As traders it is important to have a grasp of the largest companies in the world and have some idea of their operations. In this article we will look specifically at the ten largest US companies. These will be some of the most traded companies in the world, so having a good knowledge of them is vital to create opportunities for us as traders.
In this article we will look at:
There are multiple ways to measure the size of companies, ranging from their sales revenue to profits and even their number of employees or market share. For the purposes of this article, we will use market capitalisation as our measure. This is the market value of a publicly traded company’s outstanding shares, so calculated by multiplying the number of outstanding shares by the share price. Market capitalisation shows the equity value of a company and can be seen as a gauge of public opinion on a company’s value.
10 Largest US Companies
|Rank||Company||Market Capitalisation ($billions)*|
|8||Johnson & Johnson||466|
|9||Meta Platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Whatsup)||435|
*According to CompaniesMarketCap.com, as of 29/06/2002
Most of these companies you will likely recognise and will consume many of their products and services. We can see that four of these firms breach the one trillion-dollar mark and all firms being worth over $400 billion. The list is also clearly dominated by technology, finance, and electronic business firms.
1. Apple (AAPL)
Taking the number one spot on our list is Apple being the only US company with a market capitalisation of over two trillion USD. As you will be aware, Apple is a hardware and software developer that innovates and develops all kinds of technology and operating systems, specifically consumer technology such as smartphones and computers.
Apple was founded in 1976 by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne, going public in 1980, finding success through the development and production of its early computers. In 1985 power struggles between executives lead Wozniak to step back and Jobs to resign founding NeXT. This led to a rough period for Apple through the 1990s as they lost market share to Microsoft, nearing bankruptcy in 1997 where they purchased NeXT and brought Jobs back. Over the next few decades Apple began to dominate, powered by the innovation of new products such as the iPod, iPhone, and iMac.
Apple is often listed as one of the most valuable brands in the world, benefiting from the high level of brand loyalty it has established with its consumers through its high quality, easy to use products powered by their own operating systems. One key part of Apple’s strategy that has allowed it to grow so substantially is its purchase of small tech companies, such as Beats Electronics, Anobit Technologies, Dialog Semiconductor and NeXT along with multiple others. These allow Apple to easily integrate elements from these companies into their product
The CEO of Apple is Tim Cook, taking over from Steve Jobs in 2011. The company employs over 154,000 people, as of 2021, having 519 retail stores worldwide.
2. Microsoft (MSFT)
Another tech giant, Microsoft is the second largest company in the US. They develop and provide software and technological services, such as their computer operating system Windows, along with cloud solutions, the search engine Bing and applications like Word. They also produce some hardware technology like their personnel computer and other consumer electronics. In recent years the Microsoft have also looked to invest and develop in potential future markets such as artificial, mixed reality and other related areas.
Their main competitor is the previously discussed Apple, who they have been competing against since not long after their inception to the present day. Much like Apple, Microsoft has made multiple corporate acquisitions over the years in order to expand. Microsoft tend to have a slightly different approach, having purchased some much higher valued companies, such as LinkedIn and Skype technologies. These companies have then been run by Microsoft, continuing in the same markets, opposed to being integrated into the product line like for Apple.
The current Microsoft headquarters is in Redmond, Washington in the US, with the company being founded in 1975 by Bill Gates and Paul Allen. Steve Ballmer replaced the former as CEO in 2000 and preceded to expand the company towards a “devices and services” strategy. They produced their first personal computer in 2012 even acquired Nokia’s devices and services division to produce their first mobile phone.
3. Alphabet (GOOG)
Alphabet Inc, formerly Google LLC, comes in third on our list. The company was founded in 1988 as simply search engine company and did not go public until 2004. Google has changed how the public views information and has dominated the search engine market, while since expanding into other technological markets.
In 2015, Google was restructured to become Alphabet, a technology conglomerate, becoming a parent company and unifying the company’s widening ventures and product lines. The goal of this, according to CEO at the time, Larry Page, was to improve “transparency and oversight” of the company’s actions.
Google manages multiple digital platforms and services, with the most prominent being its search engine, but also its internet browser Chrome, YouTube, Android, Gmail and multiple other internet services. Alphabet also has an Other Bets division comprised of early-stage businesses, most of which produce their revenue from some form of technological service. They have also looked to innovate in rising industries, investing heavily in self driving vehicles through Waymo and the Stadia cloud gaming system.
4. Amazon (AMZN)
The Fourth largest company in the US is Amazon. When it was founded by Jeff Bezos in 1994 Amazon was an online marketplace solely for books. In the years since the business has expanded significantly in not just size, but crucially the diversity of products it provides. In the present day it is a global leader in e-commerce, with its online marketplace providing a range of products from electronics to apparel and even food and furniture, mostly supplied by other merchants.
Recently, Amazon has expanded further to be a major player in cloud computing, providing online services to many consumers, such as its streaming and music subscription services and is even investing into artificial intelligence. Amazon has undoubtably changed how consumers go about making purchases and is now the largest retailer in the world outside of China.
Amazon’s headquarters is based in Seattle, Washington, with CEO Andy Jassy leading the company since he took over the role from founder Bezos in 2021.
5. Tesla (TSLA)
Fifth on our list and the world’s largest auto manufacturer by market capitalisation is Tesla. The company was founded in 2003 by Marc Tarpenning and Martin Eberhand, with Elon Musk investing in the company and becoming chairman the year after. Tesla’s name is from the physicist Nikola Tesla and the company was taken public in 2010, with Musk as the largest shareholder to this day.
Originally, Tesla was a producer of fully electronic vehicles, but under Musk’s guidance has also moved into related markets, such as providing vehicle services and charging stations. More recently the company has been at the forefront of developing and innovating more advanced energy storage and energy generation products. These range from home up to grid scale, with products such as solar panels and solar roof tiles, with these advancements potentially being used in all sorts of future technology.
Musk states the goal of Tesla is to help facilitate a quicker move to sustainable transport and energy, via electric cars and solar energy. The business is expanding, with an 87% increase in sales in 2021.
6. Berkshire Hathaway (BRK-B)
Coming in sixth we have Berkshire Hathaway which is unlike any of the companies seen previously on our list. This is because it is a multinational conglomerate holding company, meaning that its main business is to hold a controlling interest in securities of other companies, these happened to be in different industries and across nations.
The company was founded in 1839 but become famous through the savvy investing of Warren Buffett who acquired the company over fifty years ago. He made Berkshire Hathaway into a holding company by diverting cash flows away from the main business to investments in other, originally buying up troubled businesses, helping turn them around and continues to play a key role as the company’s chairman and CEO to this day.
In 2022 Berkshire Hathaway wholly owns many large businesses such as GEICO, Fruit of the Loom, Dairy Queen and Duracell along with many others. It also holds significant minorities in other companies such as The Coca-Cola Company (9.32%), American Express (18.8%), Bank of America (11.9%), Apple (5.56%) and Kraft Heinz Company (26.7%)
7. United Health (UNH)
UnitedHealth Group comes in at the number seven spot on our list. It is a managed healthcare and insurance company, meaning its purpose is to provide more affordable and higher quality healthcare for its customers.
The company was founded as Charter Med Incorporated in 1974 by Richard Taylor Burke and reorganised into the United Health Care Corporation in 1977. Today it is the world’s largest healthcare company in terms of revenue, creating this from premiums it receives from risk-based products along with the sale of healthcare products, fees from the services it provides and its investments.
UnitedHealth Group has over 130 million customers worldwide and employs over 300,000 people
8. Johnson & Johnson (JNJ)
Eighth on our list is the pharmaceutical company Johnson and Johnson. They provide and develop medical devices, consumer products and pharmaceuticals in over 175 countries. The company was founded in 1886 and is based in New Jersey, now having 250 subsidiary companies operating under its corporate umbrella. These companies provide many well-known healthcare products such as Band-Aid bandages, Johnson’s baby products, Tylenol medications, Listerine along with many more consumer and professional products.
Johnson and Johnson have been extremely prominent over the previous few years as they were one of the main COVID-19 vaccine providers in the US. In November 2021 the company made an announcement that they would split into two companies, one focused on pharmaceuticals and medical technology and the other on consumer products.
9. Meta Platforms (META)
Formerly known as Facebook and was founded in 2004 by four students still studying at Harvard University. One of these founders, Mark Zuckerberg, is still CEO of the company. Meta is the last of the Big Five American information technology companies, with the other four, Apple, Microsoft, Alphabet and Amazon appearing at the very top of this list. Its original business Facebook is the largest social media network in the world from which it has expanded, creating and purchasing other networking apps, such as Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger.
The main purpose of Meta’s applications is as a social media network to interact with friends and family online, however in the present day they are often also used by businesses and political organisations to touch a large audience. The company is reliant on advertising with 97.5% of its revenue being generated by it in 2021.
10. Visa (V)
Taking up the last spot in our top ten is the financial service corporation Visa. Its main business is by providing funds to individuals electronically via their own branded debit, credit, and prepaid cards. Visa is different in the way that it does not issue its cards, set rates, or extend credit to consumers. Instead, they provide their electronic payment products to financial institutions, who then use these to offer consumers debit, credit, or prepaid programs, with the rates and credit set.
Visa was launched originally as BankAmericard by Bank of America in 1958. It was a credit card program launched as a response to their long-time competitor Master Charge, now Mastercard. In 1970 Bank of America gave up control of the program, being formed into a consortium with other issuing banks, with it being renamed Visa in 1976.
We hope you have come away more knowledgeable about the Top 10 Largest US Companies by Market Capitalisation, and if you are keen to know more about trading these stocks with Hantec Markets, you can learn more here.
If you liked this post, you might also want to check out our Top-10 largest non-US companies by market capitalisation.
Also, we recommend you to find out with our Trader’s Guide to the 10 Major Global Economies by GDP.