Tomorrow is the sixth anniversary of Visa (V) entering the public markets. The company's IPO topped $19 bn in the spring of 2008 and set records for its size. Visa IPO investors have done remarkably well since: the company is now a member of the Dow Jones Industrial Average and has more importantly smiled on investors with a return of 409% from its IPO price, which started with a pop of over $12 per share on its first day of trading.
Visa currently sits at number 25 on the list of the S&P 500's largest companies by market cap, a list that includes American icons such as General Electric (GE), Berkshire Hathaway (BRK), Wal-Mart (WMT), AT&T (T) and Coca-Cola (KO). But the large cap index doesn't only include the titans of years gone by: 7 of the top 25 companies are Technology firms, including Google (GOOG), Facebook (FB) and Visa, which all debuted on public exchanges within the last decade. Below is a list of the largest 25 firms in the S&P 500, ranked by their current market cap. Also included is their rank as of 6 years ago. Companies that were not in the S&P 500 on 3/17/2008 are noted with an n/a.
The US markets have over time trended less towards "traditional" commercial enterprise (industrials, consumer staples, and consumer discretionaries) and more towards information-based or service oriented sectors: technology, health care, and finance. The top 25 has 7 technology companies, 5 financials and 3 health care names...but only 1 industrial, General Electric. Despite its classification, GE derived $44bn of its $146bn total revenues in 2013 from GE Capital, its financial subsidiary.
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