What are the top technology stocks? Here’s an overview of the 10 largest companies listed in order of market cap for investor consideration.
Technology has become inescapable in everyday life, and the top tech companies are advancing in many sectors, from computer hardware and software to cleantech to artificial intelligence (AI) and more.
Major moves from the tech industry's giants have been reflected in growing valuations. In 2018, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) became the first publicly traded company to reach a US$1 trillion valuation, and Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) passed the US$1 trillion mark in 2019 as better cloud sales bolstered its earnings and stock price.
Since then, both of these tech behemoths have gone on to reach further gargantuan valuations, and both Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Google holding company Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOGL) have joined the over US$1 trillion club.
Top technology stocks
Below the Investing News Network takes a look at the top 10 largest tech companies globally, according to market capitalization. All numbers and figures for the tech companies listed were correct as of January 25, 2022.
Market cap: US$2.61 trillion
First on this top technology stocks list is Apple. Since the company shot to fame with the Macintosh in 1984, its hardware portfolio has expanded to include items like the iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch and Apple TV. The company also has a wide range of digital services such as the App Store, Apple Music, Apple Pay and iCloud.
According to Investopedia, Apple’s digital services segment raked in all-time high revenues of US$68.4 billion during the 2021 fiscal year compared to US$53.8 billion for the previous year.
Market cap: US$2.17 trillion
Founded in 1975 with its headquarters in Redmond, Washington, Microsoft is well versed in hardware and software. Its hardware lineup consists of its flagship Surface brand, which covers a broad array of price points. The line is a competitor for Microsoft’s arch rival Apple and its iPad Pros and MacBooks.
The company’s software portfolio has always been a strong focus. That includes its computer operating system, where Microsoft's Windows 11 edition debuted in Q4 2021, as well as its Windows Server. Furthermore, Microsoft has been targeting business users with its productivity suite, which includes the Office and Cloud platforms. Azure, its cloud product, has driven considerable year-over-year revenue growth.
Microsoft partnered with FedEx (NYSE:FDX) in early 2022 on a “new cross-platform logistics solution for e-commerce” as a part of a larger multi-year deal that involves integrating cloud, AI and machine-learning tech.
Market cap: US$1.68 trillion
Alphabet, the holding company of internet search giant Google, operates through multiple brands via a portfolio of companies. Some of the companies under Alphabet are Calico, GV, Capital G, Verily, Waymo, X and Google Fiber. As such, it’s no surprise that Alphabet ranks highly on this top technology stocks list.
Founded in 1998 as a search engine, Google quickly became a household name with numerous products under its vertical. The list now includes Google Pay, Google Cloud, Android, Google Maps and YouTube.
In November 2021, Alphabet broke through the US$2 trillion market cap level for the first time.
Market cap: US$1.42 trillion
Founded in 1994, Amazon has evolved from its start as an online retailer to become a tech monolith through its Amazon Web Services (AWS) platform. While Amazon is still a dominant force in web-based sales, AWS offers services for computing, storage, databases, networking, analytics, machine learning and AI, among others. Fire TV, Amazon’s streaming platform, had sold more than 150 million streaming devices worldwide as of January 2022.
In late 2021, Amazon announced the launch of a new Internet of Things (IoT) service, AWS IoT FleetWise. It will allow automakers to collect, transform and transfer vehicle data to the cloud in near-real time more efficiently and cost effectively. The data can then be organized and standardized for analysis in the cloud.
Market cap: US$922.31 billion
Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) is one of the world’s most influential tech companies. Aside from focusing on the electric vehicle (EV) market, the company is also innovating in AI, robotics, autonomous vehicles and energy storage.
In 2021, Elon Musk-led Tesla’s EV sales grew by 87 percent over the previous year to reach 936,172 units delivered. In January 2022, the company announced a partnership with Panasonic (OTC Pink:PCRFF,TSE:6752) to produce lithium-ion batteries for its EVs. Production at facilities in Japan is slated to commence in 2023.
6. Meta Platforms
Market cap: US$839.94 billion
Meta Platforms, the parent company of social media giant Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), occupies the sixth spot on this list. The company’s product suite — which also includes Instagram, Messenger, WhatsApp and Oculus — connects more than 3 billion users across the globe.
In early 2022, Meta announced that its AI Research SuperCluster (RSC) will be the fastest AI supercomputer in the world once completed in mid-2022. According to the announcement, the “RSC will help Meta’s AI researchers build better AI models that can learn from trillions of examples; work across hundreds of different languages; seamlessly analyse text, images and video together; develop new augmented reality tools and more.”
7. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC)
Market cap: US$635.18 billion
Created in the late 1980s, TSMC (NYSE:TSM,TPE:2330)was originally a semiconductor innovator across the globe. Since then, TSMC has spawned an entire tech division that focuses on automotive technology, AI and 5G applications, plus wearable technology and mobile platforms.
The company's net profit for the fourth quarter of 2021 came in at 166.24 billion New Taiwan dollars (US$6 billion at the time of the announcement), up 6.4 percent from Q3 2021 and 16.4 percent from Q4 2020. The increase in net profit was driven by a boom in demand for semiconductors — which power many technologies, from smartphones to TVs to vehicles — in the midst of a global supply crunch.
8. Tencent Holdings
Market cap: US$587.94 billion
Founded in 1998, Tencent Holdings (OTC Pink:TCHEY,HKEX:0700) is a tech company that invests in a slew of internet-related businesses with an enormous global footprint. It owns China’s largest messaging app, WeChat, and publishes a large number of the world’s most popular video games. Tencent also invests in many gaming companies, and offers tech services such as cloud computing, fintech and other digital enterprise services.
Tencent became the first Chinese tech company to land a valuation of over US$500 billion in 2017. However, more recently, the company looks set to divest some of its assets while at the same curbing acquisitions as it navigates China’s increasingly rigid regulatory landscape for big tech companies.
Market cap: US$556.31 billion
NVIDIA (NASDAQ:NVDA), the inventor of the graphics processor unit (GPU), creates interactive graphics on laptops, workstations, mobile devices, notebooks, PCs and more. The company’s major competitors are Advanced Micro Devices (NASDAQ:AMD), Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) and Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM).
Alongside GPUs, NVIDIA offers processing capabilities to scientific researchers with supercomputing sites across the globe. The primary arms of NVIDIA’s business model are in gaming (including its cloud gaming service GeForce Now), automotive electronics, mobile devices and more recently AI.
NVIDIA is working with Meta Platforms to build the latter’s AI supercomputer, which the former expects will be the largest NVIDIA DGX A100 customer system to date.
10. Samsung Electronics
Market cap: US$415.1 billion
With headquarters in Seoul, South Korea, Samsung Electronics (KRX:005930)is the 10th largest tech company in the world. Founded in 1938, Samsung originated as a grocery trading store. The company then focused on the textiles industry after the Korean War, and 1969 was when it first entered into the electronics industry. It is now among the largest electronics manufacturers in the world.
In addition to products such as tablets, smartphones, watches and even appliances, Samsung operates a semiconductor business, developing chips and smartphone application processors. The company’s latest product launch is a portable screen and entertainment device known as the Freestyle. The “first-of-its-kind technology” allows consumers “to bring video and audio content wherever they go.”
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Securities Disclosure: I, Melissa Pistilli, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.
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