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Largest public companies by market capitalization (2000–2022)

The 10 largest public companies in the world have a combined market capitalization of $12 trillion As of July 2022.

Twenty years ago, however, the players that made up the list of the largest companies by market capitalization were radically different. As the years went by, new megatrends and market sentiment drove us to shuffle the decks again and again.

This racing bar chart Truman Du It shows how the ranking of the top 10 listed companies changed from 2000 to 2022.

Market capitalization and market value

Before we get to the point, keep in mind that market capitalization is just one of many metrics that can be used to assess a company’s value.

Simply put, Company market capitalization Measures the total value of a company’s outstanding shares. That is, the price someone would pay (in theory) if they wanted to buy the company outright at its current share price.

But while market capitalization provides insight into the value of a stock at a point in time, market price Much more complex and subtle. After all, the price paid may not reflect the true value of your business. Other metrics such as a company’s price-to-sales (P/S) ratio, price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio, or return on equity (ROE) can be considered to obtain a measure of value. increase.

Largest public companies by market capitalization (2000–2022)

Over the last 20 years, investor sentiment has shifted as various trends unfolded, and so have the types of companies supported by the market.

For example, in the very early 2000s, technology and telecommunications companies were big as investors were excited about the seemingly endless possibilities of the newly introduced World Wide Web.

Largest companies by market capitalization (January 1, 2000)

rank Company Market Capitalization (January 1, 2000)
#1 🇸 Microsoft $606 billion
#2 🇺🇸General Electric $508 billion
#3 🇯🇵 NTT DOCOMO $367 billion
#Four 🇸cisco $352 billion
#Five 🇺🇸 walmart $302 billion
#6 🇸 Intel $280 billion
#7 🇯🇵 Nippon Telegraph $271 billion
#8 🇫🇮Nokia $219 billion
#9 🇺🇸 Pfizer $206 billion
#Ten 🇩🇪 Deutsche Telekom $197 billion

During the dot-com bubble, investors were pouring money into internet tech startups. As PCs and the Internet became more ubiquitous, investors wanted these companies to be “early entrants” before they really started to turn a profit. This frenetic sentiment was reflected in the market capitalization of publicly traded companies at the time, especially technology and telecommunications companies that were seen as beneficiaries of the Internet boom.

Of course the dotcom bubble wasn’t means to continue, and by January 2004 the top 10 list seemed more diverse. At this point, Microsoft had lost the top spot to General Electric with a $309 billion market cap. Then, in the late 2000s, energy companies such as ExxonMobil, PetroChina, Gazprom and BP took over the list as oil prices soared well over $100 a barrel.

But fast forward to 2022 and we’ve come full circle. big tech Back in the spotlight.

Largest Companies by Market Capitalization (July 1, 2022)

rank Company Market capitalization (July 1, 2022)
#1 🇸🇦 Saudi Aramco $2.27 trillion
#2 🇺🇸 Apple $2.25 trillion
#3 🇸 Microsoft $1.94 trillion
#Four 🇺🇸 Alphabet $1.43 trillion
#Five 🇸Amazon $1.11 trillion
#6 🇸 Tesla $707 billion
#7 🇺🇸 Berkshire Hathaway $612 billion
#8 🇺🇸 United Health Group $485 billion
#9 🇸 Johnson & Johnson $472 billion
#Ten 🇨🇳 Tencent $435 billion

Four of the top five companies are technology companies, with Tencent also on the list. Tesla, on the other hand, is classified as a car company. “Car Internet” Company by many investors.

Top 10 big picture trends by market cap list

Year explanation Top Companies (Market Capitalization USD) Top 10 explained
the year of 2000 dot com bubble Microsoft ($606B) A mix of technology/telecom companies
2004 after bubble GE ($309 billion) Diverse company composition by industry
2009 economic crisis PetroChina ($367B) 6 non-U.S. companies on the list
2014 $100 oil Apple ($560 billion) Last year on the oil-led list.technology begins to rise
2022 big tech era Aramco ($2,270B)* 80% of the top five companies are tech companies

*As of July 1, 2022. Since then, Saudi Aramco has been overtaken by Apple again due to a reversal in oil prices.


Signs point to potential amid political issues such as rising interest rates, devastating inflation and ongoing conflict in Ukraine global recessionTech companies did well during the COVID-19 pandemic, but they won’t be immune to the general economic slowdown.

It will be interesting to see how things play out in 2023 and which companies (if any) can stay on top during the turmoil.

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