Every year Barron’s and HOLT, a unit of Credit Suisse collaborate to create a ranking of the 500 largest publically-traded companies who are headquartered in the U.S. and Canada. This year’s list was published yesterday and is available to Barron’s subscribers at the link Barron’s 500 list. If you don’t have a subscription try Googling the term “Barron’s 500 Table Here’s the complete 2013 ranking, from Apple to Penney” and you should be able to get access to the free preview of the list.
Credit Suisse uses three metrics to evaluate all companies for inclusion in the analysis. These three metrics are equally weighted in the analysis and include median three-year-cash-flow-based return on investment; one-year change in that metric relative to the three-year median values; and adjusted sales growth in the latest fiscal year. You can find an explanation of Barron’s methodology here including how the GPA figure is calculated that is mentioned throughout this post.
Key take-aways from a quick analysis of the list include the following:
- Apple (AAPL) ranked first on the Barron’s 500. Apple was ranked second in 2012. This year the analysis showed Apple with a 4.00 GPA. Barron’s defends this selection by stating how Apple consistently attains strong sales growth and manages cash well.
- Symantec (SYMC) rose from 267th place in 2012, increasing to 14th place in 2013, earning a 3.67 GPA.
- Oracle (ORCL) rose from 357th place in 2012 to 86th this year, earning a 3.00 GPA.
- Western Digital (WDC) jumped from 447th place in the 2012 to 3rd place this year, earning a 4.00 GPA.
- Seagate Technologies (STX) also had a large jump, from 499th place in the 2012 rankings to 9th position in 2013, earning a GPA of 3.67.
- Ingram Micro (IM) is ranked 271rst in 2013, up from 435th in 2012, earning a 2.00 GPA.
- Accenture (ACN) is ranked 54th in 2013, up from 139th in 2012, earning a 3.33 GPA.
- Microsoft (MSFT) dropped six positions in the Barron’s 500, ranking 216th in 2013, down from 210th in 2012, earning a 2.33 GPA.
- Blackberry (BBRY) dropped to 445th place in 2013, down from 416th place in 2012, earning a 1.00 GPA.
- IBM (IBM) dropped to 66th place in 2013, down from 27th place in 2012, earning a 3.00 GPA.
- Google (GOOG) dropped to 86th place in 2013 to 147th place in 2012, earning a 2.67 GPA.
- Amazon (AMZN) dropped to 214th place in 2013 from 145th place in 2012, earning a 2.33 GPA.
- Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) dropped to 394th place in 2013 from 19th place in 2012, earning a 1.33 GPA.
- Intel (INTC) dropped to 255th place in 2013 from 6th place in 2012, earning a 2.00 GPA.
Bottom Line: On an aggregate basis, software companies as a group advanced from 281st place in 2012 to 215th place in 2013. Included in this group are Facebook (FB), Oracle (ORCL), Symantec (SYMC), NetApp (NTAP), Microsoft (MSFT), Google (GOOG), eBay (EBAY) andAmazon.com (AMZN).
(Cross-posted @ Enterprise Software Strategist)