Brennan Whitfield | Mar 14, 2024

Publicly traded companies are a key component of the American economy, allowing anyone to own shares and earn a profit.

Shares are bought and sold on any number of stock exchanges — the New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq are the most prominent in the United States. By being listed, these companies must quickly adapt to increased scrutiny, since all their financials are now open for potential investors to inspect. But they also benefit from the increased visibility of going public (aka an initial public offering, or IPO), which typically attracts new customers, employees, partners and investors who view the company’s listing as a sign of success.

Publicly Traded Companies to Know

  • Cisco (CSCO)
  • HP (HPQ)
  • PayPal (PYPL)
  • Block (SQ)
  • Palo Alto Networks (PANW)
  • Workday (WDAY)
  • Applied Materials (AMAT)
  • Qualcomm (QCOM)

There are thousands of publicly traded companies in the United States. Giants like Google, Amazon and Apple are the obvious choices, but there is a whole ecosystem of others to know about.


Publicly Traded Companies to Know

Headquarters: New York, New York

Stock Symbol: ZETA

Zeta Global is a technology company focused on building marketing solutions. Its cloud-based platform features tools for targeting known and anonymous users, tailoring customer experiences and accessing business intelligence based on consumer and market trends. The company, which has been around since 2007, made its debut on the New York Stock Exchange in June 2021.


Headquarters: Ames, Iowa

Stock Symbol: WK

Workiva makes a platform for financial reporting, ESG, audits and risk management. By gathering the documents and data that populate these reports, it’s able to facilitate real-time cloud-based collaboration across large teams, increase transparency and reduce the risk of reporting errors. Workiva has been a publicly traded company since 2014. 


Headquarters: Newtown, Pennsylvania

Stock Symbol: EPAM

EPAM Systems is a consultancy that provides a wide range of advisory and engineering services in the digital space. Serving Fortune 500 and Forbes Global 2000 clients across multiple industries and more than 50 countries, the company has been publicly traded since 2012. Its diverse portfolio of projects has included facilitating digital transformation for an oilfield services company, supporting tech for the Library of the Future and providing digital services for the launch of the Grenadier 4x4 vehicle.


Headquarters: San Jose, California

Stock Symbol: CSCO

Cisco develops networking hardware like routers and wireless access points for enterprise businesses, as well as cloud and cybersecurity equipment with software to help manage their secure networks. Cisco also makes it easy for businesses to connect, manage and secure their IoT devices using AI and machine learning.


Headquarters: Palo Alto, California

Stock Symbol: HPQ

HP is perhaps best known for its laptops, desktops and printers. But over the years it has rolled out several other products as well, including VR headsets for both the workplace and gaming, and industrial 3D printers, which are used across the aerospace, consumer goods and electronics industries. The company has even created its own autonomous robot that can generate accurate construction site layouts.


Headquarters: San Jose, California

Stock Symbol: PYPL

Co-founded by billionaire businessman Peter Thiel in 1998, PayPal was one of the first companies of its kind, making it possible for people to quickly exchange money with each other electronically, as opposed to with cash or money orders. Now, in addition to normal currency, the platform supports the transfer of Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash Ethereum and Litecoin. U.S. users can move their cryptocurrency between PayPal and external crypto wallets or exchanges, as well as fellow PayPal users, without any additional fees. 


Headquarters: San Francisco, California

Stock Symbol: SQ

As the parent company of Square, Cash App, Spiral, Tidal and TBD, Block is a leader in the finance industry. Square and Cash App are likely its most familiar offerings, providing business software and mobile banking services, respectively. Spiral and TBD are focused on cryptocurrency, specifically Bitcoin. And Tidal is a music streaming platform designed to bring fans closer to artists through unique content and experiences.


Headquarters: San Francisco, California

Stock Symbol: ADSK

Autodesk is an architectural software company that handles everything from the planning and execution of construction projects to the creation of animated films and video games. It has also taken a leading role in the development of robotics, virtual and augmented reality and 3D printing.


Headquarters: Santa Clara, CA

Stock Symbol: PANW

Palo Alto Networks offers several cloud-based cybersecurity solutions, including zero trust security, cloud security, threat detection and more. Businesses can also address any malware threats with Palo Alto Networks’ advanced firewalls, which apply both deep learning and machine learning. The company also offers AI-based continuous security to help users keep track of their IoT devices, granting network access to only valid personnel.


Headquarters: Austin, Texas

Stock Symbol: CRWD

Crowdstrike offers a variety of cybersecurity services, including threat intelligence, ransomware blocking, cloud security, antivirus management, identity protection and much more. It also combines machine learning, artificial intelligence and behavioral analytics to execute proactive threat hunting — searching for any cyber threats that are hiding and collecting data within a business’ digital ecosystem. Crowdstrike’s services are commonly used for election security, finance, healthcare and retail.


Headquarters: Santa Clara, California

Stock Symbol: NOW

ServiceNow’s cloud-based platform helps businesses better manage their employee, customer and IT workflows, build and deploy their own mobile applications, and automate repetitive tasks. The company also offers a variety of perks for its employees, including annual tuition reimbursement for both bachelor’s degrees and MBAs


Headquarters: Pleasanton, California

Stock Symbol: WDAY

Workday’s enterprise cloud management platform helps businesses unite their finance and human resources department with a series of planning, analytics and payroll tools. Organizations also use Workday to leverage their data to automate their accounting functions, streamline the hiring process and keep tabs on employee satisfaction.

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Headquarters: Santa Clara, California

Stock Symbol: AMAT

Applied Materials provides the equipment, services and software needed to manufacture semiconductor chips used in a variety of electronics, flat panel displays for computers, smartphones, televisions and solar products. The company claims it modifies materials at an “atomic level” and on an industrial scale in order to shorten product development cycle.


Headquarters: Durham, North Carolina

Stock Symbol: IQV

Based in the fast-growing tech hub of Durham, North Carolina, IQVIA  enables pharmaceutical teams to organize their scattered information into simplified data sets, automate their repetitive tasks, and conduct virtual and hybrid trials so they can complete their clinical research faster and more efficiently. It also leverages AI and machine learning to identify ideal patients for specific trials. 


Headquarters: Milipitas, California

Stock Symbol: KLAC

Operating mainly in the IoT and automotive industry, KLA offers process control and process-enabling solutions for manufacturing wafers and reticles — two semiconductor parts. The company also offers software solutions to semiconductor manufacturers for modeling and design, as well as the collection and analysis of their production data.


Headquarters: Santa Clara, California

Stock Symbol: ANET

Arista Networks sells multilayer network switches for large data centers, cloud computing, high-performance computing and high-frequency trading environments, making it easier for businesses to manage and sort through their large quantities of data. In addition to its various data-driven products, the company also offers cloud solutions allowing organizations to better store, analyze and secure their information.


Headquarters: Canonsburg, Pennsylvania

Stock Symbol: ANSS

Ansys’ engineering simulation software allows organizations to design, validate and solve any potential problems in new products they are creating. The company helps build everything from self-driving cars to nuclear energy facilities to industrial IoT devices. 


Headquarters: Pleasanton, California

Stock Symbol: VEEV

Veeva is a cloud computing company that provides data and software solutions for the fast-evolving healthcare industry. Its suite of products are used to manage all the content and data gathered across the clinical research, regulatory and commercial medical fields, making it easier to bring new medicines to market. Veeva counts several big names in healthcare as customers, including Moderna, Bayer and Sophia Genetics. 


Headquarters: Ventura, California

Stock Symbol: TTD

The Trade Desk helps media buyers build personalized advertisement experiences for targeted audiences by identifying ideal channels, compiling customer data and adjusting their marketing campaigns accordingly. Then with its data management platform, buyers can evaluate the success of a given campaign.


Headquarters: New York, New York

Stock Symbol: YOU

CLEAR is a third-party identity verification platform that works with airlines, private venues and government agencies including the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). Using biometric data, it pre-screens travelers and entrants, allowing for improved efficiency, decreased friction and enhanced security.

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Headquarters: San Diego, California

Stock Symbol: QCOM

Qualcomm makes semiconductors and other tech components for a variety of audio devices, smartphones and smart home gadgets, with a particular focus on 5G hardware and network access. In 2022, the company created the world’s first 5G AI processor, combining its 5G and artificial intelligence capabilities. In addition to its work in semiconductors, 5G and wireless technology, Qualcomm is also one of many innovators in the VR and extended reality space.


Headquarters: Santa Monica, California

Stock Symbol: ATVI

Activision Blizzard is a video game giant, with popular titles like Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, and Overwatch in its portfolio. The company uses big data to improve its games. For example, its game science division analyzes gaming data to prevent CoD players from leveling up through negative means. It also uses machine learning to detect power boosting and identify key indicators for improving the quality of gameplay.


Headquarters: Atlanta, Georgia

Stock Symbol: GPN

As its name indicates, Global Payments facilitates payment operations for companies around the world, offering B2B money transfers, cash management services and financial electronic data interchange. It also has tools made specifically for domestic and international acquisition, as well as payroll and data analytics. And sales teams can use Global Payments to analyze their user data, manage their team’s onboarding and payroll and even start loyalty programs for customers.


Headquarters: Washington, DC

Stock Symbol: CSGP

From offices to apartment buildings to open land, CoStar Group covers the entire real estate landscape, allowing users to analyze and gain insights into commercial property values, market conditions and more. The company has a wide range of brands under its umbrella, including Apartments.com, ForRent.com and LoopNet.


Frequently Asked Questions

What is a publicly traded company?

A publicly traded company is a company that lists and issues shares of itself on a public stock exchange or market. Those who buy or receive shares of a public company — known as shareholders — own a portion of the company's assets and profits.

In the United States, a publicly traded company also must disclose relevant financial and business information to the public on a regular basis.

What is an example of a publicly traded company?

Cisco, HP, PayPal and Qualcomm are a few examples of publicly traded companies.

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