MOST ADMIRED COMPANIES

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    MOST ADMIRED

    Top 50 rank: 1
    Rank in Computers: 1
    (Previous rank: 1)

    Overall score: 8.16

    Why it’s admired

    For the fourth straight year, Apple tops Fortune’s Most Admired list. The company’s blistering pace of new product releases has continued to set the bar high for tech companies across the board.

    Apple took a stock hit when iconic CEO Steve Jobs announced in January that he’d be taking a second medical leave, two years after receiving a liver transplant during a six-month sabbatical. But Jobs assured the market in the company’s recent earnings report that Apple was still “firing on all cylinders.”

    It certainly appears to be. Apple nearly doubled its quarterly profits vs. a year ago. The iPad 2 was introduced in March, marking the second generation of one of Apple’s milestone product successes. And Jobs made a surprise appearance at the launch.

    Another huge move by Apple was the announcement this January that the iPhone 4 would be available from Verizon, offering another option to consumers frustrated with dropped calls on AT&T. –By Shelley DuBois

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    MOST ADMIRED COMPANIES