What Is the Richest Company in the World? 10 Biggest Stocks in 2024

They are members of an exclusive club: Companies that have become international powerhouses with market capitalizations of more than $1 trillion.

US technology giant Apple (AAPL) became the first trillion-dollar company in recent history when it passed the milestone figure in the summer of 2018.

But now, six more businesses have found themselves in this elite group after seeing their stock prices rise significantly over the last few years.

Here, we reveal the largest companies in the world, how they make their annual revenue, and consider whether it’s worth investing in them.

Key Takeaways

  • Seven companies had a market capitalization of more than $1 trillion as the US stock market closed on March 14, 2024.
  • There are different ways to crown the richest companies. The Forbes list considers sales, profits, assets, and market value.
  • Microsoft (MSFT) has overtaken Apple as the biggest company in the world and credits artificial intelligence for helping drive its business.
  • Berkshire Hathaway (BRK-B), TSMC (TSM), and Eli Lilly (LLY) are the next biggest companies on the outskirts of the trillion-dollar club.
  • Analysts warn you must research prospective investments in these stocks as there’s a risk that their valuations may have soared too high.

Largest Companies by Market Cap in 2024

Of course, there are several ways to establish what the richest company in the world is. For example, the Forbes list considers sales, profits, assets, and market value.

In the most recent edition, published in June 2023, US investment bank JPMorgan came top of the pile, followed by major oil company Saudi Aramco.

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Here, we have compiled a list of the largest companies by market cap.

Company Name Ticker  Sector Market Capitalization  Country
Microsoft  MSFT Technology $3.159 trillion United States
Apple  AAPL Technology $2.669 trillion United States
Nvidia NVDA Technology $2.188 trillion United States
Saudi Aramco 2222.SR Energy $2.017 trillion Saudi Arabia
Amazon AMZN Consumer Discretionary $1.843 trillion United States
Alphabet (Google) GOOG Technology $1.775 trillion United States
Meta Platforms  META Technology $1.261 trillion United States
Berkshire Hathaway  BRK-B Financials $879.70 billion United States
TSMC TSM Technology $728.23 billion Taiwan
Eli Lilly and Company LLY Healthcare $721.29 billion United States

Source: CompaniesMarketCap, as the stock market closed on March 14, 2024

1. Microsoft (MSFT) – $3.159 Trillion

The US tech giant now tops the list of most valuable companies. It recently announced an 18% increase in second-quarter revenue to $62 billion  – partly thanks to the rise in artificial intelligence.

Satya Nadella, its chairman and CEO, said:

“By infusing AI across every layer of our tech stack, we’re winning new customers and helping drive new benefits and productivity gains across every sector.”

Microsoft Market Cap: $3.159 trillion
Revenue: $227.583 billion for the 12 months to December 31, 2023
Gross Profit: $158.735bn for the 12 months to December 31, 2023
Year Founded: 1975
Current CEO: Satya Nadella

2. Apple (AAPL) – $2.669 Trillion

It’s been a tough period for Apple, which has been hit with a €1.8 billion fine ($1.97 billion) from the European Commission for allegedly stifling competition from rival music streamers.

The problems have caused its stock price to slip 7.5% from $185.11 in early January to $171.13 as the market closed on March 13, 2024. However, Apple market cap is still at $2.669 trillion.

Apple Market Cap: $2.669 trillion
Revenue: $385.706 billion for the 12 months to December 31, 2023
Gross Profit: $173.671 billion for the 12 months to December 31, 2023
Year Founded: 1976
Current CEO: Tim Cook

3. Nvidia (NVDA) – $2.188 Trillion

The US company, which is a leading name in artificial intelligence computing, recently announced a 265% increase in fourth-quarter revenues to $22.1billion.

Founder Jensen Huang delighted analysts even more by predicting that revenues for the current quarter were expected to hit a remarkable $24 billion.

Nvidia Market Cap: $2.188 trillion
Revenue: $44.87bn for the twelve months ending October 31, 2023
Gross Profit:  $31.34bn for the twelve months ending October 31, 2023
Year Founded: 1993
Current CEO: Jensen Huang

4. Saudi Aramco (2222.SR) – $2.017 Trillion

The Saudi Arabian company, the world’s largest oil and gas business, saw net income fall $39.8 billion to $121.3 billion in 2023 from $161.1 billion the year before.

It attributed the decline to lower crude oil prices and volumes sold, as well as reduced refining and chemicals margins, but pointed out it was still Aramco’s second-highest-ever net income.

Saudi Aramco Market Cap: $2.017 trillion
Revenue: $440.8 billion for the 12 months ending December 31, 2023
Income (Before Taxes): $236.8 billion for the 12 months ending December 31, 2023
Year Founded: 1993
Current CEO: Amin H. Nasser

5. Amazon (AMZN) – $1.843 Trillion

The e-commerce giant, which reported strong fourth-quarter results, has seen its stock price rise 18% this year to $176.55 as the market closed on March 13, 2024.

It has also recently joined the prestigious Dow Jones Industrial Average – one of Wall Street’s most exclusive indexes – that consists of 30 high-profile companies.

Amazon Market Cap: $1.843 trillion
Revenue: $574.785 billion for the 12 months ending December 31, 2023
Gross Profit: $270.046 billion for the 12 months ending December 31, 2023
Year Founded: 1994
Current CEO: Andy Jassy

6. Alphabet (GOOG) – $1.775 Trillion

Google’s parent company has endured a fairly lackluster start to the year, with analysts disappointed by its advertising revenues and unsettled by the costs of powering its artificial intelligence plans.

However, CEO Sundar Pichai has high hopes for Gemini, the company’s sophisticated AI model that he believes sets a “new state of the art” in text, image, audio, and video benchmarks.

Alphabet (Google) Market Cap: $1.775 trillion
Revenue: $307.4 billion for the twelve months ending December 31, 2023
Gross Profit: $174.1 billion for the twelve months ending December 31, 2023
Year Founded: 2015 (Google founded in 1998)
Current CEO: Sundar Pichai

7. Meta Platforms (META) – $1.261 Trillion

This is the final member on our list of trillion-dollar companies. The company, which has announced a surprise maiden dividend, has seen its share price rocket almost 42% in 2024.

The company stated in its press release:

“We intend to pay a cash dividend on a quarterly basis going forward, subject to market conditions and approval by our board of directors.”

Meta Platforms Market Cap: $1.261 trillion
Revenue: $134.9 billion for the twelve months ending December 31, 2023
Gross Profit: $108.9 billion for the twelve months ending December 31, 2023
Year Founded: 2004
Current CEO: Mark Zuckerberg

8. Berkshire Hathaway (BRK-B) – $879.70 Billion

Billionaire investor Warren Buffett’s conglomerate, which is on the outskirts of the trillion-dollar club, has seen its net earnings soar to more than $96.2 billion in 2023.

However, in his letter to shareholders, Buffett warned only a handful of US companies were capable of “moving the needle” and warned there was “no possibility of eye-popping performance.”

Berkshire Hathaway Market Cap: $879.70 billion
Revenue: $349.24 billion for the twelve months ending September 30, 2023
Gross Profit: $273.1 billion for the twelve months ending September 30, 2023
Year Founded: 1839
Current CEO: Warren Buffett

9. TSMC (TSM) – $728.23 Billion

TSMC – Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company – posted better results than had been expected due to the weaker macroeconomic conditions.

In US dollars, the chipmaker’s fourth-quarter revenue was $19.62 billion, which represented a fall of 1.5% year-over-year but an increase of 13.6% on the previous quarter.

TSMC Market Cap: $728.23 billion
Revenue: $67.5 billion for the twelve months ending September 30, 2023
Gross Profit: $38.5 billion for the twelve months ending September 30, 2023
Year Founded: 1987
Current CEO: C. C. Wei

10. Eli Lilly (LLY)  – $721.29 Billion

The drug maker is the final name on our list of companies with the largest market capitalization. It reported fourth-quarter revenue up 28%, while its stock price has also risen a similar amount in 2024 to $758.14, as the market closed on March 13, 2024.

The company has also just struck a deal that will allow Amazon’s online pharmacy business to dispense medication, including its popular weight loss injection pen.

Eli Lilly Market Cap: $721.29 billion
Revenue: $34.1 billion for the twelve months ending December 31, 2023
Gross Profit: $27 billion for the twelve months ending December 31, 2023
Year Founded: 1876
Current CEO: David A. Ricks

Should I Invest in the Richest Companies in the World?

5-Year Stock Performance for the Top 10 Largest Companies by Market Cap.
5-Year Stock Performance for the Top 10 Largest Companies by Market Cap. Source: TradingView

The big question is: should you invest in the richest and biggest companies in the world?
There’s certainly a lot to like about some of these corporate giants, according to Danni Hewson, head of financial analysis at AJ Bell.

“They’ve delivered remarkable growth and incredible innovation,” she told Techopedia. “Many of them have been beneficiaries of the current AI boom that shows no signs of abating.”

Such a backdrop may cause investors to wonder why they shouldn’t invest when others are “clearly smitten”, she pointed out, but there are factors to consider.

Hewson explained:

“Picking a portfolio needs to be about more than the fear of missing out and investors must remember that valuations could have risen too high and that they might have missed that sweet spot when investing in those stocks seemed like a no-brainer.”

An alternative route could be buying an investment fund made up of a diverse portfolio of smaller start-ups with the “magic ingredient” that could make them future champions.

“Riding a wave can only last so long and it’s often better to jump in when things are just starting to swell rather than on the crest,” she added.

The Bottom Line

There’s a very good reason why companies have made it into the trillion-dollar club: they supply the goods and services that their customers need.

Their corporate achievements have resulted in stock market success, with investors eager to share in future developments of these businesses.

However, it’s crucial that you thoroughly research any prospective stocks before taking the plunge and investing your money.

For example, maybe their stock price has risen unsustainably high on the back of unrealistic growth expectations. After all, even experienced Wall Street analysts can be wrong.

Do your own research and always remember your investment decision depends on your attitude to risk, your expertise in the stock market, the spread of your portfolio, and how comfortable you feel about losing money.

The information in this article does not constitute investment advice and is meant for informational purposes only.

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References

  1. Apple becomes world’s first trillion-dollar company (Theguardian)
  2. The Global 2000 (Forbes)
  3. Press Release & Webcast (Microsoft)
  4. Microsoft Revenue 2010-2023 (Macrotrends)
  5. Apple hit with $2 billion EU antitrust fine in Spotify case (Reuters)
  6. Apple Revenue 2010-2023 | AAPL | MacroTrends (Macrotrends)
  7. Press Release Details (Investor.nvidia)
  8. VIDIA Revenue 2010-2023 | NVDA | MacroTrends (Macrotrends)
  9. Aramco announces full-year 2023 results (Aramco)
  10. Aramco (Aramco)
  11. AMAZON.COM ANNOUNCES FOURTH QUARTER RESULTS (S2.q4cdn)
  12. Amazon Revenue 2010-2023 | AMZN | MacroTrends (Macrotrends)
  13. The next chapter of our Gemini era (Blog)
  14. Alphabet Revenue 2010-2023 | GOOG | MacroTrends (Macrotrends)
  15. eta Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2023 Results; Initiates Quarterly Dividend (Prnewswire)
  16. Meta Platforms Revenue 2010-2023 | META | MacroTrends (Macrotrends)
  17. Berkshire March Toward $1 Trillion Value Stalls on Results (Bloomberg)
  18. BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY INC. NEWS RELEASE (Berkshirehathaway)
  19. BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY INC. 2023 ANNUAL REPORT  (Berkshirehathaway)
  20. Berkshire Hathaway Revenue 2010-2023 | BRK.A | MacroTrends (Macrotrends)
  21. TSMC Reports Fourth Quarter (Investor.tsmc)
  22. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Revenue 2010-2023 | TSM | MacroTrends (Macrotrends)
  23. Lilly Reports Strong Fourth-Quarter 2023 Financial Results and Provides 2024 Guidance (Prnewswire)
  24. Register for FREE to continue using Reuters.com (Reuters)
  25. Eli Lilly Revenue 2010-2023 | LLY | MacroTrends (Macrotrends)
  26. Companies ranked by earnings (Companiesmarketcap)
  27. Top companies in the world by revenue 2023 (Statista)
  28. U.S. 20 largest private companies 2023, by revenue (Statista)
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Rob Griffin
Financial Journalist

Rob is a seasoned journalist with over three decades of experience spanning across business and finance journalism. Before embarking on a freelance career in 2002, he contributed his expertise to the business desks of notable publications such as the The Guardian, Yorkshire Post, Sunday Business (now Business Post), and Sunday Express. Throughout his freelance journey, Rob has been a regular contributor to a wide range of national newspapers, consumer magazines, trade publications, and websites. His work has appeared in titles such as The Independent, Citywire, Daily Express, FT Adviser, and Sunday Telegraph, covering an array of subjects from market trends…