The maker of the iPod and iPhone. The Oracle of Omaha. The parent of CNBC.com. Investors know them very well, and, according to Fortune Magazine, the experts have proclaimed them the Most Admired Companies in America.
"We're actually interviewing over 3,500 business people, and talking to them about whom they admire, not only in their industries, but in the business community broadly," Fortune writer Nadira Hira told CNBC.
Topping the list: Companies with strong records of innovation, leadership and financial strength.
The top five, in order, are Apple, Berkshire Hathaway, General Electric, Google , and Toyota.
Hira says Apple's emergence on top this year caps an impressive comeback over the last decade.
"It was the year of Apple," she said. "Between the iPhone, the iPod, sort of taking over the world the way that it has, it definitely makes sense."