|Topic : Social Networking & Business Information Technologies||
By : Imanpreet $ingh, Student, Kathuria Group of Information Tech.
Activity: 10 comments 841 views last activity : 07 06 2010 20:18:04 +0000
Which are the companies that are most respected, the corporates that have the best reputations? And also, what is it that earns a company adoration?
While in some cases it is the fanatical consumer base, in others it is the innovations that a company churns out for its users, in many others it is the ability to stand firm and tall despite adversities.
Here are the world's most respected technology firms. The listing is based on Fortune's Top 50 world's most admired companies.
Leading the list of world's most admired companies is the US-headquartered Apple. The company gets the top slot for the second year in a row.
Bucking the global recessionary trend, IT giant Apple breached the $10 billion-mark in revenues in the quarter ended December 2008. The company recorded revenue and profit during its fiscal first quarter on the strength of laptop, iPod, and iPhone sales.
As for what makes company admirable: its strong grip on its customers, almost fanatic base. As says Fortune, despite "it been a rocky year for Apple: 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. 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 percent), and 4.4 million iPhones."
For the first time in its history, Apple tallied more than $10 billion revenue, reporting sales of $10.17 billion for the three months ended December 31.
The second technology company on the list is the Internet giant Google. At no. 4 on the overall list, the search leader Google can be called one of the most innovating companies. The company with a massive user base has become almost a `verb' for internet search.
According to Fortune, "the company whose streamlined web search is so popular it's become a verb just keeps on innovating. Who else would think to offer e-mail accounts with Goggles, a feature that premiered in October, to prevent us from sending drunken messages?"
The company may be facing some recession pains, having killed a number of services, eliminating jobs, and cutting its famous perks, however, its revenues continue to grow.
The search company reported fourth-quarter 2008 revenue of $5.70 billion, an 18% increase compared with its fourth quarter in 2007 and a 3% increase over the $5.54 billion the company reported for its third quarter of 2008.
The third most admired technology company in the world is the software giant Microsoft (10th on the overall list). The year 2008 may be a tough one for Microsoft, with the company's attempt to acquire rival Yahoo failing and Net search leader Google giving it a tough competition in Internet space as well as rolling out apps to dent its software revenues. However, the software giant continues to be a force to reckon with.
Sitting on a huge cash pile of $20.7 billion, Microsoft is still posting big profits. Its $4.17B in profit is enough to make even some of the biggest companies drool.
And as Fortune writes, "It recently beat out Google to become the default search provider on Verizon's wireless network and partnered with LG to put Windows Mobile on its cell phones. Microsoft also hired a former Wal-Mart exec to help the company open retail stores across the country. And now that Yahoo's got new CEO Carol Bartz at its helm, those merger talks might get going again."
Also, though the software giant is not left untouched by slowdown, it is among the few companies which have not frozen their hiring plans. CEO Steve Ballmer said that the company will be adding new jobs in the next 18 months to support key areas, including Web search.
Taking the 4th spot on the list is business and technology services provider IBM. The Big Blue is admired for its `fresh ideas' despite its mammoth size. With a huge R&D budget, the company routinely bags more US patents each year than any other company.
The challenging market may have hammered IBM's stock price by nearly 30 per cent since July 2008, however, the company is said to have weathered the economic crunch `relatively well'.
The company sitting on a huge cash pile, registered its strongest revenue growth in 2008 (since 2003) and the strongest profit performance in more than a decade. IBM also announced an earnings’ forecast for the coming year at $9.20 a share, well above Wall Street's $8.75 call.
The world's top seller of personal computers, Hewlett-Packard, is at the 30th spot on the list of the world's most admired companies.
HP recently announced financial results for its first fiscal quarter ended January 31, 2009, with net revenue of $28.8 billion, up 1% from a year earlier.
After reporting a 13 per cent drop in first-quarter profit, the world’s largest personal-computer maker said it will reduce Co Chief Executive Officer Mark Hurd's base salary by 20 per cent, executives’ pay by 10 per cent to 15 per cent, and most employees’ salaries by 5 per cent.
Despite the local PC market declining seven percent in Q4 compared to Q3, HP held on to its lead in the desktop and laptop markets, while Apple climbed to fourth in the laptop market, but dropped to fifth spot in the desktop market.
At no. sixth among technology companies is Cisco Systems. The networking giant Cisco is the most cash-rich tech company with $29.5 billion in hand, putting it just behind Exxon Mobil Corp's $31.4 billion, despite having a market value less than one-quarter of the oil giant's.
The company has been rather upfront about its plans to use some of this cash to make acquisitions. Cisco has said it plans to be acquisitive during the economic downturn.
Founded in 1984 by a small group of computer scientists from Stanford University, Cisco's hardware, software, and service offerings are used to create Internet solutions. With more than 67,647 employees worldwide, the company's mantra is to motivate employees for innovation.
The largest chipmaker Intel ranks at no. 36 in the list of top 50 most admired companies in the world. Like most technology companies, Intel too has been hit hard by the global recession. For its fourth quarter ended December 27, 2008, Intel's profit plunged 90 per cent from a year earlier, falling short of Wall Street estimates.
Faced by a weak PC market, Intel Corp recently slashed prices of its chips and said that it would close four chip plants and cut as many as 6,000 jobs. Intel has also been repeatedly investigated for alleged anti-competitive and monopolistic practices.
At no. 39 in the top 50 most admired companies in the world is Sony Corp. The company has long dominated the field of consumer electronics, from the first pocket transistor radio to the Walkman and the PlayStation.
However, the current recession and the growing yen seems to be troubling the Japanese consumer electronics major. The company announced its first annual loss in 14 years, with weak sales of goods and a stronger yen taking their toll.
The firm reported an operating loss of 18bn yen for the October to December third quarter, down from 236.22bn yen profit a year before.
Sony is taking restructuring steps including cutting 16,000 jobs and closing some plants. The company has also been reorganised into two groups, one based around networked media products (games, computers, music-players, new mobile products and related services) and the other encompassing televisions, cameras and components.
The mobile phone leader Nokia ranks at no. 42 on the most admired companies list. The world's largest maker of mobile phones has constantly strengthened its customer base. Over the years, the no. 2 and 3 spots have seen changes in the mobile market, but the top spot remains firmly guarded by the Finnish maker of mobile phones.
The company's CEO recently said that the company is thinking about a future in laptops. The world's biggest mobile phone manufacturer is looking to exploit the increasing convergence of the mobile and PC industry.
Recently, the company said that it would scale down production to meet the slowing demand for cell phones. It has also offered a voluntary retirement option to 1000 of its employees.
At no. 48 is the US-based telecommunication company AT&T. The first company courted by Apple for its iPhone, AT&T.
The company reported mixed financial results for the fourth quarter. While it benefited from continued growth in the wireless business, it faced declines in the landline business. Revenue for the fourth quarter was $31.1 billion up slightly from $30.4 billion in the quarter a year ago.
Recently, JPMorgan upgraded AT&T's rating to overweight from neutral, saying that the stock could outperform Street consensus estimates on strength in its wireline unit. The firm wrote that wireline guidance assumptions were conservative. "In addition, we believe the path to wireless margin recovery is clear," it wrote, raising its price target on the communications company to $28 from $24.
The New York-headquartered Accenture ranks at no. 49 in the world's most admired companies list. Incidentally, the company also made its entry in the Fortune's Best Workplaces list for the first time this year.
The company reported strong financial results for the first quarter of fiscal 2009, ended November 30, 2008, with net revenues of $6.02 billion, an increase of 6 per cent in US dollars and 9 per cent in local currency over the same period last year. Diluted earnings per share were $0.74, an increase of 24 per cent.
Founded in 1989, Accenture is a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company.
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The Korean consumer electronics leader Samsung ranks at no. 50 on the list. In 2008, the company maintained its place as the world's biggest TV brand for the third year running. With a 21.9 per cent market share, the South Korean electronics manufacturer is some way ahead of second placed Sony, according to DisplaySearch.
However, the global downturn is troubling the company too. Samsung Electronics posted its first-ever quarterly loss recently hammered by devastating results in its memory chip and flat-screen television businesses as the global downturn dried up demand for electronics.
However, Samsung's deep pockets mean that the crown jewel of South Korea's no. 1 chaebol may continue to steal marketshare from competitors like Sony.
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