Despite a pandemic, the sky seems to be the limit for corporate profits—as it was for Apple, which soared to a $3 trillion market value in early January, a landmark summit no company had reached before. Apple’s moment in the sun lasted only for minutes—its stock price since dropped and its valuation is now $2.84 trillion—but surely it will be back up there again, its success a sign of more to come.
At least, that’s according to XTB, a leading European foreign exchange brokerage, whose new research predicts which of today’s mammoth companies could be first to reach the mind-numbing $5 trillion mark. Based on historical market capitalizations dating back to 2010 (and some Excel wizardry), XTB forecast that five companies could do it within the next half-century.
Unsurprisingly, all of them are tech businesses—led by Apple itself, which could cross the threshold in the next decade.
The ranking follows:
Apple, by 2028
Microsoft, by 2035
Amazon, by 2035
Tesla, by 2066
Nvidia, by 2066
Another three companies are expected to hit $5 trillion before the turn of the century: TSMC, by 2078; Tencent, by 2083; and UnitedHealth, by 2090. Meanwhile, a handful of big names will just miss the mark: Berkshire Hathaway, Visa, Samsung, Home Depot, and LVMH are all projected to be worth just under $4 trillion by 2100.
However, a notable disclaimer to the list is that it excludes some of the world’s largest companies, for which full historical market data was unavailable—including industry barons like Saudi Aramco, Alphabet, Meta, PayPal, Alibaba, and Meituan. Saudi Aramco and Alphabet have both cleared the $2 trillion milestone, at least briefly, with Alphabet doing so for the first time in late 2021. Meanwhile, Meta was on the cusp of $1 trillion before an unfortunate fourth-quarter earnings report triggered a disastrous stock market wipeout, which scrubbed $250 billion from its value in a single day.
But Apple, on the other hand, has momentum on its side. It took nearly four decades of trading to hit $1 trillion in 2018, but then saw one of the greatest gains in the Dow Jones Industrial Average in 2021, rising 41% throughout the year. Tesla has also seen astronomical growth, with its market cap skyrocketing from $75 billion in 2019 to $1.1 trillion in late 2021 on the tailwinds of electric-vehicle investor mania.
Although—if we zoom out for a moment, we might also remember that 50 years from now is a long time. That long ago, the internet was still a decade pre-birth, which was the event that spawned many of today’s most powerful conglomerates. In another half-century, the world could be ruled by an industry that has yet to exist.