Respectfully Yours, Applehttp://www.fool.com/investing/general/2012/06/25/respectfully-yours-apple.aspx Rick Aristotle Munarriz
June 25, 2012
The world's most valuable tech company lost its visionary CEO, and investors have suffered through a stagnant share price in recent months, but it's nonetheless the right choice to repeat as the world's most respected company. Apple's stock is still trading sharply higher than it was a year ago, and in terms of delivering blowout quarterly results and well-received product rollouts, new CEO Tim Cook hasn't missed a beat.
No disrespect, but ...
It's not a perfect sample. All but one of the top 24 companies on the final ranked list is American, a byproduct of relying on stateside money managers for their opinions. How many of them truly have an opinion on Colombia's Ecopetrol or Russia's Sberbank Rossia?
There will also naturally be a bias in the opinions. Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK-A ) (NYSE: BRK-B ) , for example, fell from third last year to a surprising No. 15 this year. It's true that the iconic holding company has had a few subpar years lately, and concerns about Warren Buffett's health may also be weighing on opinions.
However, the most likely bandit here -- and it's something that Barron's does realize -- is that Buffett himself didn't make too many friends by advocating that upper-income Americans should be paying more in taxes. When you're a likely affluent money manager guiding investment strategies for affluent clients, the "Buffett tax" isn't going to be very popular.
Big Blue isn't all that blue