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We know who the richest people in the world are, but have you ever wondered which companies might be the richest?
We took the time to compile a list of the richest companies based on their annual revenue and market caps.
While the major tech companies like Apple and Microsoft make the top list, they're actually dwarfed by players in the oil, automotive, and even retail industries when you look at annual revenues. In terms of location, China and the United States are the dominant countries while the UK and Saudi Arabia have one company each.
*Note: All revenue and market cap numbers are in USD.
So let's dig in!
Annual Revenue: $523 billion
Market Cap: $368 billion
Walmart was founded in 1962 by Sam Walton. The family-owned retail corporation is headquartered in Bentonville, Arkansas, USA.
The company has a presence in 27 countries globally with over 11,000 stores including hypermarkets, department stores, and grocery stores. Its 2.3 million employees, half of which are in the US, make Walmart the largest private employer in the world.
Annual Revenue: $355.9 billion
Market Cap: $119 billion
The Saudi Arabian Oil Company (Saudi Aramco), is a Saudi Arabian multinational petroleum and natural gas company owned by the Saudi government. Based in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia is one of the largest companies in the world by revenue, and one of the most profitable. It became the most expensive company in the world after it listed shares on the Tadawul Stock Exchange.
A leader in the oil and gas production industry, the company prides itself on being a “leading producer of the energy and chemicals that drive global commerce and enhance the daily lives of people around the globe”.
Apart from Saudi Arabia, it has a presence in other countries including China, Japan, Russia, the United Arab Emirates, the USA, and Great Britain. It also has business partnerships with Lukoil, Royal Dutch Shell, Total SA, Sinopec, and other companies.
Annual Revenue: $414.65 billion
Market Cap: $460 billion
Sinopec Group is a state-owned petrochemical conglomerate listed on both the Shanghai and Hong Kong Stock Exchange. It is also known as the China Petrochemical Corporation with its headquarters in Beijing.
It is in the business of exploration of crude oil and natural gas and production of petroleum-based products including diesel, kerosene, synthetic rubber, fertilizers, and jet fuel.
Royal Dutch Shell
Annual Revenue: $396.56 billion
Market Cap: $99.8 billion
Royal Dutch Shell is a British-Dutch multinational incorporated in the UK but headquartered in the Netherlands.
It has over 44,000service stations with operations in over 70 countries worldwide. It produces around 3.7 million barrels of oil per day and it is the world’s largest producer of liquefied natural gas.
Despite an unflattering history of health and safety violations, Shell remains the largest European based company and one of the largest globally.
China National Petroleum Corporation
Annual Revenue: $392.98 billion
Market Cap: $65.5 billion
The China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) is a Chinese national oil and gas company with its headquarters in Beijing.
It started as a governmental department in communist China but has now grown into one of the world’s most distinguished energy corporations.
Alongside China, it has operations in oil-producing countries like Iran and agreements with major oil-producing companies.
State Grid Corporation of China
Annual Revenue: $387 billion
Market Cap: $30 billion
The State Grid Corporation of China is a state-owned utility company that was founded in 2002. It is headquartered in Beijing and has over 900,000 employees. It was the first company to run a 1,000-kilovolt alternating current power line.
Its monopoly in populous China alongside engagements in the Philippines, Australia, Brazil, Portugal, Greece, and Italy guarantee its over 1.1 billion customers
Annual Revenue: $290.2 billion
Market Cap: $183 billion
Exon Mobil is an American multinational oil and gas company. It was formed in 1999 after the merger of Exxon (Standard Oil Company of New Jersey) and Mobil (Standard Oil Company of New York). The Texas-based company remains the largest remaining of John D. Rockefeller’s Standard Oil Company.
Over the fiscal year, the corporation made a staggering $290.2 billion US dollars which makes it hard to miss as one of the richest in the world. This is not hard to imagine because its operations in 21 countries including 37 oil refineries have a combined capacity of 6.3 million barrels a day.
The title of the largest oil refiner in the world has not come without controversy. This includes conducting business with US sanctioned countries and a run-in with the Trump administration over its drilling operation in Russia.
Annual Revenue: $278.34 billion
Market Cap: $69.7 billion
Volkswagen was founded in 1937 by the Labour Front Party. The name “Volkswagen” is German for “the people’s car”.
It remains Europe’s largest automaker with over 117,000 employees with a presence worldwide. In addition to its plants in Germany, it also conducts manufacturing and assembly operation with facilities in Mexico, the US, Slovakia, China, India, Indonesia, Russia, Malaysia, Brazil, Argentina, Portugal, Spain, Poland, the Czech Republic, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kenya and South Africa for local and international markets
Its major car and truck brands include Audi, Lamborghini, MAN, Bentley, Skoda, Scania, Porsche, and Bugatti.
Annual Revenue: $272.6 billion
Market Cap: $22.4 trillion
The Toyota Motor Corporation was founded by Kiichiro Toyoda in 1937. It is headquartered in Toyota, Aichi, Japan.
After Volkswagen, it is the second-largest automotive manufacturer in the world. The Japanese multi-national has over 364,000 employees spread across the world.
Toyota has established itself as the market leader and one of the biggest automotive manufacturers to adopt the mass-market endorsement of hybrid cars. Its Toyota’s Prius flagship models are the number 1 top-selling hybrid vehicles in the world with over million sales globally.
Annual Revenue: $260.2 billion
Market Cap: $1.9 trillion
Apple was founded in 1976 by Steve Wozniak, Ronald Wayne, and Steve Jobs. It has headquarters in Cupertino, California, USA.
Initially, the company focused on home computers and proprietary models of PC. But it was the introduction of iPhone smartphones and iPad tablets that moved the needle in their case. They have expanded their range of products to include smartwatches and laptops, among others.
The brand is popular because of the high quality and stylish design of the devices. The amazing marketing by Steve Jobs did not hurt as well.
The company has grown to over 130,000 employees and thousands of offices, brand stores, and service centers all over the globe.
Annual Revenue: $232 billion
Market Cap: $1.59 trillion
Amazon was founded in 1994 by Jeff Bezos. It is headquartered in Seattle, Washington, USA. Initially an e-commerce platform, the company has expanded to cloud computing with Amazon Web Services cloud, digital streaming with Amazon Prime, and artificial intelligence.
The company has about 647,500 employees. Its assets are worth $162 billion has an annual turnover of approximately $232 Billion.
Annual Revenue: $ 125.8 billion
Market Cap: $1.61 trillion
Microsoft was founded by Bill Gates in 1975. The company has its headquarters in Washington, USA. It currently has over 150,000 employees.
Microsoft’s breakthrough came with the development of the Microsoft Windows Operating System. The software gained popularity as it made the PC experience more user friendly. This brought the company unparalleled success and Bill Gates is one of the richest people in the world.
Alongside Microsoft Windows, the company develops leading applications including Microsoft Office. It also manufactures mobile devices, accessories, and equipment.
Annual Revenue: $70.1 billion
Market Cap: $764 billion
Facebook was developed in 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg and other co-founders. They initially launched the service for use by their Harvard classmates from where it quickly expanded to other universities before being released to the public.
The acquisitions of Instagram in 2012 and WhatsApp in 2014 among other applications further strengthened the company’s position in the social media space. Facebook also owns Oculus VR, a virtual reality technology player; Onavo, mobile web analytics solution, and Beluga, a messaging service.
The company has since grown into a global giant with 2.5 billion users and a valuation of $584 billion. The company reported a net income of $18.5 billion on $70.1 billion in revenue for FY 2019, with advertising as its main revenue source.
The social media giant has its headquarters in Menlo Park, California, USA.
Annual Revenue: $53.83 billion
Market Cap: $5.05 trillion
Tencent was founded in 1998. It is headquartered in Nanshan District, Shenzhen in China. The Chinese company has grown into a combination of a venture company, a conglomerate, an investment holding, and a big player in the gaming industry.
Its portfolio represents a wide array of services that are among the largest and most successful in the world in their respective categories These include social networks, mobile games, music, web portals, payment systems, e-commerce, Internet services, smartphones, and multiplayer online games.
Let us know if you know of a company that ought to have made the list. Remember, the global economy can always change to the advantage or disadvantage of certain players. So, do not be surprised if we have movements either way for a few of these companies soon.