Apple’s Reputation is the Best Among Top Brands

In an annual survey of the 60 most visible brands, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) came out on top with the highest “reputation quotient” based on factors ranging from the quality of its products to the quality of life for its employees.

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The 2012 Harris Poll Reputation Quotient, a survey that measures corporate reputation for brands and companies in the United States, asks the general public each year to assess 60 of the most visible companies in the country. The survey measures six different factors that reflect corporate and brand reputation. Those factors are: Social Responsibility, Emotional Appeal, Financial Performance, Products & Services, Vision & Leadership, and Workplace Environment.

Based on Harris’s scoring system, Apple came in first place with a Reputation Quotient (RQ) of 85.62, dethroning last year’s leader, Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), which came in second at 82.82. Rounding out the top five were Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO) at 81.99, Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN) at 81.92, and Kraft Foods (NYSE:KFT) at 81.62. Last year, Apple was the best in four out of the six categories, while Whole Foods (NASDAQ:WFM) came out on top in Social Responsibility and Amazon was tops in Emotional Appeal.

By and large, more companies did worse on this year’s survey than on last year’s. General Motors (NYSE:GM), Toyota (NYSE:TM), and BP (NYSE:BP) were the only companies other than Apple to improve, but all three were still recovering from major scandals and blemishes to their reputations (in the form of one controversial government bailout, numerous recalls, and an environmental disaster, respectively). Amazon also saw its overall standing increase, rising from eighth to fourth in the rankings.

The Harris survey doesn’t just measure the public’s perception of a brand, but also measures how eagerly individuals would recommend the brand or how likely they would be to invest. The survey found that 71 percent of Americans would “definitely” purchase products with Amazon.com, 70% would definitely purchase Kraft products, and 64 percent would purchase Coca-Cola products. It also found that 34 percent would definitely invest in Amazon.com, 23 percent in Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), and 23 percent in the Coca-Cola Company.

Here’s how these stocks are reacting to the news:

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL): AAPL shares recently traded at $499.54, up $6.12, or 1.24%. They have traded in a 52-week range of $310.50 to $497.62. Volume today was 10,171,348 shares versus a 3-month average volume of 12,549,000 shares. The company’s trailing P/E is 14.21, while trailing earnings are $35.14 per share.

Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG): GOOG shares recently traded at $612.32, up $6.41, or 1.06%. They have traded in a 52-week range of $473.02 to $642.96. Volume today was 798,476 shares versus a 3-month average volume of 2,989,930 shares. The company’s trailing P/E is 20.57, while trailing earnings are $29.76 per share.

The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE:KO): KO shares recently traded at $68.55, up $0.61, or 0.9%. They have traded in a 52-week range of $61.29 to $71.77. Volume today was 2,004,024 shares versus a 3-month average volume of 7,627,240 shares. The company’s trailing P/E is 18.54, while trailing earnings are $3.69 per share.

Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN): AMZN shares recently traded at $190.67, up $5.13, or 2.76%. They have traded in a 52-week range of $160.59 to $246.71. Volume today was 2,669,312 shares versus a 3-month average volume of 6,423,810 shares. The company’s trailing P/E is 138.47, while trailing earnings are $1.37 per share.

Kraft Foods Inc. (NYSE:KFT): KFT shares recently traded at $38.64, up $0.06, or 0.16%. They have traded in a 52-week range of $30.26 to $39.06. Volume today was 2,118,958 shares versus a 3-month average volume of 7,338,710 shares. The company’s trailing P/E is 21.10, while trailing earnings are $1.83 per share.

Whole Foods Market, Inc. (NASDAQ:WFM): WFM shares recently traded at $80.86, down $0.76, or 0.93%. They have traded in a 52-week range of $53.32 to $82.36. Volume today was 637,447 shares versus a 3-month average volume of 1,674,430 shares. The company’s trailing P/E is 38.97, while trailing earnings are $2.07 per share.

General Motors Corporation (NYSE:GM): GM shares recently traded at $25.52, up $0.02, or 0.08%. They have traded in a 52-week range of $19.00 to $36.84. Volume today was 2,986,292 shares versus a 3-month average volume of 11,153,100 shares. The company’s trailing P/E is 5.58, while trailing earnings are $4.57 per share.

Toyota Motor Corp. (NYSE:TM): TM shares recently traded at $78.98, up $0.59, or 0.75%. They have traded in a 52-week range of $60.37 to $93.90. Volume today was 121,012 shares versus a 3-month average volume of 539,034 shares. The company’s trailing P/E is 47.18, while trailing earnings are $1.67 per share.

BP plc (NYSE:BP): BP shares recently traded at $47.15, up $0.8, or 1.73%. They have traded in a 52-week range of $33.62 to $49.09. Volume today was 3,790,963 shares versus a 3-month average volume of 6,745,640 shares. The company’s trailing P/E is 5.84, while trailing earnings are $8.06 per share.

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT): MSFT shares recently traded at $30.51, up $0.01, or 0.03%. They have traded in a 52-week range of $23.65 to $30.80. Volume today was 15,137,607 shares versus a 3-month average volume of 54,496,000 shares. The company’s trailing P/E is 11.06, while trailing earnings are $2.76 per share.

Investor Insights:

Apple Blows Away Competition with 75% of All Mobile Phone Profits.
Nielsen Report: The Future of Cord Cutting and Internet Streaming.
Apple: We Have Nothing to Hide.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jonathan Morris at staff.writers@wallstcheatsheet.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Damien Hoffman at editors@wallstcheatsheet.com