Commentary
2/14/2011
10:44 AM
Bob Evans
Bob Evans
Commentary

Global CIO: Is Apple Or IBM The #1 Most-Respected Large Corporation?

IBM and Apple held their high ground but HP and Cisco lost respect among money managers ranking the world's 100 largest corporations for Barron's.



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:

While Oracle climbed from #39 to #27 and SAP moved up from #43 to #38, Cisco dropped from #9 to #15, while Hewlett-Packard tumbled from #25 to #59.

One of the most dramatic gains in money-manager respect was generated by Amazon, which placed #2 behind Apple after coming in last year at #10.

Other tech companies making the list: Google rose from #8 to #6; Intel slipped from #14 to #17; Qualcomm slipped from #28 to #33; Verizon rose from #51 to #45; AT&T rose to #74 from #81; NTT DoCoMo inched up from #77 to #75; and fast-growing China Mobile fell from #75 to #85.

Among other well-known global corporations, Toyota's troubles took it from #6 to #47; Goldman Sachs tumbled from #30 to #66; BP's disaster in the Gulf dropped it from #47 to #95; and McDonald's moved up in the Top 10 from #7 to #5.

The full list is here.

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GlobalCIO Bob Evans is senior VP and director of InformationWeek's Global CIO unit.

To find out more about Bob Evans, please visit his page.

For more Global CIO perspectives, check out Global CIO,
or write to Bob at [email protected].

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