Tech stocks slip in the most admired ranking

NEW YORK: The Top 10 remains the same, but as the economy slows, Fortune's Most Admired Companies report shows that the business community's love affair with the tech sector is on the wain.

NEW YORK: The Top 10 remains the same, but as the economy slows, Fortune's Most Admired Companies report shows that the business community's love affair with the tech sector is on the wain.

NEW YORK: The Top 10 remains the same, but as the economy slows, Fortune's Most Admired Companies report shows that the business community's love affair with the tech sector is on the wain.

Topping the list for the fourth straight year was General Electric. The only newcomer to the Top 10 was discount broker Charles Schwab, thanks to a series of daring gambles - diving into online trading and acquiring brokerage firm US Trust. And another winner was Southwest Airlines, up to fourth place in this annual reputation measurement sweepstakes.

But tech stocks - reflecting the uncertainty in this sector - showed signs of weakness. Microsoft slipped three places to No. 5, and Dell Computer dropped seven spots to No. 10. The exception was Cisco, which rose from fourth place to second despite a 28.6% drop in its 2000 stock price, thanks to high scores in financial soundness and quality of management.

In a further sign of a change in the world order, winners in industry-specific sectors included Starbucks, which usurped the lead in food service from five-year leader McDonald's; PepsiCo, which overtook arch rival Coca-Cola for the top slot in the beverage category; and Toyota, which seized the top spot in automotive from Ford.

The bottom 10 list included Bridgestone/Firestone, TWA, Kmart and US Airways.

While some of the victors were quick to hit the phones and faxes to share the news with reporters, many took a subtler tack. 'We tend to celebrate more internally than externally,' said Linda Rutherford, spokesperson for Southwest Airlines, which ranked fourth overall and first in its industry.

Wal-Mart spokesperson Rob Phillips said the retail giant was pleased with its third-place finish but places more weight on employee and community relations.

The list, now in its 19th year, was compiled by the marketing and public opinion research firm Clark Martire & Bartholomew. Indices are based on a poll of 10,000 executives, directors and securities analysts.



Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register
Already registered?
Sign in

Would you like to post a comment?

Please Sign in or register.