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  1. List of public corporations by market capitalization. The following is a list of publicly traded companies having the greatest market capitalization. Market capitalization is calculated from the share price (as recorded on selected day) multiplied by the number of outstanding shares. Figures are converted into USD millions (using rate from ...

    Rank
    First Quarter
    Second Quarter
    Third Quarter
    1
    Apple 1,576,000
    Apple 1,981,000
    2
    Apple 1,113,000
    Microsoft 1,551,000
    Microsoft 1,592,000
    3
    Amazon 970,590
    Amazon 1,432,590
    Amazon 1,577,000
    4
    Alphabet 979,700
    Alphabet 999,570
  2. This list comprises the world's largest companies by consolidated 2020 revenue, according to the Fortune Global 500 latest tally published in August 2021. American retail corporation Walmart has been the world's largest company by revenue since 2014.

    Rank
    Name
    Industry
    Revenue(usd Millions)
    1
    $559,200
    2
    $407,009
    3
    Retail, Information Technology
    $386,064
    4
    Oil and gas
    $379,130
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    • History
    • Securities of A Company
    • General Trend
    • Privatization
    • Trading and valuation
    • See Also

    In the early mod­ern pe­riod, the Dutch de­vel­oped sev­eral fi­nan­cial in­stru­ments and helped lay the foun­da­tions of the mod­ern fi­nan­cial system. The Dutch East India Com­pany (VOC) be­came the first com­pany in his­tory to issue bonds and shares of stock to the gen­eral pub­lic. In other words, the VOC was of­fi­cially the first pub­licly traded company, be­cause it was the first com­pany ever to be ac­tu­ally listed on an of­fi­cial stock ex­change. While the Ital­ian city-states pro­duced the first trans­fer­able gov­ern­ment bonds, they did not de­velop the other in­gre­di­ents nec­es­sary to pro­duce a fully fledged cap­i­tal mar­ket: cor­po­rate share­hold­ers. As Ed­ward String­ham (2015) notes, "com­pa­nies with trans­fer­able shares date back to clas­si­cal Rome, but these were usu­ally not en­dur­ing en­deav­ors and no con­sid­er­able sec­ondary mar­ketex­isted (Neal, 1997, p. 61)."

    Usu­ally, the se­cu­ri­ties of a pub­licly traded com­pany are owned by many in­vestors while the shares of a pri­vately held com­pany are owned by rel­a­tively few share­hold­ers. A com­pany with many share­hold­ers is not nec­es­sar­ily a pub­licly traded com­pany. In the United States, in some in­stances, com­pa­nies with over 500 share­hold­ers may be re­quired to re­port under the Se­cu­ri­ties Ex­change Act of 1934; com­pa­nies that re­port under the 1934 Act are gen­er­ally deemed pub­lic com­pa­nies.

    For many years, newly cre­ated com­pa­nies were pri­vately held but held ini­tial pub­lic of­fer­ing to be­come pub­licly traded com­pany or to be ac­quired by an­other com­pany if they be­came larger and more prof­itable or had promis­ing prospects. More in­fre­quently, some com­pa­nies — such as in­vest­ment bank­ing firm Gold­man Sachs and lo­gis­tics ser­vices provider United Par­cel Ser­vice(UPS) — chose to re­main pri­vately held for a long pe­riod of time after ma­tu­rity into a prof­itable com­pany. How­ever, from 1997 to 2012, the num­ber of cor­po­ra­tions pub­licly traded on Amer­i­can stock ex­changes dropped 45%. Ac­cord­ing to one ob­server (Ger­ald F. Davis), "pub­lic cor­po­ra­tions have be­come less con­cen­trated, less in­te­grated, less in­ter­con­nected at the top, shorter lived, less re­mu­ner­a­tive for av­er­age in­vestors, and less preva­lent since the turn of the 21st century". Davis ar­gues that tech­no­log­i­cal changes such as the de­cline in price and in...

    A group of pri­vate in­vestors or an­other com­pany that is pri­vately held can buy out the share­hold­ers of a pub­lic com­pany, tak­ing the com­pany pri­vate. This is typ­i­cally done through a lever­aged buy­out and oc­curs when the buy­ers be­lieve the se­cu­ri­ties have been un­der­val­ued by in­vestors. In some cases, pub­lic com­pa­nies that are in se­vere fi­nan­cial dis­tress may also ap­proach a pri­vate com­pany or com­pa­nies to take over own­er­ship and man­age­ment of the com­pany. One way of doing this would be to make a rights issue de­signed to en­able the new in­vestor to ac­quire a su­per­ma­jor­ity. With a su­per-ma­jor­ity, the com­pany could then be relisted, i.e. pri­va­tized. Al­ter­na­tively, a pub­licly traded com­pany may be pur­chased by one or more other pub­licly traded com­pa­nies, with the tar­get com­pany be­com­ing ei­ther a sub­sidiary or joint ven­ture of the pur­chaser(s), or ceas­ing to exist as a sep­a­rate en­tity, its for­mer share­hold­ers r...

    The shares of a pub­licly traded com­pany are often traded on a stock ex­change. The value or "size" of a com­pany is called its mar­ket cap­i­tal­iza­tion, a term which is often short­ened to "mar­ket cap". This is cal­cu­lated as the num­ber of shares out­stand­ing (as op­posed to au­tho­rized but not nec­es­sar­ily is­sued) times the price per share. For ex­am­ple, a com­pany with two mil­lion shares out­stand­ing and a price per share of US$40 has a mar­ket cap­i­tal­iza­tion of US$80 mil­lion. How­ever, a com­pany's mar­ket cap­i­tal­iza­tion should not be con­fused with the fair mar­ket value of the com­pany as a whole since the price per share are in­flu­enced by other fac­tors such as the vol­ume of shares traded. Low trad­ing vol­ume can cause ar­ti­fi­cially low prices for se­cu­ri­ties, due to in­vestors being ap­pre­hen­sive of in­vest­ing in a com­pany they per­ceive as pos­si­bly lack­ing liq­uid­ity. For ex­am­ple, if all share­hold­ers were to si­mul­ta­ne­ously try...

  4. 2020 Forbes list. This list is based on the Forbes Global 2000, which ranks the world's 2,000 largest publicly traded companies.The Forbes list takes into account a multitude of factors, including the revenue, net profit, total assets and market value of each company; each factor is given a weighted rank in terms of importance when considering the overall ranking.

    • Apple Inc. is currently the biggest company in the world, with a market cap of $2.266 trillion. (Source: Koyfin) Apple Inc., once known as Apple Computer Company, is a tech corporation established in 1977 by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak.
    • Saudi Aramco is the second biggest company in the world, with a market cap of $2.028 trillion. Saudi Aramco manages over one hundred oil and gas fields in Saudi Arabia and has the second-largest proven crude oil reserves.
    • Microsoft Corporation is the third biggest company in the world, with a market cap of $1.806 trillion. Microsoft was founded in April 1975 by Harvard College students Bill Gates and Paul Allen.
    • Amazon is the fourth biggest company in the world, with a market cap of $1.696 trillion. Amazon.com is an e-commerce corporation based in Seattle, Washington.
  5. Forbes' annual ranking of the world's largest public companies is a reflection of the state of the global economy today: who's on top, who's growing, and who's seen better days.

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