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It was at least the third "top companies" list in less than a year that put Apple on top, a strong indication that the Cupertino, Calif.-based company is doing a lot of things right.
Barron's World's Most Respected Company's list is of particular interest because the rankings are determined by a survey of institutional investors. Companies that rank highly on this list tend to outperform in the stock market as well.
Investors were asked to rank the companies on a four-point scale, so, just like in college, a 4.0 represents a perfect score. Apple earned a 3.94, easily besting Berkshire's 3.58.
The magazine called Apple's high marks "an expression of confidence in its CEO, Tim Cook, and [the company's] performance in the post-Jobs era."
Apple's investor-friendly moves over the past year, including a large AAPL stock buyback program, dividend increase, and a 7-for-1 stock split were among the reasons cited by those surveyed.
And the rise of Apple stock - it's up nearly 65% in the past 12 months - surely has made a favorable impression as well.
But the Barron's survey is just the latest feather in Apple's corporate cap. Last fall, AAPL topped Interbrand's 14th annual Best Global Brands Report.
In that report, Interbrand, a brand consultancy company, lists what it has determined are the world's 100 most valuable brands and assigns a dollar value to each.
Apple's brand value rose 28% from the previous year to a stunning $98.3 billion, ending a 13-year run by The Coca-Cola Co. (NYSE: KO) as the No. 1 brand.
The brand value is a "net present value," which essentially determines what the brand is worth both now and in the future. Clearly, the stronger the brand, the more sales it generates.
"For revolutionizing the way we work, play, and communicate - and for mastering the ability to surprise and delight - Apple has set a high bar for aesthetics, simplicity, and ease of use that all other tech brands are now expected to match, and that Apple itself is expected to continually exceed," Interbrand said in explaining the results.
And earlier this year, Apple was No. 1 on yet a third prestigious list...
Apple Stock News: Most Respected, Top Brand, and Most Admired
In February, Apple took the top spot on Fortune's World's Most Admired Companies list - for the seventh year in a row.
Like the Barron's list, the Fortune list is also determined by a survey, but in this case of 3,920 executives, directors, and analysts who rank the companies on nine areas of reputation. AAPL received a rank of 1 on seven of the nine.
Categories in which Apple earned a top rank included innovation, people management, use of corporate assets, quality of management, financial soundness, long-term investment value, and quality of products/services.
That Apple keeps appearing at the top of these lists is no accident and is just one more piece of evidence that AAPL stock still has plenty of upside.
Other Apple Stock News
A Goldman Gaffe: In a report on the companies best positioned to profit from the Internet of Things, Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS) surprised many by leaving out both Apple and its arch-rival Google Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOG, GOOGL). While the Goldman list of 17 companies focused on chipmakers, it is Apple and Google that have the two software platforms most likely to power the Internet of Things. Still, Goldman indicated the report was the first of a series. Maybe they'll get it right in the next installment.
A China Invasion: Apple appears to be hiring store managers in six new Chinese cities, according to an advertisement on the company's Chinese website. Despite the vast size of the Chinese market, Apple currently has just 13 stores there, compared to 254 stores in the United States. Apple CEO Tim Cook last year said the company would double the number of its stores in China. Apple has increasingly emphasized its growth in the Chinese market, which comprises about a fifth of its sales; earlier this year it announced a deal with the country's largest cellular provider, China Mobile Ltd. (NYSE ADR: CHL).
After some rough times in late 2012 and early 2013, the Apple stock news over most of the past year has been positive, and the stock has followed suit. What's your prediction for where AAPL is headed next? Tell us on Twitter @moneymorning or Facebook.
UP NEXT: The iPhone 6, the next major upgrade to Apple's flagship product, isn't due out until September. But what we know so far tells us it will be a blockbuster. Two larger screen sizes and a full slate of new features will have customers lining up from New York to Beijing. The only question is how high AAPL stock will ultimately go...
- Barron's: The World's Most Respected Companies
- Interbrand: Best Global Brands 2013
- Fortune: World's Most Admired Companies
About the Author
David Zeiler, Associate Editor for Money Morning at Money Map Press, has been a journalist for more than 35 years, including 18 spent at The Baltimore Sun. He has worked as a writer, editor, and page designer at different times in his career. He's interviewed a number of well-known personalities - ranging from punk rock icon Joey Ramone to Apple Inc. co-founder Steve Wozniak.
Over the course of his journalistic career, Dave has covered many diverse subjects. Since arriving at Money Morning in 2011, he has focused primarily on technology. He's an expert on both Apple and cryptocurrencies. He started writing about Apple for The Sun in the mid-1990s, and had an Apple blog on The Sun's web site from 2007-2009. Dave's been writing about Bitcoin since 2011 - long before most people had even heard of it. He even mined it for a short time.
Dave has a BA in English and Mass Communications from Loyola University Maryland.