$1,000 in Amazon 20 years ago is now worth $638,000

See Jeff Bezos test the giant robot of your nightmares
See Jeff Bezos test the giant robot of your nightmares

What do you get someone for their 20th anniversary when they already seemingly have it all?

Online retail giant Amazon (AMZN, Tech30) went public on May 15, 1997. (Cue Sgt. Pepper by The Beatles? It was 20 years ago today, Jeff Bezos taught e-commerce companies how to play?)

Today, the company is worth about $460 billion -- almost twice as much as brick-and-mortar king Walmart (WMT).

Only Apple (AAPL, Tech30), Google owner Alphabet (GOOGL, Tech30) and Microsoft (MSFT, Tech30) have a higher market value than Amazon.

The Bezos-run company is no longer an unprofitable Internet retailer either. It consistently makes money -- not just in the fourth quarter when people go bananas shopping for the holidays.

And Amazon is expected to generate $166 billion in total revenue this year. Sure, that still pales in comparison to the nearly $500 billion in sales analysts are estimating from Walmart.

But Amazon's projected sales are about $40 billion more than the expected revenues of Target (TGT), Best Buy (BBY), Macy's (M) and Barnes & Noble (BKS) combined this year.

The dominance of Amazon, as well as Walmart, is one of the reasons why many other traditional retailers are closing stores, laying off workers and, in some cases, even going out of business.

Name a part of the retail world and Amazon has entered it. It's gone from books and CDs to the digital versions of them, as well as clothing, food, furniture, jewelry and just about everything else.

Related: Retail train wreck continues as sales plunge

Amazon is also a cloud computing leader and an emerging player in the world of streaming digital media along with Netflix (NFLX, Tech30).

The company has invested in freight airlines in order to have more control over the delivery process and is also working on drones as well.

And Amazon has the potential to be a winner in the Internet of Things/connected devices market with its Alexa-powered Echo speaker. (Alexa, can you help me finish this story by my deadline?)

But this might be the most stunning stat about Amazon.

If you were lucky enough to have $1,000 worth of Amazon stock at its IPO price (adjusted for splits) two decades ago, that would now be worth...$638,000.

That's enough to pay for an Amazon Prime membership for the next 6,444 years.

Social Surge - What's Trending

Mortgage & Savings


Newsletter

CNNMoney Sponsors