The largest companies in the world, from IPO to now


To stay competitive, companies like Google and Amazon are constantly innovating and developing. The world’s biggest companies may still have the same name they went public with, but now things look very different under the hood.

They have experienced tremendous growth, as have their earnings. With a series of charts, Visual Capitalist illustrates the development of Apple, Amazon, Alphabet, Microsoft and Tesla since their IPO and how their sources of income have expanded.

Apple – from computers to consumer technology

Apple was listed on the stock exchange in 1980 at $22 per share. stock. In 1998, Apple was still called Apple Computer because the company then only sold computers and hardware. Over the next decade, the company expanded its product offering and began selling various consumer technology products such as phones, portable music players, and even tablets.

Apple’s consumer technology was so successful that in 2007 the company decided to continue under the Apple name. The company also generates revenue from services such as Apple TV and Apple Pay. The iPhone has since become the company’s biggest source of revenue. In 2021, Apple generated $94.7 billion in profit with a margin of 26%.

Today, the company is one of the few Big Tech companies that has been able to withstand the decline in value across the industry. With a market capitalization of more than $2 trillion, the company is worth about as much as Amazon, Alphabet and Meta combined. The stock has split a number of times, according to The Motley Fool, the stock has returned 175.361% from IPO to date.

Microsoft – in the clouds

Microsoft is one of the oldest companies on this list. The company went public in 1986 at a price of $21 per share. stock. At the time, the company only sold microprocessors and software, hence the name Micro-Soft.

The flagship operating system Windows is still one of the main sources of income, but the product range has become much wider. Now the revenue streams are pretty evenly split between cloud services (Azure), productivity tools (Office) and personal computing (Xbox and Windows OS). Since listing, the stock has delivered a return of 249.823%.

Amazon – from webshop to cloud provider

When Amazon went public in 1997, the webshop only sold books. You can get a share for $18 each. But in 1998, Amazon began to rapidly expand its product offering. Soon everything from CDs and toys to electronics and even tools were being sold.

Now, Amazon’s e-commerce segment is only a small part of the company’s overall business. Amazon offers cloud services (AWS), a supermarket chain (Amazon Fresh and Whole Foods), and a video streaming service (Prime Video). Cloud services in particular have become an important part of the business and account for no less than 74% of the company’s profits. Since listing, the stock has returned 98.587%.

Alphabet – he who seeks, finds

When Google went public in 2004, it was a simple search engine that generated about $1.4 billion in advertising revenue. An investor could enter for 85 USD per stock.

Today, the company is called Alphabet and accounts for an overwhelming majority of internet search traffic. As a result, it generates hundreds of billions in advertising revenue each year. The company also owns YouTube and is active in various sectors such as consumer technology (Fitbit) and premium streaming (YouTube Premium & TV). Alphabet (C shares, owned by the founders) has delivered a return of 238% since the IPO.

Tesla – more than cars

Tesla’s IPO took place in 2010, making it the youngest company on this list. At that time, a share cost 17 dollars. As a young company, Tesla’s revenue streams haven’t changed as drastically as the others. Electric cars are still the company’s most important source of income.

In the past 10 years, Tesla has expanded its activities significantly. In 2021, for example, about $2.8 billion of the $53.8 billion in revenue came from energy generation and storage. According to The Motley Fool, the stock has returned 26.332% over the past 12 years.

See also: ‘Invest in Billionaire Companies’

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