When it comes to winning the respect of money managers, Apple held its #1 spot atop a list of the world's 100 largest corporations for the second straight year, according to a survey in Barron's.
Coming in at #4, IBM also held its ground from last year, as did Microsoft at #22.
Respect is a slightly fluffy thing to quantify, but here's how the Los Angeles Times described the approach taken by Barron's in its seventh annual r-e-s-p-e-c-t survey:
Barron's asked 92 money managers nationwide to rank the world's 100 largest companies (by stock market capitalization) according to the level of respect the managers have for the firms. How is respect judged? The factor mentioned most often by the respondents was whether a company had a "sound business strategy." That was followed by "strong management," "ethical business practices" and "competitive edge."
Profitability doesn't seem terribly important in this ranking—or so the managers said, anyway. Mentioned fifth-most-often as a respect factor was "revenue and profit growth."
Apple has had plenty of both. Riding its soaring financial results, the company's stock zoomed 53% last year and is up nearly 11% this year, to $356.85 as of Friday. Its stock market capitalization of $328 billion is second only to Exxon Mobil's $412 billion. (End of excerpt.)
Elsewhere on the list, the results for these four enterprise-IT heavyweights—Cisco, Hewlett-Packard, Oracle, and SAP—were decidedly mixed as two rose nicely while the other two fell, one quite dramatically: