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JP Morgan Chase & Co. (JPM)

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JP Morgan Chase & Co. is a U.S.-based multinational holding company offering investment banking, asset management, and other financial services.

According to S&P Global, JP Morgan Chase is the biggest of America’s Big Four banks, alongside Citigroup, Wells Fargo, and Bank of America. It is also the seventh-largest bank worldwide, with company assets amounting to US$2.69 trillion. 

The current JP Morgan Chase & Co. structure resulted from a series of historic mergers among America’s most prominent banking companies, including Bank One, Chase Manhattan Bank, Chemical Bank, and Washington Manual. Its oldest forerunner is the Bank of the Manhattan Company, the world’s 31st oldest bank established by Aaron Burr in 1799.

3 Major Brands

There are two major brands under the current parent company, as incorporated in Delaware: JPMorgan & Co., and Chase. Five divisions use the former: treasury services, asset management, private banking, investment banking, and private wealth management. Meanwhile, retail banking, commercial banking, and credit card services in the U.S. and Canada operate under the Chase brand.

The asset management division of JPMorgan & Chase holds US$2.98 trillion in assets under management as of 2019. Simultaneously, the corporate bank and investment arm has reached $US25.5 trillion in assets under custody. Their hedge fund unit is considered the third-largest globally, with about US$445 billion under management.

JPMorgan & Chase Co. used to have a commodities trader unit, later sold to Mercuria for $800 million in 2014. In 2016, the company decided to stop financing coal mines and coal power plants in first-world countries. That same year, the Global Brands Magazine recognized JPMorgan & Chase with the coveted Best Banking Performer award. 

More recently, the group forayed into cryptocurrency by introducing JPM Coin, a digital token used for transactions between clients of their wholesale payments business. JPM Coin is the first American bank-issued cryptocurrency.

Johnson & Johnson (JNJ)

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Johnson & Johnson started as an American manufacturer of medical devices, pharmaceuticals, and packed goods in 1886. Now, it stands among the most valuable multinational corporations on the planet.

Almost six decades after its founding, the manufacturing company finally went public and entered the New York Stock Exchange in 1944. A few more years passed, and Johnson & Johnson was able to solidify its place in the market. It acquired McNeil Laboratories and was then able to sell Tylenol for the first time without a prescription.

Its common stock remains a component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, which lists the 30 largest listed companies in the United States. It is also part of the 2018 Fortune 500 list of US corporations by earnings. In 2015 alone, Johnson & Johnson earned as much as $70.1 billion. Plus, the multinational firm employs at least 130,000 people across the globe.

Location & Operations

The Johnson & Johnson headquarters is located in New Brunswick, New Jersey, while its consumer division remains in the same state at Skillman, NJ. The firm has about 250 subsidiary companies operating in 60 countries while its products are sold in over 175 nations worldwide. J&J grouped its subsidiary firms into three major categories: consumer healthcare, medical devices, and pharmaceuticals.

The American company’s products have become household names for first aid supplies, medications, and even facial care products.

Some of its most famous brands include Band-aid Bandages, Tylenol, and Acuvue contact lenses. It also owns the whole line of Johnson Baby Products and skincare products like Neutrogena and Clean & Clear.

However, Johnson & Johnson should not be confused with a similar-sounding American company called SC Johnson and Son (or SC Johnson). SC Johnson produces home and automotive disinfectants, while J&J is more of a health and personal care brand.

Intel (INTC)

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Intel is currently the most profitable and highest valued manufacturer of semiconductor chips in the world. Headquartered in Silicon Valley, California, this multinational technology corporation invented the x86 microprocessor series that powers most personal computers.

It is the leading microprocessor supplier for computer system makers like Apple, Dell, HP, and Lenovo. Aside from microprocessors, the company produces graphics ships, motherboard chipsets, embedded processors, network interface controllers, and integrated circuits, among other devices used in communications and computer engineering.

The man behind Moore’s law, chemist Gordon Moore, founded Intel Corp. on July 18, 1968, along with another pioneer in semiconductor technology, physicist Robert Noyce. The latter is famous for being a key persona in the invention of integrated circuits or microchips. Together, they left Fairchild Semiconductor to start their own business. They came up with the company name by blending the words integrated and electronics. It’s a happy coincidence that the term ‘intel’ also stands for intelligence information. 

SRAM Chips

The pair ensured Intel was one of the earliest developers of static random-access memory (SRAM) and dynamic random-access memory (DRAM)chips. These represented the lion’s share of Intel’s business until 1981. Intel manufactured the first-ever commercial microprocessor as early as 1971. Still, it wasn’t until the personal computer (PC) found its way into mainstream consciousness that it became Intel’s primary income generator.

Intel made aggressive investments in new microprocessor designs in the 1990s to catch up with the fast-growing computer industry. It had two significant competition during this time: AMD, which produced similar and competing products, and Microsoft, which had a completely different idea of the direction the PC industry should take. 

The company managed to retain its leading position in the market, and by 2018, it clinched 46th place in Fortune 500’s list of most significant U.S. corporations based on total revenue.

Home Depot (HD)

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Home Depot owns the largest chain of home improvement superstores in the United States, with 2,285 locations worldwide. The company supplies tools, construction products, and services to the entire North American region.

Home Depot operates big-box format stores in the entire United States, including its territories in Guam, Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. It also has branches in all ten provinces in Canada and all 31 states in Mexico. 

Creating a chain of home improvement superstores came from Bernard Marcus, Arthur Blank, Ron Brill, and Pat Farrah in 1978. To help bring their idea to life, investment banker Ken Langone agreed to secure their capital.

A year later, Home Depot opened its first two stores in leased spaces in JC Penney in Atlanta. In 1981, the American retailer went public on the NASDAQ, effectively raising over $4 million in its initial public offering. Three years into the market, Home Depot joined the New York Stock Exchange.

Going Public

After going public, Home Depot began branching out of Georgia to establish stores in Florida and Texas. By 1989, Home Depot surpassed rival company Lowe’s and became the largest home improvement store in the U.S. 

The company was far from invincible, however. In 2007, Home Depot CEO and former GE executive Robert Nardelli resigned due to its performance under his watch. Controversies about his unreasonably large pay also surfaced while the company’s stock was dropping fast. 

Home Depot also suffered significant losses during the housing market crash in 2009. It had to layoff thousands of employees and closed down 54 stores nationwide. The firm also had to let go of the entire EXPO Design Center brand altogether.

Google (Alphabet Inc. )

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In September 1998, two Ph.D. students at Stanford University in California embarked on a research initiative to develop a new search engine. Years later, Larry Page and Sergey Brin’s project, Google.com, became the world’s most visited website.

From the labs of Stanford, Google built an incredible headquarters in Mountain View, nicknamed the Googleplex. Here, the company saw rapid growth, which allowed it to explore other interests outside its main search engine business.

Their most successful products include Google Docs, Google Sheets, Google Slides, Gmail, Google Calendar, cloud storage Google Drive, and Google Maps. Meanwhile, Google’s most valuable acquisitions gave them ownership of video-sharing site Youtube, publishing site Blogger, and Israeli mapping service Waze.

The firm also led developments in the Android operating system after acquiring Android Inc. for $50 million in July 2005. Google has since developed a new browser (Google Chrome) and an entirely new lightweight operating system built from the same browser (Chrome OS).

Google Restructure

All these expansive developments prompted the company to restructure its chain of products and ventures into a conglomerate called Alphabet Inc. Larry Page then stepped up as Alphabet CEO, with Sundar Pichai replacing him as chief of Google. Still, Google remained as the lead subsidiary and the umbrella company for its parent’s Internet-based interests.

More recently, Google has been making aggressive investments in hardware development. The company partnered with major players to produce its Nexus devices. In 2016, it released an entire line of smart consumer electronics like the Google Pixel smartphone, the Google Home speaker, the Google Wifi mesh wireless router, and virtual reality headset Google Daydream.

Facebook Inc. (FB)

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Facebook initially started as an American social networking site made by Harvard students for Harvard students. The name comes from directories handed out to college students in the U.S., called ‘face books.’

The company was the brainchild of university roommates Mark Zuckerberg, Andrew McCollum, Dustin Moskovitz, Eduardo Saverin, and Chris Hughes, who developed the concept in 2004. They opened the firm’s first headquarters in Menlo Park, California, where it remains today.

Facebook slowly but surely expanded its user base to other colleges and universities until it piqued high school students’ interest. In 2006, the founders declared that anyone over the age of 13 could open an account with Facebook.

Due to its increasing popularity, Facebook became the most downloaded mobile application globally in the 2010s. By December 2018, the social media site has recorded 2.3 billion monthly active users.

Exxon Mobil (XOM)

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Exxon Mobil Corp, operating as ExxonMobil, is based and incorporated in Irving, Texas. It is an American multinational oil and gas corporation and is the largest direct descendant of Standard Oil, once owned by John D. Rockefeller.

Established on November 30, 1999, after Exxon’s merger (previously known as the Standard Oil Company of New Jersey) and Mobil (formerly known as the Standard Oil Company of New York). The company operates under several brands, including Exxon, Mobil, Esso, and ExxonMobil Chemical.

Top 10 Company

As one of the world’s largest companies by revenue, ExxonMobil has occupied various positions from first to sixth-largest publicly traded companies by market cap between 1996 and 2017. The Forbes Global 2000 list of 2016 ranked the company as ninth in the world, while it was ranked the tenth most profitable publicly-traded company in the Fortune 500 list of 2017.

In 2018, ExxonMobil ranked second in the Fortune 500 list of the largest U.S corporations by total revenue. At the moment, 55.56% of the company’s shares belong to institutional investors. The largest ExxonMobil shareholder as of March 2019 was The Vanguard Group (8.15%), followed by BlackRock (6.61%) and State Street Corporation (4.83%).

ExxonMobil is amongst the biggest of the world’s Big Oil companies. Back in 2007, the company produces 3.921 million BOE (barrels of oil equivalent), which is slightly lower than that of some national companies. By 2008, the company produced 3% of the world crude consumption, which is less than several leading state-owned petroleum companies.

Oil & Gas

When ranking companies by oil and gas reserves, ExxonMobil is the 14th in the world, as it has less than 1% of the total. The company’s reserve was around 20 billion BOE at the end of 2016, with the 2007 rates of production expected to last over 14 years. By operating 37 oil refineries in 21 countries globally, Exxon can refine 6.3 million barrels per day, making it the seventh-largest refiner in the world.

Over the years, Exxon has come under heavy scrutiny for the slow response in cleaning up the 1989 Valdez oil spill in Alaska, one of the worst oil spills in history in terms of damage done to the environment. The company has a history of lobbying the denial of climate change. It has been against the scientific consensus that the burning of fossil fuels majorly causes global warming.

Eli Lilly and Company (LLY)

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Colonel Eli Lilly founded Eli Lilly and Company in 1876. The American pharmaceutical company has offices in 18 countries with its headquarters located in Indianapolis, Indiana. 

Col. Lilly was not only a pharmaceutical chemist but also a veteran of the American Civil War. He was committed to producing medicines of the utmost quality that can meet the real needs of people. His most notable achievements include the mass-production of insulin and the polio vaccine, which Jonas Salk developed. 

Insulin

Eli and Lilly Company was one of the first pharmaceutical firms to create human insulin utilizing recombinant DNA. These comprise of Humulin, Humalog, and Basaglar, the first biosimilar insulin product approved in the United States.

Currently, Lilly is one of the largest manufacturers of psychiatric medications in the world. They produce known products like Prozac, Dolophine, Cymbalta, and Zyprexa. According to author John Marks, the company also produced LSD for the mind control program of CIA called MKultura. 

Eli Lilly and Company got the 252nd spot on Forbes list of America’s Best Employers. Meanwhile, in 2019, it ranked 123rd on Fortune 500 and 221st on the Forbes Global 2000. What’s more, it was deemed as one of the major corporations in 1997, as well as the largest charitable benefactor in Indiana.

Danaher (DHR)

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The Danaher Corporation is a globally diversified conglomerate. The company specializes in designing, manufacturing, and marketing professional industrial, commercial, and medical products and services. Danaher focuses on three segments: diagnostics, environmental & applied solutions, and life sciences.

The name Danaher comes from Danaher Creek, located in Western Montana. In 1969, the founders created the company with the Massachusetts Real Estate investment trust under the name DMG, Inc. The firm underwent further reorganization in 1978 as a Florida corporation. It later changed its name to Diversified Mortgage Investors, Inc.

The birth of Danaher

In 1984, the firm adopted the name, Danaher. Acquisition of Chicago Pneumatic (CP) happened in June 1986. CP had merged with Jacobs Manufacturing in 1984. Meanwhile, in April 1981, Jacobs had also acquired Matco Tools Corporation (MTC).

However, in June 1987, Danaher sold off Chicago Pneumatic (CP), retaining The Jacobs Manufacturing Co. with the Matco Tools division. It later changed Jacob’s name to Matco Tools Corporation. Other departments within Jacobs changed to independent operating firms.

Danaher formed NMTC, Inc and acquired a large percentage of MTC assets. The company acquired twelve firms in under two years of operations. As of 2019, The revenues amounted to US$ 17.91 billion, with 71.000 employees.

Danaher adopted Kaizen principles to manufacturing and was the first organization in North America to apply the lean manufacturing Japanese philosophy, the policy of continuous improvement and elimination of waste from the environment.

Costco Wholesale (COST)

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The Costco Wholesale Corporation is a multinational corporation operating a chain of warehouse clubs designated as a membership-only firm in the U.S.

The company changed its name to Costco on September 15, 1983, and continued operations in Seattle, Washington. The founders are James Sinegal and Jeffrey Brotman.

Costco Worldwide’s Headquarters are in Issaquah, Washington, a suburb east of Seattle. The chairman of the corporation is Hamilton E. James, while W. Craig Jelinek is the President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO).

As of 2019, Costco has seven hundred and eighty-five locations worldwide: In the USA, in Canada, in Mexico, The United Kingdom, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Australia, Spain, Iceland, France, and China. In 2021, new warehouses will open in other nations. The number of workers as of 2019 was 254.000.

Costco specializes in services such as warehouse club, merchandise, and cash and carry. Their featured brand is Kirkland Signature. In 2016, Costco became the largest retailer of wine, choice and prime beef, rotisserie chicken, and organic food. Costco was rated #14 by the Fortune 500 rankings among the largest United States Corporations according to their total revenues in 2019. In the same year, their overall revenues were at US$152.7 billion.

The first Price Club warehouse opened on July 12, 1976. Sol Price and his son, Robert, started the business at Morena Boulevard in San Diego, California. The venture gave birth to a local warehouse club, which was initially owned by Howard Hughes amid old airplane hangars. It is known as Costco Warehouse #401. Nevertheless, it is still operational today.

Price Club and Costco accepted a merger proposal in 1993. The reason is that both firms operated a similar mode of business, making the merger natural and comfortable.