The World's Most Admired Companies
No surprise here: General Electric is the world's most admired company.
By Tellis Demos

(FORTUNE Magazine) - 1. General Electric

2. Toyota

3. Procter & Gamble

4. FedEx

5. Johnson & Johnson

6. Microsoft

7. Dell

8. Berkshire Hathaway

9. Apple Computer

10. Wal-Mart

No surprise here: General Electric is the World's Most Admired Company--for the sixth time in eight years. But the breakout performer on our global list is Toyota. By rising three spots to replace Wal-Mart as No. 2, Toyota became the highest-ranking non-U.S.. company in the nine-year history of the international Most Admired list. Japan's top carmaker is churning out profits in a tough industry, earning $11.4 billion in 2005--more than the next 12 carmakers combined. By the end of 2006, Toyota is set to overtake GM as the world's biggest producer of cars and trucks.

As in past years, the global list was dominated by American companies, which took 16 out of the top 20 positions and 32 of 50 overall. The survey's 8,645 executives, directors, and analysts in 23 countries and at 351 companies (211 outside the U.S.) rewarded companies that delivered results. Europe's top company, BMW (No. 13), is the world's luxury-car leader--overall sales volume grew 5.5% to set a new record. Singapore Airlines (No. 19) jumped nine spots. Nokia hung in there at No. 20, making it the highest-ranking telecom company. And South Korean consumer electronics leader Samsung (No. 27) jumped 12 spots. For the first time that put it ahead of archrival Sony, which fell 19 places to No. 34. Top of page