In a little over 20 years, a small company that was founded in a garage in Bellevue, Washington has grown into one of the largest corporate entities in the world. Amazon is a multi-billion dollar giant today, earning $177.86 billion in revenue in 2017 and employing nearly 566,000 people worldwide. CEO Jeff Bezos is one of the richest men in the world, and may actually be the richest man in history. Anyone could be forgiven for calling Amazon’s story a fairytale-come-true, and yesterday, the tale marked a historic new moment in its narrative.
Yesterday, February 23, Amazon stock closed at a historic high of $1,500 at the end of trading, a first-ever for the company. After flirting with the magic figure for the past two days, the stock finally hit it just before the end of trading, making it a historic end to the week for Amazon. Over the last few years, the company has become a financial and economic powerhouse that disrupts new industries with regularity, such as its recent acquisition of Whole Foods to enter the grocery and brick-and-mortar segment and a proposed future healthcare project in partnership with Warren Buffet and Jamie Dimon.
Amazon’s surging stock has made it the third-most valuable public company in the United States, with a market cap of $726.1 billion. The new historic high helped it overtake rival Microsoft’s market value of $724.2 billion, and the company now trails only Google ($782.79 billion) and Apple ($890.5 billion). It took Amazon stock 14 years after its 2001 IPO to reach the $500 mark, then a further two years to hit the $1,000 peak, and ultimately less than a year to reach $1,500 per share. The super-fast rise of the stock in recent years reflect the steadily growing fortunes of a company that has become a household name for e-commerce and whose other offerings like subscription video and music are also finding increasing numbers of buyers.