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Apple Tops The List

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However, Pepsico, led by India-born Indra Nooyi, has found a place in the list top 50, prepared by American business publication Fortune.

Legendary investor Warren Buffett-led Berkshire Hathaway and Japanese auto maker Toyota are ranked the second and the third, respectively.

"The new most admired list is the definitive report card on corporate reputations," Fortune said in an accompanying report.

While Nooyi-led Pepsico is at the 21st position, its rival Coca-Cola is way ahead at 12th rank.

Another US company, search engine giant Google, shares the honours at fourth place, closely followed by Johnson & Johnson and Procter & Gamble.

The Fortune has compiled a list of 363 most admired companies in which the US alone accounted for 273 entities. Again India drew a blank on the enlarged list as well.

There are 19 companies from Japan and 17 from Germany.

The survey covered 64 industries -- 25 international industries and 39 primarily US-market industries. A total of 689 companies from 28 countries were surveyed, the magazine said. Other companies in the top 10 are FedEx and Southwest Airlines (7th), General Electric (9) and Microsoft (10).

In terms of innovation and people management also, Apple is at the top.

Writing about Apple, which has an overall score of 7.07, the magazine said that it has been a rocky year for Apple as "CEO Steve Jobs' health made headlines, and critics said Cupertino wasn't being open enough about it".

But customers remained loyal to the brand that made white ear buds cool, it added.

"As much of the computer industry struggled, Apple shipped 22.7 million iPods during its first quarter (up 3 percent from last year), 2.5 million Macs (up 9 per cent), and 4.4 million iPhones. No wonder Apple tops our Most Admired list for the second year in a row," Fortune noted.

According to the magazine, Berkshire Hathaway helped General Electric and Goldman Sachs wrestle with the financial crisis by purchasing billions in their preferred stocks.

"Still, Berkshire itself suffered this year, with Class A shares falling 49 per cent since their peak in December 2007, as its investments in Wells Fargo, US Bancorp and American Express got hit hard," it added.


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