Nintendo named 'World's Best Company' by BusinessWeek

Entrepreneurial magazine ranks Wii maker as top enterprise of the year based on sales growth, value creation over past five years; Google, Apple ranked second, third.

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Nintendo started its fiscal 2010 year off on a sour note, reporting in July that profits plummeted 60 percent on revenues down 40 percent during its April-June quarter. Still, it's hard to argue with earnings of $2.66 billion and income of $442 million during a three-month stretch, not to mention the publisher's skyward trajectory since 2004, when it launched the 100-million-unit-plus selling Nintendo DS.

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In recognition of Nintendo's performance, BusinessWeek has placed the publisher at the top of its World's Best Companies 2009 list. BusinessWeek's rankings are compiled by management consulting firm A.T. Kearney, who sifted through the 2,500 largest publicly traded companies with a minimum of $10 billion in sales during 2008, 25 percent of which came from outside the home market. Companies were then ranked according to sales growth and value creation over the past five years.

A.T. Kearney valued Nintendo's 2008 annual sales at $16.8 billon, up 35.7 percent since 2004, when the publisher's GameCube struggled against Sony's best-selling PlayStation 2. As for value creation, which BusinessWeek defined as "the rise of market capitalization after subtracting any increase in capital," Nintendo has seen growth of 38.1 percent over the past five years.

"With visionary leadership and a three-tiered product development process that brings together top management, development staff, and marketing and administrative teams, the Japanese game maker been able to create new hardware without sticking to conventional notions in the video game industry," BusinessWeek wrote of the company.

Nintendo outpaced a number of other notable companies to secure the top spot in BusinessWeek's rankings. Google and Apple placed a respective second and third behind Nintendo, with South Korean construction products & services and shipbuilder Doosan Heavy Industries and Hyundai Heavy Industries placing a respective fourth and fifth.

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