Top 20 Most Admired Companies

To create the top 20, Fortune and its survey partners at Hay Group asked the experts -- in this case, more than 3,700 people from dozens of industries -- to select the 10 companies they admire most. This year's winners all have strong records of innovation, leadership, and financial strength -- and their employees know it.

Target
Target
Top 20 rank: 11
Rank in General Merchandisers: 2
Consumer jitters rattled retailers' nerves in 2007, and even mighty Target -- the $60 billion purveyor of cheap chic -- was unable to escape the gloom.

But while Target's 2007 numbers were lackluster -- same-store sales, a key measure of a retailer's health, fell in December, and profits fell in the fourth quarter -- the Minneapolis discounter kept its cool. Target continued to do what it does best: churn out trendy trappings with marketing mastery.

It also gave $3 million a week back to the community, boosting its image as the good guy of discount retailing. That helps explain why it jumped two spots this year, making it the top merchandiser on the list.  -Julie Schlosser
See how Target rates in 8 key areas
Last updated March 03 2008: 2:10 PM ET

Apple

Berkshire Hathaway

General Electric

Google

Toyota Motor

Starbucks

FedEx

Procter & Gamble

Johnson & Johnson

Goldman Sachs

Target

Southwest Airlines

American Express

BMW

Costco

Microsoft

UPS

Cisco Systems

3M

Nordstrom
Most admired: Full list See how 317 top companies rate in 8 key areas. (more)
Most admired in your state California is home to the most corporations on this year's list. See the top-rated firms near you. (more)
Game: How admirable are you? Can you match each quote to the Most Admired company it refers to? See how admirably you score. (more)