Top 20 Most Admired Companies

To create the top 20 for our 25th annual rankings, Fortune and its survey partners at Hay Group asked 3,322 executives, directors, and securities analysts to select the 10 companies they admire most. Having fresh ideas and being green are among the qualities that distinguish this year's winners.

Costco Wholesale
Costco Wholesale
Top 20 Rank: 18
While Wal-Mart stands for low prices and Target embodies cheap chic, Costco is a retail treasure hunt, where one's shopping cart could contain a $50,000 diamond ring resting on top of a 64-ounce vat of mayonnaise.

Costco refuses to mark up any item more than 14%, in contrast to supermarkets and department stores, which often carry markups of 25% and 50%, respectively. "We always look to see how much of a gulf we can create between ourselves and the competition," CEO Jim Sinegal told Fortune last year.

More: See how Costco rates in 8 key areas.


GE

Starbucks

Toyota

Berkshire

Southwest

FedEx

Apple

Google

J&J

P&G

Goldman

Microsoft

Target

3M

Nordstrom

UPS

AmEx

Costco

PepsiCo

Wal-Mart
Full list See how 306 top companies rate in 8 key areas, plus post your thoughts on our Most Admired Companies blog. (more)
Target's fashion statement Here's a look at some of the looks behind Proenza Schouler for Target, no. 13 on America's Most Admired list. (more)
Toyota's all-American ads From Elvis to Beyoncé: How Toyota, no. 3 on Fortune's list of America's Most Admired Companies, keeps rolling. (more)