As someone who has been writing about stocks professionally for 18 years, I remember when Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) were the first companies with $1 trillion market capitalizations. There was a great deal of fascination with the milestones at the time. Subsequently, both overcame the $2 trillion mark, and Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOG, NASDAQ:GOOGL) has also joined the $1 trillion club. I guess it’s natural that the first companies to cross that huge $1 trillion threshold would get by far the most attention. Still, I find it interesting to contemplate the question of which names will be the next stocks to become future $2 trillion companies.
Certainly, the advent of a few new technologies will make it much easier for more firms to become future $2 trillion companies in the future. Of course, there’s the transition to the cloud, which was the key factor that enabled MSFT’s market capitalization to eclipse $1 trillion, then $2 trillion. Now AI has become the next, big technology that will propel multiple firms to become the future $2 trillion companies. Some of those companies could include:
ServiceNow (NYSE:NOW) will join the $2 trillion companies’ list thanks to its time-and-money-saving technology which incorporates “workflow automation” and “artificial intelligence.” As I explained in a past column, NOW allows firms “to automate many routine IT tasks.” In my opinion, NOW will continue to deliver great financial results and grow rapidly because there are few things that firms like better than large, nearly immediate cost savings.
Further, as AI advances, NOW’s solutions are also likely to become even more helpful and financially rewarding to its customers. Indeed, it’s encouraging that NOW isn’t resting on its laurels and is increasing its exposure to AI, as it recently bought G2K. The latter firm’s technology uses AI to enhance companies’ ability to analyze data.
Also positive is NOW’s decision to, for the first time buy back NOW stock. Specifically, the company disclosed on May 17 that it plans to purchase $1.5 billion of NOW stock. The move will hasten the company’s path to the $2 trillion level and shows that it has more confidence than ever in its ability to become one of the world’s most valuable companies.
Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) is not that far away from becoming one of the first companies to reach the $2 trillion market. Right now, its market capitalization stands at $1.185 trillion.
Of course, Amazon’s cloud business is continuing to grow rapidly, and that will help it reach the $2 trillion club. Also growing rapidly is Amazon’s ad business. Moreover, I remain convinced that, at some point this year, consumers will reduce their spending on experiences and increase the percentage of the funds that they spend on products. That will be positive for Amazon’s massive e-commerce business and for AMZN stock. Also noteworthy is that all of the company’s businesses that I’ve mentioned so far can be meaningfully boosted by AI.
Another key to AMZN becoming one of the $2 trillion companies of the future is its ability to disrupt America’s highly inefficient pharmaceutical sector. As I’ve mentioned in the past, by cutting out multiple “middlemen,” Amazon will be able to, through its new Amazon Clinic service, provide drugs much more cheaply to Americans versus what they’re currently paying. I believe that will become a huge business for AMZN within a year or two.
Finally, autonomous driving and other technological innovations will allow Amazon’s e-commerce business to accelerate its market-share gains.
Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL) is also nearing the $2 trillion mark. In fact, its current market cap stands at $1.56 trillion. I think it’s worth noting that I expect GOOG to reach $2 trillion in the next year or two. Of course, AI will boost the effectiveness of the company’s search engine business. Consequently, the search engine’s revenue growth will accelerate as it takes tremendous market share from non-digital ad platforms.
Alphabet can also use AI to enhance the “stickiness” of YouTube, and the service will be able to make its ads much more interactive. Additionally, Alphabet should be able to offer AI services via Google Cloud. Finally, I expect Waymo, Alphabet’s autonomous-driving unit, to, within the next few years, start generating significant amounts of revenue for Alphabet.
Chinese automaker BYD (OTC:BYDDF) has become the world’s leading seller of electric vehicles if one counts plug-in hybrids as EVs. Moreover, the automaker generates a significant amount of revenue from selling electric buses and batteries for EVs, large-scale electricity storage, and consumer-electronic products. I expect the demand for all of these ancillary products to grow significantly over the longer term.
Also in the longer term, I predict that BYD’s revenue from subscriptions that it sells to the owners of its EVs will soar. That’s because, as time goes on, the ability of automakers to offer subscriptions for services like monitoring data and enhancing vehicles’ security is likely to increase meaningfully.
Further, BYD will probably greatly increase its deliveries in other countries in the coming years. That’s because it appears to, more than any other EV maker, have developed the ability to manufacture affordable yet popular and profitable EVs. For example, its Seagull EV costs $11,300 in Europe and should be very appealing to many European consumers.
Powered by Nvidia’s (NASDAQ:NVDA) sales of chips for use in developing AI, Nvidia stock is closing in on the $1 trillion market, as its market capitalization as of the market close on May 22 was $771 billion. Within the next few years, I believe that Nvidia’s opportunity in AI will probably enable it to be one of the next stocks to reach the $2 trillion level.
Adding to my conviction about the strong, longer-term outlook of NVDA stock, Bank of America is estimating that the total available market for AI accelerators may reach $50 billion to $60 billion in 2027. And the bank believes that NVDA is well-positioned to succeed in that market since Nvidia already has all of the elements that it needs in the sector, while “many competitors” will need a decade or more to catch up with it.
Meanwhile, two investment banks — Oppenheimer and Susquehanna — also recently expressed optimism about Nvidia’s opportunity in the AI space. The banks believe that the proliferation of AI is enabling Nvidia to sell many more of its graphics processing units, which are used to create AI.
Finally, last month CNBC reported that “Nvidia’s most-advanced graphics cards are selling for more than $40,000 on eBay,” amid strong demand from AI developers.
Merck’s (NYSE:MRK) Keytruda is one of, if not the most, successful cancer drugs of all time. The treatment generated $20.9 billion in sales for Merck last year. And the pharmaceutical giant is constantly taking steps that enable the drug to be used to combat new types of cancers. For example, just earlier this month, it presented data showing that the drug, in combination with chemotherapy, raised overall survival rates in first-line lung cancer, The data will likely lead to a new approval for Keytruda in Europe.
Keytruda’s patent will expire in 2028, but Merck appears to be taking steps, including working on ” two subcutaneous versions of Keytruda.” that will likely wind up extending the drug’s patent protection,
And crucially, Merck has shown the willingness and ability to make positive, game-changing acquisitions. One recent deal in that category was its agreement, made last month, to take over Prometheus Bio (NASDAQ:RXDX). The latter firm has developed ” a treatment for inflammatory bowel disease” that looks poised to become very successful. In a trial late last year, 26.5% of ulcerative colitis patients who took Prometheus’ drug entered remission, versus just 1.5% of those who received placebos.
Many Wall Street analysts are upbeat on the drug, and it does seem poised to make a great deal of money for Merck. With Keytruda likely to generate huge revenue and profits for Merck well into the future and the company making superb acquisitions, MRK stock looks poised to reach the $2 trillion mark in 2028 or shortly thereafter.
Eli Lilly (LLY)
Eli Lilly (NYSE:LLY) has two blockbuster drugs on the way that will very likely enable LLY to become one of the next $2 trillion companies. LLY’s Alzheimer’s treatment, donanemab, “was effective in reducing cognitive and functional decline in patients with early symptomatic Alzheimer’s disease,” the company reported last month.
Meanwhile, the company’s weight-loss drug, Mounjaro, has demonstrated the ability to enable Type 2 diabetes patients to exercise “chronic weight management.” And the FDA may approve the drug as a treatment for all obese and overweight patients “as soon as” this year. Taken together, I believe that these drugs will enable LLY stock to eclipse the $2 trillion mark in 2028 or not very long thereafter.
As of the date of publication, Larry Ramer’s wife owned shares of NOW. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.