Verizon Communications

Market Cap: $200.9 Billion

Industry: Telecommunications services

Founded: 2000

Chief Executive Officer: Lowell McAdam

Employees: 155,400

Sales: $127.99 billion

Headquartered: New York, NY

 

Summary: Verizon Communications is a popular and well-known holding company which engages in the provision of broadband and communication services. The company provides wireless and wireline services. The wireless portion provides wireless communications services and products on both a post- and prepaid basis. This is provided to consumer, business, and government customers. Conversely, the wireless segment offers broadband video and data, corporate networking solutions, data and cloud services, security and managed network services, and both local and long-distance voice services.

 

Why you should care: Verizon currently ranks as the 18th largest country in the world. It is number seven in profit and thirty-one in market value. These numbers are incredible impressive for a company less than twenty years old. Verizon Communications is also leading the charge toward 5G communication services, which they plan to roll out in late 2018. With a safe dividend and a stable emphasis on technology, Verizon is an excellent buy for investors seeking long-term gains.

ExxonMobil

 

Market Cap: $344.1 Billion

Industry: Oil and Gas Operations

Founded: 1859

Chief Executive Officer: Darren Woods

Employees: 71.,200

Sales: $230.06 Billion

Headquarters: Irving, Texas

 

Summary: Exxon Mobil engages in and facilitates the exploration, development, and distribution of oil, gas, and petroleum products, operating through upstream, downstream, and chemical channels. Their upstream segment produces crude oil and natural gas, whereas their downstream segment manufacturers and trades petroleum products. The chemical segment offers and distributes petrochemicals. Founded by John D. Rockefeller in 1882, ExxonMobile is one of the most successful oil development and distribution companies of all time. The company is currently the thirteenth-largest in the world, number ten in sales, number sixteen in profit, and number ten in market value.

 

Why you should care: According to Bloomberg, an emerging shale oil producer is beginning to court ExxonMobil to invest in Algerian shale reserves. The producer, headed by a man named Ould Kaddour, encouraged companies to “come explore” while at the World Gas Conference in Washington. ExxonMobil’s participation in this venture could lead to massive changes in the shale oil market, as Algeria is a relatively “untapped” country. To that end, a federal judge in California recently dismissed a climate change lawsuit brought by San Francisco and Oakland against ExxonMobil. The company continues to drill worldwide and is understood to be one of the biggest contributors to global climate change.

 

JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Market Cap: $387.7 Billion

Industry: Banking

Founded: 1968

Chief Executive Officer: Jamie Dimon

Employees: 252,539

Sales: $118.18 Billion

Headquarters: New York, NY

 

Summary: JPMorgan Chase & Co. is a well-known financial holding company. It provides financial and investment banking services to people worldwide, offering a range of investment banking products in all major capital markets. JPMorgan Chase & Co. Advises on corporate strategy and structure, works on capital-raising in equity and debt markets, assesses sophistical risk management, partakes in market-making in cash securities and derivative instrument, and provides prime brokerage and research. The company operates through consumer and community banking, corporate and investment banking, commercial banking, and asset management. They are perhaps best-known for their mortgage banking, which includes mortgage origination and servicing activities and portfolios for residential mortgages and home equity loans.

 

Why you should care: JPMorgan Chase & Co. ranks as the third-largest company in the world. They are currently number ten in profit and number eight in assets. Consumers should care about this company because their activities in the early 2000s facilitated the 2008 financial crash. Then, in February of 2012, US Attorney General Eric Holder announced the National Mortgage Settlement, which fined JPMorgan Chase (and four other megabanks) a total of $25 billion. Allegedly, JPMorgan met part of its settlement burden by forgiving loans it no longer owned.

 

McKesson Corporation

Market Cap: $30.5 Billion

Industry: Pharmaceuticals

Founded: 1833

Chief Executive Officer: John H. Hammergren

Employees: 68,000

Sales: $196.5 Billion

Headquarters: San Francisco, California

 

Summary: McKesson Corporation is an American pharmaceutical distribution company. They provide health information technology, medical supplies, and care management tools. The corporation operates through McKesson Distribution Solutions and McKesson Technology Solutions segments. The distribution branch provides ethical and proprietary drugs, medical-surgical supplies and equipment, and health/beauty care products throughout North America. They also provide pharmaceutical solutions for biotech and pharmaceutical manufactures. The Technology Solutions segment provides software, automation, business services, and consulting to hospitals, physician offices, and imaging centers.

 

Why you should care: Despite being a relatively small company, McKesson ranks #10 in global sales and #5 in American sales. McKesson stock was recently (February 2018) declared the best stock to beat healthcare headwinds. The company’s size, dominating control, and ability to be a low-cost producer in a slim-margin industry allow it to endure hardships faced by other healthcare companies. McKesson Corporation is California’s second-richest company with nearly $200 billion in annual revenues.

Apple

Market Cap: $752 Billion
Industry: Computer Hardware
Founded: 1976
Chief Executive Officer: Tim Cook
Employees: 116,000
Sales: $217.48 Billion
Headquarters: Cupertino, California

 

Summary: Apple designs, manufactures, and markets mobile communication, media devices, personal computers, and portable digital music players. They help employees to work more productively and simply, aiding in creative problem solving, communication, and collaboration. Apple is the ninth largest company in the world and ranks seventh in global sales. It holds the number one spot in market value.

 

Why should you care: Apple is one of the most renowned technology innovators in the world, pioneering devices such as the laptop and the smartphone. Though it has yet to jump into the world of intelligent personal assistants (aside from the iPhone’s “Siri”), the company is doing extensive research on artificial intelligence. The next several years will see massive changes to the world of technology, and we foresee Apple at the vanguard.

Microsoft

Market Cap: $507.5 Billion
Industry: Software and Programming
Founded: 1975
Chief Executive Officer: Satya Nadella
Employees: 114,000
Sales: $85.27 Billion
Headquarters: Redmond, Washington

 

Summary: Microsoft corporation engages in the provision of developing and marketing software and hardware services. Its products and services include computing device operating systems, services, phones, and intelligent devices. The company also produces services that aid in productivity, business solutions, desktop and server management, software development, video games, and online advertising. It holds the third ranking for the world’s most valuable brand, and it is the sixth most profitable of America’s top public companies.

 

Why you should care: In the past decade, Microsoft seems to have lagged behind other software and hardware producers (namely: Apple) in innovation and production. However, they are pioneering big data solutions—a new way to house data when the volume exceeds the capacity or cost limitations for relational database systems. A move to big data, though expected, will dramatically change how we interact with and store data in both personal and corporate worlds.

 

Wal-Mart Stores

Market Cap: $221.1 Billion
Industry: Discount Stores
Founded: 1962
Chief Executive Officer: C. Douglas McMillon
Employees: 2,300,000
Sales: $485.25 Billion
Headquarters: Bentonville, Arkansas

 

Summary: Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. engages in retail and wholesale business and operates through Walmart U.S., Walmart International, and Sam’s Club. They provide services similar to supercenters, supermarkets, hypermarkets, warehouse clubs, home improvement stores, specialty electronics centers, apparel stores, drug stores, and convenience stores. They also offer specialty services, auto buying, optical services, hearing aid centers, tire and battery centers, and business operations support services.

 

Why you should care: Wal-Mart has pioneered the modern discount store, but—most recently—has fallen behind competitors like Amazon. In an effort to keep pace, Wal-Mart is beginning to research and produce specialty foods. Among their experiments is the “fruit punch pickle.” We will not be surprised to see Wal-Mart grow significantly over the next few years as it continues to innovate.

 

Alphabet

Market Cap: $579.5 Billion
Industry: Computer Services
Founded: 2015
Chief Executive Officer: Lawrence E. Page
Employees: 72,053
Sales: $89.92 Billion
Headquarters: Mountain View, California

Summary: Alphabet Inc. is a holding company; it engages in the business of acquisition and operation of different companies. It operates through the Google and Other Bets segments—the Google segment includes Internet products (search, ads, commerce, maps, apps, cloud, &c), and the Other Bets segment includes businesses such as Access, Google Fiber, Calico, Nest, Verily, and other Google initiatives. A relatively new company, Alphabet Inc. was created through a corporate restructuring of Google.

 

Why you should care: In 2017, Alphabet invested heavily in Cuemath, Lyft, and United Masters. They also acquired smartphone technology startup Redux, which specializes in turning smartphone screens into speakers. Eric Schmidt, the executive chairman, said that there may eventually be more than 26 Alphabet subsidiaries. He is currently meeting with CEOs of current and proposed Alphabet subsidiaries, foreshadowing massive growth in the coming years.

Berkshire Hathaway Inc.

Market Cap: $409.9 Billion
Industry: Investment Service
Founded: 1839
Chief Executive Officer: Warren Edward Buffet
Employees: 367,700
Sales: $222.94 Billion
Headquarters: Omaha, Nebraska

 

Summary: Berkshire Hathaway, Inc. engages in the provision of property and casualty insurance, utilities, energy, freight rail transportation, finance, manufacturing, retailing, and services—their diverse assets comprise the most valuable corporation/company in the United States and the third largest in the World. They ranked sixth in global sales and seventh in profit, ranking second in American sales and third in American profit.

 

Why you should care: Believe it or not, Berkshire Hathaway Inc. is still growing. They have their hands in several dozen services—from retail and rail services to insurance and financial consulting. It also has a substantial investment portfolio, owning large stakes in companies like Mars, Coca-Cola, Wells Fargo, and Kraft Heinz. It is also one of the largest insurance companies in the world.