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Date: 2024-05-21 Page is: DBtxt001.php txt00023815

Data visualization showing the biggest Companies in the World 2022

Original article:
Peter Burgess COMMENTARY
Generally speaking, I like this analysis of the biggest companies on the planet, But I was amused to see the section on corporate performance using the stock market valuation as the key indicator. This does not surprise me, though it does annoy me because using the stock market as the dominant measure of corporate performance gives support to the STUPID idea that financial results and stock market valuation is a reasonable way to evaluate the performance and state of our society.

I qualified as a Chartered Accountant in London a long time ago (ACA 1965 and FCA 1975). I became a very young CFO in the United States and then did consulting work for the last half of my career. Much of this work was for the World Bank, the United Nations and others involved with international development, humanitarian assistance and business ... and it became very clear to me that the social and environmental dimansions of economic activity are what really matters, and merely getting a financial return for investors is a massive and dangerous distortion.

Over the last 40 years there has been a massive concentration of economic power among big corporations. Coupled with this is the dangerous lack of transparency that goes with scale and especially when it is coupled with multiple product lines and geographies. The system of reporting that has been mandated by governments may have worked reasonably well 60 years ago, but it is no longer fit-for-purpose in the 2020s.

Since Reagan and Thatcher there has been a massive move towards better and better financial performance ... I call this 'financialization' ... with the more imporetant, indeed essential aspects of corporate performance, that is social performance and environmental performance, essentially ignored or at best given 'lip-service' or any of many varieties of 'green-washing' or equivalent.

Peter Burgess
MARKETS Ranked: The 100 Biggest Public Companies in the World

Written by Dorothy Neufeld

Published on December 26, 2022

Graphics/Design: Bhabna Banerjee

Data visualization showing the biggest Companies in the World 2022

This year has been shaped by uncomfortable macroeconomic headwinds.

Trillions of dollars were erased in public company market capitalizations, investor confidence waned, and cost pressures squeezed consumer pocketbooks.

Taken together, many of the world’s largest companies experienced sharp declines in market share. Still, a few companies in key sectors had positive growth over the year.

As 2022 comes to a close, the above infographic shows the biggest companies in the world, using data from

The World’s Largest Public Companies in 2022

Today, Apple stands as the world’s most valuable company, towering at a $2.3 trillion valuation.

Despite the tech downturn of 2022—driven by rising interest rates and slower sales—Apple maintained its top spot. This was largely thanks to record revenues and healthy consumer demand for iPhones, which drive about half of its total revenue.

Following Apple is Microsoft. Unlike Apple, Microsoft has faced slower earnings over the year due to lower demand for personal computers and the weighing impact of a strong U.S. dollar. Overall, about 50% of the company’s sales take place overseas.

As we show below, there are now only four companies left in the trillion dollar market cap club.

2022 Rank ... Company Market Capitalization Sector Location ... *As of Dec 12, 2022.

  1. 1 Apple $2.3T Technology 🇺🇸 U.S.
  2. 2 Microsoft $1.9T Technology 🇺🇸 U.S.
  3. 3 Saudi Aramco $1.8T Energy 🇸🇦 Saudi Arabia
  4. 4 Alphabet $1.2T Technology 🇺🇸 U.S.
  5. 5 Amazon $924B Consumer Discretionary 🇺🇸 U.S.
  6. 6 Berkshire Hathaway $686B Financials 🇺🇸 U.S.
  7. 7 Tesla $522B Consumer Discretionary 🇺🇸 U.S.
  8. 8 UnitedHealth Group $510B Health Care 🇺🇸 U.S.
  9. 9 Johnson & Johnson $465B Health Care 🇺🇸 U.S.
  10. 10 Visa $454B Industrials 🇺🇸 U.S.
Showing 1 to 10 of 100 entries


Oil giant Saudi Aramco is the third largest publicly-traded company globally, at $1.8 trillion. It’s also the only non-U.S. company in the top 10.

In May, the state-run company briefly became the most valuable company on the planet as soaring energy prices boosted earnings. Saudia Arabia is the largest exporter of oil in the world, and the country’s economy is forecast to grow 7.6% in 2022—one of the fastest globally.

Overall, 62 companies of the 100 largest are headquartered in the U.S., 11 are based in China, and five are located in France.

Top 10 Performance in 2022

For many of the world’s largest companies, 2022 was a brutal year for performance.

Chat showing 10 Biggest Companies in the World 2022 Performance

As the above graphic shows, the vast majority of the world’s titans saw their market values decline. Half of these companies saw double-digit drops.

Tesla has witnessed nearly 70% of its market cap being erased this year. Two main factors are behind this drop: falling demand, especially in China, and CEO Elon Musk’s volatile and risky acquisition of Twitter.

On the other hand, UnitedHealth Group has seen the strongest performance among the top 10.

The company, which rakes in a large share of its earnings from employer-backed insurance plans, said that recessionary impacts had not yet begun materializing in 2022.

Biggest Companies in the World, by Sector

Even with sinking market values across the sector in 2022, tech remains dominant.

Among the world’s biggest companies, 20 are in tech, spanning a combined market value of $9.2 trillion. For perspective, that’s about 31% of the market value of the 100 largest companies.

Rank Sector Combined Market Value Number of Companies Biggest Company in Sector
  1. 1 👩‍💻 Technology $9.2T 20 Apple
  2. 2 🚗 Consumer Discretionary $4.7T 17 Amazon
  3. 3 🩺 Health Care $4.3T 17 UnitedHealth Group
  4. 4 🛢️ Energy $3.4T 8 Saudi Aramco
  5. 5 💵 Financials $3.0T 14 Berkshire Hathaway
  6. 6 🏭 Industrials $1.8T 9 Visa
  7. 7 🥫 Consumer Staples $1.8T 7 Procter & Gamble
  8. 8 📞 Telecommunications $841B 5 Cisco
  9. 9 ⛏️ Basic Materials $326B 2 Linde
  10. 10 🔌 Utilities $127B 1 Nextera Energy

Companies are classified according to the FTSE Russell Industry Classification Benchmark. *As of Dec 12, 2022.

Consumer discretionary and health care sectors fall next in line, with big players such as Amazon and Johnson & Johnson among their ranks.

At the other end of the spectrum is utilities, the smallest sector overall at least pertaining to the largest companies list. NextEra Energy, the sole utilities company among the rankings is one of the world’s largest developers of wind and solar energy. Over the next three years, it plans to invest up to $95 billion in greening its power operations.

Change of Fortune

It comes as no surprise that many of the biggest companies in the world are long-established players in global markets.

Yet within the rankings, some of the notable risers compared to 2021 are UnitedHealth Group, which launched from #19 in 2021 to #8 this year and NVIDIA which has climbed to become the 11th largest company globally, up from #24 last year.

By contrast, some of the biggest losers are Meta (Facebook’s parent company) and Alibaba. Meta has fallen across the rankings to #26 in 2022 from #6 in 2021. Meanwhile, Alibaba was once the ninth largest globally but has tumbled to #36. Both companies have seen considerable value wiped from their market caps—roughly 66% and 28%, respectively​​—amid lagging earnings.

With the year coming to a close, it remains to be seen whether the world’s biggest companies stage a comeback in 2023, or face more challenging conditions ahead.

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