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10 most valuable companies in the world

Beginner

The world’s largest companies greatly affect global markets. It is therefore imperative as a trader to have an understanding of these companies and how they operate. These companies are also among the most traded, so having a solid knowledge of them is important in order to invest and trade effectively.

How do we calculate the most valuable? 

There are a multitude of ways to calculate a company’s size. This could be through their market share, total profits, number of employees, or sales revenue. However, the factor we have chosen to value the companies by is their market capitalisation. Market capitalisation is calculated by multiplying the current share price of a publicly traded company by the total volume of publicly traded shares available. This is also a strong indicator of public opinion of the said company’s market value. 

Here we are going to look at the top 10 at the time of writing.

RankCompanyMarket Capitalisation ($billions)Country
1Apple 2175USA
2Saudi Aramco2046Saudi Arabia
3Microsoft 1683USA
4Alphabet (Google)1137USA
5Amazon916USA
6Berkshire Hathaway638USA
7Tesla622USA
8UnitedHealth506USA
9Exxon Mobil468USA
10Johnson & Johnson453USA

According to companiesmarketcap.com as of 07/11/2022

1. Apple (AAPL)

Apple

The most valuable company on our list is Apple. This is one of only two companies to exceed a market cap of two trillion USD. Apple is a software and hardware developer that produces a wide range of technology which includes phones, tablets, wireless earphones, computers, and even smartwatches. Apple was founded in 1976 by Steve Jobs, Ronald Wayne, and Steve Wozniak.  They faced fierce competition from companies such as Microsoft and NeXt. The latter was founded by Jobs himself after leaving Apple due to corporate disputes. By 1997 Apple was close to bankruptcy and decided to purchase NeXT bringing back Jobs as CEO in an attempt to fight back against its competitors. Apple then went on to produce all of its innovative products over the coming decade shaping it into the company that we know today. 

2. Saudi Aramco (2222.SR)

Saudi Aramco is the second most valued company in the world by market capitalisation and the only non-US company in this top 10 list. Saudi Aramco is the world’s largest oil producer and is primarily state owned. The company was established in 1933 and began digging for oil in 1938. Although primarily state-owned, in 2016 Saudi Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud announced plans to list 5% of the company as part of an IPO (initial public offering). It took place in 2019 generating $25.6 billion making it the largest IPO of all time. Saudi Aramco in the present day is trying to diversify its business via Vision 2030. Vision 2030 is a Saudi-run project with the aim to reduce Saudi Arabia’s dependence on oil. Saudi Aramco is following this by investing in artificial intelligence.

3. Microsoft (MSFT)

Bill-Gates-Microsoft

Microsoft comes in third on our list being the second most valued US company only beaten by its main competitor Apple. Microsoft is a hardware and software developer that similarly to Apple offers a wide array of products. This includes applications such as Word and Powerpoint, the search engine Bing, the operating system Windows, and the gaming console Xbox. The company was founded in 1975 by Bill Gates and Paul Allen and was run by Gates as the CEO up until 2000. Over the last two decades, Microsoft has acquired many new companies in an attempt to diversify its business. Microsoft acquired Skype in 2011 and LinkedIn in 2016. However, unlike Apple, Microsoft has chosen to keep these companies as separate entities rather than integrating them into one.

4. Alphabet (GOOG)

Alphabet, which was previously known as Google LLC, is fourth on our list and is the last company on the list to have a market capitalisation of over $1 trillion. Google LLC was founded in 1998 by Larry Page and Sergey Brin. At the time they were both PHD students at Stanford University and started the company off as a search engine. It would then later turn into Alphabet. Alphabet is a technology conglomerate and was formed to unify all of the Google sub-projects and companies into one. This includes the Google search engine, Gmail, YouTube, Chrome, Android, and many more. The company also features an Other Bets division which features upcoming businesses that tend to provide a technological service.  

5. Amazon (AMZN)

Jeff Bezos Amazon

Amazon makes the list in our number five spot. Formally an online bookstore ran out of a garage by Jeff Bezos in 1994. Over the last 28 years since its formation, it has diversified significantly to become the world’s largest online retailer outside of China. It offers a very wide range of products from electronics to furniture. Amazon also owns many sub-companies such as AWS (Amazon Web Services) which offers cloud computing solutions, Twitch an online streaming platform, Audible an audiobook service, and many more. In 2021 the former CEO Bezos stepped down and Andy Jassy took over.

6. Berkshire Hathaway (BRK-B)

Berkshire Hathaway - Warren Buffett

Berkshire Hathaway takes the number six spot on our list. Its main function is as a multinational holding company. This means that its main function is controlling the assets and securities of other companies. It was founded in 1839 but was popularised and found success when Warren Buffett acquired the company in 1965. His goal was to invest in struggling companies with cash flows from the main business and turn them around to generate profits. Berkshire Hathaway owns a 26.7% stake in Heinz, 5.57% in Apple, 9.32% of the Coca-Cola Company, 18.8% of American Express, and 11.9% of Bank of America. Warren Buffet is still currently the CEO of the company and is worth over $100 billion making him the sixth wealthiest person in the world.

7. Tesla (TSLA)

Tesla - Elon Musk

Taking the number seven spot on our list is Tesla which is the largest auto manufacturer by market capitalisation. It produces electric vehicles in order to help the world with the move from fossil fuels to sustainable sources of fuel. Tesla accounts for a large proportion of the electric vehicle market with 79% of new electric vehicles registered in the US in 2020 being Teslas. The company was founded in 2003 by Marc Tarpenning and Martin Eberhand and was acquired by Elon Musk in 2008, going public in 2010. Tesla has now begun to diversify its business as it produces electric stores of varied sizes and solar panels as well. 

8. UnitedHealth (UNH)

United Health is number eight on our list and is known for providing healthcare services and insurance to its 130 million customers. It was formed in 1974 by Richard Taylor Burke and renamed the United Health Care Corporation in 1977. It is currently the world’s largest healthcare company and employs over 300,000 people. It generates revenue from its healthcare products and premiums that it receives from its healthcare services. 

9. Exxon Mobil (XOM)

Exxon Mobil is the largest investor-owned oil company with its headquarters based in Irving, Texas. It was founded in 1999 by the merger of Exxon and Mobil into Exxon Mobil as it is known today. It has over 64,000 employees and its total assets as of 2021 were exceeding that of $339 billion. The company produces over 3% of the world’s oil and 2% of the world’s energy. Exxon Mobil has also outlined its continued growth strategy which features its multiple sources of oil. This includes more than 8 billion oil equivalent barrels in Guyana which by 2025 they estimate will generate 750,000 oil equivalent barrels per day. Moreover, the continued growth in the Permian Basin should increase its production to over 1 million oil-equivalent barrels per day.

10. Johnson & Johnson (JNJ)

Taking the tenth and final spot on our list is Johnson & Johnson (J&J). Founded in 1886 J&J produces medical equipment and pharmaceuticals. The company produces products such as Listerine and band-aid bandages. It also played a large role in the COVID-19 pandemic as it helped to vaccinate a large proportion of the US population. In 2021 J&J announced that it will be splitting into two companies. One with a focus on providing consumer health products, and the other focusing on medical technology. The company has over 100,000 employees and is ranked the number one pharmaceutical company in the world. 

We hope that this article on the top 10 most valuable companies has helped to better develop your understanding of them and will aid you in the future with your investments and trading.

Editor

Luke is currently a student in his final year studying A levels in Economics, Maths and Physics at The Bishop’s Stortford High School. He has a strong interest in economics and financial markets,... Continued

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