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World’s Most Admired Companies

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Methodology

HOW WE CONDUCT THE MOST ADMIRED SURVEY

The Most Admired list is the definitive report card on corporate reputations. Our survey partners at Korn Ferry Hay Group started with approximately 1,500 companies: the Fortune 1,000—the 1,000 largest U.S. companies ranked by revenue—and non-U.S. companies in Fortune’s Global 500 database with revenues of $10 billion or more. Korn Ferry Hay Group then selected the 15 largest for each international industry and the 10 largest for each U.S. industry, surveying a total of 652 companies from 30 countries. To create the 54 industry lists, Korn Ferry Hay Group asked executives, directors, and analysts to rate companies in their own industry on nine criteria, from investment value to social responsibility. A company’s score must rank in the top half of its industry survey to be listed.

Because of the distribution of responses, only the aggregate industry scores and ranks are published in Construction and Farm Machinery; Mining, Crude-Oil Production; and Petroleum Refining. Because of an insufficient response rate, the results for companies in the Energy: U.S., Pipelines and Trading industries are not reported.

To arrive at the top 50 Most Admired Companies overall (our “All-Stars”), Korn Ferry Hay Group asked 4,000 executives, directors, and securities analysts who had responded to the industry surveys to select the 10 companies they admired most. They chose from a list made up of the companies that ranked in the top 25% in last year’s surveys, plus those that finished in the top 20% of their industry. Anyone could vote for any company in any industry. The difference in the voting rolls is why some results can seem anomalous. For example, St. Jude Medical ranks No. 40 on the overall Most Admired list, returning after a two-year hiatus. But within the medical products and equipment subgroup, St. Jude Medical, based on its peers’ responses, missed the “Industry Standouts” cut by ranking in the bottom half of the group.

Korn Ferry Hay Group, which has conducted the research for the World's Most Admired Companies list since 1997, is a global management consulting firm. For information about Korn Ferry Hay Group's services, go to haygroup.com.

Fortune is no longer publishing the list of World's Most Admired contenders online. If you are interested in obtaining your company’s industry score and ranking, please phone or e-mail your request to Douglas Elam of Fortune's List Department. Please call Douglas at 212-522-6841 or email him at: douglas_elam@fortune.com

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There's a new AAA standard in corporate America: the one-two three punch of Apple, Alphabet, and Amazon. For the fourth time, our list of the World’s Most Admired Companies Top 50 All-Stars is led by a trio of tech giants under 40 years old. They preside over a class of blue chips and even younger tech stalwarts, such as Facebook (No. 14), Salesforce (No. 34), and Netflix, which makes a return to the Top 50 at an impressive No. 19. They also are joined by newcomers Visa and Publix, which make debuts at Nos. 47 and 49. See the full list of the Top 50 below, or use the tools at left to view all 340 companies in 54 industries.

To see the industry lists, use the tools in the Filter box below, select an industry, and click on the Industry Rank tab.

See our methodology and credits

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1.

Apple

Last year's Rank: 1
Photograph by ChinaFotoPress — Getty Images

Apple holds onto the coveted No. 1 spot as the World’s Most Admired Company for the ninth year in a row.

Company Info

Industry Computers
Industry Rank 1
Previous Industry Rank 1
Overall Score 8.6
Location Cupertino, Calif.
Website http://www.apple.com
Fortune 500 Rank 5
Fortune 500 Profile http://fortune.com/fortune500/apple-5
Global 500 Rank 15
Global 500 Profile http://fortune.com/global500/apple-15

Key Attributes of Reputation

Rank
Innovation 1
People Management 1
Use of Corporate Assets 1
Social Responsibility 1
Quality of Management 1
Financial Soundness 1
Long-Term Investment Value 1
Quality of Products/Services 1
Global Competitiveness 1
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