CORRECTION: This post has been updated to remove an incorrect reference to TeamHealth of Knoxville appearing on Fortune’s 2014 ‘Most Admired’ companies list. The 2014 list did not include companies in TeamHealth’s industry sector
For the seventh consecutive year, Apple is No. 1 overall on Fortune’s list of the Top 50 World’s Most Admired Companies, followed by Internet retailer Amazon.com and Internet search engine Google.
Rounding out the top five are investment guru Warren Buffett’s firm, Berkshire-Hathaway, and coffee giant Starbucks.
Tennessee’s only representative among the Top 50 is FedEx Corp. The Memphis-based package delivery company is No. 8 overall and No. 2 in the delivery industry, behind Germany’s Deutsche Post.
The Top 50 list and industry sector rankings are based on a survey of executives, directors, and analysts who rate companies in their industry on a variety of criteria, including investment value and social responsibility.
Click here for Fortune’s complete list of World’s Most Admired Companies.
Photo: In this May 5, 2012, photo, Warren Buffett, chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway smiles on the exhibit floor where Berkshire products aer showcased, prior to the annual shareholders meeting in Omaha, Neb. (AP photo/ Nati Harnik)
Beating expectations has become the 1Q norm. The consenus among financial analysts was that corporate America had already squeezed as much profit as it could from a weak economy.
The analysts couldn’t have been more wrong. So far most companies have reported better than expected earnings. And by most, I mean about 8 out of 10.
It started with Alcoa, which reported a profit of $94 million, or 9 cents a share. Analysts were expecting a loss of 4 cents per share. On Tuesday, Apple surprised the experts with a profit of $11.6 billion, a whopping $12.30 a share. Analysts predicted $10.06 per share.
In between a slew of other companies have reported positive earnings.
If the experts could be so wrong about 1Q earnings, maybe the economy is doing better than they’re telling us. Or maybe this will be the highwater mark for 2012. I’m thinking the economy is slowly getting better and profits will be the norm this year.
Here’s a different view from Randall W. Forsyth writing for Barrons.com:
The Amazon you love if you’re a consumer or hate if you’re a competing retailer won’t be the Amazon of the future.
According to Forbes contributor Michael Kanellos, Amazon eventually will focus on providing logistics and it’s biggest competitors “will be men in shorts: logistics companies like UPS and FedEx.”
Sound farfetched? Maybe. But Kanellos offers an interesting take on some recent Amazon moves.
“Amazon is at a crossroads. The company garners billions a year in revenue from selling e-books, household items and vacuuming up rising retailers like Zappos. Retailing, though, can be a difficult single-digit margin business,” Kanellos writes.
Big banks have done lots moaning lately. Every day, it seems, bankers are boo-hooing about financial regulations cutting into their profits. The bigger the bank the louder the sobs.
To replace lost revenues banks are charging new fees and eliminating services that previously were free. Sometimes the new fees spark a hail-storm of protest and the banks back off. Like last year’s failed debit card fee.
But are the banks really as bad off as they want us to believe?
Once again Steve Jobs has proven he knows what geeks want. Lines were long at West Town Mall this morning as customers scrambled for the latest version of the iPhone. Some customers lined up yesterday.
The economy still has a ways to go but these stories suggest good things are happening with the recovery.
Specifically — cosumers are shopping again, investors are regaining their confidence, advertising is bouncing back and, perhaps, most significant, there is light at the end of the tunnel for General Motors.
Posted by News Sentinel Business Editor Bill Brewer
Another sign of the impending apocalypse? You decide, but when a company’s local marketing/pr staffer has a pr firm in another state speak for her I’m heading for the hills and hiding under a rock.
Apple Inc. is creating another nationwide buzz with the Saturday release of its iPad, a computer the size and shape of a tablet that’s easier to handle than a laptop but larger and easier to read than an iPhone.
Given recent history with Apple’s release of the iPhone and iPod and the long lines of customers they incited, a call to West Town Mall management was in order Friday to plan for possible news coverage of the local Apple Store’s iPad release.