Berkshire Hathaway $891.64 billion
8 Eli Lilly $747.98 billion
9 Broadcom $665.55 billion
10 JPMorgan Chase $580.39 billion

 

United Kingdom (UK)

#

Company

Market capitalization

1 Shell $214.23 billion
2 AstraZeneca $213.35 billion
3 Linde $198.37 billion
4 HSBC $156.53 billion
5 Unilever $121.92 billion
6 Rio Tinto $118.30 billion
7 BP $103.00 billion
8 Diageo $80.67 billion
9 GSK $79.60 billion
10 British American Tobacco $74.59 billion

 

Australia

#

Company

Market capitalization

1 BHP Group $168.06 billion
2 Commonwealth Bank $125.36 billion
3 CSL $92.63 billion
4 National Australia Bank $63.65 billion
5 Atlassian $58.34 billion
6 Fortescue $57.12 billion
7 Westpac Banking $53.59 billion
8 ANZ Bank $51.48 billion
9 Macquarie $45.93 billion
10 Wesfarmers $42.79 billion

 

Canada

#

Company

Market capitalization

1 Royal Bank of Canada $141.77 billion
2 Toronto Dominion Bank $115.41 billion
3 Shopify $95.69 billion
4 Canadian National Railway $81.58 billion
5 Enbridge $78.07 billion
6 Canadian Pacific Railway $73.35 billion
7 Canadian Natural Resources $72.94 billion
8 Bank of Montreal $70.39 billion
9 Thomson Reuters $65.57 billion
10 lululemon athletica $61.97 billion

 

Germany

#

Company

Market capitalization

1 SAP $175.27 billion
2 Siemens $139.03 billion
3 Deutsche Telekom $122.11 billion
4 Allianz $104.53 billion
5 Porsche $76.32 billion
6 Mercedes-Benz $73.51 billion
7 BMW $71.91 billion
8 Merck $67.22 billion
9 Siemens Healthineers $65.84 billion
10 Volkswagen $63.77 billion

 

China

#

Company

Market capitalization

1 Tencent $353.65 billion
2 Kweichow Moutai $288.57 billion
3 ICBC $221.67 billion
4 Pinduoduo $194.67 billion
5 China Mobile $183.98 billion
6 PetroChina $183.61 billion
7 Alibaba $183.50 billion
8 Agricultural Bank of China $177.75 billion
9 Bank of China $152.27 billion
10 China Construction Bank $149.30 billion

 

Japan

#

Company

Market capitalization

1 Toyota $252.46 billion
2 Sony $112.25 billion
3 Mitsubishi UFJ Financial $106.31 billion
4 NTT $101.06 billion
5 Keyence $100.87 billion
6 Shin-Etsu Chemical $77.84 billion
7 Tokyo Electron $77.22 billion
8 Fast Retailing $73.18 billion
9 Mitsubishi Corporation $67.79 billion
10 KDDI $66.49 billion

 

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The data is sourced from third-party providers. This information is not to be construed as a recommendation; or an offer to buy or sell; or the solicitation of an offer to buy or sell any security, financial product, or instrument; or to participate in any trading strategy. It has been prepared without taking your objectives, financial situation, or needs into account. Any references to past performance and forecasts are not reliable indicators of future results. Axi makes no representation and assumes no liability regarding the accuracy and completeness of the content in this publication. Readers should seek their own advice.



Milan Cutkovic

Milan Cutkovic

Milan Cutkovic has over eight years of experience in trading and market analysis across forex, indices, commodities, and stocks. He was one of the first traders accepted into the Axi Select programme which identifies highly talented traders and assists them with professional development.

As well as being a trader, Milan writes daily analysis for the Axi community, using his extensive knowledge of financial markets to provide unique insights and commentary. He is passionate about helping others become more successful in their trading and shares his skills by contributing to comprehensive trading eBooks and regularly publishing educational articles on the Axi blog, His work is frequently quoted in leading international newspapers and media portals.

Milan is frequently quoted and mentioned in many financial publications, including Yahoo Finance, Business Insider, Barrons, CNN, Reuters, New York Post, and MarketWatch.

Find him on: LinkedIn


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