Barron's Top 500 Companies


From Barron's 5-14-07

Barron's 500.

"Holt, a unit of Credit Suisse uses four equally weighted measures to grade and rank the largest companies in the U.S. and Canada (as measured by sales). For each company, Holt calculates stock-price performance relative to the Standard & Poor's 500 Index (for the 52 weeks ended April 27); the median cash-flow return on investment (CFROI) for the past three years, stripped of the effects of inflation and accounting practices; CFROI in the latest fiscal year compared to the three-year historical median, and sales growth in the latest fiscal year, adjusted for acquisitions and divestitures. For financial companies, Holt calculates cash-flow return on equity. The firm then grades each company in all four categories: the top quintile in each category gets an A, the bottom quintile an F. Using these grades, it calculates a total grade-point average, or GPA, for each company, with 4.0 the highest. In the case of tie GPAs, the "winner" is the company with the greatest change in CFROI or cash-flow return on equity in the past year. The Barron's 500 excludes companies that are restating financial data, operating under bankruptcy protection or have delisted shares."

The Barron's 500 aims to identify companies that will make the most of their invested capital and perform best for investors. Here is a closer look at the 2007 winners.

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