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Investing pros rank Cummins as No. 1


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Cummins Inc. has won top leadership honors in an annual ranking by investment professionals, beating such corporate giants as Honeywell, Starbucks and Coca-Cola.

The Columbus-based engine maker won first place on Institutional Investor magazine’s 2014 All-America Executive Team, which ranks companies on investor relations matters such as access to senior management, quality of answers to inquiries and transparency of financial disclosures.

The magazine generates the ranking based on a survey of more than 1,400 analysts and money managers who represent 625 firms that manage about $7.2 trillion in U.S. equities, plus 1,200 analysts at independent investment firms.

In the lead article at institutionalinvestor.com, Cummins CEO Tom Linebarger told the magazine that although economic growth has dropped globally from 4 percent to 2.5 percent since 2011, the company’s strategy remains unchanged:

“Prioritizing projects, managing costs and continuing to deliver strong margins while investing for the future.”

The magazine’s rankings list Linebarger among the best CEOs and also recognizes Cummins executives Pat Ward, chief financial officer, and Mark Smith, executive director of investor relations, among the best in their field.

Mark Foster, chief investment officer at Columbus-based Kirr, Marbach & Co., said the recognition for Cummins was reasonably significant because of the survey’s long history and because it is based on investor assessments.

The ranking is a “solid recognition of the job (Cummins) management has done over the past few years,” Foster said via email. “As investors and analysts evaluate companies, the strength of the management team is always key. This is a good way to quantify the track record.”

The magazine wrote, “Money managers and sell-side analysts agree that the company has done an extraordinary job. Cummins captures top honors … (in) the eyes of investment professionals.”

The article is accompanied by illustrations of Linebarger, CVS CEO Larry Merlo and Home Depot CFO Carol Tomé.

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