Every once in a while, a company comes along that completely reshapes the world. Sometimes it is hard to spot the changes as they happen, and other times a new product or service is so revolutionary it becomes clear immediately the impact it will have on the world.
It is not surprising that technology companies tend to have the biggest impact on our lives. Technology changes quick, and its impacts can be felt instantly. Technology has had a major impact on our lives, and it is exciting to imagine how much it will continue to change the world moving forward.
Communication, shopping, socializing, and data storage are just a few of the examples of how different the world has become over the last decade. While we take the ease and convenience of technology for granted, that was not always the case.
From an investing standpoint, these companies are very attractive since their importance in day to day life cannot be understated, and their strong market sure is a clear deterrent to new competition.
The following five companies changed the world and continue to reshape our lives.
You could easily argue that social media giant Facebook (FB) changed the world as much as any company over the last ten years. Social media existed before Facebook came along, but Facebook’s approach changed everything. Facebook changed how we stay in touch with friends and family and how we obtain and digest news. Facebook started as a desktop service, but easily made the transition to mobile as smartphones gained in popularity, and the company continues to grow. Earnings are expected to keep rising 22% per annum over the next five years, which could be understated depending how strong the company is able to grow new revenue streams such as Instagram and WhatsApp. FB trades at $159.50 with an average price target of $209.37.
Alphabet (GOOGL), the parent company behind search giant Google is the perfect example of a company that took something that already existed and made it better. Search engines existed before Google, but Google’s strong algorithms put it ahead of the rest and made it the search option of the world. Google has become a crucial part of commerce, both online and off, and its rankings can make or break a company’s online success. The company also played a role in shaping the mobile revolution with its Android operating system. Google continues to branch into new sectors, including cloud computing, and analysts expect to see the company grow earnings by an average 17% a year over the next five years. GOOGL trades at $1,214.50 with an average price target of $1,370.21.
Electric car maker Tesla (TSLA) has been in the news a lot lately, with most of the headlines involving the erratic behavior of its founder, Elon Musk. Tesla’s future is far from certain. The company has struggled with production deadlines, logistical problems, and of course the problems of Musk. While Tesla may or may not be the company that captures top spot in the electric car sector, what it has accomplished is making all the major automakers place more research and development into electric cars of their own. Before Tesla proved a company could profitably produce electric cars, major automakers were slow to develop their own lines of electric cars. Now that has changed, and more hybrid and electric cars than ever are on the roads. Tesla reshaped the auto sector, now it just has to survive the growing pains of a new car company to ensure it remains the most influential electric car company. TSLA trades at $306.54 with an average price target of $324.07.
One of the biggest changes over the last twenty years has been retail. The internet turned the retail sector on its head, and Amazon.com (AMZN) led the way and remains the biggest player in the sector. Amazon not only changed the shopping experience through the growth of e-commerce, but it also changed brick and mortar retail as retailers were forced to rethink the entire consumer experience to better compete with online sites. Amazon not only changed retail, it continues to reshape it with cashier-free physical stores and an entry into the pharmaceutical market. The company is also a leader in cloud computing. AMZN is expected to grow earnings by 46% a year over the next five years. The stock trades at $2,003.50 with an average price target of $2,186.50.
Over the years the music industry has gone through a number of changes. 8-tracks, records, CDs, all technological changes that the industry implemented through the years. While the delivery method changed many times, the way consumers obtained, and digested music did not change much until the internet age, and streaming music providers such as Spotify (SPOT) changed everything. Consumers are now able to have an unlimited music library they can enjoy on computers and mobile devices. SPOT only went public in 2018, but analysts expect big growth from the company, with earnings expected to 52% this year and by 29% per annum over the next five years. Because of streaming services like Spotify, and the popularity of smartphones, everyone can enjoy an infinite library of music at their fingertips. SPOT trades at $178.80 with an average price target of $209.29.