Business week recently released it’s annual world’s best companies list and as usual there are a number of US companies present, albeit a much smaller number than last year thanks to the recession and falling US dollar. The list is particularly relevant this year because it highlights the companies that made it through one of worst global financial climates, showing that they and their management are amongst the best out there. The table below (click to expand) shows the best US companies on the list:
What are some traits of the World’s Best Companies? According to the article they are the ones that have a commitment to innovation, diversified portfolios, aggressive expansion, strong leadership, and a clear vision for the future. “In an environment of continuous disruptive change, companies that have rigorous strategic planning initiatives that allow them to see over the horizon…are far more likely to win than those that make it up as they go along,” says Paul Laudicina, chairman of A.T. Kearney. He sees two important factors that are most likely to drive global economic performance in coming years: leveraging technology and innovation to enhance productivity, and demographic shifts such as graying populations.
One way I use the above list is to create a short list of quality companies that I would like to invest in; or buy an ETF or mutual fund that contains these stocks. From the list, here are the companies I like best and feel offer some great longer term potential.
Technology leaders and perennial investor favorites like Google (GOOG) (No. 2), Apple (AAPL) (No. 3), and Amazon.com (AMZN) (No. 17) still look like good buys as they continue to invest heavily in innovation, commanding large market share with new products even as consumer spending and confidence have declined sharply. I also like Microsoft (MSFT) and General Electric (GE) which I discussed in detail in the artcile: 5 stocks warren Buffet would buy
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