1. Berkshire Hathaway Inc.
Berkshire Hathaway is a conglomerate holding company headquartered in Omaha,
Nebraska, U.S., that oversees and manages a number of subsidiary companies. The
Company averaged an annual growth in book value of 20.3% to its shareholders for the
last 44 years, while employing large amounts of capital, and minimal debt.
Warren Buffett is the company's chairman and CEO. Buffett has used the "float"
provided by Berkshire Hathaway's insurance operations (a policyholder's money which it
holds temporarily until claims are paid out) to finance his investments. In the early part of
his career at Berkshire, he focused on longterm
investments in publicly quoted stocks,
but more recently he has turned to buying whole companies. Berkshire now owns a
diverse range of businesses including candy production, retail, home furnishings,
encyclopedias, vacuum cleaners, jewelry sales, newspaper publishing; manufacture
and distribution of uniforms; manufacture, import and distribution of footwear; as
well as several regional electric and gas utilities.
2. Dell Inc.
Dell, Inc. is a multinational technology
corporation that develops, manufactures, sells,
and supports personal computers and other
products. Based in Round
Rock, Texas, Dell employs more than 76,500
people worldwide as of 2009.
Dell grew during the 1980s and 1990s to become
(for a time) the largest seller of PCs and servers.
As of 2008 it held the second spot in computersales
within the industry behind HewlettPackard.
The company currently sells personal
computers, servers, data storage devices,
network switches, software, and computer
peripherals. Dell also sells HDTVs, cameras, printers, MP3 players and other
electronics built by other manufacturers.
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In 2006, Fortune magazine ranked Dell as the 25thlargest
company in the Fortune 500
list, 8th on its annual "Top 20" list of the mostadmired
companies in the United States. In
2007 Dell ranked 34th and 8th respectively on the equivalent lists for the year. A 2006
publication identified Dell as one of 38 highperformance
companies in the S&P 500
which had consistently outperformed
the market over the previous 15 years.
3. General Electric
The General Electric Company, or GE, is a multinational
American technology and services conglomerate
incorporated in the State of New York. In 2009, Forbes
ranked GE as the world's largest company. The company
has 323,000 employees around the world.
GE's divisions include GE Capital (including GE
Commercial Finance and GE Money and GE Consumer
Finance), GE Technology Infrastructure (including GE
Aviation, the former Smiths Aerospace and GE
Healthcare), GE Energy Infrastructure, and NBC
Universal, an entertainment company.
Through these businesses, GE participates in a wide variety of markets including the
generation, transmission and distribution of electricity (e.g. Nuclear, gas and solar),
lighting, industrial automation, medical imaging equipment, motors, railway locomotives,
aircraft jet engines, and aviation services. It cofounded
and is 80% owner of NBC
Universal, the National Broadcasting Company. Through GE Commercial Finance, GE
Consumer Finance, GE Equipment Services, and GE Insurance it offers a range of
financial services as well. It has a presence in over 100 countries. GE gauges to control a
Since over half of GE's revenue is derived from financial services, it is arguably a
financial company with a manufacturing arm. It is also one of the largest lenders in
countries other than the United States, such as Japan. Even though the first wave of
conglomerates (such as ITT Corporation, LingTemcoVought,
Tenneco, etc) fell by the
wayside by the mid1980s,
in the late 1990s, another wave (consisting of Westinghouse,
Tyco, and others) tried and failed to emulate GE's success.
It was announced in May 4, 2008 that GE would auction off its appliances business for an
expected sale of $5–8 billion.
The Finnish RFI filter firm DICRO Oy was founded in 1987 and bought out an older rival
RFI filter firm named GE Procond Oy on February 13, 2006, which was renamed to
Procond Oy and until then part of GE, but now may be sold off too.
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referred to as HP, is a technology
corporation headquartered in Palo Alto,
California, United States. HP has its
United States offices at the former old
Compaq Campus in unincorporated
Harris County, Texas, Latin America
offices in MiamiDade
U.S., Europe offices in Geneva, and AsiaPacific
offices in Singapore. HP is the
largest technology company in the world
and operates in nearly every country. HP specializes in developing and manufacturing
computing, storage, and networking hardware, software and services. Major product lines
include personal computing devices, enterprise servers, related storage devices, as well as
a diverse range of printers and other imaging products. Other product lines, including
electronic test equipment and systems, medical electronic equipment, solid state
components and instrumentation for chemical analysis were spun off as Agilent
Technologies in 1999.
HP markets its products to households, small to medium size businesses and enterprises
both directly, via online distribution, consumerelectronics
software partners and major technology vendors.
HP has successful lines of printers, scanners, digital cameras, calculators, PDAs, servers,
workstation computers, and computers for home and small business use computers; many
of the computers came from the 2002 merger with Compaq. HP today promotes itself as
supplying not just hardware and software, but also a full range of services to design,
implement and support IT infrastructure.
The three business segments: Enterprise Storage and Servers (ESS), HP Services (HPS),
and HP Software are structured beneath the broader Technology Solutions Group (TSG).
Microsoft Corporation is a multinational computer technology
corporation that develops, manufactures, licenses, and supports
a wide range of software products for computing devices.
Headquartered in Redmond, Washington, USA, its most
profitable products are the Microsoft Windows operating
system and the Microsoft Office suite of productivity software.
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The company was founded to develop and sell BASIC interpreters for the Altair 8800.
Microsoft rose to dominate the home computer operating system market with MSDOS
followed by the Windows line of operating systems. Its products have all
in the desktop computer market. One commentator notes that
Microsoft's original mission was "a computer on every desk and in every home, running
Microsoft software." Microsoft possesses footholds in other markets, with assets such as
the MSNBC cable television network, the MSN Internet portal, and the Microsoft Encarta
multimedia encyclopedia. The company also markets both computer hardware products
such as the Microsoft mouse as well as home entertainment products such as the Xbox,
Xbox 360, Zune and MSN TV.
Microsoft reorganized into seven core business groups—each an independent financial
entity—in April 2002. Later, on September 20, 2005, Microsoft announced a
rationalization of its original seven business groups into the three core divisions that exist
today: the Windows Client, MSN and Server and Tool groups were merged into the
Microsoft Platform Products and Services Division; the Information Worker and
Microsoft Business Solutions groups were merged into the Microsoft Business Division;
and the Mobile and Embedded Devices and Home and Entertainment groups were
merged into the Microsoft Entertainment and Devices Division.
Microsoft's flagship product is the Windows operating system. It has been produced in
many versions, including Windows 3.1, Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows 2000,
Windows Me, Windows Server 2003, Windows XP and Windows Vista.
Microsoft Visual Studio is the company's set of programming tools and compilers.
Microsoft offers a suite of server software, titled Windows Server System. Other server
products include Microsoft SQL Server, Microsoft Exchange Server, Small Business
Server and Microsoft BizTalk Server.
The Microsoft Business Division produces Microsoft Office, which is the company's line
of office software.
The company produces MSN TV, a televisionbased
Internet appliance. Microsoft sells
computer games that run on Windows PCs, including titles such as Age of Empires,
Halo and the Microsoft Flight Simulator series. It produces a line of reference works that
include encyclopedias and atlases, under the name Encarta.
The Company established a set of certification programs to recognize individuals who
have expertise in its software and solutions. Similar to offerings from Cisco, Sun
Microsystems, Novell, IBM, and Oracle Corporation.
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6. Procter & Gamble
Procter & Gamble Co. is a Fortune
500, American Multinational
Corporation headquartered in
Cincinnati, Ohio, that manufactures
a wide range of consumer goods.
As of 2008, P&G is the 8th largest
corporation in the world by market
capitalization and 14th largest US
Company by profit. It is 10th in
Fortune's Most Admired Companies
list (as of 2007). P&G is credited
with many business innovations
including brand management and
the soap opera.
According to the Nielsen Company, in 2007 P&G spent more on U.S. advertising than
any other company; the $2.62 billion spent by P&G is almost twice as much as that spent
by General Motors, the next company on the Nielsen list. P&G was named 2008
Advertiser of the Year by Cannes International Advertising Festival. Billion dollar
brands it has are Ariel (a brand of laundry detergent/liquid available in numerous forms
and scents), Actonel (a brand of the osteoporosis drug risedronate comarketed
Crest (a brand of toothpaste), Gillette (a safety razor manufacturer), Head &
Shoulders , Tide , Gillette, Duracell etc.
P&G Productions: Procter & Gamble produced and sponsored the first radio soap operas
in the 1930s .
7. Time Warner
Time Warner Inc. is the world's largest media and entertainment conglomerate,
headquartered in the Time Warner Center in New York City. (TimeWarner.com Fact
Sheet Page) Formerly three separate companies (and owns the assets of a fourth, Turner
Broadcasting System, Inc., acquired by a preAOL
merger TW in 1996): Warner
Communications, Inc. and Time Inc. before the TimeWarner
merger in 1990 and
America Online, Inc. before its purchase of Time Warner in 2001 has created the current
Time Warner, with major operations in film, television, publishing, Internet service and
telecommunications. Among its subsidiaries are AOL, New Line Cinema, Time Inc.,
HBO, Turner Broadcasting System, The CW Television Network, TheWB.com,
Warner Bros. Entertainment, Kids' WB, The CW4Kids, Cartoon Network, Adult
Swim, CNN, DC Comics, and Warner Bros. Games.
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Terra Firma Capital Partners is likely to buy a 10% Stake in TW, since it would buy all
the remaining rights and stakes of Time Warner in Warner Music Group and merge it
Time Warner Inc. owns several large properties in New York City; certain buildings in
the Rockefeller Center complex and adjacent office towers house its main offices; one of
which houses a CNN news studio. In late 2003, Time Warner finished construction of a
complex, designed to serve as additional office space, facing Columbus
Circle on the southwestern edge of Central Park. Originally called the AOL Time Warner
Center, the 755foot
(230 m), 55floor
property was renamed Time Warner
Center when the company itself was renamed.