COVER STORY AMERICA'S MOST ADMIRED CORPORATIONS The way big companies are perceived can change overnight--ask Union Carbide. Except for No. 1 IBM, last year's ten most admired have swapped places or disappeared. Who's least admired? Continental Illinois displaces International Harvester.
By Patricia Sellers

(FORTUNE Magazine) – ONCE AGAIN IBM is the most admired of 250 large U.S. corporations ranked in FORTUNE's annual survey of corporate reputations. But after two years as the least admired company, International Harvester has moved up to No. 245, turning the cellar spot over to one of its big lenders, Continental Illinois. Elsewhere in the survey, too, change is rampant. Minnesota Mining & Manufacturing becomes one of the ten most admired companies for the first ( time, and Eastman Kodak returns to the top ten. Coca-Cola rises from ninth to second, right on IBM's heels. Gone from the top ten: Time Inc., publisher of FORTUNE, now No. 22, and Johnson & Johnson, now No. 18. At the other end of the list, for the first time industrial companies don't predominate. Five of the bottom ten are in service industries. Besides Continental Illinois, they include a diversified financial company, Financial Corp. of America, and three airlines: Pan Am, Eastern, and TWA. Continental, Financial Corp., and Asarco are making first appearances among the least admired. They replace three industrials: U.S. Steel, now No. 238, and two companies that disappeared from the survey this year, Republic Steel, acquired by LTV, and Warner Communications, which is no longer large enough to be included in the survey. Warner's revenues in 1983 declined sharply as its Atari subsidiary staggered; Atari was sold in 1984. Admiration seems to go hand in hand with profits (see box, page 22). Median return on shareholders' equity of the ten most admired was 18% in 1983, compared with 10.6% for the FORTUNE 500. None of the top ten has had an annual loss in 35 years or more. By contrast, five of the least admired reported losses in 1983, and the median return on equity of the other five was 8.1%. A company need not reward its shareholders generously to be among the most admired. The top group's median total return to investors (stock appreciation plus reinvested dividends) was only 10.3% annually over the past ten years. That was better than the 5.7% annual median return of the least admired, but not as good as the FORTUNE 500's 14.6%. In 1983 alone, the ten most admired returned a median 15.5% to shareholders, below both the 18.7% median return of the least admired and the 30.2% return of the 500. ''This surprises me a little, but it shows you that when everybody loves a company, beware of the stock,'' says John D. Connolly, investment strategist at Dean Witter Reynolds, a New York brokerage firm. In the corporate reputations survey, FORTUNE polled 8,000 executives, outside directors, and financial analysts. About 52% responded--a good return. Those surveyed were asked to rate the ten largest companies in their industry, using a scale of 1 (poor) to 10 (excellent), on eight key attributes: quality of management; quality of products or services; innovativeness; long-term investment value; financial soundness; ability to attract, develop, and keep talented people; community and environmental responsibility; and use of corporate assets. The rankings on the following pages show how each company is regarded in its industry. The industries surveyed are 25 of the largest in the FORTUNE 500 and FORTUNE Service 500 directories of U.S. industrial and non-industrial corporations. Industries with fewer than ten companies--textiles, tobacco, and shipbuilding, for example--were excluded from the survey. All but one of this year's industry groups were included in last year's survey: rubber and plastic products has replaced mining and crude oil production, a group that shrank to nine companies when Mobil purchased Superior Oil. FORTUNE bases its industry groups on categories established by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget. Companies are assigned to industry groups according to the business that contributed most to 1983 sales (or assets, for certain industries). Sometimes a company competes in an industry group where it feels it doesn't belong. For example, a top executive of Gulf & Western Industries complains that his company shouldn't be rated with the apparel group because G&W is a conglomerate with interests in films (Paramount), publishing (Simon & Schuster), financial services, and electronics, as well as apparel. Gulf & Western ranks eighth in the apparel group. Top-ranked IBM scored slightly lower than last year--8.44 vs. 8.53--but still handily beat the other companies in the survey on four attributes: management quality, investment value, financial soundness, and use of assets. IBM's biggest decline in score was for innovativeness; it dropped from third to fourth among the ten companies in its industry. A possible reason: IBM's PCjr home computer, introduced in late 1983, was a dud until the company updated it with an expanded memory and more workable keyboard. The rapid response to PCjr's marketing problems won kudos. ''One of the things that's tremendously admirable about IBM is its ability to adjust quickly to market demands,'' says Carol Muratore, a computer analyst with Prudential-Bache Securities, a New York investment firm.

The ballots FORTUNE received near the close of the survey period rated IBM particularly high, suggesting that respondents liked IBM's flurry of late- September announcements--a $1.25-billion merger with Rolm Corp., a telecommunications equipment maker; a step into the personal computer software market; and the naming of President John F. Akers to succeed John R. Opel as chief executive in February. The second most admired corporation, Coca-Cola, ranks among the three most admired for quality of products, investment value, financial soundness, and use of assets. The world's largest beverage company, Coca-Cola leads its industry group in every category except quality of management, where Anheuser- Busch has the edge. Coca-Cola scored its biggest gain in innovativeness. ''Diet Coke, no doubt,'' says Chairman Roberto C. Goizueta, speaking of the most successful new product in soft-drink history. After taking charge in 1981, Goizueta introduced Diet Coke, reorganized the company's bottler network, and acquired Columbia Pictures, which has come up with hits like Tootsie, The Big Chill, and 1984's top-grossing Ghostbusters. ''We were like Wilt Chamberlain playing basketball on our knees,'' says Goizueta of the old Coca-Cola. ''We had the talents but weren't using them. Now we're willing to take risks.'' Dow Jones, the smallest of the ten most admired companies (1983 sales: $866.4 million), ranks third overall and first for product quality. Publisher of the Wall Street Journal, Dow Jones earned a lofty return on equity of 27.4% in 1983 (FORTUNE, December 24, 1984). But security analysts who participated in FORTUNE's survey ranked the company only second in the publishing group for investment value. Gannett, publisher of USA Today, is first in that respect, though Gannett had a 1983 return on equity of 18.8%. A company that corporate executives and outside directors like more overall than financial analysts is 3M, which jumped from No. 11 to No. 4. Analysts ranked 3M 14th and gave it relatively poor scores for investment value and use of assets. The Minnesota company, selected by FORTUNE as one of eight corporate masters of innovation (October 15, 1984), rates among the top three in the whole survey for responsibility and innovativeness. New 3M products in 1984 included the first bionic ear, an electronic implant for deaf people. Hewlett-Packard has the fastest-growing profits of the ten most admired --earnings per share grew 21.75% compounded annually over the past decade --but it slipped from third to fifth place. The company had problems in 1984--personal computers that ran into distribution problems and were too high priced to compete with IBM, plus a management reorganization that got some bad press. But Hewlett-Packard again beat IBM on product quality and innovativeness and is tops in ability to attract talented people. America's largest brewer, Anheuser-Busch, rose from No. 8 to No. 6. By spending heavily on marketing in the late 1970s, the company has built market share to 34%, from 26% in 1978. Says Arthur Kirsch, beverage analyst with Drexel Burnham Lambert, a securities firm, ''They're the class company in the industry. Anheuser-Busch is pulling away from No. 2 Miller and making mincemeat of everybody else.'' Boeing, which supplies 60% of the non-Communist world's commercial jets, climbed to No. 7. It ranks first in the aerospace group for every attribute and second among the 250 for product quality. Boeing improved its score for financial soundness and now ranks No. 27 for that attribute. The company's shareholders have enjoyed an average annual return of 36.9% over the past ten years, a better payback than for any other company in the most admired group. The best category for General Electric, No. 8, is management quality, where it ranks fourth among the 250 firms. That's a tribute to no-nonsense Chairman John Welch Jr., who has shown little mercy in scrapping slow-growth, low- return businesses (FORTUNE, August 6, 1984). In the electronics group, GE scored best for all attributes except innovativeness and responsibility. Ninth-ranked Eastman Kodak scored big where many of the top ten fared poorly --community and environmental responsibility. Kodak ranks first in that category and fourth among the 250 for product quality, but doesn't do nearly as well on management, innovativeness, and investment value. Security analysts, in particular, seemed unimpressed with Kodak's 1984 profit turnaround from a distressing 1983. After ranking No. 4 last year (and No. 5 the year before), Merck slid to tenth place. Again the security analysts were less enthusiastic than other survey respondents. They ranked Merck 24th among the 250 companies and third in the drug group behind Abbott Laboratories and Bristol-Myers. Long known as the industry's research powerhouse, Merck hit a dry spell about five years ago that it is only now emerging from, and has encountered labor, regulatory, and foreign exchange problems. Merck's problems pale, however, beside those of the least admired companies. Continental Illinois ranked last in the commercial banking group last year, and its score declined more than two points this year, putting the company last among the 250. Its lowest rating--a pathetic 1.14--was for use of assets. It ranks last among the 250 companies for every attribute except community and environmental responsibility and quality of products or services. Financial Corp. of America, which until this year was too small to be included in the survey, fell into second-to-last place. FCA, parent of American Savings & Loan Association, the largest U.S. thrift institution, scored last among the 250 for product quality and among the bottom three for five other attributes. Yet it ranks in the top half of the survey group for being innovative. With liberal accounting and a high-risk growth strategy, FCA's previous management made earnings per share grow faster from 1973 to 1983 than those of any other company among the 100 largest diversified financial firms. FCA's investors got a lofty ten-year return of 45.5% annually. In 1984, the company had to restate earnings, sparking a run on deposits, and the management was changed. ''Those innovations did them in,'' says one security analyst. While the airline industry staged a remarkable recovery in 1984, three airline companies landed among the ten least admired: TWA, Eastern, and Pan Am. Eastern scored last in the transportation group, and among the survey's bottom three, for four attributes--quality of products or services, investment value, financial soundness, and asset management. Pan Am, whose labor costs mounted in 1984, ranks below Eastern for the four remaining attributes. Only TWA is expected to earn a profit in 1984. Manville, No. 248, is making money, but has about 25,000 lawsuits lodged against it for supplying asbestos. The Denver-based company, still in bankruptcy court, ranks last for responsibility and among the three least admired for management and ability to attract talented people. Chairman John A. McKinney says many executives in the building materials industry don't like his company because their firms have sued and been sued by Manville. However, financial analysts surveyed gave Manville even lower ratings than executives and directors did. International Harvester's reputation is improving. Two years ago Harvester scored just 2.62 overall. Last year its score rose to 3.64, and now it is 4.11. Once ranked among the three least admired for every attribute except product quality, Harvester this year landed in the bottom three only for ability to attract talented people. Feeble American Motors, No. 244, couldn't climb out of the bottom ten even though 1984 was the best year automakers ever had. Despite some successful products--its Renault-designed Alliance was Motor Trend magazine's 1983 Car of the Year and the new Jeep Cherokee won a spate of awards in 1984--the company scored lowest in its group for product quality. In a market that has turned back to size and luxury, AMC is still making only relatively austere subcompacts and expects only a small profit this year. Admits Chief Executive Jose Dedeurwaerder: ''We need a broader product range.'' HARSH MARKETS battered the other two least admired companies. Asarco, a mining firm that ranks No. 242, saw its slim profits collapse as silver and copper prices tumbled in 1984. Pabst, No. 241, floundered as Anheuser-Busch strengthened its domination of the beer industry. The reputations of individual companies often rise and fall with their industries' health, but the chief lesson to be drawn from this year's survey is clear: good managers build golden reputations. Respondents overwhelmingly rated management quality as the most important attribute in gauging corporate reputations.

CHART: Rank Company Industry Group Score 1 IBM Office equipment, computers 8.44 2 Coca-Cola Beverages 8.34 3 Dow Jones Publishing, printing 8.31 4 3M Precision instruments 8.13 5 Hewlett-Packard Office equipment, computers 8.08 6 Anheuser-Busch Beverages 7.96 7 Boeing Aerospace 7.80 8 General Electric Electronics, appliances 7.79 9 Eastman Kodak Precision instruments 7.72 10 Merck Pharmaceuticals 7.66

CHART: Rank Company Industry Group Score 250 Continental Illinois Commercial banking 2.58 249 Financial Corp. of Diversified financial l3.41 America 248 Manville Glass, concrete, abrasives, 3.80 gypsum 246 Pan Am Transportation 3.86 1 246 Eastern Air Lines Transportation 3.86 1 245 International Harvester Motor vehicles and parts 4.11 244 American Motors Motor vehicles and parts 4.37 243 TWA Transportation 4.42 , 242 Asarco Metal manufacturing 4.57 241 Pabst Brewing Beverages 4.59 1Tie. Each scores higher than the other on four of eight attributes.

CHART: EIGHT KEY ATTRIBUTES OF REPUTATION ILLUSTRATIONS BY JOHN PIRMAN Quality of management Most admired Score IBM 9.15 Dow Jones 8.62 Anheuser-Busch 8.61 Least admired Score Continental Illinois 1.83 Financial Corp. 2.76 of America Manville 3.97 Quality of products or services Most admired Score Dow Jones 9.04 Boeing 8.87 Coca-Cola 8.78 Least admired Score Financial Corp. of America 4.50 Continental Illinois 4.88 Eastern Air Lines 4.96 Innovativeness Most admired Score Citicorp 8.93 Gannett 8.32 3M 8.27 Least admired Score Continental Illinois 4.07 Asarco 4.23 St. Regis 4.36 Long-term investment value Most admired Score IBM 8.83 Dow Jones 8.33 Coca-Cola 8.26 Least admired Score Continental Illinois 1.41 Eastern Air Lines 2.45 Financial Corp. of 2.57 America Financial soundness Most admired Score IBM 9.41 Coca-Cola 8.94 Dow Jones 8.89 Least admired Score Continental Illinois 1.40 Financial Corp. of 1.97 America Eastern Air Lines 2.04 Ability to attract, develop, and keep talented people Most admired Score Hewlett-Packard 8.36 IBM 8.29 Dow Jones 8.22 Least admired Score Continental Illinois 1.85 Manville 3.37 International Harvester 3.38 Community and environmental responsibility Most admired Score Eastman Kodak 8.35 Johnson & Johnson 8.09 IBM and 3M (tie) 7.96 Least admired Score & Manville 3.13 Financial Corp. of 3.58 America Continental Illinois 4.20 Use of corporate assets Most admired Score IBM 8.52 Dow Jones 8.09 Coca-Cola 8.07 Least admired Score Continental Illinois 1.14 Financial Corp. of 2.06 America Eastern Air Lines 3.71

CHART: HOW COMPANIES RANK IN 25 INDUSTRIES ILLUSTRATIONS BY JOHN PIRMAN The industry groups are based on categories established by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget. Each company is assigned to an industry group according to the business that contributed most to 1983 sales (or assets, for certain industries). Aerospace Boeing leads its industry group as usual. Lockheed has climbed from No. 8 to No. 2 in three years, but memories of near bankruptcy in 1971 linger: it ranks eight for financial soundness. General Dynamics rates last for product quality and community and environmental responsibility. LAST Rank YEAR Company Score 1 1 Boeing 7.80 2 4 Lockheed 6.90 3 3 Rockwell International 6.80 4 2 United Technologies 6.78 5 8 Signal Cos. 6.74 6 6 McDonnell Douglas 6.73 7 7 Northrop 6.72 8 5 General Dynamics 6.53 9 9 Martin Marietta 6.45 10 10 Grumman 6.17 Apparel Levi Strauss, which hasn't had much luck diversifying away from a fading jeans m rket, tumbles from the top apparel spot for the first time. The new champ is VF, the maker of Lee jeans and Vanity Fair intimate apparel. VF got particularly hig marks from security analysts. Hartmarx rates tops for product quality. LAST Rank YEAR Company Score 1 2 VF 7.30 2 3 Hartmarx 7.13 3 - Oxford Industries 1 6.68 4 4 Interco 6.63 2 4 1 Levi Strauss 6.63 2 6 5 Warnaco 6.62 7 6 Cluett Peabody 6.42 8 9 Gulf & Western Industries 6.04 9 10 Kellwood 5.75 10 8 Blue Bell 3 5.65 Beverages Coke is it. The world's largest beverage company replaces Anheuser-Busch as the roup's most admired. Coca-Cola leads for every attribute except management quali y, for which it ranks second to Anheuser-Busch. PepsiCo improved its score but r mains a distant third. General Cinema is a Pepsi bottler. LAST Rank YEAR Company Score 1 2 Coca-Cola 8.34 2 1 Anheuser-Busch 7.96 3 3 PepsiCo 7.37 4 - MEI 1 7.06 5 7 General Cinema 7.02 6 5 Joseph E. Seagram & Sons 6.78 7 6 Brown-Forman 6.47 8 4 G. Heileman Brewing 6.45 9 9 Adolph Coors 5.87 10 10 Pabst Brewing 4.59 Chemicals FORTUNE's survey was completed before Union Carbide's catastrophic gas leak in I dia, but among the 250 companies it is only No. 195. The one category in which i ranks in the top half of its industry group: community and environmental responsibility. Du Pont score highest except for use of assets. Rank YEAR Company Score 1 1 Du Pont 7.47 2 2 Monsanto 6.88 3 3 Dow Chemical 6.71 4 4 Hercules 6.39 5 6 American Cyanamid 6.18 6 7 W.R. Grace 5.78 7 5 Union Carbide 5.68 8 - Williams Cos. 1 5.39 ; 9 10 Celanese 5.33 10 - National Distillers & 5.18 Chemical 1 Commercial banking J.P. Morgan, the most profitable of the major banking companies, rates first in ts group for every attribute except innovativeness and community responsibility. Citicorp leads the 250 for innovativeness but ranks fifth in the banking group f r financial soundness. BankAmerica gets the nod for responsibility. LAST Rank YEAR Company Score 1 1 J.P. Morgan 7.49 2 2 Citicorp 7.29 3 3 Security Pacific 7.04 4 4 Bankers Trust New York 6.65 5 5 First Interstate Bancorp 6.07 6 8 Chemical New York 5.90 7 6 BankAmerica 5.46 8 7 Manufacturers Hanover 5.39 4 9 9 Chase Manhattan 5.39 4 10 10 Continental Illinois 2.58 1 Not ranked last year. 2 Tie. Each scores higher than the other on four of eight attributes. 3 Taken private November 1984. 4 Tie. Manufacturers Hanover scores higher than Chase Manhattan on five of eigh attributes. HOW COMPANIES RANK IN 25 INDUSTRIES Diversified financial First Boston, an investment banking firm, overtakes American Express and Merrill Lynch, which remains No. 1 for innovativeness. American Express is first for inv stment value and quality of products or services. Cigna, hit by property and cas alty underwriting losses, slides to ninth. LAST Rank YEAR Company Score 1 3 First Boston 6.92 2 2 American Express 6.74 3 1 Merrill Lynch 6.59 4 5 Travelers Corp. 6.18 5 6 Aetna Life & Casualty 5.91 6 9 Great Western Financial 5.88 7 8 Federal Natl. Mortgage Assn. 5.71 8 10 H.F. Ahmanson 5.64 9 7 Cigna 5.59 10 - Financial Corp. of America 1 3.41 Diversified services After a management shake-up at Phibro-Salomon, the investment banking and commod ties trading firm slips to second in its group for management quality --but is st ll most highly regarded in the group overall. Super Valu Stores scores highest f r management quality, investment value, and responsibility. LAST Rank YEAR Company Score 1 1 Phibro-Salomon 6.98 2 3 Super Valu Stores 6.94 3 2 Halliburton 6.82 4 6 Fleming Cos. 6.59 5 5 McKesson 6.54 6 7 CBS 6.48 7 4 Fluor 6.23 8 8 RCA 6.08 9 10 Farmland Industries 5.89 10 9 City Investing 5.62 Electronics, appliances Motorola scores best for innovativeness and AT&T Technologies (AT&T's manufactur ng arm) for responsibility, but General Electric captures first place for all ot er attributes. ITT tumbles to last, taking the place of Warner Communications, w ich is now too small to be included in the survey. LAST Rank YEAR Company Score 1 1 General Electric 7.79 2 2 Motorola 7.06 3 3 Emerson Electric 7.01 4 - AT&T Technologies 2 6.74 5 5 Raytheon 6.27 6 6 Texas Instruments 6.20 7 - North American Philips 1 5.95 8 7 Westinghouse Electric 5.79 9 8 3 Litton Industries 5.64 10 8 3 ITT 5.08 Food General Mills' 21-year streak of annual earnings increases ended in 1984, but th company still leads for every attribute. Beatrice, debt-heavy from its recent 2.8-billion acquisition of Esmark, sinks from ninth to tenth, despite an avalanc e of image-touting advertising in 1984 (''You've known us all along''). LAST Rank YEAR Company Score 1 1 General Mills 7.44 2 2 General Foods 7.01 3 4 Nabisco Brands 6.96 4 3 Dart & Kraft 6.79 5 6 Ralston Purina 6.67 6 7 Consolidated Foods 6.35 7 5 CPC International 6.06 8 8 Borden 5.98 9 - Archer Daniels Midland 1 5.92 10 9 Beatrice 5.26 1 Not ranked last year. 2 Not ranked last year. Wholly owned by AT&T. 3 Tied last year. Forest products Kimberly-Clark, which makes Kleenex, scores an easy win and rates best in the gr up for every attribute except financial soundness and community and environmenta responsibility. Weyerhaeuser leads in those categories. International Paper's d op from fourth to eighth came on a small decline in score. LAST Rank YEAR Company Score 1 1 Kimberly-Clark 7.19 2 2 Weyerhaeuser 6.44 3 3 Boise Cascade 6.00 4 9 Mead 5.83 5 8 Scott Paper 5.79 6 5 Champion Internationa l5.60 7 6 Georgia-Pacific 5.59 8 4 International Paper 5.53 9 10 Crown Zellerbach 5.12 10 7 St. Regis 1 4.62 Glass, concrete, abrasives, gypsum Corning Glass Works is most admired for four attributes--product quality, innova iveness, soundness, and responsibility. PPG Industries beats it on the other fou . If security analysts alone had voted, Corning would have ranked third behind U S. Gypsum and PPG. CertainTeed ranks ninth for every attribute. LAST Rank YEAR Company Score . 1 1 Corning Glass Works 6.92 2 2 PPG Industries 6.74 3 3 Owens-Corning Fiberglas 6.55 4 4 Owens-Illinois 6.25 5 6 U.S. Gypsum 6.20 6 5 Norton 6.17 7 7 Libbey-Owens-Ford 6.07 8 9 National Gypsum 5.64 9 - CertainTeed 2 5.16 10 10 Manville 3.80 Industrial and farm equipment Cooper Industries, a Houston-based maker of hand tools and oil and natural gas e uipment, ranks first for asset use and ability to attract talented people. Coope has diversified into electronic and electrical gear. Deere is still first for anagement quality and community and environmental responsibility. LAST Rank YEAR Company Score 1 - Cooper Industries 2 6.86 2 1 Deere 6.81 3 3 Teledyne 6.78 4 5 Combustion Engineering 6.50 5 4 Borg-Warner 6.43 6 2 Caterpillar Tractor 6.41 7 6 Dresser Industries 6.34 8 7 Textron 6.29 9 10 Ingersoll-Rand 5.96 10 8 Baker International 5.94 Life insurance Scores declined across the board, with Aetna Life and Connecticut General hit ha dest. Northwestern Mutual ranks No. 1 for six attributes. Prudential, the larges life insurer, wins for innovativeness and ties with Aetna Life for responsibili y. Aetna ranks last for financial soundness and asset use. LAST Rank YEAR Company Score 1 1 Northwestern Mutual 7.16 2 2 Prudential 6.59 3 5 Travelers 3 6.11 4 6 Teachers Insurance & Annuity 5.88 5 7 John Hancock Mutual 5.86 6 3 Connecticut General Life 4 5.81 7 4 Aetna Life 5 5.69 8 8 New York Life 5.68 9 9 Equitable Life Assurance 5.64 10 10 Metropolitan 5.58 1 Acquired by Champion International November 1984. 2 Not ranked last year. 3 Wholly owned by Travelers Corp. 4 Wholly owned by Cigna. 5 Wholly owned by Aetna Life & Casualty. HOW COMPANIES RANK IN 25 INDUSTRIES Metal manufacturing This group scores lower overall than any other, and only Reynolds Metals and Nat onal Intergroup improved their ratings. Asarco lands among the ten least admired of the 250 companies, while Alcoa remains most admired for every attribute. Kais r Aluminum is the least admired for management quality. LAST Rank YEAR Company Score 1 1 Alcoa 6.89 2 4 Reynolds Metals 5.88 3 3 Northwest Industries 5.67 4 2 Inland Steel 5.59 5 7 National Intergroup 1 5.48 6 6 LTV 5.20 7 8 Kaiser Aluminum & Chemical 4.91 8 5 Armco 4.80 9 9 Bethlehem Steel 4.68 10 - Asarco 2 4.57 Metal products Three companies new to the survey--Masco, Ball, and Stanley Works--make impressi e showings but can't unseat Gillette as most admired. Gillette, which makes hea th and beauty products as well as razor blades, ranks among the survey's top te for product quality and innovativeness. LAST Rank YEAR Company Score 1 1 Gillette 7.39 2 - Masco 2 7.04 3 - Ball 2 6.97 4 - Stanley Works 2 6.69 5 2 Parker Hannifin 6.49 6 3 Continental Group 3 6.35 7 6 American Can 6.29 8 8 Crown Cork & Seal 6.10 9 9 National Can 5.66 10 10 Chromalloy American 5.38 Motor vehicles and parts General Motors, moving up smartly, ranks as most admired of its group for five % a tributes. Chrysler wins for management quality and innovativeness, while TRW rem ins tops for product quality. American Motors is tenth for product quality and i vestment value. International Harvester is last in the other categories. LAST Rank YEAR Company Score 1 3 General Motors 7.50 2 1 TRW 7.17 3 2 Dana 6.93 4 6 Ford Motor 6.72 5 7 Chrysler 6.61 6 4 Paccar 6.38 7 - Ex-Cell-O 2 6.15 8 8 Fruehauf 5.49 9 9 American Motors 4.37 10 10 International 4.11 Harvester Office equipment, computers IBM and Hewlett-Packard beat third-ranked Wang by more than a point. IBM scores est for five attributes but trails Hewlett-Packard, Wang, and Digital Equipment or innovativeness. Control Data, often criticized for pumping money into low-ret rn projects, scores worst of the ten for asset use. LAST Rank YEAR Company Score 1 1 IBM 8.44 2 2 Hewlett-Packard 8.08 3 4 Wang Laboratories 7.07 4 3 Digital Equipment 6.86 5 5 NCR 6.07 6 7 Honeywell 5.78 7 8 Pitney Bowes 5.57 8 6 Control Data 5.50 9 10 Burroughs 5.33 10 9 Sperry 5.00 1 Ranked as National Steel last year. 2 Not ranked last year. 3 Taken private November 1984. Petroleum refining Standard Oil (Indiana) outscores Shell for the first time and ranks 11th among t e survey's 250 companies. Last year Indiana Standard didn't lead in a single cat gory, but here it rates best in the group for investment value, asset use, and a ility to attract talented people. Exxon ranks first for financial soundness. LAST Rank YEAR Company Score 1 2 Standard Oil (Indiana) 7.65 2 1 Shell Oil 7.54 3 5 Exxon 7.31 4 3 Atlantic Richfield 7.23 < 5 4 Chevron 1 6.75 6 6 Mobil 6.35 7 7 Phillips Petroleum 6.15 8 - Sun 2 6.01 9 8 Texaco 5.63 10 10 U.S. Steel 4.75 Pharmaceuticals Merck ranks fifth in the drug group for management quality, but its high overall score puts it among the ten most admired. Abbott is the top scorer in its indus ry group for management quality and asset use. American Home Products wins for inancial soundness and Bristol-Myers for investment value. LAST Rank YEAR Company Score 1 1 Merck 7.66 2 3 Abbott Laboratories 7.57 3 2 Johnson & Johnson 7.48 4 6 Bristol-Myers 7.46 5 4 Pfizer 7.27 6 7 American Home Products 7.02 7 8 Eli Lilly 6.65 8 5 SmithKline Beckman 6.62 9 9 Upjohn 6.20 10 10 Warner-Lambert 6.10 Precision instruments Eastman Kodak and 3M catapulted into the ranks of the ten most admired companies. Kodak leads in three categories--product quality, fi ancial soundness, and community and environmental responsibility--while 3M takes the others. Polaroid is least admired for investment value and management. LAST Rank YEAR Company Score 1 1 3M 8.13 2 2 Eastman Kodak 7.72 3 4 EG&G 7.26 4 3 Perkin-Elmer 7.05 5 5 Tektronix 6.86 6 9 Xerox 6.61 7 8 Polaroid 6.47 8 7 Becton Dickinson 6.42 9 6 General Signal 6.38 10 10 Lear Siegler 6.22 Publishing, printing This group boasts the highest median score--7.26--and all but Washington Post an Tribune rank in the survey's top 50. Dow Jones is third most admired among the 250. Gannett, publisher of USA Today, rates second among the 250 for innovativen ss but ninth in its group for product quality. LAST Rank YEAR Company Score 1 1 Dow Jones 8.31 2 2 Time Inc. 7.42 3 3 Gannett 7.41 4 7 New York Times 7.32 5 8 R.R. Donnelley & Sons 7.31 6 6 Times Mirror 7.21 7 4 McGraw-Hill 7.18 8 5 Knight-Ridder Newspapers 7.06 9 9 Washington Post 6.83 10 10 Tribune 6.11 1 Formerly Standard Oil of California. 2 Not ranked last year. HOW COMPANIES RANK IN 25 INDUSTRIES Retailing Sears increased its score only slightly but takes over first place as last year' leader, Federated Department Stores, slips to third. Ranked first last year for only two attributes, Sears is no No. 1 in every category measured except product quality. Federated, the owner of Bloomingdale's and I. Magnin, wins there. LAST Rank YEAR Company Score 1 2 Sears Roebuck 7.14 2 4 J.C. Penney 6.78 3 1 Federated Department 6.63 Stores 4 3 Kroger 6.37 5 7 Safeway Stores 6.35 6 9 K mart 6.28 7 8 American Stores 6.20 8 - Southland 1 6.13 9 5 Lucky Stores 6.10 10 10 Household International 5.33 Rubber and plastic products This industry group appears for the first time, replacing mining and crude oil roduction, which now includes too few companies to be surveyed. Rubbermaid and G odyear lead handily, and each scores best on four attributes--Rubbermaid for pro uct quality, innovativeness, investment value, and asset use. Rank 2 Company Score 1 Rubbermaid 7.59 2 Goodyear Tire & Rubber7.50 3 Armstrong Rubber 6.32 4 Cooper Tire & Rubber 6.00 5 B.F. Goodrich 5.89 6 GenCorp 3 5.73 7 Firestone Tire & Rubber 5.54 8 Dayco 5.32 9 Dorsey 5.22 10 Uniroyal 5.19 Transportation United Parcel Service ranks first in the group, but had only security analysts v ted, AMR, parent of American Airlines, would be first. UPS leads the group for f ur attributes, while AMR wins for innovativeness. Delta scores highest for asse use, responsibility, and ability to attract talented people. LAST Rank YEAR Company Score 1 1 United Parcel Service 7.23 2 2 Delta Air Lines 6.99 3 6 AMR (American Airlines) 6.89 4 4 4 CSX 6.73 5 - Santa Fe Southern Pacific 1 6.52 6 7 UAL (United Airlines) 6.48 7 4 4 Burlington Northern 6.41 8 8 TWA 5 4.42 9 10 Eastern Air Lines 3.86 6 9 9 Pan American World Airways 3.86 6 Utilities AT&T ranks at the top of its group for every attribute of reputation but hasn't ade it back to the ten most admired list. Two years ago, before divestiture, AT& was No. 6 in the survey; now it is No. 28. GTE is last in its industry group f r product quality, but analysts score it best for investment value. LAST Rank YEAR Company Score 1 1 AT&T 7.31 2 2 Texas Utilities 6.86 7 3 3 Southern California Edison 6.86 7 4 4 GTE 6.68 5 6 Pacific Gas & Electric 6.46 6 5 Commonwealth Edison 6.40 7 8 American Electric Power 6.18 8 7 Southern Co. 6.15 9 9 Public Service Electric & Gas 6.08 10 10 Middle South Utilities 5.42 1 Not ranked last year. 2 This industry was not surveyed last year. 3 Formerly General Tire & Rubber. 4 Tied last year. 5 Spun off from Trans World Corp. (ranked eighth last year) February 1984. 6 Tie. Each scores higher than the other on four of eight attributes. 7 Tie. Texas Utilities scores higher than Southern California Edison on six of ight attributes.