Investing

Will Amazon Be the First Company to Hit a Trillion Dollars In Sales?

Bezos Image Header
Canva with Getty Images

In the movie The Social Network, there’s a scene where the investor Sean Parker is trying to sweet talk Mark Zuckerberg and says “A million dollars isn’t cool… You know what’s cool?”

The answer: a billion dollars. 

The point being: in finance, you can always get bigger. So while seven companies in the world now trade for more than a trillion dollars in market capitalization, there’s a milestone no company has ever hit: a trillion dollars in sales. Let’s look at this milestone, the contenders, and why Amazon (Nasdaq: AMZN) could be the first company to break this barrier

What Companies Are the Largest in the World?

Microsoft
Source: lcva2 / iStock Editorial via Getty Images

Amazon is currently the 6th most valuable company in the world, worth about $1.88 trillion. Here’s a comparison of the company with all data provided by S&P Capital IQ

Company Value (Market Capitalization) Revenue Annual Profits
Microsoft $3.20 Trillion  $236 Billion  $86.1 Billion 
Apple $2.91 Trillion $382 Billion  $100.4 Billion 
NVIDIA $2.62 Trillion $80 Billion  $42.6 Billion 
Alphabet (Google) $2.17 Trillion  $318 Billion  $82.4 Billion 
Saudi Aramco  $1.90 Trillion $489 Billion $116.9 Billion 
Amazon $1.88 Trillion  $591 Billion  $37.7 Billion 
Meta Platforms $1.21 Trillion  $143 Billion $45.8 Billion 
Berkshire Hathaway $880 Billion $368 Billion  $73.4 Billion 
Eli Lilly  $727 Billion  $36 Billion $6.1 Billion 
Taiwan Semiconductor  $700 Billion  $70 Billion  $26.6 Billion 

Looking at this list, you can see how differently the world’s largest companies are valued. From a P/E basis, Saudi Aramco and Berkshire Hathaway are the cheapest, which isn’t surprising. What’s more surprising is the most “expensive” company isn’t a technology company, it’s Eli Lilly (NYSE: LLY), which trades for more than 100X earnings! 

When it comes to sales, the three highest stocks on this list are 1.) Amazon 2.) Saudi Aramco 3.) Apple. However, there is a company not on this list that has higher sales than Amazon today. 

Walmart Sales Exceed Amazon: How Long Will That Last?

Walmart store
Source: jeepersmedia / Flickr

Across the past year, Walmart (NYSE: WMT) sold $657 billion worth of products, which beats Amazon’s total of $591 billion in sales. It shouldn’t be too shocking that Walmart and Amazon have the highest sales as they both have large retail divisions which are known for low margins on vast quantities of sales. 

In Walmart’s case, the company produces $18.9 billion in profits from its sales. That gives it about half the profit margin of Amazon. The difference between the two companies is that Amazon has other high-margin businesses like cloud computing and a large advertising division. Amazon recorded $47 billion in advertising revenue in 2023 while that number was just $3.4 billion for Walmart. 

One question might be: can Walmart hang onto this sales lead? Looking into the future, here’s how Wall Street sees the two companies:

Company 2024 Sales Estimate 2025 Sales Estimate 2026 Sales Estimate 2027 Sales Estimate
Walmart $643 Billion $673 Billion $698 Billion  $729 Billion 
Amazon  $638 Billion $710 Billion $789 Billion $867 Billion 

As you can see, Walmart’s sales lead over Amazon may vanish as soon as this year! Between 2024 and 2027 Walmart is projected to grow sales by 13% while Amazon Amazon’s growth rate is estimated at 36%. 

If we took these estimates out one more year, by 2028 Amazon is projected to book $957 billion in sales and $114 billion in profits

If those projections are even roughly accurate, that means Amazon would pass the trillion-dollar threshold by 2028 or 2029. The only real contender that could catch up with them aside from Walmart would be the Saudi Arabian Oil Company (Saudi Aramco). However, for Saudi Aramco to hit those sales levels, the price of oil would need to more than double. 

One final fun fact, if you were to compare Amazon’s sales to where it would rank in world GDP, today its sales would be high enough to rank Amazon as larger than the 25th largest country, which is Ireland. 

At a trillion dollars in sales, Amazon would pass the GDP of Argentina, Sweden, Belgium, Taiwan, Poland, and Switzerland to sit behind Saudi Arabia. 

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