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Top 10 Largest Australian Companies by Market Cap
The market capitalisation, or market cap for short, of a company, is a measure of its worth or common value.
Essentially, market capitalization is the total value of stocks that are traded and held by investors. The price per share (market value) of a single share equals the nominal value plus any dividends paid on that particular share.
A general tally of value. Today, we cover the ten largest Australian companies by market cap.
- 👑 1. BHP Group — the king of energy
- 👑 2. Commonwealth Bank
- 👑 3. CSL (biotech)
- 👑 4. National Australia Bank
- 👑 5. Atlassian (software)
- 👑 6. Westpac Banking
- 👑 7. ANZ Bank
- 👑 8. Macquarie (investments)
- 👑 9. Woodside Energy
- 👑 10. Fortescue (metal mining)
- 👑 Bonus – Wesfarmers
- Buying Guide
What is Market Capitalisation and Why is it Relevant?
Maybe you want a deeper review of market caps, for more head to our Buying Guide section. Understanding market capitalisation can help you make better investment decisions and distinguish between companies with similar attributes so you can find the best opportunities for your money.
- 🌐 For those interested in Asia-Pacific relevant investments, see ANZ Bank (number 7) on our listicle.
- 🌐 If energy, gas and oil giants or metal mining are your thing, see BHP Group (number 1), Woodside Energy (number 9) and Fortescue (number 10).
- 🌐 For pharmaceuticals and biotech, see CSL (number 3).
- 🌐 For tech and software, check out Atlassian (number 5).
- 🌐 For a ‘farmland-adjacent’ company, see our Wesfarmers (bonus entry).
- 🌐 And for banking, see numbers 2, 4, 6, and 8.
Get an updated list of AU’s biggest companies by Market Cap here.
How Market Caps Work — Stock Prices
Market capitalisation is a measure of the worth of a company. It’s calculated by dividing the total market value of all its shares by the number of shares outstanding. Market capitalisation is used to determine how much a company is worth and how much it should be paid for.
It can be calculated based on all shares held by investors; ie. the value of all stocks traded as part of a public market. It’s a crucial figure for investors because it shows how much an entire market is worth. This means the value of a public market is the aggregate value of all shares traded on that exchange.
As a calculation, the market cap of a company is the current share price multiplied by the number of shares available on a particular exchange. This gives us the total value of all shares on that exchange. In other words, market capitalisation is the current share price multiplied by the number of shares available. The market capitalisation is calculated as follows:
Market Capitalisation = Total Value Per Share x Number Of Shares Outstanding
For example, if there are 100,000 shares in a company and each share has a value of $1, then its market capitalisation would be $100,000 x 1,000 shares = $1 million. The market cap for any given stock can vary from one day to another depending on how many stocks are traded and the price on the exchange.
Market capitalisation is often used as a comparison metric among companies. It’s helpful to see how much other companies are worth, and it can provide insight into how a particular industry is performing. Onto AU’s leading firms by market cap…
10 Top AU Companies by Market Cap
None of the information in this review is financial advice.
1. BHP Group [BHP]: Largest AU Company by Market Cap
‘Cowboys’ of Industrial Energy Markets — 200 Billion Dollars Market Cap
A very timely industry for the current times when global and Australian farmland is higher on Warren Buffet’s list of to-buys than bitcoin.
That’s because farms produce actual (hard) resources, ie. that you can directly live off of. With a market cap of nearly AUD$200 B, this energy cowboy, BHP Billiton Limited, is focused on harvesting real resources that people need to live.
It’s a diversified global company that operates in the industrial markets of energy, metals and mining; oil and gas; chemicals and industrial products; certain agricultural ventures, and water. The company is headquartered in Melbourne, Australia. With assets across Canada, South Africa, the United States, Brazil, Germany and India, BHP is today a blue chip stock listed on both the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) and New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) at roughly AUD $75 per share.
BHP recently merged its oil and gas assets with number 9 on this list, Woodside Energy (WDS.AX).
☑️ Key Sectors: Industrial Energy, Mining and Metal
Endeavouring to have efficient management of resources and effective cost control, it handles diversified metals and mining. Today, they’re a global leader in the production of iron ore, coal, manganese, nickel and lead, base metals & coal steam services.
BHP group operates through two major business segments:
- Energy & Utilities
- Metals & Mining
They’re also a leader in gold and copper mining, hydropower, and other natural resource projects. The diversified metals and mining business also has interests in green energy, mineral resource services and other industrial supplies.
In terms of its chemistry and industrial products, the business produces and markets a broad range of speciality chemicals and products, including titanium dioxide pigments, chlorine and sodium hydroxide, polyols, polyester resins, polyethylene and polypropylene. And it also provides engineering services, construction materials, and other ancillary services for the energy, infrastructure and chemical sectors.
Needless to say, this level of diversification goes some way to explaining why BHPL-C is a blue chip stock listed on two major exchanges. Its water business is a global leader in the production and distribution of drinking water. BHPs also involved in the provision of water treatment and related services. Overall, they’re reputable for the following segments:
☑️ Diversified industrial metals and mining
☑️ Oil and gas
☑️ Chemicals and industrial products
☑️ Water utilities and cleaning
2. Commonwealth Bank [CBA.AX]: 2nd-Largest Australian Company by Market Cap
Goliaths of AU Banking — 94 Billion Dollars Market Cap
With the economic collapse of EU nations threatening to crash the markets and close more banks…is it Fool’s Gold to get entangled with a European bank?
Assets minus foundational resources, and increasing political wranglings of a restless people, make it difficult to hedge a strong bet on an Aussie bank. (Farmland is a whole ‘nother matter.)
Layman investors may associate banks with Tasmanian bushfires in summer. But the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, also known as the CBA, isn’t just any run-of-the-mill digital bank. It’s a global monetary institution and subsidiary of the Australian government. It offers financial services to individuals, businesses, and institutional investors across the country.
This household name Aussie bank has more than 100 million customers worldwide and operates in over 25 countries. Furthermore, Commonwealth Bank is one of the top 10 largest australian companies by market cap and one of the top 50 banks worldwide. Also, it has consistently been ranked as one of the best banks in Australia by various rating agencies. Due to its vast network across Australia and abroad, many people tend to use Commonwealth Bank for their personal or business banking needs.
☑️ Key Sectors: State-Backed Banking, Wealth Management and Venture Capital (including Blockchain Investments)
The Commonwealth Bank of Australia is a financial institution that was founded in 1911 as a consortium of various banks across Australia.
Commonwealth is also active in investment banking, wealth management, treasury services, insurance, and foreign exchange. It has over 6,000 employees and is a fully owned subsidiary of the Australian government. This means that the government owns 100% of the stock in it and has the right to appoint or dismiss the management of the company.
Making this one of the largest banks in Australia, as well as in the Asia Pacific region. It has operations in more than 20 countries around the world. The bank has assets of more than $211 billion. Key business activities include:
- Retail Banking – The bank’s core business is offering a wide range of retail banking products and services to individuals, corporate customers, and small businesses. The products and services include deposit and transaction services, including loans, deposits, and credit cards.
- Investment Banking – The bank’s core business in investment banking is offering a range of financial products and services such as equity and debt issuance, equity trading, and derivatives trading.
- Wealth Management – The Commonwealth Bank is a leading provider of wealth management products and services.
- International Banking – The bank’s core international banking business is providing retail and corporate customers with a wide range of banking products and services.
You’ll find various investment and venture capital arms that provide support to various startups and small and medium-sized enterprises. It also has a venture capital fund that invests in companies that are in the health and financial technology.
They’ve also been investing in blockchain and other financial technology startups since 2017. It has also observed an increasing interest among its customers in such innovations. The bank also has a venture capital arm that focuses on investing in early-stage companies in the tech, healthcare, and fintech sectors.
Honing in on the venture capital funding wing…it’s invested in more than 30 companies with an investments focus on three primary areas: 1. investing in companies that offer financial services; 2. investing in companies that offer technology-based products and services; and 3. investing in early-stage companies. Overall, they’re known for:
☑️ Operating in more than 25 countries with a network of more than 15,000 branches, ATMs, and online channels
☑️ Wide range of financial products and services to customers, including retail, business, and investment banking products
☑️ Venture capital fund that focuses on investment in early-stage fintech companies. The bank’s investments focus on early-stage startups that offer technology-based products and services.
☑️ Investments in the blockchain
3. CSL [CSL.AX]: Leading AU Company by Market Cap
Multi-Faceted Pharmaceuticals — 130 Billion Dollars Market Cap
CSL Ltd. is a pharmaceutical company based in Australia. The company has developed and manufactured products using recombinant DNA technology.
It specializes in the production of biopharmaceuticals, which are manufactured biological drugs (also known as biologics). Produced drugs are used to treat various diseases and conditions.
Some of the most common uses for biopharmaceuticals include cancer treatment, diabetes management, immune-modulation and Thyroid disorders treatment.
This future-scape biotechnology company, resembling any dystopian science-fiction movie you can think of, is a leading global biopharmaceutical company that engages in the development, manufacturing and marketing of vaccines and biotherapeutics. While also producing vaccines for infectious diseases such as influenza, yellow fever and hepatitis B.
☑️ Key Sectors: Pharmaceuticals, Biotechnology, and Biotherapeutics including COVID-19 Vaccines
Manufacturing headquarters are in both Australia and New Zealand and its research and development facilities are in the A.U. and U.S. The conglomerate operates in three segments:
- Vaccination Services including manufacturing roughly 50 million doses of Vaccine AstraZeneca for supply in Australia; began its rollout in the spring of 2021.
As for the Biopharmaceuticals segment, it’s engaged in the development and commercialization of recombinant DNA biopharmaceuticals for the treatment of chronic and infectious diseases. The Vaccines segment is engaged in the development and commercialization of inactivated and recombinant vaccines for infectious and preventable diseases.
Meanwhile, their vaccine wing provides immunization services to healthcare providers. CSL has collaborated with national and international collaborators to develop and commercialize its products. Overall, they can be said to engage in the development, manufacturing and marketing of vaccines and biotherapeutics. Making this an interesting company for those interested in:
☑️ Biopharmaceuticals, vaccines, and vaccination services, e.g. rollouts
☑️ Development and commercialization of recombinant DNA biopharmaceuticals for the treatment of chronic, infectious and preventable diseases
☑️ Immunization services to healthcare providers
☑️ CSL has collaborated with governmental, national and international collaborators to develop and commercialize products.
☑️ The vaccine wing includes a past record of working with AstraZeneca for COVID-19 vaccine rollouts across Australia.
4. National Australia Bank [NAB.AX]: 2nd-Largest AU Banking Company by Market Cap
Diversified Australian National Bank — 90 Billion Dollars Market Cap
Once again, we’ve torn away from the energy sector and into the tectonic world of finance. If you’ve been reading the news, you’re perhaps questioning how well even the bigger European banks will do as the western economies slow to a grinding halt over the winter into the spring and summer of 2023.
A major crash? Only time will tell.
Nevertheless, NAB is one of the ‘Big Four’; Australia’s second-largest bank by market capitalization (and the 21st-largest in the world), the National Australia Bank offers a wide range of corporate and retail banking services to small businesses, mid-sized corporations and large public companies.
☑️ Key Sectors: Corporate Banking, Retail Banking, and Wealth & Asset Management
Founded in 1982, in a merger, the National Australia Bank offers a comprehensive suite of business banking services through branches located in major cities throughout the country. The National Australia Bank operates more than 830 branches throughout Australia and has over 3,900 employees working in various businesses and support functions. The national financial institution has three operating segments:
- Corporate Banking
- Retail Banking
- NAB Capital
Commercial and Corporate Banking Services
The corporate banking business delivers financial services to large companies, including large international corporations.
In 2017, the business saw revenue of A$3.9 billion, an increase of 11% compared with 2016. The Corporate Banking business offers a comprehensive range of financial services to its clients, including comprehensive business and commercial banking, advisory and financing services, as well as investment management and products.
Individual banking services are provided through branches located throughout the country, offered to individuals and families, while business banking services are offered through outsourcing partners. The Corporate Banking business offers corporate banking services, which include commercial banking, treasury management, financial advisory and cash management services.
In addition to these core corporate banking services, the business provides a range of add-on services to complement clients’ business needs. These services include risk management, corporate financial policy, corporate tax planning and compliance, structured finance, insurance and audit support.
NAB is a leading global alternative asset manager. NAB Capital owns and manages more than $6 billion in assets as of December 31, 2017. In Australia, the business partners with local investment managers to provide bespoke investment solutions for NAB’s private clients across a range of asset classes.
Relatively recently, there was the expansion of its investment management capabilities through the acquisition of an Australian-based asset manager, Redcliffe Capital. There’s a supposedly long track record of investing in alternative asset classes, including infrastructure assets, real estate and renewable energy assets.
The business primarily makes investments in Australia, the United States and Europe.
As a last word on the venture capital side of things…
NAB Securities is a leading provider of broker-dealer services to institutional investors, including superannuation funds, hedge funds and high-net-worth retail investors. The business also provides securitization services to non-institutional investors and has a growing interest in the emerging blockchain technology market.
Through NAB Securities, investors can trade a range of asset classes, including equities, bonds, commodities and investment-linked securities, through a range of trading products, including exchange-traded funds (ETFs).
They have a significant interest in wealth management, offering a variety of financial services, including insurance and investments. Securities Depository activities include offering custody and clearing service for institutional broker-dealers and retail investors, as well as trading and settlement services.
☑️ Traditional branch banking services
☑️ Digital banking, including online and mobile banking
☑️ A range of other financial services, including loans, deposit products, insurance and investment management
☑️ Growing interest in the emerging blockchain technology market
5. Atlassian [TEAM]: AU Biggest Company by Market Cap (or Technology)
Largest AU Software Firm, Nationally and Globally — 84 Billion Dollars Market Cap
Tech stocks have been hurting bad, and the technology and software company Atlassian has without a doubt been on the receiving end.
But trading at around $240A at its lowest point in June, the company bounced back to $330A in recent weeks, reaching as high as $420A.
Reason? Atlassian is likely one of the most well-known software companies in the world. Atlassian’s products are all over your company’s software, and chances are you’ve used them without even realizing it. This software company provides collaboration, operational and reporting tools to help people work together more efficiently and effectively.
Their suite of products runs through a number of different service lines with varying levels of functionality—from their Jira issue tracking tool to their HipChat instant messaging system to their Trello task management program.
But in the early heat of 2022’s blistering summer, Atlassian’s stock plummeted by an excruciating 60 per cent; smashed against the market’s rocks by high inflation fears, long-standing systemic breakdowns, and the Russo-Ukrainian war. [Read more below.]
But what does this company offer?
☑️ Key Sectors: Software For Teams
“Atlassian exists to unleash the potential in every team.”
Atlassian is a publicly-traded software company that develops software solutions for collaboration. The Atlassian suite of applications helps teams collaborate more effectively, leading to better quality and faster time-to-resolution. These collaborative tools also reduce the costs of internal communication and processes, helping organizations save money while increasing efficiency.
Atlassian is headquartered in Sydney, Australia, with additional offices around the world. Atlassian is led by CEO Scott Bradley and other members of the Bradley family. The business could be said to focus on two operating segments among others:
- Team and enterprise software
- Communicative work and productivity software
It’s a software company that helps teams collaborate and work better together. Atlassian’s suite of products includes Confluence, Jira, and HipChat, which are SaaS-based applications with an enormous amount of integrations such as with Asana.
Such tools expand the ability of teams to collaborate and share information more efficiently. Atlassian’s products are used by teams in a wide range of industries, including marketing, sales, finance, and IT. As an organization’s communication needs become more complex, the need for effective collaboration increases. Organizations can use Atlassian’s software to reduce the cost of internal communication and make processes more efficient.
(Whether the twenty-year tech bubble is altogether coming to a close, is another matter.)
Mission and Values
Atlassian’s mission is to “build software that powers the modern workplace.” With values that include trust, collaboration, and respect, this forms a framework for digital nomads, outsourcing, and general adaptability as the workplace digitizes.
As workers struggle to afford the climbing petrol costs to get to work, such companies could have an advantage. Atlassian strives to build products that give its customers the confidence that team members are working together in a respectful way. Products are designed to empower teams with open communication and collaboration tools that benefit everyone.
Overall, there’s a focus on empowering its customers to work smarter and more efficiently by reducing the costs of internal communication.
This tech giant was founded in 2002 as BackOffice Systems. The company was co-founded by Scott and Mike Bradley and later acquired by the private equity firm Permira in 2007. The first product was Atlassian Toolbar, an add-on for Windows Internet Explorer.
After BackOffice Systems was acquired, Atlassian’s focus shifted to developing products for businesses. A key product from this merger was Jira, a bug-tracking system that was released in 2009. Atlassian’s next product, Confluence, was released in 2013. Atlassian’s most recent product, HipChat, was launched in 2016. Its suite of products is designed for teams to collaborate and share information.
Key offerings, designed for teams to collaborate and share information more efficiently, are:
- Jira, a bug-tracking system, is a tool that teams use to keep track of issues and capture work instructions.
- Confluence, a team wiki, is a tool that teams use to create documentation and collaborate on projects.
- HipChat, a team chat application, is a tool that teams use to communicate.
Atlassian’s products are used by teams in a wide range of industries, including marketing, sales, finance, and IT. Atlassian’s target market is large organizations with teams that collaborate and share information.
Reasons for tumbling value in June 2022
Put simply, it was forced to stop sales into Russia and Belarus in response to the Ukrainian war, which created a largescale outage impacting its Jira, Opsgenie, Confluence, Statuspage, and other operations, altogether requiring months of reparation. Although recent financial reports have been promising, investors are no wonder wary.
Currently, Atlassian looks to have a strong software foundation profile and has seen increasing activity back to pre-war figures. Margins are healthy (but perhaps reducing). Some investors believe Atlassian will hold out, according to overall market fluctuation, and certainly, some investors are engaging during periods when the market fluctuates, to gain a good deal.
With the B2B growth and B2C consumerism that powers much of the ‘tech bubble’ possibly coming to an end, it’s grossly unclear how tech giants like this will hold up.
☑️ Traditional branch banking services
☑️ Digital banking, including online and mobile banking
☑️ A range of other financial services, including loans, deposit products, insurance and investment management
☑️ Growing interest in the emerging blockchain technology market
6. Westpac Banking [WBC.AX]: Banking’s 3rd-Largest Australian Company by Market Cap
Large AU National Bank — 73 Billion Dollars Market Cap
Another ‘Big Four’ and leader in both New Zealand and AU retail banking, Westpac Banking is one of the largest financial institutions in the country.
It offers a wide range of financial services tailored to meet the needs of individual customers and small business owners. The bank also caters to large corporations, as well as superannuation funds and other long-term investors.
Offering a range of financial products and services to Kiwis and Aussies, you’ll see foundational products like current accounts and savings accounts, and conducts international money transfers. Westpac also offers business banking, including small business loans, a range of accounting and financial management services, and business insurance.
☑️ Key Sectors: Corporate Banking, Retail Banking, and Wealth & Asset Management
The Westpac Banking Company has many branches and ATMs internationally that eliminate travelling fees (as part of the ATM Alliance), and offers a range of financial products and services across New Zealand. The company’s branch network spans 14 million customers and 40,000 people employed.Key segments could be said to be:
- Corporate Banking
- Retail Banking including internationally with minimal fees
- Wealth Management
Westpac offers a wide range of business banking services to help small and mid-sized businesses manage their finances. The bank provides a range of services, including company formation, accounting, payroll, financial management, and international money transfers. As well as business accounts, loans, and credit cards. Certain products may come with additional benefits, such as integrated payroll services.
Investments services offered by Westpac Bank stretch across property, shares, and managed funds. You can invest in a range of investment products, including managed funds, which invest your money with a manager who makes investment decisions on your behalf.
Investments come with varying levels of risk. Some investments, such as investment-grade government bonds, are more secure and offer a lower risk of losing money. Other investments, such as managed funds, offer higher returns but with a higher risk of losing money.
☑️ Big Four bank and services
☑️ Digital banking, including online and mobile banking
☑️ Big range of other financial services, including investment management
☑️ International banking and ATMs with minimal fees
7. ANZ Bank [ANZ.AX]: 4th-Largest AU Company by Market Cap (For Banking)
Fourth-Largest AU Bank, Aggressive Asian Integrations — 67 Billion Dollars Market Cap
We’re not done yet with banks.
The final and fourth of the Big 4 is ANZ bank. Needless to say, it’s one of the largest banks in Australia, but also New Zealand, and Asia. ANZ operates across multiple markets across the region with a range of financial products and services.
(In fact, you can read about their Asian integrations here…
It’s an interesting bit of diversification seeing as Asian economies seem to be more resilient to the global recession that is underway).
The Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited (ANZ) traces its origins back to the 19th century. Today, in addition to being listed on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX), ANZ is also listed on New Zealand’s KiwiSaver platform and several stock exchanges throughout Asia. The bank serves both individual customers as well as institutional clients such as corporations, law firms, and investment firms.
It also provides commercial banking services for small businesses and self-employed individuals. Through its international presence, it caters to businesses across the region whether they are multinational companies or local start-ups with limited access to capital markets.
☑️ Key Sectors: Global Corporate Banking, Retail Banking, Startups (& Self-Employed), and Wealth & Asset Management
ANZ’s current business operations focus primarily on the Asian region. Its key markets and operations include New Zealand, Australia, and Asia. New Zealand and Australia are ANZ’s key markets in the region and are home to the bank’s largest branches and offices. In addition, these countries are ANZ’s two largest markets in terms of customer numbers and deposits. About its key focuses:
- Aggressive expansions into merging Asian markets: China, Indonesia and Indonesia among others
- Global Retail Banking
- Capital for Startups and Self-Employed
ANZ offers a range of financial products and services through its branches, ATMs, digital channels, and call centers. Its retail products include current and savings accounts, small business loans, and digital products such as its savings account, Smart Saver account, and digital MyWay.
Its commercial banking services include trade finance and treasury services, cash management, and foreign exchange. ANZ also offers asset management services through its subsidiary, Australian Securities Investments. ITs commercial banking operations are conducted through its headquarters in Sydney and notable mergers in Asia such as 20% of Tianjin City Commercial Bank.
It has a presence in each of the markets it operates in and offers business banking services in each region. ANZ’s business centers are staffed with call center representatives, bankers, and other business professionals who can help businesses with a range of financial and legal issues.
☑️ Over a thousand branches worldwide
☑️ Digital banking, including online and mobile banking
☑️ ANZ’s business centres are staffed with professionals who can help businesses with a range of financial and legal issues.
☑️ Aggressive expansion in the emerging markets especially Asia-Pacific
8. Macquarie [MQG.AX]: One of Australia’s Largest Companies by Market Cap
AU Investments, Commodities and Global Markets — 63 Billion Dollars Market Cap
Macquarie Group is a multinational investment banking, financial services and wealth management company.
It operates in the financial services, retail and wholesale, savings and lending industries. Not to mention subsidiaries that include Macquarie Capital, Macquarie Bank, and an assets management subsidiary.
☑️ Key Sectors: Investment Banking, Financial Services, Asset Management
Macquarie Group has several core business activities that it operates:
- Commodities and Global Markets
- Investment banking
- Retail banking
- Financial services
- Asset management
But you’ll also find a wide range of financial products and services to various clients across the globe. The investment banking segment involves providing financial solutions to institutional and corporate clients.
Macquarie Group serves a large number of clients across the world. The clients include both retail and wholesale investors. On the tickets are staple financial services like insurance, broking, investments, wealth management and financial planning. And advice, loan broking and general financial planning.
Macquarie Capital and Bank
Macquarie Capital is the investment banking arm of the Macquarie Group, featuring a large number of institutional and sophisticated investors as clients. The investment banking business involves providing advisory services to corporate clients like financing and structuring deals.
The banking arm of the Macquarie Group (Macquarie Bank Limited, or MBL) was established in Australia in 1985, which made it only the second private bank to do so at the time. It offers retail financial products and services like personal banking, superannuation, business and investment banking, insurance and trade finance. The family offices and high-net-worth individuals constitute the majority of the bank’s clients. But also bog-standard retail banking like personal banking, deposit taking, and credit and debit card facilities.
☑️ Extensive global regulations enabling investments in global markets with international clients
☑️ Wide range of financial products and services to its clients and high net-worth individuals
☑️ Retail banking
☑️ Commodities and global markets investments
9. Woodside Energy [WDS]: Second-Largest AU Company by Market Cap (For Energy)
Energy Company — 61 Billion Dollars Market Cap
Woodside Energy is an Australian company that provides independent oil and gas exploration and production services. As of December 31, 2018, the company operated several oil and gas fields in Australia.
Woodside is one of the largest independent oil companies in Australia, with total gross reserves worth $4.7 billion as of Q1/2019.
The company’s revenue primarily comes from its interests in the Gladstone LNG project, which is a liquefied natural gas project operating under the Browse contract.
WDS also owns interests in other near-term and long-term projects in Australia, including the OIL-2 Oil Discovery well (operated by Great Western Minerals), Darling Downs Coal Operations Project (operated by Energy Developments Ltd.), and Sydney Trunk Service Pipeline (operated as part of Santos’ Mt. Thorley Gas Processing Plant).
☑️ Key Sectors: Oil and Gas (Includes Petroleum) Exploration
Operating as a petroleum exploration and production company. The company is engaged in acquiring, exploring, and producing oil and gas. The company operates in:
- Trading (E&P)
All in all, Woodside Energy Group Limited focuses heavily on Australian petroleum — its investigation, exploration and production. Woodside also operates the production of oil and gas in Australia, as one of its biggest independent suppliers.
No wonder, it’s a publicly listed company on the ASX. Headquartered in Perth, Western Australia it was ranked 1328th in Forbes 2000 Global, 2020, which lists the world’s biggest public companies. Also worth noting is Burrup Hub, Australia’s Biggest project in fossil fuels. This project will undertake the extraction of half a dozen untapped Gas fields as well as drilling with an 80 wells on the Western Australian coast.
Projects this company iis active in our the operation, development and exploration of regions in Australia — but they also operate in the United States, selling out, New Zealand, Canada, South Korea, Myanmar, Gabon, Cameroon, Ireland and Morocco. For Australia Woodside, there are multiple projects either in operation or be developed for liquefied natural gas. And the oilfields of Vincent and Enfield offshore (Exmouth) are active in Western Australia.
The otherwise LNG activities are gas development lines for the Tim Ornstein north of Australia, comprising of the troubadour and Sunrise fields, first undertaken in 1974. This development site exists around 280 miles northwest of Darwin.
More than 80% of these fields are inside of Australian waters, and the rest are administered jointly. In total, these Greater Sunrise fields have a dry gas supply of more than 5 trillion ft³ or over 140 billion000 m³, which represents 225 million barrels of condensate. Participants of this site are Woodside itself, which owns roughly one-third of the project. I was weighing at 30% for ConocoPhillips, 26% for Shell, and 10% for Osaka Gas.
Finally, it’s worth mentioning what developments offshore for the west of Australia that Woodside operates and owns: Ngujima-Yin FPSO, Nganhurra FPSO, and Okha FPSO.
☑️ Extensive untapped gas fields
☑️ Largest independent AU dedicated oil and gas firm
☑️ Involved in both the production and exploitation of gas and oil
☑️ Recently merged with BHP’s oil and gas assets
10. Fortescue [FMG.AX]: One of Australia’s Largest Companies by Market Cap
4th-Largest Iron-Ore Company in the World — 49 Billion Dollars Market Cap
Fortescue Metals Group is an Australian publicly-listed company that operates in the mining, energy and infrastructure industries. It has a market capitalization of $49A billion as of August 2022.
Fortescue’s business activities are spread across three main sectors: iron ore production, coal resources and infrastructure development. Its operating divisions also have a special focus on certain business lines to ensure they remain at the forefront of their respective industries.
The company is currently led by John Andrew Fortescue, who has been serving as its chairman since January 2015; his father Michael John Fortescue is the company’s executive chairman.
Fortescue Metals Group is a dominant player in its industry with interests in more than 20 different projects throughout Australia and overseas. Some of its most notable holdings include Atlas Iron (Listed) Limited, BHP Billiton Limited, Santos Limited and West Australian Iron Ore Company (WAIO).
It’s the fourth-largest iron-ore organisation in the world.
☑️ Key Sectors: Iron Ore Metal Mining & Exploration
Fortescue is a mining company that was founded in 2003.
In that very short period of time, it has grown to become Australia’s largest iron ore producer, and no too far behind in the global list that includes names like BHP, Vale, Anglo-American and Rio Tinto (which we could have placed in the number-two spot in this guide).
Fortescue is based in Perth, Western Australia and has interests in six iron ore projects in Australia, one of the world’s most productive areas for iron ore production. The company also owns the Pilbara Minerals Ltd (Listed) (PIL) (50%) and Port Hedland Iron Ore Co. (32.5%) joint ventures in Western Australia.
☑️ Based in Western Australia, one of the world’s most productive iron ore producing regions.
☑️ Operations focused on the development of new iron ore projects
☑️ Top iron ore producer in Australia; the fourth-largest iron-ore organisation in the world.
Bonus: Wesfarmers [WES.AX]: Largest AU Farming Company by Market Cap (Bonus Entry)
Diversified Products for Australian Farmland — 48 Billion Dollars Market Cap
Wesfarmers acts in many roles, not just the ‘agrifarming’ support wing that offers chemical, industrial, fertiliser and safety products for farming and other sectors.
It also operates as an integrated retailer, services and farm operator in Australia. The company’s portfolio of businesses includes department stores, home improvement stores, fast-food restaurants, specialty food retailers, and an online grocery delivery service.
Which makes Wesfarmers one of the leading agribusinesses and retail businesses in Australia with a significant presence in agro-processing and agricultural marketing. In addition to its operations in Australia, the company has operations elsewhere through its parent company – Colenco Group. Wesfarmers is headquartered in Perth, Western Australia. The company has hundreds of retail/service outlets across Australia.
With farmland across the globe booming in value…we’ve got to talk about them.
☑️ Key Sectors: Retail and Multifaceted Agribusiness
Wesfarmers doesn’t actually focus on farmland. It operates as an integrated retailer, services and farm operator in Australia; mostly provisioning through chemicals and other products. It does have an online grocery delivery service and a broad range of grocery, non-grocery, financial and business services.
Wesfarmers also owns and operates the iconic Coles supermarket chain, as well as the popular IGA banner. In addition, Wesfarmers has a diverse portfolio of businesses including Kangaroos and Wallabies, a professional sporting brand, the ANZ bank, a range of speciality and general merchandise brands, including Bunnings, and professional services and IT solutions provider, Oce.
Wesfarmers also has investments in agriculture and services. These include Coles’ 50% share in the former Bakers Institute, as well as its 50% share in the former Wheatbelt Irrigation. The company is also a leading investor in agro-biotech, with the purchase of the JM Biotech operation.
Wesfarmers – Leading Grocery Rretailer in Australia
Wesfarmers is a leading integrated retailer in Australia, with a strong focus on food and groceries through its retail wing, for instance the Coles store. In addition to groceries and food, Wesfarmers has a comprehensive range of specialty and general merchandise brands.
The Wesfarmers partnership with Coles in Australia is well-known for providing customers with a low-cost grocery shopping experience, as well as a wide range of products. Wesfarmers’ supermarkets feature fresh produce, quality meat and fish products, and a selection of other grocery items. Wesfarmers also has a strong presence in the foodservice industry, which is one of the areas experiencing the most growth in Australia.
The company operates company-owned foodservice outlets, including bakeries, cafes, and take-away locations.
☑️ Sells goods that are produced in Australia.
☑️ Broad range of grocery, non-grocery, financial and business services
☑️ Leading investor in agro-biotech, with the purchase of the JM Biotech operation
☑️ diverse portfolio of businesses including KMart (Target) and Bunnings, not to mention in the beauty and health, as well as industrial safety sectors
10 Top AU Firms by Market Cap — Buying Guide 📚
Understanding its Importance
Market capitalisation or market cap, for short, tallies the value of the company — all of its outstanding shares multiplied against the price per share. Shares outstanding is basically all of the shares available to the public as well as those restricted and owned by specific entities.
As an example, the company has issued 5 million shares at a share price of $200, it has a market cap of $1 billion.
Market capitalisation is useful for investors when sizing up a company and feeling out its value and public perception. Blue Companies are those that weigh in at the heaviest and. The heavyweights. So the greater the market capitalisation, the more the value or the “bigger” the organisation. This level can inform how much risk you are been exposed to by integrating the stock into your portfolio, and how aggressive the returns might be over time — including the likelihood of dividends (the greater the market capitalisation, the more likely it is you going to be paid steady dividends over the long run).
So, public companies can be grouped, roughly speaking, according to the market capitalisation in the following rubric:
- ✔️ Large cap — at least $10 billion
- ✔️ Mid cap — between $2 billion and $10 billion
- ✔️ Small cap — between $250 million and $2 billion
There are many ways to categorise companies. Using this kind of system is useful in looking at the bigger picture when balancing a portfolio for long-term returns.
Below, we get into some of the nuances of segmenting market capitalisation. But keep in mind that these thresholds are not concrete; there is overlap between different segments. Also, particular find and index measures will have their own ways of defining schema. The composition of an index also changes over time, with the share price of a company rising and falling and kicking it in and out of a particular list.
Market capitalization segments
1. Large-cap: at least $10 billion
Large-cap companies will have profitability and be well-established. I won’t need to, oftentimes, tell you about these companies as you would have heard of them already. Names like:
- JP Morgan Chase & Co
- Johnson & Johnson
- Microsoft Corp
- Exxon Mobile
- Gen Mills
Because they are so well understood, these companies are stable. They are a reliable presence in people’s lives and in their particular industry they are the best. They offer stable dividends. They don’t do anything shocking that can alarm people in the headlines. Because they are so understated, investors see them as pillars that can be relied on as the markets go through their seasons of volatility.
In fact, these kinds of stocks are rather boring. Investors want them to be boring. When the markets go crazy, stock prices for these often go up. And if they fall, they don’t drop as much as those in lower segmentation.
As an example of this, a decade of looking at the S&P 100 index shows that it stands out about 14%. This index represents 100 of the USA’s largest companies by market capitalisation.
Numerous funds track larger cap stocks, such as Vanguard Value ETF, Schwab U.S. Large-Cap Value ETF and iShares S&P 100 ETF.
2. Mid-cap: between $2 billion and $10 billion
Whereas the larger capitalisation companies have had their period of rapid growth in the past, they have now matured into stable mountains. Whereas medium-sized capitalisation companies are still in more the higher growth period. This offers a great opportunity for quicker returns with relative increase in the chance of a substantial downturn. Many of these names are also household but might not be internationally or nationally recognised. Here are a few names:
- Boston Beer Company.
- Dick’s Sporting Goods.
- Wyndham Hotels and Resorts.
The decade-long return for the S&P MidCap 400, which represents the 400 highest performing medium capitalisation size companies stood at around 11%. A few of the funds that track companies like this aiming to have similar ROIs include Vanguard S&P Mid-Cap 400 ETF and SPDR Portfolio S&P 400 Mid-Cap ETF.
3. Small-cap: $250M to $2B
Smaller capitalisation stocks will be younger companies that still have great potential for large growth. The stocks offer higher returns in the future, with the possibility to become larger capitalisation. But there is also a greater risk of substantial losses.
These companies usually have less diversified revenue streams, which take a long time to build up in a stable manner. So they are more dependent on the economic growth in the country. Someone like Amazon or Apple or Google will have lots of different investments all over the place — everything from driverless cars to software as a service.
However, these are like sailboats compared to cruise liners — one powerful wave may be enough to crash them into the rocks. However, they can be many benefits to adding these into your portfolio, particularly if it is already relatively stable. Examples of smaller capitalisation companies are:
- Abercrombie and Fitch
4. Micro cap and mega-cap
Our final market capitalisation segment to talk about fall underneath small capitalisation and size. So these and underneath $250 million in revenue yearly. However, there can be some overlap (mega cap is different to micro, many of them will be large capitalisation companies).
But the micros will be viewed as the riskiest investment. Some of these have no real track record, may not even have any real assets, on not even earning revenue.
Top AU Companies by Market Cap — FAQs 📙
What is a market cap?
Market capitalisation means the total value of a company’s outstanding stock shares. It’s a number calculated by multiplying the total number of shares outstanding against the price of that stock currently on the market. For instance, a company with 10 million shares selling at $10 per share will have a market cap of $1 billion.
Is it good if a market cap is high?
A higher number is certainly seen as more attractive to many long-term investors because it indicates many things including stability, consistent dividends and potentially higher potential for steady growth. So these are many of the bread-and-butter picks for conservative traders.
What does a high market cap tell you?
Fundamentally, market capitalisation reflects the size of value a company offers the market. Investors have decided that these are the most valuable companies in existence. This level of liquidity and trust can make them a safer investment than companies with smaller capitalisations or less of a history of doing business.
Why is market cap so important?
Market capitalisation helps investors size up a company based on its value to the public and investors. More the value, her “bigger” quote the organisation. The more people who believe in a company, the safer the company can become as an investment because it is harder to dislodge as time has become harsher and more volatile.
We hope you enjoyed this guide to the top 10 largest australian companies by market cap. All in all, the market cap is a blunt instrument. You don’t learn everything about the company from it. Although it is a very simple calculation, it does say a hell of a lot. Added investment, oftentimes the simplest things are the most dependable.
From a market capitalisation, you get a sense of how much value the company provides monetarily and as level performance. It suggests its ability to — at a minimum — hold the value of your capital. It suggests that there aren’t a lot of debt liabilities.
Today, hard resources are proving themselves the foundation of everything. No wonder BHP Group ranks as the king of energy and the biggest Australian company by market capitalisation.
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