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Opinion: These Will Be the 4 Largest Companies by 2035

Motley Fool - Wed Apr 17, 10:10AM CDT

Just 11 years ago, Apple, ExxonMobil, Alphabet, and Berkshire Hathaway were the four largest American companies. Today, only two of those companies -- Apple and Alphabet -- remain in the top four. Berkshire Hathaway has slipped to No. 7, and ExxonMobil and Walmart have fallen from the top 10 altogether.

A lot can change in only 11 years. Let's look at the companies I believe will claim the top four spots in 2035.

An animated rocket hopping from platform to platform on a yellow background.

Image source: Getty Images.

Nvidia

By 2035, Nvidia(NASDAQ: NVDA) will be the world's largest company by market cap. What's more, I think it could happen even sooner.

One reason is that Nvidia has already grown faster than nearly anyone expected. The company's market cap has exploded almost 10x, from $0.3 trillion to $2.2 trillion in less than two years.

NVDA Market Cap Chart
NVDA Market Cap data by YCharts.

The massive growth of artificial intelligence (AI) is behind the company's rapid rise. Thanks to its leading position in the graphics processing unit (GPU) market, Nvidia is well-positioned to take the crown as the largest company by 2035 -- if not sooner. That's because the GPU market is expected to grow by leaps and bounds over the next decade. According to Global Markets Insights, the size of the GPU market is set to expand from $40 billion in 2022 to $400 billion by 2032.

What's more, the ramp in GPU spending is already here. Nvidia's sales increased by a mind-blowing 265% year over year in its most recent quarter (the three months ending Jan. 28, 2024). While sales are expected to cool somewhat, analysts still expect the company to grow them by 82% this year.

Over the next five years, given the explosive growth of the overall GPU market, analysts expect Nvidia's sales to rise 37% per year, meaning the company's annual revenue by 2030 could approach $300 billion.

In short, Nvidia is riding a tsunami of growth that could carry it all the way to the top spot by 2035.

Microsoft

With a market cap of $3.2 trillion, Microsoft(NASDAQ: MSFT) is currently the world's largest company, having passed Apple last year.

Like Nvidia, the AI revolution has lifted Microsoft's market cap significantly. The company's extensive and iconic software suite offers a natural home for AI-powered tools, and it has wasted no time integrating AI features into its software.

What's more, Microsoft enjoys a close partnership with ChatGPT-maker OpenAI. That partnership has already helped both companies and puts Microsoft in a good spot to benefit from future AI breakthroughs that OpenAI may make. AI will likely be the key factor in driving market caps higher over the next decade, and Microsoft is well-positioned to capitalize on that trend.

In terms of growth, analysts expect Microsoft to grow sales by 16% per year over the next five years, implying annual sales of over $475 billion by 2030. That's nearly in line with an internal target set by chief executive officer (CEO) Satya Nadella of $500 billion in revenue by 2030. Either way, Microsoft's expected growth shows that the company has staying power, and while the company may not be able to stay ahead of Nvidia, it will likely keep its lead over everyone else.

Amazon

With a current market cap of $1.9 trillion, Amazon(NASDAQ: AMZN) is currently America's fifth-largest company. But by 2035, I see it leapfrogging a number of companies, including Apple and Alphabet, to take the third spot.

That's because Amazon, like Nvidia and Microsoft before it, has a natural way to benefit from the AI revolution. The company already utilizes more than 750,000 robots in its sprawling warehouses. They measure and pack products, move heavy items, read labels, and distribute shelves and packages.

In addition, AI should help the company improve the digital side of its e-commerce business. AI assistants can shop for customers and help with returns. AI-powered ad tools can refine which customers see which ads, leading to improved return on investment (ROI) and generating more ad revenue for Amazon. Moreover, the company's crown jewel, Amazon Web Services (AWS), should continue to benefit from the transition to the cloud over the next decade.

Amazon is already one of the largest companies by revenue; the company has generated $575 billion over the last 12 months -- second only to Walmart's $648 billion. However, Amazon is closing the gap quickly and should overtake Walmart soon. Analysts expect Amazon to grow its revenue by 31% per year over the next five years, bringing annual revenue to an eye-popping $2.2 trillion by 2030.

Thanks to its impressive revenue growth, I think Amazon will climb the rankings up to third place.

Meta Platforms

Rounding out the top four is MetaPlatforms(NASDAQ: META). Currently the sixth-largest American company by market cap, I expect Meta to leapfrog both Alphabet and Apple by 2035.

Meta is quickly becoming one of the world's biggest cash cows. The company's lucrative ad business continues to grow by leaps and bounds as the digital advertising market expands. Moreover, Meta's ambitious AI research and development could lead to revolutionary breakthroughs over the next decade.

In terms of revenue, analysts expect Meta to grow revenue by 26% annually over the next five years, leading to an annual total of $429 billion by 2030.

At any rate, with its family of apps (Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp) providing ample free cash flow, Meta is well-positioned to grow its market cap significantly over the next decade, so it could surpass laggards like Alphabet and Apple by 2035.

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Suzanne Frey, an executive at Alphabet, is a member of The Motley Fool’s board of directors. Randi Zuckerberg, a former director of market development and spokeswoman for Facebook and sister to Meta Platforms CEO Mark Zuckerberg, is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. John Mackey, former CEO of Whole Foods Market, an Amazon subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool’s board of directors. Jake Lerch has positions in Alphabet, Amazon, and Nvidia. The Motley Fool has positions in and recommends Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, Berkshire Hathaway, Meta Platforms, Microsoft, Nvidia, and Walmart. The Motley Fool recommends the following options: long January 2026 $395 calls on Microsoft and short January 2026 $405 calls on Microsoft. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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