NORWALK, CT, August 11, 2006 – Elevated by news of innovative products and services and corporate partnerships, Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) benefited the most from the nation’s leading media during the second quarter, taking the top spot on Delahaye’s Media Index, a quarterly assessment of how news coverage reflects and helps to shape the corporate reputation of the 100 largest U.S. companies. The Index is conducted by Delahaye, a provider of media research and analysis services for communications, public relations, and marketing professionals.
The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS) enjoyed positive media coverage as a result of strong box office receipts from their new film “Cars” and consumer product announcements that included Disney Mobile , a wireless service specifically designed for families, thereby capping a high volume of favorable news that boosted the entertainment giant to second place. Elevated by news of strong revenue growth, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) gained ground in the second quarter to finish in the top three.
Delahaye found that the overall coverage of news improved for the financial sector during the quarter, as Citigroup (NYSE:C) moved two spots to fourth place and The Goldman Sachs Group (NYSE:GS) advanced two places to sixth on the Index.
The world’s leading chip maker, Intel Corp. (Nasdaq:INTC) slipped one spot to fifth place with news of Dell’s departure to AMD, and International Business Machines Corporation (NYSE:IBM) continued to score near the top of the Index with news of strong earnings and a dividends increase.
The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA) reaffirmed its leadership status in the aeronautics industry with news of Airbus production overruns and delays as Boeing orders rose dramatically along with profits and share prices, advancing them five places on the Index to the rank of seventh.
Augmented by positive news on the sale of their consumer products unit to Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ), Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) received favorable media coverage boosting the pharmaceutical giant 18 places to ninth place. Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ) landed in the top ten with news of a 51% profit increase in the second quarter.
Despite a strong backlash against huge profits and sky-high gasoline prices, Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM) pushed ahead on the Index to 16th place with positive financial news of record earnings.
With fewer negative stories focusing solely on the declining fiscal health of General Motors Corp. (NYSE:GM) and Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F), the automotive industry saw an increase of balanced news coverage with stories highlighting recovery efforts and employee buyouts, as GM advanced from last place on the Index to 27th and Ford rose 63 spots to 36th place.
Delahaye Senior Vice President and Index founder KC Brown stated, “We saw a retreat in the coverage of lawsuits and infighting and a resurgence of news about products and services for several of the highest profile companies, such as Microsoft, Disney, Boeing and HP. Most companies want an emphasis on what they produce and sell; for them media coverage is a vehicle to communicate these messages to customers.”
Q2 2006 Delahaye Index: Top Ten Companies
Methodology of the 2006 Delahaye Index
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, Delahaye captures news from all of the nation’s most influential general and business media. The 2006 Delahaye Index includes analysis of different print and broadcast news items to measure the reputations of the Top 100 U.S. companies.
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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