Target and 3M among the '50 Most Admired Companies' in the world

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Target and 3M are representing Minnesota on Fortune's annual list of the 50 Most Admired Companies in the world.

St. Paul-based conglomerate 3M has risen to 21st after finishing 23rd last year. But Target faces a battle to remain in the top 50, after the data breach controversy saw it plummet almost 20 spots, falling from 29th to 48th

Fortune's list was, again, dominated by U.S. companies, with Apple finishing top ahead of Google and Warren Buffet's Berkshire Hathaway.

The table is based on the opinions of thousands of executives, directors and analysts, who rank companies in nine categories such as social responsibility and innovation.

Fortune said 3M – the manufacturer of Scotch tape and Post-it notes – has been benefiting from low raw material costs and its investments in technology.

The company scored highly among executives for innovation, financial soundness and the quality of its products.

Data breach blow

Target on the other hand is paying a heavy price for its data breach controversy that saw the personal details of tens of millions of customers stolen by hackers.

It also notes the recent decision to shut down its Canadian operation – closing 133 stores in the process.

However, hope is on the horizon, with Fortune noting sales have risen for two quarters in a row and the recent collaboration with Lilly Pulitzer "suggest Target still has a knack for offering cheap chic."

Target scored well on social responsibility, people management and quality of services.

UnitedHealth Group and General Mills, also Minnesota-based companies, scored highly in their respective industries, but not high enough to make the top 50.

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Four Minnesota companies among "Most Admired"

Fortune Magazine's top 50 list includes 3M, Target, St. Jude Medical and General Mills. Maplewood-based 3M was the highest ranking Minnesota company in the 18th spot for most-admired companies. Best Buy did not make the list this year after being named the 36th most-admired company last year.