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The Most Valuable Companies of All-Time

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Dutch East India Company compared

Chart: The Most Valuable Companies of All-Time

The Chart of the Week is a weekly Visual Capitalist feature on Fridays.

Before speculative bubbles could form around Dotcom companies (late-1990s) or housing prices (mid-2000s), some of the first financial bubbles formed from the prospect of trading with faraway lands.

Looking back, it’s pretty easy to see why.

Companies like the Dutch East India Company (known in Dutch as the VOC, or Verenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie) were granted monopolies on trade, and they engaged in daring voyages to mysterious and foreign places. They could acquire exotic goods, establish colonies, create military forces, and even initiate wars or conflicts around the world.

Of course, the very nature of these risky ventures made getting any accurate indication of intrinsic value nearly impossible, which meant there were no real benchmarks for what companies like this should be worth.

Speculative Peak

The Dutch East India Company was established as a charter company in 1602, when it was granted a 21-year monopoly by the Dutch government for the spice trade in Asia. The company would eventually send over one million voyagers to Asia, which is more than the rest of Europe combined.

However, despite its 200-year run as Europe’s foremost trading juggernaut – the speculative peak of the company’s prospects coincided with Tulip Mania in Holland in 1637.

Widely considered the world’s first financial bubble, the history of Tulip Mania is a fantastic story in itself. During this frothy time, the Dutch East India Company was worth 78 million Dutch guilders, which translates to a whopping $7.9 trillion in modern dollars.

This is according to sources such as Alex Planes from The Motley Fool, who has conducted extensive research on the history of very large companies in history.

Modern Comparisons

The peak value of the Dutch East India Company was so high, that it puts modern economies to shame.

In fact, at its height, the Dutch East India Company was worth roughly the same amount as the GDPs of modern-day Japan ($4.8T) and Germany ($3.4T) added together.

Even further, in today’s chart, we added the market caps of 20 of the world’s largest companies, such as Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, ExxonMobil, Berkshire Hathaway, Tencent, and Wells Fargo. All of them combined gets us to $7.9 trillion.

At the same time, the world’s most valuable company (Apple) only makes it to 11% of the peak value of the Dutch East India Company by itself.

Historic Heavyweights

Despite the speculation that fueled the run-up of Dutch East India Company shares, the company was still successful in real terms. At one point, it even had 70,000 employees – a massive accomplishment for a company born over 400 years ago.

The same thing can’t be said for the other two most valuable companies in history – both of which were the subject of simultaneous bubbles occurring in France and Britain that popped in 1720.

In France, the wealth of Louisiana was exaggerated in a marketing scheme for the newly formed Mississippi Company, and its value temporarily soared to the equivalent of $6.5 trillion today. Meanwhile, a joint-stock company in Britain, known as the South Sea Company, was granted a monopoly to trade with South America. It was eventually worth $4.3 trillion in modern currency.

Interestingly, both would barely engage in any actual trade with the Americas.

The other historic heavyweights included in our chart?

  • Saudi Aramco, at $4.1 trillion, based on calculations by University of Texas finance professor Sheridan Titman in 2010, and adjusted for inflation.
  • PetroChina surpassed $1 trillion in market cap in 2007. Adjusted for inflation that’s $1.4 trillion today.
  • Standard Oil, before its famous breakup due to monopolistic reasons, was worth at least $1 trillion. Adjusted for inflation it would likely be more, but we kept this conservative.
  • Microsoft reached its peak valuation in 1999, at the top of the Dotcom Bubble. Today, that would be equal to $912 billion.
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Sports

Ranked: Which NHL Team Takes Home the Most Revenue?

The Oilers are the second-highest earning team in the NHL and the Panthers are 26th. We show the top teams in the NHL by revenue in 2023.

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Visualization of NHL team revenues

Which NHL Team Takes Home the Most Revenues?

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.

This graphic shows every NHL team’s revenue from the 2022/23 season using data from Forbes, compiled by JP Morgan Asset Management.

Ranked: The Highest-Earning NHL Teams

As the final round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs wears on, two teams on different ends of the revenue spectrum face off.

Despite representing a much smaller city than the other teams at the top of the ranking, the Edmonton Oilers have the second highest revenue in the league at $281 million. The Oilers have seen the fastest revenue growth over the past five years (13%) as the team has improved.

Team2022-23 Season RevenueValuation
Toronto Maple Leafs$281M$2.8B
Edmonton Oilers$281M$1.9B
Los Angeles Kings$279M$2.0B
New York Rangers$265M$2.7B
Montreal Canadiens$265M$2.3B
New Jersey Devils$240M$1.5B
Boston Bruins$239M$1.9B
Vegas Golden Knights$233M$1.1B
Chicago Blackhawks$228M$1.9B
Philadelphia Flyers$219M$1.7B
Washington Capitals$218M$1.6B
Dallas Stars$210M$1.1B
Pittsburgh Penguins$207M$1.2B
Detroit Red Wings$199M$1.2B
Vancouver Canucks$198M$1.3B
Seattle Kraken$197M$1.2B
Tampa Bay Lightning$196M$1.3B
Minnesota Wild$185M$1.1B
St Louis Blues$184M$1.0B
New York Islanders$183M$1.6B
Calgary Flames$183M$1.1B
Colorado Avalanche$182M$1.2B
Nashville Predators$180M$1.0B
Carolina Hurricanes$177M$0.8B
Anaheim Ducks$164M$0.9B
Winnipeg Jets$162M$0.8B
Florida Panthers$161M$0.8B
Buffalo Sabres$159M$0.8B
San Jose Sharks$158M$0.9B
Columbus Blue Jackets$151M$0.8B
Ottawa Senators$128M$1.0B
Arizona Coyotes$120M$0.5B

In the 2022/23 season, the Florida Panthers pulled off a major upset in the first round of the playoffs and fought their way to the finals before losing to the Vegas Golden Knights.

Despite the success last season, the Panthers still find themselves in the bottom six in this ranking, with $161 million in revenue. The team also has the second lowest operating income in the league, after Ottawa. Florida is an emerging hockey market though, with revenue increasing 9% over the past five years.

Other Hockey Revenue Highlights

  • Along with the Oilers, the Toronto Maple Leafs sit at the top of the revenue ranking. There is a key difference though: the Maple Leafs have a higher valuation-to-revenue multiple (10x vs 6.6x).
  • Professional hockey remains attractive to advertisers. In the 2022/23 season, team-specific sponsorship revenue was 36% higher than in 2018/19.
  • The team with the lowest revenue, the Arizona Coyotes, will be moving to Utah next season.
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