Chart: Here’s How 5 Tech Giants Make Their Billions
The Revenue Streams of the Five Largest Tech Companies
The Chart of the Week is a weekly Visual Capitalist feature on Fridays.
Last year, we published a chart showing that tech companies have displaced traditional blue chip companies like Exxon Mobil and Walmart as the most valuable companies in the world.
Here are the latest market valuations for those same five companies:
|Rank||Company||Market Cap (Billions, as of May 11, 2017)||Primary Revenue Driver|
Together, they are worth $2.9 trillion in market capitalization – and they combined in FY2016 for revenues of $555 billion with a $94 billion bottom line.
Bringing Home the Bacon?
Despite all being at the top of the stock market food chain, the companies are at very different stages.
In 2016, Apple experienced its first annual revenue decline since 2001, but the company brought home a profit equal to that of all other four companies combined.
On the other hand, Amazon is becoming a revenue machine with very little margin, while Facebook generates 5x more profit despite far smaller top line numbers.
|Company||2016 Revenue (Billions)||2016 Net Income (Billions)||Margin|
How They Make Their Billions
Each of these companies is pretty unique in how they generate revenue, though there is some overlap:
- Facebook and Alphabet each make the vast majority of their revenues from advertising (97% and 88%, respectively)
- Apple makes 63% of their revenue from the iPhone, and another 21% coming from the iPad and Mac lines
- Amazon makes 90% from its “Product” and “Media” categories, and 9% from AWS
- Microsoft is diverse: Office (28%), servers (22%), Xbox (11%), Windows (9%), ads (7%), Surface (5%), and other (18%)
Lastly, for fun, what if we added all these companies’ revenues together, and categorized them by source?
|Category||2016 Revenue (Millions)||% Total||Description|
|Hardware||$197,020||36%||iPhone, iPad, Mac, Xbox, Surface|
|Online Retail||$122,205||22%||Amazon (Product and Media Categories)|
|Advertising||$112,366||20%||Google, Facebook, YouTube, Bing ads|
|Cloud/Server||$31,396||6%||AWS, Microsoft Server, Azure|
|Other||$60,177||11%||Consulting, other services (iTunes, Google Play), etc.|
Note: this isn’t perfect. As an example, Amazon’s fast-growing advertising business gets lumped into their “Other” category.
Hardware, e-commerce, and and advertising make up 76% of all revenues.
Meanwhile, software isn’t the cash cow it used to be, but it does help serve as a means to an end for some companies. For example, Android doesn’t generate any revenue directly, but it does allow more users to buy apps in the Play Store and to search Google via their mobile devices. Likewise, Apple bundles in operating systems with each hardware purchase.
Ranked: America’s Largest Semiconductor Companies
This graphic visualizes the market capitalizations of America’s 15 largest semiconductor companies.
Ranking America’s Largest Semiconductor Companies
As our world moves further into an era of widespread digitization, few industries can be considered as important as semiconductors.
These components are found in almost everything we use on a daily basis, and the ability to produce them domestically has become a topic of national security. For example, in 2022 the Biden administration announced the CHIPS and Science Act, which aims to strengthen America’s position in everything from clean energy to artificial intelligence.
With this in mind, we’ve ranked the top 15 U.S. semiconductor companies by their market capitalizations.
Data and Highlights
The data we used to create this infographic is listed in the table below. Year-to-date (YTD) returns were included for additional context. Both metrics are as of May 30, 2023.
|Rank||Company||Ticker||Market Cap (USD billions)||YTD Return|
|13||Marvell Technology Group||MRVL||$54||76.2%|
At the top is Nvidia, which became America’s newest $1 trillion company on Tuesday, May 30th. Shares pulled back slightly over the day and Nvidia closed at $992 billion. Over the past decade, Nvidia has transformed from a gaming-focused graphics card producer to a global leader in AI and data center chips.
In third and sixth place are two of America’s most well known chipmakers, AMD and Intel. These longtime rivals are moving in opposite trajectories, with AMD shares climbing 770% over the past five years, and Intel shares falling 47%. One reason for this is the data center segment, in which AMD appears to be stealing market share from Intel.
Further down the list we see Applied Materials in seventh, and Lam Research in ninth. Both firms specialize in semiconductor manufacturing equipment and thus play an important role in the industry’s supply chain.
Trade War Impacts
As tensions between the U.S. and China escalate, chipmakers are becoming increasingly entangled in geopolitical conflict.
In October 2022, the Biden administration introduced new export controls aimed at blocking China’s access to semiconductors produced with U.S. equipment. This impacted several companies in our top 15 list, including Lam Research and Applied Materials.
Shortly after the export controls were announced, Lam Research said it expected to lose upwards of $2.5 billion in annual revenues.
We lost some very profitable customers in the China region, and that’s going to persist, obviously.
– Doug Bettinger, CFO, Lam Research
In response, China announced in May 2023 that it would no longer allow America’s largest memory chipmaker, Micron, to sell its products to “critical national infrastructure operators”.
This is not the first time Micron has been involved in a controversy with China. In 2018, the firm alleged that Fujian Jinhua Integrated Circuit, a Chinese state-owned company, had solicited a Micron employee to steal specifications for memory chips. The U.S. Department of Commerce imposed export restrictions on Fujian Jinhua as a result.
Chipmakers on both sides of the Pacific will be closely watching as competition between these two countries heats up.
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