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|Barron's has named Apple its 2017 World's Most Respected Company. Now in its 7th year, Barron's surveys professional money managers about their views of the world's 100 largest companies, based on total stock market capitalization at year end, as determined by Dow Jones Indexes. This year's survey, conducted with the help of Beta Research, surveyed 92 American-based investors, ranging from proprietors of small advisory firms to the chief investment officers of money-management giants overseeing billions of dollars.
Participants were asked to select one of four statements reflecting their view of each company: Highly Respect, Respect, Respect Somewhat or Don't Respect. A point value was assigned to each response, with the highest accorded to Highly Respect, and a mean score was tabulated for each company. In the case of ties, the higher ranking went to the company with the most Highly Respect votes. The managers also were asked to rank the factors they consider most important in determining respect for corporations, and were invited to contribute comments on individual companies.
The top-10 companies in Barron's World's Most Respected Company are (2016 rankings in parentheses):
1. Apple (1)
2. Amazon.com (10)
3. Berkshire Hathaway (5)
4. IBM (4)
5. McDonald’s (7)
6. Google (8)
7. 3M (15)
8. Coca-Cola (13)
9. PepsiCo (17)
10. Procter & Gamble (3)
Apple repeated as the World's Most Respected Company. America's money managers praise the company as "visionary," "courageous," "innovative" and possessed of a "strong corporate culture," which has fostered "consistent execution." For now, Apple reigns supreme in commanding investors' respect.
On the other hand, few firms, with the possible exception of banks, have fallen farther since the survey began than Johnson & Johnson. After struggling with quality control issues, the health-care giant has fallen to No. 25 among the world's 100 largest public companies.
Toyota Motor (47) also has fallen in the ranking, plummeting to No. 47 as investors reacted negatively to the company's numerous recalls over recent years of various models for mechanical problems.