The supermarket giant was knocked off the top spot last week by clothing retailer Next, but regained it after receiving good coverage between 13 and 19 January.
Jon Shepherd, business development director at Thomson Intermedia, which compiles Reputation Monitor based on its National News Index rating for favourable coverage, said the nature of Tesco coverage varied.
Good sales figures were covered, but a trend was noted among business journalists to use Tesco consistently as a positive comparison with major rival Sainsbury’s.
Shepherd said: ‘It seems that every time someone writes a negative story about Sainsbury’s, Tesco gets a good mention.’
He said stories about Sainsbury’s were having a similarly positive effect for Asda, which leapt from fifth place to second this week.
Prudential leapt from seventh to third, owing largely to a favourable response to reports that it was selling its stake in internet bank Egg, which is a new entry at fourth.
Other new entries include Dixons, which gained good coverage for its Christmas sales, and the Financial Services Authority, for coverage of its tough stance against Standard Life.
Shepherd said it had been a particularly tough week for Standard Life, with numerous reports on the departure of its chief executive and the intervention of the FSA giving it an NNI of -274.2.
The Bank of England fared badly, too, with criticism of its role in the collapse of the Bank of Credit and Commerce International.
Evidence is emerging, according to Shepherd, that interest in Parmalat – last week’s bottom-placed company – is ‘fizzling out’. Its -188 score of last week climbed this week to -95.5.