Top Companies Throughout The Years: List of Top 10 Companies and their Decade

List of top 10 companies

List of Top 10 Companies Throughoutt The Years:

I have been having a lot of fun reading Poor Charlie’s Almanack this week. One of the many things that has stuck out so far was the mention that Charlie Munger keeps a list of the top 10 companies from a specific decade to remind himself how difficult it is to stay on top.

When Munger and Buffet make their investment decisions, they plan to hold onto them forever. This is a good exercise to try and imagine what companies around today might still be on this list in 10, 20 or 30 years from now. Better yet, will they even be around?

This struck my fancy, so I did a bit of research.

2016:
  1. Apple*
  2. Alphabet (Google)*
  3. Microsoft*
  4. Amazon*
  5. Berkshire Hathaway
  6. Exxon Mobil
  7. Facebook*
  8. Johnson & Johnson
  9. General Electric
  10. Wells Fargo

*Tech

2010:
  1. PetroChina (China)
  2. Exxon Mobil
  3. Microsoft
  4. Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (China)*
  5. Apple
  6. BHP Billiton (UK) *
  7. Wal-mart
  8. Berkshire Hathaway
  9. General Electric
  10. China Mobile (China)*

*Three Chinese companies, 4 total foreign companies. 

2000:
  1. General Electric
  2. Cisco Systems
  3. Exxon Mobil
  4. Pfizer
  5. Microsoft
  6. Wal-Mart
  7. Citigroup
  8. Vodafone (UK)
  9. Intel Corporation
  10. Royal Dutch Shell (Netherlands)

1985:

  1. Exxon Mobil
  2. General Motors
  3. Mobil
  4. Ford Motor
  5. Texaco
  6. IBM
  7. DuPont
  8. AT&T
  9. General Electric
  10. Amoco

1975:

  1. Exxon Mobil
  2. General Motors
  3. Ford Motor
  4. Texaco
  5. Mobil
  6. ChevronTexaco
  7. Gulf Oil
  8. General Electric
  9. IBM
  10. ITT Industries

1965:

  1. General Motors
  2. Exxon Mobil
  3. Ford Motor
  4. General Electric
  5. Mobil
  6. Chrysler
  7. US Steel
  8. Texaco
  9. IBM
  10. Gulf Oil

1955:

  1. General Motors
  2. Exxon Mobil
  3. US Steel
  4. General Electric
  5. Esmark
  6. Chrysler
  7. Armour
  8. Gulf Oil
  9. Mobil
  10. DuPont

Interesting Notes:

  • High number of Automotive Companies from 1955-1975
  • Brief couple years where China was prominent on top 10
  • Number of tech companies that didn’t even exist in 2000 that are now top 10 companies in the world.

Author’s Note: This research was done very quickly searching through the archives. These numbers may not be exact, and some were listed on a quarterly basis. When this was the case, I chose Q1 results for my list. Definitely an interesting exercise that I suggest you try some time.

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