Apple, overseas firms lead in value creation

Tech companies in emerging markets as well as "digital innovators" like Apple and Google are among the world's top firms in delivering value to their shareholders, says new report from the Boston Consulting Group.

Lance Whitney Contributing Writer
Lance Whitney is a freelance technology writer and trainer and a former IT professional. He's written for Time, CNET, PCMag, and several other publications. He's the author of two tech books--one on Windows and another on LinkedIn.
Lance Whitney
2 min read

Tech, media, and telecom companies in emerging markets and those considered "digital innovators" are among the world's tops in providing value to their investors, according to a new study from the Boston Consulting Group.

Out today, the report "Swimming Against the Tide: How Technology, Media, and Telecommunications Companies Can Prosper in the New Economic Reality" found that seven of the top 10 telecom performers, five of the top 10 media performers, and four of the top 10 technology performers are in India, Taiwan, Mexico, China, and other emerging markets. But global companies tuned into the digital revolution, such as Apple and Google, are also tops in rewarding their investors.

Covering the period from 2005 through 2009, the report examined the total shareholder return (TSR) of 126 different companies throughout the world. Of these, 81 percent were found in emerging economies, adding up to 64 percent of the overall total, according to Boston Consulting.

The top media performers included Tencent Holdings, Naspers, and Net Servicos de Comunicacao. Tops in telecom were America Movil, China Mobile, and Bharti Airtel. And the best performers in the technology sector were Apple, MediaTek, and Infosys Technologies.

Boston Consulting Group

"Emerging-market companies are spreading their wings to play larger roles on a global stage," David Dean, a senior partner at Boston Consulting and co-author of the study, said in a statement. "Many of these countries have moved beyond being primarily a source of cheap labor to become important centers of technical innovation."

Overall, the tech, media, and telecom sectors posted mediocre performance, according to the consultancy. Where the sample of 712 companies in all industries yielded a 6.6 percent average annual TSR, the technology sector came closest (6.2 percent), followed by telecom (5.3 percent), and media companies (2.5 percent).

The Boston Consulting Group based total shareholder return on six different factors: revenue growth, changes in profit margins, the valuation multiple (the value of the business), cash dividends, share repurchases, and debt repayments. Among these, revenue growth typically added up to 70 percent or 80 percent of the overall shareholder value among most companies, according to the report.