Opened in 1971, Nasdaq is the world’s first fully electronic exchange. Today, it’s the world’s second-largest stock market, where the shares of a host of blue-chip tech companies are listed. It has many firsts to its name, from being the first exchange to have a website using cloud storage and to sell its technology to other exchanges. The Nasdaq 100 is an index of 100 of the largest tech companies that trade on the exchange. With technology driving rapid innovation since the turn of the millennium, the Nasdaq 100 has exhibited a strong performance for more than two decades.
Here are the top 5 companies (and a bonus one) the stocks of which account for more than 40% of the traded value on the Nasdaq exchange.
The company founded in 1976 was led to greatness by the visionary Steve Jobs. Under Jobs, Apple became a world leader in the tech industry and launched several revolutionary products, including the iPod, iPad, iPhone, MacBook, and Apple Watch. The company was the first to introduce colour graphics in computers, which made its sales jump from $7.8 million to $117 million in a span of two years from 1978 to 1980, which is when the company went public. Apple was the first publicly traded company to reach a market cap of $1 trillion in August 2018.
Tim Cook joined the company in 1998 when it was about to go bankrupt. He was instrumental in driving Apple close to a valuation of $3 trillion. Cook added several product lines and under him, the company took major steps to improve factory working conditions and the health tech sector.
In October 2022, Apple announced record quarterly revenues of $90.1 billion. Although the stock had a rough year in 2022, most analysts are bullish about the company’s long-term prospects. Apple’s outlook depends on the company’s progress in AR/VR wearables, immersive ambient computing, and foldable iPhones.
The most comprehensive technology solutions provider, Microsoft has powered technology ecosystems, with hardware, operating systems, applications, and now cloud services.
Did you know?
Approximately 3.5 million shares of the company were traded on the first day it was listed on the stock exchange in 1986. Although the stock opened at $21, the first trade took place at $25.50, and the share price reached $28 by the end of the day.
CEO Satya Nadella renewed the vision of the company to a “mobile-first, cloud-first, data-powered world,” ditching the “Windows or nothing” rhetoric. The Windows operating system, Office, and other applications have been developed to be compatible with other systems and that is where Microsoft derives its edge. More recently, the company has been investing heavily in artificial intelligence, data management, and quantum computing. The goal is to dominate the cloud services market as much as it has done with the operating systems market.
The Google parent has several businesses in its portfolio, including X Development, Calico, Nest, Verily, Fiber, Makani, CapitalG, and GV. Google was renamed Alphabet in 2015, which was a strategic move to go beyond search to include industries like robotics, life sciences, and healthcare under one umbrella. It was aimed at redefining the company as a technology conglomerate to accommodate the widening interest of its leadership, as the then CEO Larry Page had mentioned. The company’s founders have always had a healthy disregard for the impossible, and many of its business segments are focused on disruptive innovation. This made Alphabet, Wall Street’s new darling, and its market cap jumped by $27.2 billion on the day it debuted.
Sundar Pichai became CEO in 2015 and declared that his overarching goal was to curtail inefficiencies in the organisation. The company is looking to pave the way for next-gen computing with high-performance computer chips that involve a reduction in the processing power requirements for machine learning.
Did you know?
Alphabet reported record annual revenues of $257 billion in 2021, surpassing $200 billion for the first time in its history. The company’s advertising and cloud businesses are expected to spearhead growth over the next decade.
The company has held up its principle to measure success by the long-term value created for shareholders. Amazon has dominated the ecommerce market for more than two decades. Prime, Alexa, Kindle, and AWS have also been growth drivers for the company. A customer-centric approach has been a key differentiator for the company in the global landscape. Its integrated digital platforms and extreme proficiency in supply chain management has led the company to success.
Jeff Bezos once said, “Your margin is my opportunity,” which is how the company has overtaken a major chunk of retail verticals. Next, the ecommerce giant is hoping to introduce low-margin medicine, automated ripeness testing for perishables like fruits and vegetables in warehouses, and instant small business lending.
Did you know?
Despite being a mammoth company, Amazon exhibited great agility to grab opportunities presented by the covid lockdowns. Its revenues climbed 38% to $386 billion in 2022, with profits soaring by 84%.
A name that is synonymous with electric vehicles is the youngest of the world’s top companies. Elon Musk’s mission of taking over the automobile world by bringing sustainable transport to the masses has been the backbone of the business model. Tesla did not start small. It produced high-end sports cars and then entered the SUV market. It has built a network of more than 30,000 charging stations across the globe. The company’s biggest differentiator is direct selling to the customer, rather than following a dealership model.
Did you know?
One of Tesla’s biggest accomplishments is a global fleet of vehicles, energy storage, and solar panels that enabled its customers to avoid emitting 8.4 million metric tons of CO2e in 2021.
Musk’s tweets have the power to move markets. The company’s stock tumbled 70% in 2022, with the CEO being distracted by his Twitter acquisition. However, the company still rules the EV market in the US. And Musk is known to have turned the tables multiple times and boost the stock, both with his wit and his vision.
Facebook transformed the way people socialised. Mark Zuckerberg then acquired WhatsApp and Instagram to rule the social media market. Announcing a Metaverse pivot for the company in 2021, Zuckerberg renamed Facebook to Meta Platforms. However, growth of all platforms slowed significantly through 2022. The company’s earnings missed forecasts repeatedly that year, and Meta Platforms lost its rank of being among the top 5.
The company is now working to take VR headsets to every household and hopes to shatter more records (upwards this time) with the platform’s next iteration – Quest.