Tech stocks weren’t born during the dot-com boom of the 1990s. In fact, many of today’s biggest publicly traded technology companies got their starts decades earlier. One of the most storied names in Big Tech dates back more than a century.
The surprising longevity of many of the top tech stocks, combined with their explosive growth, helps explain why several are among the greatest stocks of all time, according to research conducted by Hendrik Bessembinder of Arizona State University’s W. P. Carey School of Business. After analyzing the lifetime returns of 25,782 common stocks over a 90-year span, the finance professor found that 96% of all stocks collectively performed no better than risk-free 1-month Treasury bills. The remaining 4% – just 1,000 stocks – generated all of the nearly $32 trillion in wealth created by the stock market between July 1926 and December 2015. Even more striking, the top 30 stocks accounted for one-third of that amount. Seven of the 30 top-performing stocks are tech stocks.
Ticker symbol: ORCL
Lifetime wealth creation: $203.7 billion
Lifetime cumulative return: 60,750%
Current share price: $49.19
Current dividend yield: 1.6%
Current analyst ratings: 17 strong buy, 2 buy, 8 hold, 0 sell, 0 strong sell
Founded in 1977 and publicly traded since 1986, Oracle got its start as a provider of database management software. As much as any high-tech company of the era, it rode the late-1990s tech bubble to lofty heights – and then crashed. It’s been a long, slow recovery ever since, driven by a wide portfolio of software aimed at corporate customers. Where Oracle goes from here is less clear. Larry Ellison is still with the company after 40 years, though now in the role of chief technology officer. Management, led by co-CEOs Mark Hurd and Safra Catz, is in the midst of a major transformation, trying to reinvent the company and embrace the rush to cloud-based services.