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America’s Most Valuable Company Every Year Since 1995

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See this visualization first on the Voronoi app.

A bar chart presenting the history of America's most valuable public company from 1995 to 2023.

America’s Most Valuable Company Every Year Since 1995

This was originally posted on our Voronoi app. Download the app for free on iOS or Android and discover incredible data-driven charts from a variety of trusted sources.

Over the last three decades, the growth of tech companies has driven a shift in the ranking of the most valuable companies in the United States.

In this graphic, we utilize data from the American Business History Center to present the history of America’s most valuable public company from 1995 to 2023. Valuations are for March 31 of that year, and are not adjusted for inflation.

The Surge of Tech Giants

In the early 1990s, the top rank was dominated by General Electric. The centenary company held a significant presence in the market with its various divisions, encompassing aerospace, power, renewable energy, digital industry, and finance.

In 1999, however, GE was surpassed by Microsoft. In that year, Bill Gates’ company launched its first online store, and Internet Explorer 5.0 was introduced, followed by more than 1 million downloads of the new version in less than a week.

YearCompanyMarket Cap (as of Q1)
1995General Electric$93,322 billion
1996General Electric$126,523 billion
1997General Electric$169,388 billion
1998General Electric$260,147 billion
1999Microsoft$418,579 billion
2000Microsoft$492,462 billion
2001General Electric$407,054 billion
2002General Electric$401,499 billion
2003Microsoft$266,037 billion
2004General Electric$329,240 billion
2005ExxonMobil$392,636 billion
2006ExxonMobil$372,792 billion
2007ExxonMobil$425,795 billion
2008ExxonMobil$455,929 billion
2009ExxonMobil$345,815 billion
2010ExxonMobil$314,154 billion
2011ExxonMobil$411,638 billion
2012Apple$568,615 billion
2013Apple$415,683 billion
2014Apple$479,069 billion
2015Apple$724,773 billion
2016Apple$604,304 billion
2017Apple$753,718 billion
2018Apple$851,318 billion
2019Microsoft$904,861 billion
2020Microsoft$1.199 trillion
2021Apple$2.050 trillion
2022Apple$2.849 trillion
2023Apple$2.609 trillion

Both Microsoft and GE competed for the top spot from 2000 to 2004. However, after 2005, ExxonMobil held the position for seven years. Following the 1998 Exxon and Mobil $74 billion merger agreement, the largest oil company in the world benefited from increasing gas prices over that period.

Since 2012, however, the ranking has been dominated by Apple. Boosted by the success of its iPhone line, its biggest cash cow, the company was only behind Microsoft in 2019 and 2020 when concerns about COVID-driven supply chain shortages affected the iPhone maker’s stock price.

More recently, Microsoft briefly overtook Apple as the world’s most valuable company in January 2024, after the iPhone maker’s shares had a weak start to the year due to growing concerns over demand in China.

Meanwhile, Microsoft’s shares rose sharply thanks to the early lead the company had taken in generative artificial intelligence through an investment in ChatGPT-maker OpenAI.

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Retail

The World’s Top Retail Companies, by Domestic Revenue

As price pressures and e-commerce reshape shopping behaviors, we show the top retail companies by domestic revenue around the world.

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This circle graphic shows the world's top retail companies by domestic revenue.

The World’s Top Retail Companies, by Domestic Revenue

This was originally posted on our Voronoi app. Download the app for free on iOS or Android and discover incredible data-driven charts from a variety of trusted sources.

The retail sector plays a vital role in powering economies, contributing $5.3 trillion annually to America’s GDP alone.

Moreover, the industry is America’s biggest private-sector employer, responsible for one of every four jobs, or 55 million employees. Yet in today’s challenging consumer environment, retailers are facing higher e-commerce penetration and inflationary pressures—across an industry notoriously known for razor-thin margins.

This graphic shows the world’s top retail companies by domestic revenue, based on data from the National Retail Federation.

Methodology

To be included in the rankings, companies must engage in a goods-for-consumer resale business accessible to the public and have direct selling operations in a minimum of three countries.

The rankings include both publicly and private companies, and are based on the most recent 52-week period analyzed by the National Retail Federation between January and March 2024. All revenue figures were converted to U.S. dollars.

Ranked: The Top 10 Global Retailers by Domestic Sales

Here are the leading retailers worldwide based on domestic sales as of 2023:

RankingRetailerDomestic Retail Revenue
(USD)
Share of Total Retail RevenueHeadquarters
1Walmart$532.3B85%🇺🇸 U.S.
2Amazon.com$250.0B70%🇺🇸 U.S.
3Costco$175.4B75%🇺🇸 U.S.
4The Home Depot$142.0B94%🇺🇸 U.S.
5Walgreens Boots Alliance$105.1B89%🇺🇸 U.S.
6Alibaba$91.5B97%🇨🇳 China
7Apple$70.9B87%🇺🇸 U.S.
8Aeon$64.3B93%🇯🇵 Japan
9Schwarz Group$56.5B32%🇩🇪 Germany
10Rewe$55.5B75%🇩🇪 Germany

Walmart towers ahead as the world’s largest retailer with $532 billion in domestic revenue—more than Amazon.com and Costco combined.

Known for its everyday low prices, Walmart achieves a competitive advantage through pricing goods approximately 25% cheaper than traditional retail competitors. Overall, groceries make up more than half of total sales. While its main customer base is often low and middle-income shoppers, the retail giant is seeing a surge in sales from higher-income customers as shoppers seek out lower grocery prices.

E-commerce giant, Amazon, is the second-biggest retailer globally, commanding nearly 40% of online retail sales in America. Since 2019, the number of Amazon employees has grown from 800,000 to over 1.5 million in 2023.

While the company has tried to introduce online grocery platforms to the market, it has largely fallen flat given its clunky system in a highly competitive market.

Like Amazon, China’s e-commerce juggernaut, Alibaba, stands as a leading global retailer. Overall, 97% of revenues were generated domestically through online marketplaces Taobao and Tmall. In recent years, the company has focused on international expansion, delivering products to 11 markets including America, in just five days.

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