Technical Analysis

How did the largest capitalized companies in the US perform in 2022? Not so great.

Apple is ending the year as the largest capitalized stock in the US. It closed the year with a market capitalization of $2.066T, and that makes it the only company above the $2T level.

The top 20 market capitalized companies in the US (EOY 2022)

That is the good news. The not so good news is its peak end of day market capitalization reached $2.973T back on January 3rd, 2022. On that day the market capitalization reached an intraday high of over $3T, making it the first US company to reach that milestone, but backed off into the close, and after another try on January 4th, the capitalization never returned to the lofty milestone again. From the high capitalization to the end of 2022 level, the company lost $907B.

The chart below shows the high capitalization levels of the top 20 companies vs the EOY 2022 levels, and the dollar change in capitalization.

The decline in capitalization from peak to end of 2022 (US)

The magnitude of that $907B dollar decline was not the worst decline from the peak. That distinction goes to Amazon whose peak market capitalization reached 1888B on July 8, 2021 and closed 2022 at $856B for a cool -$1.031T decline.

Ironically (or maybe not0, that peak in Amazon’s market capitalization coincided roughly with the day that Jeff Bezos turned the helm over to the company’s cloud-computing boss Andy Jassy.

Bezos said at the time, “We chose that date because it’s sentimental for me, the day Amazon was incorporated in 1994, exactly 27 years ago.”

The date will now have a less sentimental distinction as being within 3 days of the highest capitalization for the retail behemoth.

From a percentage basis, the biggest loser of the top 20 in market capitalization goes to Meta Platform which has seen Mark Zuckerberg’s companies stock lose -70.33% of its market capitalization as it shifted to its metaverse initiative. Meta shares reached a high stock price on September 21, 2021 and a high market capitalization of 1.078T on that day. However, that capitalization has now declined to $319.88B (or -$758.12B).

The next biggest loser from a % capitalization perspective is Tesla which fell -68.61% from its January 3, 2022 high watermark. 2022 saw the leader in EV market struggle with supply issues, a China slowdown, increased competition and the knock on effect from CEO’s Musk’s purchase of Twitter. Musk lost over $120B in net worth in 2022 as a result of decline in Tesla stock. He exasperated the decline in the stock by selling close to $23B of his shares to finance the purchase of Twitter.

The % declines from peak to EOY 2022 market capitalization

So how did the stocks of the top 20 capitalized companies fare in 2022?

Tesla and Meta had the biggest 2022 stock declines of -65.03% an -64.22% respectively. That was followed by Nvidia which fell -50.31% and Amazon which fell -49.61%. Alphabet (Google) rounded out the top 5 with a decline of -38.67%

Despite the sharp declines in the major indices in 2022 which saw the S&P fall -19.44%, there were 5 of the top 20 largest cap stocks whose stock rose in 2022.

The top 5 % stock winners were led by:

  • Exxon Mobile whose stock rose 80.26%.
  • Chevron, another gas and oil company rose by 52.95%.
  • Pharma company Eli Lilly increased 32.45%,
  • UnitedHealth rose 5.58%, and
  • Johnson and Johnson – also in the pharma space rose 3.26%.

The stock price changes of top 20 largest US cap companies

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