The 10 largest companies in the world

These are the ten largest companies in the world by 12-month (TTM) revenue, and represent a remarkable variety of industries. This list is limited to companies that are publicly traded in the United States or Canada either directly or through American Depositary Receipts (ADRs).

Some overseas companies may report semi-annually and therefore may have longer lag times. We add the caveat that two other companies that would otherwise be added to this list, Saudi Aramco, the Saudi state-owned oil company; and State Grid, the state-owned Chinese utility. They were omitted as their shares are not publicly traded in either the US or Canada.

All data in this story is provided by YCharts and is as of January 2023.

The central theses

  • Six of the world's top-grossing companies are based in the United States
  • Two of them are Chinese companies, one is a German company and another is based in the Netherlands.
  • The top two on the list are retail giants Walmart and Amazon.

Some of the stocks listed below are only traded over-the-counter (OTC) in the US, not on stock exchanges. Trading OTC stocks often involves higher trading costs than trading stocks on exchanges. This can reduce or even outweigh potential returns.

  • Revenue (TTM): $600.11 billion
  • Net Income (TTM): $8.97 billion
  • Market Cap: $390.66 billion
  • 1-year total return: 1.75%
  • Stock exchange: New York Stock Exchange

Walmart was founded in 1962 and has since grown into one of the largest retailers in the world. The company operates discount stores, super centers, neighborhood markets and a robust online platform. Walmart sells a wide variety of merchandise, including clothing and apparel, home goods, books, jewelry, food and beverages, drug supplies, and automotive equipment.

#2 Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN)

  • Revenue (TTM): $502.19 billion
  • Net Income (TTM): $11.32 billion
  • Market Cap: $916.82 billion
  • 1-year total return: -44.35%
  • Exchange: NASDAQ

In terms of market capitalization, Amazon is the world's largest online retailer. The company started out as an online bookseller and has since grown to cover almost every retail category. In addition to selling products through its e-commerce platform, Amazon owns subsidiaries like Whole Foods Market and home security company Ring. Amazon's fastest-growing businesses are cloud computing services, subscription products like Amazon Prime, and streaming movies and other entertainment.

  • Revenue (TTM): $486.84 billion
  • Net Income (TTM): $10.47 billion
  • Market Cap: $60.32 billion
  • 1-year total return: 19.61%
  • Exchange: OTC markets

China Petroleum & Chemical is a manufacturer and distributor of a variety of petrochemical and petroleum products. The Company's products include gasoline, diesel, kerosene, synthetic rubbers and resins, kerosene and chemical fertilizers, among others. China Petroleum & Chemical, also known as Sinopec, is one of the largest oil refining, gas and petrochemical companies in the world. It is administered by the State Council of the People's Republic of China.

  • Revenue (TTM): $486.40 billion
  • Net Income (TTM): $20.89 billion
  • Market Cap: $82.73 billion
  • 1-year total return: 15.24%
  • Exchange: OTC markets

Oil and gas company PetroChina is engaged in the exploration, development, production and sale of oil. In addition, petrochemical products are manufactured. PetroChina is the listed subsidiary of the Chinese state-owned China National Petroleum Corporation.

  • Revenue (TTM): $394.33 billion
  • Net Income (TTM): $99.80 billion
  • Market Cap: $2.08 trillion
  • 1-year total return: -23.64%
  • Exchange: NASDAQ

Apple designs, manufactures, and markets a wide range of consumer technology products, including smartphones, PCs, tablets, handheld devices, home entertainment devices, and more. The company's most popular products include the iPhone smartphones and the Mac computer line. Apple is also building a fast-growing services business, operating digital content stores, selling streaming video games, and providing streaming services like Apple+, a platform for on-demand entertainment content.

#6 Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM)

  • Revenue (TTM): $386.82 billion
  • Net Income (TTM): $51.86 billion
  • Market Cap: $453.38 billion
  • 1-year total return: 67.12%
  • Stock exchange: New York Stock Exchange

ExxonMobil is a multinational oil and gas company headquartered in Texas. The company explores for oil and gas in most countries around the world, or markets its products, or both. The gas stations are a familiar sight to motorists around the world, although the brand names displayed there may be ExxonMobil, Esso, Exxon, or Mobil, depending on their location. ExxonMobil's company name reflects the 1999 merger that brought together two industry giants.

#7 ShellPLC (SHEL)

  • Revenue (TTM): $365.29 billion
  • Net Income (TTM): $43.36 billion
  • Market Cap: $204.03 billion
  • 1-year total return: 27.58%
  • Stock exchange: New York Stock Exchange

Based in the Netherlands, Royal Dutch Shell explores, produces and refines petroleum through its subsidiaries. Shell not only operates petrol stations around the world, but also produces and distributes fuels, lubricants and other chemicals.

  • Revenue (TTM): $315.23 billion
  • Net Income (TTM): $3.15 billion
  • Market Cap: $119.11 billion
  • 1-year total return: -11.75%
  • Stock exchange: New York Stock Exchange

CVS is an integrated pharmacy healthcare provider. The company operates a chain of drugstores with locations throughout the United States and in Puerto Rico. In addition to retail, CVS also offers pharmacy benefit management services, mail-order pharmacy services, and disease management programs.

#9 United Health Group Inc. (UNH)

  • Revenue (TTM): $313.13 billion
  • Net Income (TTM): $19.43 billion
  • Market Cap: $454.09 billion
  • 1-year total return: 5.87%
  • Stock exchange: New York Stock Exchange

UnitedHealth Group Inc. is a multinational health care and insurance company based in Minnetonka, Minnesota. It offers managed health insurance for businesses, government employers and individuals. Its healthcare services are provided by a network of medical groups that provide healthcare services under a contract with UnitedHealth. In addition to its US operations, UnitedHealth Group has subsidiaries in other countries including Brazil, India, Ireland, the Philippines and the United Kingdom.

  • Revenue (TTM): $288.45 billion
  • Net Income (TTM): $18.47 billion
  • Market Cap: $85.85 billion
  • 1-year total return: -35.01%
  • Exchange: OTC

The German company builds, sells and repairs both luxury and economy cars, sports cars, trucks and other commercial vehicles. VW's leading luxury brand is Audi.

What are the world's largest companies by market capitalization?

Not surprisingly, the largest companies by market cap differ from the largest companies by revenue. As of June 25, 2023, the top 10 and their market caps were:

  • Apple, 2.9 trillion
  • Microsoft, 2.5 trillion
  • Saudi Aramco, 2.0 trillion
  • Alphabet, $1.5 trillion
  • Amazon, $1.3 trillion
  • NVIDIA, $1.42 trillion
  • Tesla, $813.2 billion
  • Meta platforms, $739.9 billion
  • Berkshire Hathaway, $733.1 billion
  • TSMC (Taiwan Semiconductor), $528.5 billion

What are America's Favorite Brands?

According to a YouGov poll, the most popular brands in June 2023 were:

  • Pavement
  • dusk
  • Oreo Cookies
  • Reese's peanut butter cup
  • Samsung
  • Ziploc
  • kit cat
  • Pillsbury
  • snickers
  • M&M's

What are the most valuable companies of all time?

The three most valuable companies of all time had their heyday during the global shipping and trade boom of the 17th and 18th centuries and, like Standard Oil, are long dead. The rest of the list is dominated by American big tech and internet names:

  • Dutch East India Company
  • Mississippi company
  • South Sea Society
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Apple
  • PetroChina
  • Microsoft
  • standard oil
  • alphabet
  • Amazon

The conclusion

The world's top-grossing companies represent relatively new, faster-growing industries and mature, slower-growing industries ranging from e-commerce and tech to oil and retail.

No matter what, every company is a dominant force in its industry.

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