The World's Most Respected Companies
Barron's financial newspaper recently published an article on the world's most respected companies based on a survey of 116 money managers across the U.S. The criteria voted on are: strong management, sound business strategy, ethical business practices, competitive edge and revenue and profit growth. It will not come as a surprise, then, that Apple Inc. has come out on top due, in large part, to the highly successful launch of the new iPad and iPhone. The death of a company's founder often leads to a lack of innovation and sales leadership. Not so with Apple. Their surging share price nearly doubled from last year.
In the number two spot is IBM, then McDonald's, Amazon and Caterpillar. Several large U.S. companies lost their coveted high rankings due to a variety of factors. Berkshire-Hathaway, for example, dropped to No. 15 from last year's No. 3 spot because of Warren Buffett's support for higher taxes for the rich. Google has also lost some growth potential in advertising revenues with competition from Facebook and other social-networking sites and, as a result, dropped to No. 16 from No.6 last year.The Royal Bank of Canada is Canada's contribution to the list at No. 38, then the Toronto-Dominion Bank at No. 45, and the Bank of Nova Scotia at No. 62. It's probably best to take these rankings with a grain of salt, says Charles Bobrinskoy, research director at Ariel Investments. He says that surveys are backward-looking and don't take into consideration that a widely hated stock might just be a good investment opportunity.
If you're interested in reading about these companies and how they got to where they are today, take a look at these books: