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"New York, NY" A half dozen camera manufacturers are among the World's Most Valuable 100 Brands, based on an annual survey by BusinessWeek and Interbrand. The companies include both traditional photographic companies as well as consumer electronics giants.

HP, whose core business extends beyond photography, led the field at No. 13, followed by Samsung at the No. 20 spot, bolstered by its LCD TVs and memory chips. Other camera makers that made the prestigious list include Sony (No. 26, two higher than in 2005); Canon, whose digital cameras and copiers placed them in the No. 35 spot; Kodak at No. 70, who, according to BusinessWeek, has defied skeptics by becoming a major player in digital photography and printing; and Panasonic at the No. 77 position, up one place from 2005.

To qualify for the list, each company must derive about a third of its earnings outside its domestic market, be recognizable outside of its customer base, and have publicly available marketing and financial data. According to Interbrand, at least one of these criteria eliminate mega-brands such as Visa, Wal*Mart and CNN. The survey also doesn’t recognize parent companies, such as Procter & Gamble, and it excludes airlines.

Based on reports from analysts at J.P. Morgan Chase, Citigroup and Morgan Stanley, Interbrand projects five years of earnings and sales for each brand, deducting operating costs, taxes and other intangibles to evaluate what portion of the earnings can be attributed to the brand. Other considerations include market leadership, stability and global reach. This year, as in 2005, the top five brands were Coca-Cola, Microsoft, IBM, GE and Intel."

August 2006