The List of Industry Stars

(FORTUNE Magazine) – How companies are judged by their peers is a telling measure of their true performance. That's the criterion for the industry rankings in America's Most Admired Companies, our 25th annual report. With some intriguing changes at the top--FedEx taking first place from UPS in delivery, Whole Foods vaulting to No.1 over the likes of Walgreen and Safeway in food and drugstores--this year's list is a dynamic snapshot of the corporate world.

To see our complete industry rankings, turn the page and open the foldout.

There is no higher praise than the respect of one's colleagues and competitors. These companies rank in the top half of their industry, as chosen by executives, directors, and analysts in the same business. INDEX Abbott Laboratories  6.75      35 Accenture  7.38                      39 Adobe Systems  7.35             37 Advanced Micro Devices  6.91  53 Aetna  6.78     9 Aflac  6.65      2 Air Products & Chemicals  6.29     30 Alaska Air Group  5.31          55 Alcan  7.89     32 Alcoa  7.11     32 Allstate  6.50                           3 American Express  7.56        4 Amgen  6.88                           35 AMR  5.29      55 Anadarko Petroleum  6.12     33 Anheuser-Busch  7.78            13 Apache  7.16                          33 Apple  7.44     38 Applied Materials  7.18          53 Aramark  6.91                        8 Arrow Electronics  6.77         22 AT&T  7.09    42 Autodesk  7.35                        37 Automatic Data Processing  6.45  1 AutoNation  7.27                    56 Avnet  6.55     22 Avon Products  5.94               16 Ball  6.23         34 Bank of America  7.45           4 Bank of New York  7.83         7 BASF  6.93      30 Bayer  5.91     30 Bear Stearns  6.70                  6 Becton Dickinson  7.70           52 BellSouth  7.32                        42 Bemis  5.94     34 Berkshire Hathaway  8.06     3 Bertelsmann  6.06                  48 Best Buy  7.14                        20 BJ Services  6.59                    45 BMW  7.40     60 Boeing  7.33    54 Boston Properties  7.32          29 Bowater  5.15                         31 BP  7.13          46 Bridgestone  5.81                    59 Brightpoint  6.21                     22 Broadcom  7.20                      53 Bunge  7.14     15 Cameron International  6.75  45 Campbell Soup  5.99              14 Canon  6.61     38 Cardinal Health  7.66             24 CarMax  7.22                          56 Caterpillar  7.05                      58 CBRL Group  6.80                  18 CDW  7.19      20 Centex  7.39    28 Chevron  7.62                         46 CHS  8.70        23 CH2M Hill  6.78                     26 Chubb  7.29     3 Cintas  7.20     8 Cisco Systems  7.73               41 Citigroup  6.41                        4 Claiborne (Liz)  7.03              12 CNF  7.51        62 Coca-Cola  6.23                      13 Colgate-Palmolive  6.51        16 Comcast  6.90                         42 Commercial Metals  6.94      32 Community Health Systems  6.43  10 Constellation Brands  5.21      13 Constellation Energy  6.39     44 Continental Airlines  7.86       55 Convergys  6.79                     8 Corning  7.62                          41 Corn Products International  6.28  15 Costco Wholesale  7.19          20 Countrywide Financial  6.91         5 Coventry Health Care  5.29        9 Cox Communications  6.55    42 CVS  6.80        17 DaimlerChrysler  5.91           60 Darden Restaurants  6.61       18 Deere  7.38     58 Deutsche Post (DHL)  4.60  57 Devon Energy  7.01               33 Disney (Walt)  8.08               48 Dow Chemical  6.28              30 Dow Jones  6.07                     50 DST Systems  7.05                 1 Duke Energy  6.95                 43 Dun & Bradstreet  7.22          1 DuPont  7.01                           30 Eaton  6.30      58 eBay  7.18      40 EGL  6.61       62 Electronic Arts  6.65              37 Electronic Data Systems  5.41                      39 EMC  6.99       36 EMCOR Group  6.98              26 Emerson Electric  7.17          51 Enbridge Energy Partners  6.84                    47 Enterprise Produc tPartners  7.18   47 Equifax  6.38                          1 Exelon  6.96    43 Expeditors Intl. of Washington  7.40             62 Exxon Mobil  8.09                  46 Federated Department Stores  6.15     19 FedEx  8.53     57 First American  6.54              5 Fisher Scientific International  6.18               21 Fluor  6.15       26 FMC Technologies  7.29        45 FPL Group  7.47                     43 Genentech  7.88                     35 General Dynamics  6.72       54 General Electric  8.04            51 General Mills  7.16                 14 General Motors  5.53             60 Genuine Parts  5.96                21 Goldman Sachs Group  6.24                          6 Goodyear Tire & Rubber  6.72                     59 Google  7.95  40 Grainger (W.W.)  7.03          21 Graybar  Electric  7.51          21 Half (Robert) International  7.40                   11 Harrah’s Entertainment  6.97                        49 Hartford Financial Services  6.70                  3 HCA  6.17       10 Health Management Associates  6.99                      10 Hewlett-Packard  6.48           38 HNI  7.29        27 Home Depot  6.59                  20 Honda Motor  6.44                 60 Host Marriott  7.00                 29 Humana  6.08                         9 Hunt (J.B.) Transport Services  6.42             63 IAC/InterActiveCorp  8.23    40 IBM  7.46        38 IKON Office Solutions  6.63                         22 Illinois Tool Works  7.49        58 Ingersoll-Rand  6.25               58 Ingram Micro  6.88                22 Intel  6.58        53 International Paper  7.60       31 Intuit  7.55       37 Iron Mountain  7.14                8 ITT  7.09         58 Jacobs Engineering Group  6.67                    26 JetBlue Airways  5.37            55 Johnson Controls  7.18            59 Johnson & Johnson  7.48        35 KB Home  6.34                      28 Kiewit (Peter) Sons’  7.20      26 Kellogg  6.80                          1 Kimberly-Clark  6.45             16 Kinder Morgan  8.00              47 Kinder Morgan Energ Partners  8.10                         47 Kroger  6.04  17 LandAmerica Financial Group  7.49            5 Landstar System  6.62           63 Las Vegas Sands  6.85           49 Lauder (Estée)  6.75              16 Lear  4.45       59 Leggett & Platt  6.86              27 Legg Mason  5.77                   6 Lehman Brothers Holdings  6.92                   6 Lennar  6.96  28 Lilly (Eli)  6.83                       35 Lithia Motors  6.23                 56 Lockheed Martin  6.93           54 Lowe’s  7.03  20 Manor Care  7.59                   10 Manpower  7.28                     11 Marriott International  7.25    49 Martin Marietta Materials  7.11                     25 Massachusetts Mutual Life  6.34                   2 MasterCard  6.52                    1 Matsushita Electric Industrial  6.74               51 McDonald’s  7.82                   18 McGraw-Hill  6.30                 50 McKesson  6.84                      24 Medtronic  7.36                      52 MGM Mirage  7.11                49 Microsoft  6.73                       37 Miller (Herman)  8.08           27 Morgan Stanley  5.66             6 Motorola  7.60                        41 MPS Group  5.15                    11 M&T Bank Corp.  6.01           7 Nestlé  7.82     14 Network Appliance  8.10       36 News Corp.  6.72                    48 New York Life  6.99              2 New York Times  6.31           50 Nike  7.82        12 Nordstrom  7.44                     19 Norfolk Southern  6.71           61 Northern Trust  6.76               7 Northrop Grumman  6.72      5 Northwestern Mutual  7.31    2 Nucor  7.26     32 Occidental Petroleum  7.13                           33 Oneok  7.40     44 Owens Corning  5.93              25 Pactiv  7.02     34 Paychex  6.38                        1 Peabody Energy  6.87           33 Penney (J.C.) 6.43                 19 PepsiAmericas  5.33              13 Pepsi Bottling Group  6.47     13 PepsiCo  7.59                          14 Performance Food Group  7.32                    23 Perot Systems  6.85               39 Phelps Dodge  6.30                32 Pilgrim’s Pride  6.91              15 Plains All American Pipeline  6.60               47 Plum Creek Timber  5.63      31 PNC Financial Services Group  6.16             7 Polo Ralph Lauren  7.55        12 Procter & Gamble  8.48        16 Progressive  7.37                    3 ProLogis  7.62                        29 Prudential Financial  6.66      2 PSS World Medical  7.16       24 Publix Super Markets  7.17    17 Pulte Homes  7.10                  28 Qualcomm  7.50                    41 Raytheon  6.72                       54 Reliance Steel & Aluminum  6.35                21 Robinson (C.H.) Worldwide  6.97                 62 Royal Dutch Shell  6.93         46 Ryder System  6.79               63 Safeway  6.57                        17 Samsung Electronics  6.47     51 Schein (Henry)  7.10             24 Schlumberger  7.34                45 Schwab (Charles) 5.61           6 Science Applications Intl.  4.99                     39 Scripps (E.W.)  6.85               50 Seagate Technology  7.65     36 Sealed Air  6.97                      34 Sears Holdings  5.89               19 Sempra Energy  6.79             43 Siemens  6.98                         51 Simon Property Group  7.47                         29 Smithfield Foods  6.35            15 Smith International  6.67        45 Sonoco Products  5.76            34 Southern  6.58                         43 Southwest Airlines  7.08         55 Staples  6.45    20 Starbucks  8.09                        18 State Street  6.63                     7 Steelcase  6.12                        27 Stewart Information Services  6.62               5 St. Jude Medical  7.83            52 St. Paul Travelers  6.38          3 Stryker  7.68  52 Sysco  7.42     23 Target  6.66    19 Tellabs  7.18  41 Temple-Inland  6.47              34 Texas Instruments  7.73         53 Timberland  6.71                    12 Toll Brothers  6.87                  28 Toyota Motor  7.10                60 Triad Hospitals  5.97              10 True Value  7.20                    21 TRW Automotive Holdings  4.87                  59 TXU  6.78       44 Tyson Foods  6.33                  15 Unilever  6.28                         14 Union Pacific  7.20                61 United Auto Group  6.57        56 UnitedHealth Group  6.75      9 United Natural Foods  6.94    23 United Parcel Service  8.26                           57 United Technologies  7.37     54 Univision Communications  6.13                   48 USG  6.07       25 US Oncology  6.20                 8 Valero Energy  6.76              46 VeriSign  4.91                         39 Verizon Communications  7.00                     42 VF  7.35          12 Vornado Realty Trust  6.98  29 Vulcan Materials  7.75           25 Wachovia  6.49                      4 Walgreen  7.20                       17 Warner Music Group  6.29    48 Washington Mutual  7.27       5 Washington Post  7.83            50 WellPoint  7.68                       9 Wells Fargo  7.10                   4 Weyerhaeuser  6.94              31 Whole Foods Market  7.91     17 Williams  6.98                        44 WPS Resources  7.38             44 Xerox  6.74     38 Yahoo  6.77    40 YRC Worldwide  7.80            63 Yum Brands  6.57                  18 Zimmer Holdings  6.96          52

How We Conduct the Most Admired Survey

The Most Admired list is the definitive report card on corporate reputations. Our survey partners at Hay Group started with the FORTUNE 1,000--the 1,000 largest U.S. companies ranked by revenue--and the top foreign ones operating in the U.S. Hay sorted them by industry and selected the ten largest in each. To create the 63 industry lists, Hay asked executives, directors, and analysts to rate companies in their own industry on eight criteria, from investment value to social responsibility. Only the best are listed: A company's score must rank in the top half of its industry survey.

To create the top 20, an overall list of Most Admired Companies, Hay Group asked the 3,322 executives, directors, and securities analysts who had responded to the industry surveys to select the ten companies they admired most. They chose from a list of companies that ranked in the top 25% in last year's survey, plus those that finished in the top 20% of their industry. Anyone could vote for any company in any industry. The difference in voting rolls is why some results can seem anomalous; for example, Southwest Airlines is one of the top five Most Admired Companies but is second in its own industry.

A total of 616 companies in 68 industries were surveyed. Due to insufficient response, the results of 29 companies in five industries are not reported: health care, pharmacy and other services, home equipment, furnishings, precision equipment, tobacco, and printing. Thus, 3M is No. 14 on the overall list even though its industry--precision equipment--did not have enough responses to merit a category. feedback mike_cacace@fortunemail.com