A Look at How the Largest Market-Cap Companies Have Changed

A recent article in Visual Capitalist reflects on how the make-up of the world’s largest companies has changed over the past twenty years through a series of charts and explains, “as the broader market narrative changes, so goes the list of the world’s largest companies.”

The charts, ordered by market capitalization of the 10 largest public companies in the world in the second quarter of each year (over five-year intervals) offers a “series of snapshots of what the market was ‘thinking’ during these specific periods.”

“Not only is it evident as certain industries rise to prominence,” the article reports, “but there are also some interesting individual stories to follow. We can see iconic companies—such as Apple–ascend into the public consciousness, while others fall off the radar completely.”

The article points out that, by comparison, today’s list of the largest public companies is dominated by tech, and that, last year, the five largest companies represented a combined $801.5 billion in revenue and $139 billion in net income:

The article concludes, “With a valuation today of just over $1 trillion, Microsoft is again the world’s largest company by market capitalization. In this way, the above lists come full circle, since Microsoft was also the biggest company in 1999.”