24/7 Wall St.’s Corporate Power Rankings (Week 5)

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The 24/7 Wall Street Corporate Power Rankings of the thirty-two most important companies in America are determined by earnings, analyst rankings, important corporate news, trends in each firm’s industry, product introductions, management strength and changes, and credible rumors. It is, in effect, a new version of the DJIA.

The Corporate Power Rankings are released at midnight on each Sunday based on performance during the previous week.

Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO) surged to the top on unexpectedly strong earnings. Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK.A) got knocked down the list as it was stripped of its “Aaa” rating.  Exxon (NYSE:XOM) took the bottom stock on poor refinery margins and a sharp drop in oil prices.

Douglas A. McIntyre

  Company Rank (last week) Symbol Comment
Cisco 1 (8) CSCO Posts monster results for last quarter and impressive outlook ahead. Also say it will begin to add jobs. Multiple Wall St. analyst upgrades.
Wal-Mart 2 (4) WMT January retail sales strong across most categories and large retailers. Employments numbers a plus. Fires 300 people at headquarters showing Walton’s can still save money.
McDonald’s 3 (3) MCD Burger King results show consumer spending movement toward fast food. Goldman Sachs gives Big Mac prospects a thumbs up. Who says $1 coffee doesn’t have fans?
Apple 4 (7) APPL Amazon dispute with publishers will help iPad launch. Rising customer service concerns about competing handsets with Google Android system should help iPhone.
Proctor & Gamble 5 (9) PG Positive move in unemployment numbers will help huge consumer goods firms. Rival Unilever results show comeback in industry
Berkshire Hathaway 6 (1) BRK Reverse split not only brings in retail shareholders but gets Buffett a spot at S&P 500 table. Company says it will issue no new shares, taking dilution out of the picture.
Abbott Labs 7 (6) ABT Major competitor Boston Scientific hurt by huge sum paid to J&J in patent dispute. Retraction of study linking vaccines and autism also lifts.
Ford 8 (2) F Fusion hybrid and Mercury Milan hybrid get non-recall for brake. Increase in January sales is entirely from low margin fleet sales.
Dow Chemical 9 (13) DOW Surge in petrochemical prices should help margins. Firm posts much higher than expected results for last quarter.
FedEx 10 (10) FDX Rival UPS results positive sign for industry. GDP and employments figures are plus. Big rise in China economic numbers a plus for American companies with big Asia businesses.
Coca-Cola 11 (12) KO Growing evidence that soft drink companies can market effectively on social media. Superbowl ad expected to help US sales—at least temporarily.
Intel 12 (11) INTC Most chip sales rise on expected improvement in PC and server businesses. Rival AMD goes on Goldman Sachs “sell” list on expectation Intel will keep upper hand.
Disney 13 (19) DIS Consumer spending and employment numbers should help theme part traffic. Prepares to dump money losing Miramax. Mouse company benefits from perceived recovery in media from TWX earnings.
Google 14 (15) GOOG Partnership with National Security Agency should actually help search company to get to the bottom of some cyberattack issues. But Justice Department files object to deal with book publishers.
IBM 15 (14) IBM Cisco numbers good omen for big tech. Big Blue buys Initiate systems to increase footprint is important healthcare sector.
Hewlett-Packard 16 (20) HPQ Lenovo results show strength in PC market recovery. Cisco earnings show enterprise computing improvement.
American Express 17 (16) AXP Visa profits show strong rebound in credit card sector. Stock upgraded to “buy” at Bank of America on recovery in consumer spending.
GE 18 (17) GE Testimony of GE and Comcast execs regarding merger of entertainment assets begins poorly. Renewed concerns about bank write-offs hits perception of GE Capital.
Philip Morris 19 (21) PM Rival Imperial says year has begun well. US peer Altria posts strong results. Cigarette sales may be dropping, but increased prices per coffin nail ups earnings.
Pfizer 20 (18) PFE Improved results at rival Glaxo shows strength of industry. But, Pfizer’s own results are train wreck. No positive comments about future.
Boeing 21 (24) BA New 747-8 will finally make it aloft. Several airlines, led by British Air, show strong results, recovering industry.
AT&T 22 (29) T Upgraded by Credit Suisse. Should have iPhone exclusive until 2011. PR about upgrades to burdened 3G network appear to get press of Ma Bell’s back.
Johnson & Johnson 23 (31) JNJ Wins $1.7 billion patent lawsuit against Boston Scientific. Impact of Tylenol recall seems to be fading.
Oracle 24 (23) ORCL Finally begins cutting projects and costs after finishing Sun deal. Word makes it to market that some of the company’s data base software is hacked.
Microsoft 25 (5) MSFT Office faces renewed competition from Google and Oracle. New open source Symbian handset plans may finally kill Windows Mobile.
Caterpillar 26 (25) CAT Manufacturing numbers up some in January. ISM numbers should draw investors. Congress may put more money into infrastructure to simulate jobs.
Goldman Sachs 27 (32) GS CEO Blankfein takes small $9 million payday which takes firm out of comp spotlight. Big federal government restrictions on proprietary trading loses steam.
JP Morgan 28 (28) JPM Jamie Dimon take modest $17 million comp for 2009 which should silence critics. E-mail accounts of Dimon meeting with Banco Santander could raise antitrust concerns.
Home Depot 29 (30) HD Goldman Sachs prefers HD to rival Lowe’s, but that will not help housing recovery. Mortgage rates back above 5% and 2010 foreclosures expected to hit 3 million.
Verizon 30 (22) VZ Credit Suisse cuts rating and says AT&T will keep Apple iPhone exclusive another year. Attack dog ads on Ma Bell seem to be backfiring.
Bank of America 31 (27) BAC NY State Attorney General Cuomo sues former CEO and CFO for fraud. “Volker” bank plan would hurt B of A earnings.
Exxon-Mobil 32 (26) XOM Crude falls over 5% for the week. Rival BP posts week numbers. Exxon’s large refinery business likely to be hurt by falling gasoline prices.

-Douglas A. McIntyre