In this article we are going to list the 15 biggest public companies in the world heading into 2021. Click to skip ahead and jump to the 5 biggest public companies in the world heading into 2021. Being a company hasn’t been easy in 2020. Being a public company in 2020 definitely hasn’t been easy in 2020. When news originated of a mysterious illness in China, few would’ve thought that it would become the worst pandemic in a century, with more than 85 million cases and at least 1.8 million deaths, with the caveat that these figures are likely extremely underreported, especially in developing regions. As the virus made its way across the world, countries started going into lockdowns to combat the spread, and all businesses other than essential businesses came to a halt. Even those that continued faced major issues due to the global supply chain being devastated.
When you look at the market cap of a company, or quarterly earnings, you’ll be able to see the impact of the pandemic on even the biggest public companies in the world in 2021. Most countries in the world are battling either a recession or a depression during the pandemic, and investors withdrew money from shares and put it into safer bets such as gold.
Some industries were hit much more than the others, with the hospitality industry perhaps being the worst him among all. Hotel chains and airlines had to lay off tens of thousands of employees across the world in an effort to decrease the losses faced, and experts have said that it will take years for these industries to return to their pre-pandemic levels. American Airlines, fell nearly 600 places after losing around $2.2 billion in just the first quarter. However, this definitely doesn’t mean that the pandemic treated everyone the same. E-commerce websites and the tech industry at large actually had a successful year as people had to stay home and resorted to online shopping, which is why these companies experiences such a boon and Jeff Bezos, owner of Amazon was able to cement his position as the richest person in the world. But perhaps the biggest success story has been that of Tesla, and its owner Elon Musk, whose net worth has more than quadrupled in the year and is now worth more than $150 billion as Tesla’s shares kept rising and hitting landmark after landmark, with the company now being worth more than $600 billion.
Apart from e-commerce websites, Zoom and Slack, communication technology companies which were popularized in 2020 when work from home became a thing, both experiences a surge in their shares and in May, made the list of Forbes Global 2000. The 15 biggest companies in the world have a combined market cap of $14.4 trillion. Unsurprisingly, 10 of the 15 companies belong to the United States, with the rest from China (2) and Saudi Arab, South Korea and Taiwan (1 each). Based on 2019 figures, these companies have combined revenues of around $2.5 trillion, assets of more than $3.6 trillion and profits of $453 billion. These companies are also responsible for providing direct employment to nearly 4.4 million people across the world and include a company which is the largest private employer in the world, as well as the company with the highest revenues in the world. All figures except for market cap are taken from Fortune Global 500 while the market cap as at December 31st has been taken from Forbes. So let’s take a look at the most influential companies in the world, starting with number 15:
15. Visa (NYSE:V)
Market cap of the company as at December 31, 2020 (in billions of dollars): 511.2
Total revenue of the company in 2019 (in billions of dollars): 23.5
Total assets of the company in 2019 (in billions of dollars): 74.8
Total profits of the company in 2019 (in billions of dollars): 11.9
Total employees of the company in 2019: 19,500
A financial services company, Visa is one of the most recognizable companies in the world thanks to its debit and credit cards which are used my most banks across the world.
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