More admired than Costco, not as much as Walmart

The March issue of Fortune contains the magazine’s annual ranking of the most admired companies, and this year’s list shows Target ranked 22nd. Only Walmart (11) and Nordstrom (21) were ranked ahead of the company. Other notable retailers on the list who ranked lower than Target included Costco (29), Best Buy (36), eBay (45) and Lowe’s (49).

Some very familiar names dominated the top 10 including top ranked Apple, followed by Google, Berkshire Hathaway, Southwest Airlines, Procter & Gamble, Coca-Cola, Amazon.com, FedEx, Microsoft and McDonald’s.

To produce the list, Fortune works with the Hay Group who starts with about 1,400 companies whose revenues exceed $10 billion. Hay Group sorts them by industry and selects the 15 largest for each international industry and the 10 largest for each U.S. industry. A total of 667 companies from 33 countries were surveyed. To create the 55 industry lists, Hay asks executives, directors, and analysts to rate companies in their own industry on nine criteria, from investment value to social responsibility.

To arrive at the top 50 Most Admired Companies overall, the Hay Group asked 4,170 executives, directors, and securities analysts who responded to the industry surveys to select the 10 companies they admired most. They chose from a list made up of the companies that ranked in the top 25% in last year's surveys, plus those that finished in the top 20% of their industry.