The top ten publicly traded Internet companies according to current market value include Apple Inc., Google Inc., Amazon.com, Baidu.com, Tencent, eBay Inc., Priceline.com, Yahoo! Inc., Yahoo! Japan Corporation and Salesforce.com.
Internet companies are back in vogue with investors. But beware – think the dot.com bust in 2000 – with Internet companies presenting their own peculiar risks, including ferocious competition, evolving technology and earnings disappointments.
Here are the top ten publicly traded Internet companies according to market value as of March 31, 2011. Figures are in billions of dollars.
1. Apple Inc. (USA) - $321.1
Apple Inc. (NYSE, NASDAQ: AAPL) was founded by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne in Cupertino, California, in 1976. Apple produces a line of Macintosh computers, the iPod, the iPhone and the iPad. Apple's current market value is $321.1 billion. That's a 428% increase from 12/31/05, when their market value was $60.8 billion.
2. Google Inc. (USA) - $188.7
Google Inc. (NYSE, NASDAQ: GOOG; FWB: GGQ1) was founded by Sergey Brin and Larry Page in Menlo Park, California, in 1998. They provide – surprise! – Internet search, cloud computing and advertising technologies. Google Inc., which also owns YouTube, Blogger and Orkut, boasts of a current market value of $188.7 billion, representing a 55% increase from 12/31/05, when that figure was $121.6 billion.
3. Amazon.com (USA) - $81.2
Amazon.com (NASDAQ: AMZN) was founded by Jeff Bezos in Seattle, Washington, in 1994. Originally called Cadabra Inc., Amazon.com is the largest online retailer in the United States, offering books, CDs, toys, DVDs, apparel, electronics, video games, software, etc. Amazon.com's current market value is $81.2 billion. That figure represents an increase of 314% since 12/31/05, when their market value was $19.6 billion.
4. Baidu.com Inc. (China) - $48.0
Baidu.com Inc. (NASDAQ: BIDU) was founded by Chinese nationals Robin Li and Eric Xu in 2000. Headquartered in Beijing, China, Baidu.com is a web services company. Baidu's current market value is $48.0 billion, representing a 2,187% increase since 12/31/05, when that figure was $2.1 billion.
5. Tencent QQ (China) - $44.4
Tencent QQ – operating under the auspices of Tencent Holdings Limited (HKEX: 0700) was founded by Ma Huanteng in Shenzhen, China, in 1998. The firm provides instant messaging computer programs to the Chinese mainland. Tencent's current market value is $44.4 billion. That represents a marked increase of 2,238% since 12/31/05, when their market value was a mere $1.9 billion.
6. eBay Inc. (USA) - $40.3
eBay Inc. (NSDAQ: EBAY) was founded by Pierre Omidyar and Michael Dean Johnson in San Jose, California, in 1995. Originally called AuctionWeb, eBay is an international online auction/sales site, whose many acquisitions through the years have included Alando, PayPal, EachNet, Craigslist, Sykpe, StumbleUpon, RedLaser and GSI Commerce. eBay's current market value is $40.3 billion, representing a -34% decline since 12/31/05, when that figure was $60.7 billion.
7. Priceline.com (USA) - $24.9
Priceline.com (NASDAQ: PCLN) was founded by Jay S. Walker in 1998. The company is in the travel business, offering discounts on airline tickets and hotel rooms, with actor William Shatner serving as the firm's popular TV spokesman. Priceline.com's current market value is $24.9 billion, representing a staggering 2,666% increase since 12/31/05, when that figure was a "scrawny" $0.9 billion.
8. Yahoo! Inc. (USA) - $21.8
Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ: YHOO) was founded by Jerry Yang and David Filo in Santa Clara, California, in 1994. Yahoo! Search, Yahoo! News, Yahoo! Directory and Yahoo! Mail are just some of its featured Internet services. Yahoo! Inc.'s current market value is $21.8 billion, representing a marked decline of -61% since 12/31/05, when that figure was $56.0 billion. Interestingly, Microsoft Corporation had offered $44.6 billion for Yahoo! in 2008, a bid deemed too low by Yahoo! management at the time.
9. Yahoo! Japan Corporation (Japan) - $20.9
Yahoo! Japan (TYO: 4689) was founded in 1996. The Japanese affiliate of American-based Yahoo! Inc., Yahoo! Japan offers its Asian customers many of the same services as its USA counterpart. Yahoo! Japan carries a current market value of $20.9 billion. That represents a decline of -55% from 12/31/05, when their market value was $45.9 billion.
10. Salesforce.com (USA) - $17.8
Salesforce.com (NYSE: CRM) was founded by Marc Benioff, Parker Harris, Dave Moellenhoff, and Frank Dominguez in San Francisco in 1999. The firm distributes popular business software, with their many Internet acquisitions through the years numbering such companies as Sendia, Instranet, Sitemasher, Activa Live Chat, Dimdim and Radian 6. Salesforce.com's current market value is $17.8 billion, making it an up-and-comer in the Internet field. That figure represents a 407% increase from 12/31/05, when their market value was a mere $3.5 billion.
Top Ten Internet Public Companies Sources
- Capital IQ
- Morgan Stanley
- T. Rowe Price
- Apple Inc. logo - Apple Inc.