Amazon, Apple, Alphabet, and Microsoft have become dominant companies in the tech world and thus, stock market. In 2000 they had over $ 1 trillion of revenue and over $200 billion of profit. They have a market value of over $ 7 trillion and represent about 20 % of the value of the S&P 500. Thus, the concentration of value in these companies that didn’t exist in 1995 has dramatically increased. They also experienced about 20 % annual sales growth and 40 % annual profit growth in the few years prior to 2021.
Their importance may be underestimated unless one includes new metrics. An estimated 50% of online spending goes through Alphabet or Facebook. Microsoft is a key vendor to over 80 % of businesses. Amazon takes in more than 40% of online spending.
In 2022, the importance is still apparent but the growth rate of these leading companies may be starting to decline. First as they get bigger sustaining huge growth rates becomes increasingly difficult. Second, in first half of 2022, these companies and many other tech stocks experienced flat to moderately declining sales and earnings.
This has several implications for the economy and investors High P.E. ratios may no longer be justifiable. Hiring and investment are being reduced. These companies were a major stimulus for growth in the economy and there are no apparent companies to replace them. Thus, we may need to consider some major rethinking about the growth and structure of the economy and these tech companies.