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Despite ongoing trade tensions, there seems to be no stopping the juggernaut of technology company growth.
There is no mention of tech stocks without Amazon.com (NASDAQ: AMZN), and the e-commerce giant's meteoric growth in the past two decades clearly shows why. In the past three years through September 2019, the stock has gained 132% versus the S&P 500's 41%.
The true sign of Amazon's continued growth is its revenue. For example, quarterly revenue growth in 2018 averaged nearly 33% against the year-ago levels. In 2017, this was just under 30%. And in 2016, it was was under 28%. The company is never short of ideas, with moves into streaming already proving successful, and further ambitions into the health sector and potentially even transport.
There are, of course, some risks, including antitrust concerns and the possibility of breaking up big tech. Though it's not likely to happen anytime soon, it's not outside the realm of possibility. However, even Amazon's subsidiaries are proving to be pulling their weight, and none more so than Amazon Web Services, the company's cloud computing branch, which brought in a whopping revenue of $25.7 billion in 2018, which means that this single service accounted for more than 10% of the company's $232.887 billion total last year.
Amazon's stock has not quite reached the heights of 2018, but much of this is down to overall market uncertainty and antitrust scrutiny. With an ambitious founder-led model and a nearly impenetrable moat in the form of its astounding fulfillment center network, the company is sure to return strong investments for many years to come.
The company we all love, or love to hate. One thing is certain though: Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) oozes success. We all know that scene in Forrest Gump when the title character's money is invested in "some kind of fruit company."
That fruit company, of course, was Apple Computer, which would go on to become one of the largest and most profitable corporations in the history of the world.
If you had invested in Apple following its IPO in 1980 at $22 per share, you would have seen the stock grow by more than 45,000%, with the stock price closing at an all-time high on Oct. 11 of this year, at $236.21. Though not immune to the current market volatility, Steve Jobs' brainchild has experienced enormous growth, becoming the first company to ever reach a $1 trillion market cap, in 2018. Thanks to free cash flow of almost $60 billion over the past year and large cash reserves, Apple is particularly well situated in the event of an economic recession.
The company has shown a willingness to adapt to what the world needs and has even taken part in several eco-friendly initiatives. Despite a slowdown in hardware sales in recent years, Apple's brand identity is still second-to-none, and with 700% growth in stock price in the past decade and a renewed focus on subscription service building, it doesn't show any signs of slowing down or running out of money-making ideas.
There is one company that has recently overtaken Apple as the only trillion-dollar company around and it's Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT). The company's stock is up 38% year to date and shows no signs of slowing down.
From 2002 to 2019, Microsoft saw a revenue increase from $29 billion to a record $126 billion. This massive growth in the space of 17 years coincides with the company's continued investment in diversifying its product range. Though some of these investments have not paid off -- remember when Microsoft teamed up with Nokia? -- other investments have helped it become the largest tech company on earth, particularly in terms of cloud computing.
Microsoft's commercial cloud revenue, such as from Office 365 or Azure, has been a boon in recent consolidated results, bringing in $11 billion of the $40 billion fiscal 2019 net income. It is the company's fastest growing revenue stream, and will play a large part in overall strategy moving forward.
With a strong core business, brand presence to match Apple, and a proactive CEO in Satya Nadella, Microsoft has moved from hardware manufacturing to a business model that on around subscription-based products and services, generating recurring revenue.
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MyWallSt operates a full disclosure policy. MyWallSt staff currently hold long positions in Amazon, Apple, and Microsoft. Read the full disclosure policy here.
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