Bloomberg announced on Jan. 12 that Samsung Electronics became the 18th-largest company in the world in terms of market capitalization on Jan. 9. On the list excluding ETFs, Samsung Electronics climbed 10 notches in about one year. From Jan. 2, 2019 to Jan. 9, 2020, Samsung Electronics’ market cap increased from US$265.7 billion to US$316.5 billion.
During the same period, the stock price of the company that went public on June 11, 1975 jumped from 38,750 won to 58,600 won. The stock price hit an all-time high on Jan. 9. The very next day, it closed at 59,500 won per share, hitting an all-time high again.
Samsung Electronics beat Intel (26th), AT&T (22nd) and Verizon (27th) on the list during the period. TSMC, a Taiwanese company competing with Samsung Electronics in the global foundry market, moved up from 37th to 21st during the same period. Its current market cap is approximately US$292 billion.
The stock price of Samsung Electronics rose based on expectations for better semiconductor market conditions. The company showed a record performance in 2018 but its operating profit dropped 52.9 percent to 27.7 trillion won last year. However, its quarterly operating profit broke the seven trillion won mark in the third quarter of 2019, signaling a bright future. Securities companies raised their average target stock price for Samsung Electronics to 67,931 won per share on Jan. 10.
According to Korea Exchange, Samsung Electronics chairman Lee Kun-hee’s shareholding in the company was equivalent to 14,861.9 billion won on Jan. 10. That of Samsung Electronics vice chairman Lee Jae-yong increased from 2,103.6 billion won to 2,500.2 billion won and that of the National Pension Service (NPS) increased from 32,407 billion won to 38,431.6 billion won during the past one-year period. The NPS increased its shareholding in Samsung Electronics from 9.14 percent to 9.55 percent in the fourth quarter of last year.
At present, Samsung Electronics is the only South Korean company on the global top 100 market cap list topped by Saudi Aramco (US$1.82 trillion). The market caps of Apple and Microsoft are US$1.33 trillion and US$1.22 trillion, respectively.