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 and so has their revenue. 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 grown.

Apple – from computers to consumer technology

Apple went public 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 roughly the same 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 its 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 fairly evenly split between the cloud service (Azure), productivity tools (Office) and personal computing (Xbox and Windows OS). Since listing, the stock has returned 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). The 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 – who searches, finds

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

Today, the company is called Alphabet and accounts for an overwhelming majority of search traffic on the Internet. 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 returned 238% since its IPO.

Tesla – more than cars

Tesla went public in 2010, making it the youngest company on this list. A share then cost $17. As a young company, Tesla’s revenue stream hasn’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. For example, in 2021, approximately $2.8 billion of the $53.8 billion in revenue came from electricity 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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