Google Parent Alphabet Joins Trillion-Dollar Club

The Google parent is the latest tech behemoth to break through the $1 trillion valuation threshold, following three of its competitors into sky-high territory.


For the first time in its history, Google parent Alphabet attained a $1 trillion valuation Thursday, joining its two hyper-scale cloud competitors, and its primary smartphone competitor, in the elite club of American companies that have broken through, though not necessarily stayed above, that lofty mark.

Alphabet, which has seen a nearly uninterrupted advance in its share price since the summer, closed on the Nasdaq exchange at $1,450.16—delivering a final market cap rounded at $1 trillion.

Only three other companies have ever achieved that milestone—and they all compete with Google on various fronts.

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Amazon, which operates public cloud leader AWS, cracked $1 trillion in the summer of 2018 and then again, briefly, last summer, but has not been able to maintain that height. The e-commerce giant currently has a market cap around $931 billion.

Microsoft, the second-largest cloud provider that directly leads Google's cloud business, achieved the milestone in April, and has kept good-standing in the $1 trillion club, with a current valuation around $1.27 trillion.

The most-valuable company in the world remains Apple, with a $1.38 trillion cap. Apple's business is powered by the iPhone—the competitor for Google's Android mobile OS.

While Alphabet achieves almost the entirety of its revenue from its Google subsidiary, Google Cloud is less a factor on the larger company's financials than the corresponding cloud businesses for Amazon and Microsoft. Google still derives the lion's share of profits from advertising stemming from its leading search business.

Chasing the two public cloud leaders has at times dragged down Alphabet's share price.

Alphabet stock slightly fell in October after a third-quarter earnings statement revealed the massive investment the company was making to catch AWS and Microsoft. Investors pulled back briefly when the company revealed its capital expenditures climbed to $6.7 billion in the quarter, and profits declined more than $2 billion from the same quarter of the previous years.

Google has repeatedly insisted that level of spending on data center expansion is necessary to compete against AWS and Microsoft and seize share from those two in a rapidly expanding public cloud market.