NORWALK, CT, November 27, 2006 – Financial performance proves to be a strong driver of both corporate reputation and volatility in the media, according to the Delahaye Index, a quarterly study of how news coverage reflects and helps to shape the corporate reputations of the 100 largest U.S. companies. General Motors benefited most greatly by this phenomenon, rebounding from the 100 spot in the first quarter to number 13 in the third quarter.
Positive news in the third quarter also benefited Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT), The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS), IBM (NYSE:IBM), Time Warner (NYSE: TWX) and Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT), with coverage of upward economic performance from the nation s leading media.
Just as corporate reputation is bolstered by positive news coverage, the Index results also demonstrated the impact of negative financial news. Third quarter results revealed a growing number of companies who suffered at the hands of negative news due to poor financial performance, including Dell Inc., which fell 61 places on the Index to rank 98th due to a dramatic drop in quarterly profits; Delphi Corporation (DPHIQ), which reported deep losses for the first half of 2006; Tyson Foods, Inc. (NYSE:TSN) which had larger than expected quarterly losses; and Fannie Mae (NYSE:FNM), which delayed filing its second quarter financials.
Delahaye President Mark Weiner stated, “Since initiating the Delahaye Index in 2002, we have seen the importance of financial news in shaping a corporation s reputation in the media. The extreme volatility of our third-quarter results indicate just how powerful a driver financial performance is to both positive and negative effects.”
The Index is conducted by Delahaye, a provider of media research and analysis services for communications, public relations, and marketing professionals.
Several companies demonstrated the durability of their good media reputations despite a turbulent news quarter such as Wal-Mart Inc. (NYSE: WMT) which landed in fifth place with positive media attention generated by news of strong back-to-school sales and a Maryland judge s overturn of a state health care law that was specifically written to affect the company. Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) also affirmed its bellwether status for the telecommunications industry by exceeding second quarter forecasts and dropping its music download fees, capping a high volume of favorable news that boosted the telephone giant to tenth place.
The world s leading chip maker, Intel Corp. (Nasdaq:INTC) slipped four spots to ninth place with mixed news of declining profits and the introduction of a new series of microprocessors. Hewlett Packard (NYSE:HPQ), took a steep fall on the Index this quarter, dropping 90 spots to last place with negative news about the recent corporate spying scandal.
The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA) reaffirmed its leadership position in the aeronautics industry with news of Airbus production overruns and delays as Boeing orders rose dramatically, advancing them one place on the Index to the rank of sixth.
Q3 2006 Delahaye Index: Top Ten Companies
Methodology of the 2006 Delahaye Index
The 2006 Delahaye Index includes analysis of different print and broadcast news items to measure the reputations of the Top 100 U.S. companies. Delahaye begins by gathering news from America s most prominent national news sources from the New York Times and The Wall Street Journal to Fortune, ABC World News Tonight and Bloomberg.
Each company’s score is based on how many positive and negative reputation-driving attributes are found within each story. These attributes are classified into five dimensions: stakeholder relations, financial management, products and services, organizational integrity and organizational strength.
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