And the World’s Most Admired Company in 2014 Is…

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For the seventh straight year, Apple has been named the World’s Most Admired Company by a jury of its peers in Fortune. Despite a rocky year which saw the tech giant’s stock jump and fall and a sometimes-hot, sometimes-cold public battle with billionaire investor Carl Icahn, Apple is still the envy of the corporate world’s eye.

From Fortune’s ranking:

Top 50 rank: 1
Rank in Computers: 1
(Previous rank: 1)
Overall score: 7.94

Why it’s admired:
The iconic tech company known for the iPhone and other stylish and user-friendly products is back in the top spot on this year’s list, for the seventh year in a row. Apple, the most valuable brand on the planet according to Interbrand, brought in $171 billion in revenues in FY2013 and is flush with cash, but fan boys and girls (not to mention the market) are getting antsy to see its next big product. Bets are on a smartwatch or AppleTV, but the company is also reportedly turning its attention to cars and medical devices.

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Amazon and Google were No. 2 and No. 3, respectively, having switched places from their 2013′s rankings. Among the other tech companies in Fortune’s top-50 “all star” list: IBM at No. 16, Samsung at No. 21, Microsoft at No. 24, and Facebook at No. 38. The full list of most-admired companies and a description of the methodology used to choose them are available here and in the issue of Fortune that comes out today.

Apple breaks into Fortune 500′s top 10!

Apple climbed the Fortune 500 this year to the No. 6 spot, its highest-ever ranking, its first time in the top 10, and the top technology company on the influential list, replacing sagging HP.

Fortune, which ranks firms by annual revenue, released its updated Fortune 500 list today. The revenue cutoff this year was approximately $4.8 billion.

Apple easily beat that, with revenue of $156.5 billion for its fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 2012, behind Wal-Mart, Exxon Mobil, Chevron, Phillips 66 and Berkshire Hathaway, the Nebraska holding company owned by billionaire CEO Warren Buffett.

The Cupertino, Calif. company, whose stock has been hammered since last September, climbed 11 spots from 2012′s No. 17 with a revenue gain of 47%, blowing by former technology lead Hewlett-Packard, which fell from No. 10 to No. 15 in the newest list as revenue there dropped 5%.

Other technology firms near the top of the Fortune 500 were IBM at No. 20, Microsoft at No. 35, Amazon at No. 49, Dell at No. 51, Intel and Google at Nos. 54 and 55, respectively, Cisco at No. 60 and Oracle at No. 80.

Microsoft rose two spots on the list, IBM fell one position, Amazon climbed seven places and Dell, like HP a victim of slumping PC sales, fell seven.

When ranked on profit, Apple was the list’s No. 2 company, reaping $41.7 billion, behind only Exxon Mobil, which posted profit of $44.8 billion. The latter was the second-highest in U.S. history, surpassed only by Exxon’s own 2008 record.

HP had the dubious distinction of taking home the profit booby prize, as it ranked dead last among the 500 firms with a loss of $12.6 billion, largely on the back of a pair of write-downs last year, including one of $8.8 billion for what it called “serious accounting irregularities” at U.K. software company Autonomy before HP acquired the firm in 2011.

Microsoft placed No. 8 when ranked by profit, even though its $17 billion was down 27% from the year before, hit by falling PC sales — and ensuingdeclines in sales of its flagship, Windows – and a booming tablet market, where the Redmond, Wash. company didn’t have a significant play during 2012.

Not all was roses for Apple in 2012, Fortune said, noting the two apologies issued by CEO Tim Cook — one for the mid-year Maps debacle, another a month ago to Chinese consumers over warranty repair policies — and the less-than-dramatic introductions of the iPhone 5 and iPad Mini last fall.

“Still, when every executive wants to invent the iPod of ___, Apple remains an innovation icon,” the magazine wrote.

Apple ranks #1 again in Fortune’s ‘Most Admired Companies’ list !

For the sixth year in a row, Apple was named the most-admired company in the world. In spite of a stock free fall and the Apple Maps gaffe, the iPhone maker topped rivals Google and Amazon, Fortune announced Thursday.

Described as a “financial juggernaut” which became the most profitable company on the globe, Apple was named the over-all most admired firm while also topping the list as the most admired technology firm of 2013…

“Apple has had a rough time lately with its stock price in a free fall and the widely publicized failure of its Maps feature,” according to Fortune.

However, it remains a financial juggernaut, posting $13 billion in net income last quarter, making it the most profitable company in the world during that period. The company has its fanatical customer base, and it still refuses to compete on price, making the iconic iPhone and iPad products that are still widely seen as prestige devices. Competition may be stiff, but so far it remains behind: In Q4 2012, the iPhone 5 was the world’s best selling smartphone, followed in second place by the iPhone 4S.

Android-maker Google, Kindle manufacturer Amazon.com, soft-drink producer Coca-Cola and premiere coffee vendor Starbucks rounded out the top five most admired companies.

Along with continuing to be the most-wanted workplace, No. 2 Google’s most admired qualities this year focused on its battle with Apple.

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Number 3 Amazon.com “stands to become the largest beneficiary of the e-commerce industry boom,” according to today’s rankings. The Internet retailer was also cited for challenging Apple and Google in tablet sales, as well as its video streaming service going up against Netflix.

“This year the Android OS is expected to overtake Apple’s iOS as the number one mobile operating system in the US and Canada; and Google Play is expected to overtake the Apple App Store in total number of apps for mobile and tablet,” Fortune writes.

Microsoft, maker of the Surface Pro tablet and Windows 8 Phone, lands in 17th place. The company “is facing an uphill battle, as consumers are slow to adopt Windows 8,” writes Fortune. Microsoft “still has a few tricks up its sleeve with ownership of the Xbox, Skype” and cloud-based services, according to the publication.

Samsung, maker of the Android-based Galaxy S smartphone family and tablets – both strong challengers to Apple’s iPhone and iPad – was ranked 35 out of 50. Meanwhile, social networking giant Facebook landed in the cellar, ranking 48. Twitter, which increasingly challenges Facebook, did not make this year’s Fortune list.