Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) this summer became the sixth company to join the ranks of the trillion-dollar club, while Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) is closing in on double that valuation, and Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL), the world’s largest company, passed that landmark some time ago.
But just who will be next?
Well, according to data tracking growth trajectories of the world’s largest companies on a website called Approve.com, the next cab off the rank in all likelihood will be Tencent Holdings Limited (HKG:0700) (market capitalisation US$704bn).
Indeed, the Chinese technology conglomerate almost got there in February when it was valued at US$916bn.
However, it has been buffeted by a number of headwinds, the most powerful of which has been Beijing’s backlash against the growing power of firms such as Tencent that dominate search and social media.
Approve.com reckons Tencent will hit the trillion-dollar market cap landmark some time next year based on its historic trajectory.
The stellar recent performance of Elon Musk Tesla Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) means it will be nip and tuck just whether the Chinese giant gets over the line first, or whether it will be beaten by a super-charged electric car maker.
It could also soon be hot on Facebook’s heels with a 124% average annual growth rate, the latest survey data reveal.
By 2023, the ranks will have swelled to include broadcaster Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) and shopping platform Meituan, while a year later TV streaming colossus Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) Inc, chipmaker Nvidia Corporation and drinks maker Kweichow Moutai will join a club that’s becoming less exclusive by the day.
Back in autumn 2019 analysts wondered whether the phones, laptop, apps and movies and music firm could remain airborne at those levels.
Today a far less sceptical Wall Street reckons Apple’s valuation could soon push through $3 trillion, even though the Washington’s House Judiciary Committee’s antitrust subcommittee recently passed six bills aimed at curtailing the power of Big Tech.
Relevant to Apple specifically are the Ending Platform Monopolies Act and American Choice and Innovation Online Act.
But Daniel Ives at broker Wedbush said: “Apple remains the top tech name to own.”
His analysis suggests the Cupertino, California-based titan is worth $185, giving it a market cap of $3.1 trillion.
“The tech bull cycle will continue in our opinion its upward move in in the second half of 2021 and 2022 given the scarcity of growth names/winners in this market looking ahead on the heels of the fourth industrial revolution playing out among enterprises/consumers,” Ives said in a note to clients overnight.
He said the iPhone maker is “our favourite large cap tech name to play the 5G transformational cycle”, hailing the “one-two punch of its massive services business and iPhone product cycle”, translating into a $3 trillion market cap during 2022, in the broker’s opinion.
Currently, the company is worth $2.5 trillion based on a share price of just shy of $150.
The Wedbush analyst is not alone in predicting Apple will push beyond the $3 trillion mark.
Five star rated Brian White, of boutique equity research firm Monness Crespi and Hardt, is one of those. In research quoted by CNBC, he said he reckons the shares could ultimately wind up changing hands for $180 each.
All eyes are currently on September’s launch of the latest iPhone.
If the release of a new handset could act as a major valuation catalyst, then antitrust legislation would undoubtedly have the reverse effect.