FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information, contact:
Larry Solomon, 210-351-3990
SAN ANTONIO (Feb. 24, 2004) — For the fifth consecutive year, and eighth time in the past nine years, Fortune magazine has selected SBC Communications Inc. (NYSE: SBC) as America’s Most Admired Telecommunications Company. This honor comes as Fortune releases its annual list for America’s Most Admired Companies.
The SBC family of companies joins a number of other most admired corporate leaders in this year’s annual survey, including Wal-Mart Stores, Southwest Airlines, Procter & Gamble and Starbucks – each with top rankings in their respective industries.
“Continued recognition of SBC Communications as the most admired telecommunications company in America validates our commitment to building value for customers, employees and stockholders” said Edward E. Whitacre Jr., chairman and chief executive officer of SBC Communications Inc. “We work very hard to create innovative solutions that meet customers’ needs in a very demanding marketplace, and we are deeply gratified at this recognition.”
The company’s recent success includes strong growth in DSL and long distance. In the fourth quarter of 2003, SBC Long Distance added a record 2.9 million consumer and business long distance lines, ending the year with 14.4 million – a 136 percent increase from a year ago. SBC companies also added 377,000 DSL lines during the quarter bringing the total to 3.5 million.
“We are committed to customer service, quality, reliability and integrity,” added Whitacre. “SBC employees deserve the credit for helping us live out these values in everything we do, every day.”
Fortune’s Most Admired Companies list is one of the most highly respected registers of corporate performance and reputation in the nation.
To identify America’s Most Admired Companies by industry, Fortune and its survey partner, the Hay Group, assess the 10 largest companies by revenues in 64 industries and ask 10,000 executives, directors, and securities analysts to rate companies in their own industries based on eight criteria: social responsibility; innovation; long-term investment value; use of corporate assets; employee talent; financial soundness; quality of management; and quality of products/services.