Business Week's list of the year's best companies, compiled by consulting firm A.T. Kearney, is based on their "commitment to innovation, diversified portfolios, aggressive expansion, strong leadership, and a clear vision for the future." The list features companies of all sorts from around the world, including a German engineering firm, a Spanish apparel company and an oil & gas operation from China. Among the companies Nintendo beat out for the title are Google, which came in second, third-place finisher Apple and Korean companies Doosan Heavy Industries and Hyundai Heavy Industries, which finished fourth and fifth respectively.
The list is compiled from an initial group of potential candidates made up of roughly 2500 of the world's largest publicly-listed companies, which is then reduced to a more manageable number based on "median value growth rates" and other exciting formulae; that pool of survivors is then whittled down further to those with a minimum of $10 billion in sales in 2008, at least 25 percent of which was derived outside its home region.
Among those companies, Nintendo not only came out on top but is actually the only gaming company that managed to make the list at all. Sony and Microsoft are conspicuous in their absence; in fact, the only other company on the list to share the "Electronics" category with Nintendo is Apple.