In Barron’s annual list of “World’s Most Respected Companies,” Apple is No. 1, pushing Berkshire Hathaway to No. 2 with Boeing and Google at third and fourth.
“Apple topped this year’s ranking by scoring 3.94, giving it a wide margin of victory. Berkshire scored 3.58, and the mean was 2.37. Apple received the highest number of Highly Respect votes,” Barrons reported.
Fortune recalled a study in 2013 when analysts didn’t think Apple would rise to $700, but now “64% of the analysts we surveyed had set Apple price targets above $100 a share (pre-split $700).”
“Only four believed Apple (AAPL 0.27% ) would rise again to $700, the high-water mark it hit in September 2012,” Fortune reported.
Barron’s ranking follows the Silicon Valley Business Journal study naming Apple the most valuable brand in Silicon Valley in March, even though Google was ranked above Apple in Millward Brown’s BrandZ study.
As Apple’s shares climb, “the largest increase seen was by BTIG’s Walter Piecyk, who said that new plans by Verizon and AT&T would allow iPhone owners to upgrade in the fall for no up-front cost,” according to 9to5mac.com.
“We expect AT&T’s new Mobile Share Value plan to increase the percentage of AT&T post-paid subscriber base eligible to upgrade to over 65% by the time the next iPhone launches,” Piecyk told 9to5mac.com. “In absolute terms that is the difference between 10 or 11 million eligible for upgrades and 45-50 million.”