Last Updated: August 3, 2020
Which are the largest public companies on Earth?
There are over 400 American companies in the top 1000 with a combined market value of $25.3 trillion.
This Map Shows the Largest Public Companies on Earth in 2020
First, let’s look at a snapshot of the global stock market. Here is the combined market cap of the 1000 largest public companies sorted by country.
In this article, we’ll rank the biggest companies in the world!
Some may argue that the market cap, which we’ll be using as the main ranking factor, is the crucial element in this type of calculations. After all, it does represent the company’s market potential. Others may argue that it’s not a reliable one, as the market is prone to undervaluing or overvaluing business entities. Either way, it is an unavoidable aspect when investments are considered.
And so, we decided to talk about the biggest investment opportunities. Besides them, this article will also show some emerging trends on the market.
Chinese companies come second with a total market cap of almost $6.4 trillion, and Japanese corporate giants land on the third position with a combined value of $2.6 trillion.
Now let’s focus on individual companies. Some of them have a market value that’s bigger than Saudi Arabia’s economy!
Top 5 Largest Public Companies
We’re kicking off with the giants! Each one of the firms in the top 5 is US-based.
1. Apple Inc. is currently the biggest company in the world with a market cap of $1.172 trillion.
Apple Inc., once known as Apple Computer, is a tech corporation established in 1977 by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak. They’re most famous for designing both the software and hardware of their computers. They sought this method in other user devices, with the most distinguished being the iPod and iPhone.
The company’s headquarters are in Cupertino, California. Apple was also the first member of the highly exclusive trillion-dollar companies club. It exceeded $1 trillion in market capitalization back in 2018.
There have been significant stock price fluctuations in Apple Inc. Their value has increased by 36% in the last 12 months.
2. Microsoft Corporation is the second biggest company in the world with a market cap of $1.101 trillion.
Microsoft was established on 4th April 1975, by Harvard College students Bill Gates and Paul Allen. This global computer tech company produces, licenses, and supports dozens of software products and computing devices. Windows OS and Microsoft Office are what helped Microsoft earn the second spot on our list of the most valuable companies in the world.
Even though the company was first started in Albuquerque, New Mexico, it was moved to the State of Washington in 1979. The company has been stationed in Redmond, WA since 1986.
Microsoft stockholders have been extremely happy in the last 12 months. And they have a good reason too! The stock value has risen by more than 156% during the period.
3. Alphabet Inc. is the third biggest company in the world with a market cap of $902 billion.
(Image: Seeking Alpha)
The third-largest company in the world might not sound familiar at first, but it should be. It is the parent company behind Google. The list of this company’s products and services is endless, with Google Maps, YouTube, Android, Chrome, and Nest being some of the more noteworthy ones. The company is one of the biggest R&D spenders on the planet.
Google was founded in 1998 in Menlo Park, California by Stanford University students, Larry Page and Sergey Brin. The duo remains in charge of Alphabet Inc. to this day. Understandable, considering that they made it one of the most valuable companies on the planet. Google headquarters are located in Mountain View, California.
Alphabet Inc. shares have been gaining in value during the last year. The gain slightly exceeds 25%.
Amazon’s statistics are pretty awesome in 2020. Check out our selection of the latest amazon revenue statistics if you need some further reading.
4. Amazon is the fourth biggest company in the world with a market cap of $887 billion.
Amazon.com is an e-commerce corporation based in Seattle, Washington. It is one of the main reasons behind the rise of online shopping. The company was started in 1994 by Jeff Bezos.
(Check out the latest Amazon revenue statistics… they are an eye-opener!)
Amazon didn’t take long to become one of the top 1000 companies in the world. They achieved the goal by selling everything one could ever need (books, electronics, toys, etc.). They acted as either as a mediator between sellers and buyers or selling their own products directly. The latter form of selling has been of more emphasis lately – products such as Kindle and Amazon Echo are breaking the sales records.
The stocks of one of the most valuable companies in the world climbed 18.6% in value during 2019. However, a dip of over 10% has been causing issues for stockholders and management in the previous three months.
5. Berkshire Hathaway Inc is the fifth biggest company in the world with a market cap of $545.7 billion.
One of the world’s most valuable companies, Berkshire Hathaway is based in Omaha, Nebraska. The company was founded in 1839. The conglomerate consists of companies such as GEICO and Duracell, as well as portions of companies such as Coca-Cola and Kraft Heinz.
This means that they deal with insurance, retail, candy production, and import, as well as with vacuum cleaners, jewelry sales, footwear, and uniform distribution and production. They even handle newspaper publishing. Oh, and also, electrical and gas services.
Talk about diversity.
Berkshire Hathaway’s stocks have suffered in 2019, especially during Q2, when they dropped by 7.87%. However, they are still the best-performing stocks on the market.
Top 10 Largest Public Companies in the World
Wondering who’s left outside the big 5? Here they are.
6. Facebook has a market cap of $543 billion.
We’re all familiar with this company! Facebook provides online social networking services.
After free registration, it allows users to upload and share images and videos. They can s post and send messages to friends, family, and colleagues as well.
Facebook was established in 2004 by four Harvard University students; Mark Zuckerberg, Eduardo Saverin, Dustin Moskovitz, and Chris Hughes. Formerly called “thefacebook.com”, the website was an instant hit, quickly becoming one of the top 1000 companies.
The platform has grown into one of the biggest websites in the world, visited by 400 million people every month. The corporation’s headquarters are in Menlo Park, California.
The share value is recovering after the July of 2018 dip, rising 48.5% in the last year.
7. Alibaba Group Holding Limited has a market cap of $486 billion.
Alibaba Group Holding Limited was formed in 1999 by Jack Ma, an English teacher from Hangzhou, China. It set its first site helping small Chinese exporters, manufacturers, suppliers, and entrepreneurs to trade internationally. Since then the first non-American company on the list has grown into one of the largest corporations in the world.
Today, the company deals with wide-ranging sales and retail in online marketplaces. It is also being involved in cloud computing, digital media and entertainment, innovation initiatives and others.
Alibaba Group Holding Limited has been doing more than well on the stock market, with a gain of 36.31% in the last 12 months. That’s quite the contrast with last year’s loss of 9.62% in stock value.
Alibaba is also China’s most expensive brand.
8. JPMorgan Chase & Co. has a market cap of $407.74 billion.
JPMorgan Chase & Co is a global banking and financial services holding corporation, established by J. P. Morgan in 1871. It is situated in New York City. It developed into one of the highest valued companies in the world after J.P. Morgan and Chase Manhattan Bank merged in 2000.
JPMorgan Chase deals with:
- investment banking
- private banking
- commercial banking
- retail banking in the United States
- credit card services
- asset management
- private wealth management
- securities divisions.
It also happens to be the largest bank in the world by market capitalization.
Having the largest market cap of all banks, JPMorgan Chase & Co stocks have been increasing in value this year with just over 18%. Last year’s gain of 20.09% was a bit more favorable for the company.
9. Tencent Holdings Limited has a market cap of $407.52 billion.
Tencent Holdings Limited is a Chinese multinational corporation established in 1998. It was first incorporated in the Cayman Islands by five people: Ma Huateng, Zhang Zhidong, Xu Chenye, Chen Yidan, and Zeng Liqing. It first began as Tencent Inc. Today, it’s one of the biggest companies by market cap in China, as well as in the world.
The company is engaged in online advertising services. It also specializes in Internet-related services and products, entertainment, artificial intelligence, and technology.
Those betting on Tencent’s stocks have been losing, as the value has been decreasing rapidly – 30% since this time last year.
10. Visa Inc. has a market cap of $387.7 billion.
Visa is one of the biggest companies in the US and one of the most recognizable brands in the world. It was founded by Dee Hock in 1958, and it’s currently based in Foster City, California.
The company operates in the financial sector, offering digital payment solutions. Visa accommodates millions of international monetary transactions via debit, credit, prepaid cards, and commercial payment solutions.
Visa’s stocks have been climbing in the last 12 months, increasing in value by 30%.
20 Largest Public Companies
While not in the top 10, these firms have huge market evaluations.
11. Johnson & Johnson has a market cap of $345.91 billion.
Johnson & Johnson was established in 1886 in New Brunswick, New Jersey. It was found by the three Jonson brothers – Robert Wood, James Wood, and Edward Mead.
In 1894, Johnson & Johnson introduced one of its most iconic products: Johnson’s Baby Powder, composed of crushed talc. Now, Johnson & Johnson is one of the largest healthcare companies in the world. They develop medical devices, pharmaceuticals, and other packaged goods.
According to the data on companies on the stock market, Johnson & Johnson’s stock value in November 2019 was 5.5%. This number is lower than it was during the same period of 2018.
12. Walmart has a market cap of $341.97 billion.
Walmart, or more formally Walmart Inc., is one of the largest and most well-known chains of discount stores, with headquarters in Bentonville, Arkansas. Sam Walton established Walmart as Wal-Mart Stores in Rogers, Arkansas, in 1962 and concentrated its early advance in rural areas, avoiding direct rivalry with other chains, such as Sears and Kmart.
As it expanded and became one of the world’s biggest companies, Walmart developed new retail formats, introducing Sam’s Club discount warehouses.
13. Nestle has a market cap of $312.18 billion.
Headquartered in Vevey, Switzerland, and operating factories in over 80 countries, Nestle is easily a household name.
The story of Nestle begins in 1866, with the creation of the Anglo-Swiss Milk Company founded by American brothers Charles A. and George Page. The second part of the story started with Henri Nestlé developing an infant food supplement in 1867. The two companies joined together and formed what is now one of the biggest companies in Europe and in the world.
Nestle’s list of products includes a variety of baby foods, frozen foods, chocolate products, candies, ice cream, instant coffees and teas, etc. The company also produces pharmaceuticals.
Unfortunately, the company hasn’t been doing great on the stock market in recent months. However, the last 12 months have brought an increase of over 23% in stock value.
14. Exxon Mobil Corporation has a market cap of $308.91 billion.
Exxon Mobil is currently one of the 15 largest public companies on the market. It has been since 1999 when Exxon and Mobil joined together. Both of these companies originated from Standard Oil, established in 1870 by John D. Rockefeller and partners. Today, the company’s headquarters are located in Irving, Texas.
The company deals with petroleum and natural gas, coal, nuclear fuels, chemicals, and mineral ores. They are involved in all aspects of oil and energy exploitation and production.
Compared to the same period of last year, Exxon Mobil has lost 11.27% in stock value.
15. The Bank of America Corporation has a market cap of $302.77 billion.
Bank of America is one of the largest companies in the world that deal with banking and financial services. The corporation was started in 1904 as the Bank of Italy in San Francisco, by Amadeo Giannini. Its mission was to provide his fellow immigrants and farmers who were denied financial services by other banks with a chance for a better life.
The bank’s stock value has increased by 17% per share in the last year.
16. Samsung Electronics has a market cap of $302.56 billion.
Samsung Electronics is a South Korea-based corporation. It is one of the world’s largest producers of electronic devices and one of the top public companies in the world. The company makes a vast range of consumer and industry electronics, including but not limited to:
- digital media devices
- memory chips
- integrated systems
It has grown into one of the most significant names in technology and contributes about a fifth of South Korea’s exports.
Samsung was formally created as a grocery trade store on March 1, 1938, by Lee Byung-Chull, in Taegu, Korea. The company first entered the electronics businesses in 1969 with black-and-white TVs, mainly exported to China. During the 1970s, the corporation started to transport home electronics products worldwide. It quickly rose to the top of the list of publicly traded companies by market capitalization.
Share value on the stock market has been recovering from a drop that it suffered in 2017. It has increased by just over 23% in the last 12 months.
17. Procter & Gamble Company (P&G) has a market cap of $298.31 billion.
Procter & Gamble Corporation was formed in 1837. William Procter, a British candlemaker, and James Gamble, an Irish soap-maker, merged their businesses in Cincinnati. The company remains in Cincinnati, Ohio even today.
Procter & Gamble has long been one of the leading publicly traded companies in America. It makes personal hygiene and pharmaceutical products, as well as cleaning products, paper towels, and even coffee, snacks, and pet food.
The company’s stock value has moved up from $79 in November 2018 to just over $122 now. This is an increase of over 54%.
18. AT&T has a market cap of $287.96 billion.
AT&T, Inc. is one of the largest market cap companies today. It has certainly come a long way! From its beginning in 1877 by Alexander Graham Bell and his partners to its breakup in 1984, today it is divided into consumer, business, broadband, and wireless services.
AT&T, Inc., formerly (1899–1994) American Telephone and Telegraph Company, produces telecommunication services and products, including:
- wireless communications
- local exchange services
- long-distance services
- Internet services
- video services
- telecommunications equipment
- managed networking
- wholesale services
The value of AT&T stocks has dropped by 4.8% in the last 12 months, as stats about the top American companies show.
19. Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) has a market cap of $285.36 billion.
Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) is a bank incorporated in Hong Kong. It is one of China’s four biggest commercial banks. The company is engaged in commercial banking, investment banking, and other financial services.
Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, once known as Union Bank of Hong Kong, was formed in 1964 in Hong Kong. However, it wasn’t publicly registered until 1973. Today, it is one of the biggest global companies.
20. Mastercard Incorporated has a market cap of $272.09 billion.
MasterCard is an American multinational corporation and a major player in the financial services industry worldwide. The corporation’s major services cover the processing of payments amongst banks that issue debit and credit cards to customers. More than 25,000 banks around the world use MasterCard’s services.
The company was founded back in 1966 by multiple California-based banks. The 20th spot holder on our largest publicly traded companies list was originally called Interbank. Later on, it was renamed Master Charge. The parent corporation behind MasterCard was the United California Bank. Other banks, such as Wells Fargo, Crocker National Bank, Bank of California and Union Bank of California, joined later. In 1979 the Master Charge was finally renamed to MasterCard and has preserved this name ever since.
MasterCard shares have been only gaining in value for the last 13 years. In the last 12 months, their value has increased by a whopping 60%.
Looking at the list of the 20 largest public companies, we can easily spot a few trends.
Firstly, the top spot holders mostly deal with Internet-based services. The second one is the fact that the majority of companies on the list are US-based.
We can expect the first trend to become even more persistent in the coming years. The second one is likely to change, as more and more companies from the Asian market emerge.
Hopefully, this article was just as informative for you, as it was for us. Till next time, when we’ll bring fresh data to the table!