Earlier we told you that Apple claimed the #35 spot on the 2011 Fortune 500 list. That's pretty impressive in and of itself, but what's even more impressive is that Apple sits at #4 on the Barron's 500 list of America's top companies that was released last week. The rise to the fourth spot means Apple shot up 55 places over last year's position.
Unlike Fortune, which ranks companies solely by revenues, Barron's assembles its list based on factors such as revenues, cash returns, management strategies, and operating successes.
Barron's Jacqueline Doherty writes of Apple's 4th placement: "Apple, ranked No. 4 this year...has generated stellar sales growth and handsome profits from the iPod, iPhone and related products, and its shares have rallied 321%, to 347, since the stock market bottomed in March 2009. Yet the stock, which trades for only 12.2 times next year's expected earnings, still isn't richly valued."
The three companies that came in before Apple were Fidelity National Information Services, a payments processor, at #3; jelly maker J.M. Smucker at No. 2; and Oshkosh, a truck maker, at #1.
[via Apple 2.0]