The recent report from Barron’s places Apple again in number one position in its annual ranking of the World’s Most Respected Companies. Last year, Apple lost the position to Berkshire Hathaway which now takes the second place followed by Boeing and Google.
Apple topped this year’s ranking by scoring 3.94, giving it a wide margin of victory. Berkshire scored 3.58, and the mean was 2.37. Apple received the highest number of Highly Respect votes.
Also, in the annual money managers’ survey Apple has maintained its top billing which it has held for four years. Barron’s reported that, “Apple’s iPhones, iPads, and Mac computers have enhanced the lives of billions” and also investors were impressed by the recent announcement about “a dividend hike, stock buybacks, and a 7-for-1 stock split.”
Apple had also received the J.D. Powers top award for smartphone satisfaction awards in April and for tablets satisfaction awards in May. It was rated most valuable Silicon Valley brand by Brand Directory followed by Google and Microsoft.
Yesterday’s report by Fortune reads, “64% of the analysts we surveyed had set Apple price targets above $100 a share ($700 pre-split), and more were coming around.” BTIG’s Analyst Walter Piecyk depicted the largest increase by 30%, as he says new smartphone leasing plans by Verizon and AT&T will allow iPhone owners this fall to upgrade to new models for 0% upfront:
“Historically we estimate that ~20% of AT&T’s subscriber base was eligible for an upgrade during an iPhone launch quarter. That eligibility dropped to a low of the mid-teens in the second half of 2013 due to the stricter upgrade policies. We expect AT&T’s new Mobile Share Value plan to increase the percentage of AT&T post-paid subscriber base eligible to upgrade to over 65% by the time the next iPhone launches. In absolute terms that is the difference between 10 or 11 million eligible for upgrades and 45-50 million.”