Carmakers still pushing alternative fuel vehicles in light of state's earlier gas problems.
Perhaps not surprisingly, the company that became the most valuable in history this past summer--per market cap--also is the world's most innovative, at least according to a recent survey of nearly 700 top executives.
For the third consecutive year, Apple topped the annual 2012 Global Innovation 1000 study, conducted by global consulting firm Booz & Company. The study analyses the top 1,000 public companies in research and development spending and asks business leaders which companies are the most innovative.
Apple was named by almost 80 percent of respondents as one of the three most innovative companies in the world--up from 70 percent last year. Google held its number two ranking, with 43 percent of respondents including it among the top three. 3M also maintained third place from last year.
The rest of the list included Samsung, GE, Microsoft, Toyota, P&G, IBM and Amazon--which pushed social media giant Facebook out of the top 10.
While Apple has doubled its research and development spending in the last three years--to now $2.4 billion--it still spends just 2.2 percent of its sales on those efforts, which ranked it only 53rd in the survey. In fact, the 10 most innovative companies outperformed the top 10 spenders on research and development on several financial fronts--such as market cap growth, revenue growth and earnings as a percentage of revenues. Toyota was number one in spending.
"R&D spending does not ensure increased financial gains, nor does it guarantee innovation success," said John Loehr, partner at Booz & Company. "Case in point: Apple, Google and 3M ranked 53rd, 26th, and 86th, respectively, in R&D spending."