Two Puget Sound region companies figure prominently in the latest list of the 100 most respected companies by Barron’s, as determined by a survey of institutional investors. Amazon.com ranks No. 4, down two places from its standing in 2011. It’s “highly respected” by 41 percent of those surveyed, and “respected” by another 37 percent. Zero don’t respect the online retailing giant. Microsoft comes in at No. 19, vs. 22 last year.
The worldwide list of largest companies is led by Apple, IBM and McDonald’s. JPMorgan Chase, which lost $2 billion or more on botched trading, fell to No. 49 from No. 14 in 2011. No. 100 is Gazprom, the Russian energy giant. Forty-five percent of institutional investors don’t respect the company, even if Vladimir Putin does.
According to Barron’s Michael Santoli, “Operational missteps, accusations of ethical breaches, and unpopular political stances by leading executives variously weighed on the scores of JPMorgan Chase, Wal-Mart Stores, Pepsico, and Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, with Berkshire’s drop to No. 15 from last year’s No. 3 perhaps most poignant, given Buffett’s once-unshakable place in the hearts of professional stock pickers.”
The downside of such a list is that Starbucks, Costco, Paccar, Nordstrom and even Boeing weren’t big enough to make a survey based on stock-market valuation. So individual investors should be warned in advance from reading too much in. Would you rather hold shares of Gazprom or, say, F5 Networks?
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Today’s Econ Haiku:
Denver’s record highs
Scorchers in the east, southwest
So drill, baby, drill