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Trillion-dollar companies: what are they and which is next?

Altogether, the five big tech or ‘GAFAM’ companies that dominate the market generate over $800bn in revenue per year. These all surpassed the $1tn market capitalisation mark in the last five years. Continue reading to discover which companies are in the trillion-dollar club and which are on schedule to be next.

What was the first trillion-dollar company?

The first publicly traded company to reach a valuation of one trillion dollars was tech giant Apple in August 2018. It was also the first company to surpass the $2tn mark in August 2020. Four more companies based in the United States have since followed and surpassed a $1trn market cap.

There are also a couple of companies that have reached the trillion-dollar mark but have since deteriorated in performance or are unavailable for everyday traders to access, which we will discuss further on.

List of trillion-dollar companies worldwide

CompanyMarket capSectorDate achieved
Microsoft$2.53tnInformation Technology7 June 2019
Apple$2.47tnInformation Technology2 August 2018
Alphabet$1.96tnInformation Technology16 January 2020
Amazon$1.83tnConsumer Discretionary4 September 2018
Tesla$1.05tnConsumer Discretionary25 October 2021
Meta$921.1bnInformation Technology28 June 2021

This data is taken from Yahoo Finance and is up to date as of November 2021. Please remember that past performance is not a reliable indicator for future results.

Microsoft [MSFT]

Microsoft was founded in 1975 by Bill Gates and Paul Allen and quickly became a market leader in consumer electronics, computer software, and related services. It is perhaps best known for inventing the line of operating systems, Microsoft Windows, as well as the Microsoft Office suite, and Internet Explorer browser.

According to financial reports, Azure, its cloud computing business, is the largest source of revenue for the business, as well as the fastest growing. Since the arrival of CEO Satya Nadella in 2014, Microsoft’s share price has soared almost tenfold from $35 to $305 in 2021, and its valuation is up more than 230%.

Apple [AAPL]

As the first company to surpass the $1tn mark in August 2018, the iPhone maker had reported strong financial results the day before, resulting in a share price jump. It then experienced a few dips, dropping to $800bn by the end of the year, but was followed by a rally in 2019, pushing the stock to new highs.

With a market capitalisation of more than $2.4tn, Apple is catching up with the value of the UK economy, which measured out to approximately $2.67tn of GDP in 2020, according to the Office of National Statistics (ONS). It is the world’s largest tech company by revenue, selling more than 217 million iPhones per year, according to Statista.

Alphabet [GOOGL]

The parent company of the world’s most popular search engine by visitors, Google, made it into the trillion-dollar club at the start of 2020. It went on to grow by almost $270bn throughout 2020. The company’s core business has always been Google, which includes search, advertising, YouTube and Android.

However, the development of the Alphabet holding company introduced exploration of artificial intelligence (AI), autonomous cars, package delivery drones and more revenue-generating areas. In particular, Alphabet now competes against Microsoft and Amazon with its cloud division, which doubled its revenue run rate from $1bn to $2bn per quarter between 2018 and 2019.

Amazon [AMZN]

Despite being founded in 1994 as an online bookstore, Amazon is now an e-commerce leader and has since entered the cloud computing, streaming and artificial intelligence (AI) industries, allowing the company to reach record highs.

In particular, the Coronavirus pandemic helped to accelerate Amazon’s valuation and share price between 2020 and 2021. According to Forbes, the company gained more than $570bn in market cap and a 63% share price increase between the start of the pandemic and Autumn 2020. If this growth continues in the near future, Amazon could be on track to reach a $2tn valuation along with its other two peers.

Tesla [TSLA]

Electric car giant Tesla became the sixth official US company to join the trillion-dollar club on 25 October 2021, overtaking Meta’s market cap. Although it is now ranked 5th on the S&P 500 in terms of market capitalisation, it is in 89th place when ranked by 2020 annual revenues, which is the lowest on this list, according to Bloomberg.

Tesla’s valuation was boosted in October by an order for 100,000 vehicles by car rental company Hertz, skyrocketing the EV’s share price by almost 13% to reach a milestone $1tn market cap. It comes at a time when the demand for electric cars is at an all-time high and Tesla’s product offering has become even more mainstream than gas-powered vehicles.

Meta [FB]

Meta Platforms, formerly trading as Facebook Inc, was the fifth company to join the trillion-dollar club in July 2021, dipping in and out briefly. It is the youngest company of the list, founded only in 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg. It shortly lost a portion of its valuation after peaking, although it is still included on this list as it may be able to recover its $1tn market cap in the last few months of 2021.

How to trade on the trillion-dollar club

  1. Open a live account to spread bet or trade CFDs on our derivative versions of the five trillion-dollar stocks, and to access our Morningstar equity reports and live Reuters news feed.
  2. Decide which product you want to trade by reading our debate on spread betting vs CFDs.
  3. Depending on your strategy, place a buy or sell order to open a long or short position.
  4. Don’t forget to place risk-management controls to the chart, such as stop-loss orders, which can help to close you out of trades where there is market volatility or slippage.
  5. If you’re interested in more than one company on this list, you could look into our Big Tech share basket, which allows you to speculate on multiple stocks including AAPL, MSFT and FB using a single position. This also comes with lower holding costs and zero commission fees (other charges may still apply), so find out more.
Explore our thematic baskets

Themes including Driverless Cars, Big Tech, Automation & Robotics, and more

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Other $1trn companies not included in this list

The validity of the trillion-dollar club is debated, as there are other non US-based companies that have reportedly hit a similar valuation, but are almost impossible to trade in the stock market, or have since dropped in value. We take a look at these below.

Saudi Aramco

On its first ever day of trading on 11 December 2019, Saudi Aramco received a valuation of $1.88tn, making it the largest IPO in history. On the following day, it rose to above $2tn, making it the first ever company to achieve this feat.

The company is one of the most profitable in the world according to revenue and was the fourth company to official register a trillion-dollar valuation. However, it is listed on the Saudi Stock Exchange (Tadawul), which makes it almost impossible to access if you are a retail trader.

PetroChina

PetroChina was the world’s first trillion-dollar company back in November 2007, after it reached a valuation of $1.19tn following a successful IPO on the Shanghai Stock Exchange. However, following the global financial crisis and collapse of oil prices, the company’s value plummeted to below $260bn by the end of 2007.

According to Bloomberg, PetroChina’s downfall was the largest destruction of shareholder wealth in history. As of October 2021, it has a market capitalisation of around $160bn, which is approximately 1/7 of its original valuation.

What will be the next trillion-dollar company?

There are several companies that could potentially join the trillion-dollar club in the near future, with growing market capitalisations and annual revenues. Below are some companies that are following in the footsteps of their rivals and showing substantial growth year-on-year.

CompanyMarket capSector
Berkshire Hathaway [BRK]$634.43bnFinancials
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co [TSM]$567.04bnInformation Technology
Tencent [0700]$557.57bnInformation Technology
NVIDIA [NVDA]$515.84bnInformation Technology
Spread bet on over 9,000 stocks

The recurring theme throughout this article is that the majority of companies belong to the technology sector. This includes companies that produce software and services, manufacture hardware and equipment, and develop semiconductors.

Given the emphasis in modern society on technology development, this doesn’t come as a surprise, although there are other companies in the pipeline that could receive trillion-dollar valuations that are outside of this sector, including Visa (financials), JP Morgan Chase (financials) and Johnson & Johnson (healthcare), as well as Tesla and Berkshire Hathaway mentioned in the table above.

FAQs

Are there any two trillion-dollar companies?

Companies that have surpassed the $2tn mark include Apple [AAPL] and Microsoft [MSFT], which are both available to trade on via spread bets and CFDs using our platform. Visit the instrument pages to find out more about margins, costs, and trading hours.

Have any UK companies passed the trillion-dollar mark?

There are currently no UK companies that have joined the trillion-dollar club. Some of the UK’s biggest companies by market cap include AstraZeneca, Linde and HSBC, although these have a long way to go before potentially reaching a $1tn valuation.

Who will be the first three trillion-dollar company?

There is no way of knowing for sure, but based on current valuations and annual revenues, it is likely that Apple will be the first to join the three trillion-dollar club. According to analysts at Citigroup and Wedbush, the company could high record new highs as early as 2022.


CMC Markets is an execution-only service provider. The material (whether or not it states any opinions) is for general information purposes only, and does not take into account your personal circumstances or objectives. Nothing in this material is (or should be considered to be) financial, investment or other advice on which reliance should be placed. No opinion given in the material constitutes a recommendation by CMC Markets or the author that any particular investment, security, transaction or investment strategy is suitable for any specific person. The material has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research. Although we are not specifically prevented from dealing before providing this material, we do not seek to take advantage of the material prior to its dissemination.

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