First on TMO - Apple Bumps up to Third Most Admired Computer Company

by , 3:00 PM EST, February 28th, 2005

Fortune's 23rd annual Most Admired Companies ranks Apple Computer third among computer companies, while Dell captured top honors for America's Most Admired Company.

With a score of 6.84 out of 10, Apple's rank was good enough to move the company up a spot from its fourth place rank in 2004 among computer companies. IBM took the top spot, with a score of 7.61, while Dell came in second with 7.46.

Forbes also ranked companies on eight attributes of reputation, with Apple capturing the bronze among all American companies in "Innovation" with a score of 8.78. Apple was edged out by FedEx, which scored an 8.82, and Kinder Morgan Energy Partners, which scored a 9.57.

Among other computer companies, Apple ranked first in "Innovation" and "Quality of products/services," and third in "Employee talent." Dell, in contrast, ranked seventh in "Innovation" and fifth in "Quality of products/services," but took first in "Employee talent," "Use of corporate assets," "Quality of management," and "Long-term investment."

To conduct the survey, Fortune polled a total of 15,000 respondents (executives, directors, and veteran security analysts) around the world, with 10,000 in the U.S. and the rest from 21 other countries. The respondents ranked companies by industry and then were asked to name the single company they admire most in any industry, which is how Dell managed to place second among computer companies but was still named America's Most Admired Company.

Dell's title this year marks the first time since 1986--when IBM was was selected--that a computer company was the named America's Most Admired company.

"Its profits in this margin-squeezed business soared 15% in 2004, a feat that Dell makes look boringly routine," the article mentions. Apple fans will surely point out that at least Dell's profits mirror its products.