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See who's on top of this year's most reputable companies list

NEW YORK -- A good reputation -- whether warranted or not -- can do a lot for a company's bottom line. So those companies that found themselves at the top of Forbes' most reputable companies list have much to celebrate.

The Forbes "Most Reputable Companies" list was compiled with the help of Reputation Institute, a private consulting firm, which conducted an online study among 32,946 consumers in which it measured their perceptions of those companies among the 150 largest in the U.S. that they were “somewhat” or “very” familiar with. Each company earned a “RepTrak Pulse” score of 0 to 100, representing an average measure of people’s feelings--or reputation--for a company. The scores were statistically derived from four emotional indicators: trust, esteem, admiration, and good feeling.

Reputation Institute then analyzed what it calls the seven dimensions of corporate reputation. That's where it found that perceptions of the enterprise (workplace, governance, citizenship, financial performance and leadership) trumped product perceptions (products and services plus innovation) in driving behaviors.

Topping the list this year was Amazon, which earned a pulse score of 82.7, which was 5.76 points higher than last year and 1.3 points higher than Kraft Foods, the second most reputable company. According to Forbes,  "Amazon earned its No. 1 rank by providing value to users, staying ahead of the curve in technology and innovation and responding quickly and ethically to scandals."

"Amazon is the most reputable company in the U.S. in 2011 because consumers believe that it stands for more than what it sells," says Anthony Johndrow, managing partner at Reputation Institute. "Its enterprise-wide story engages consumers in more than just delivering innovative products and services, a trustworthy and ethical customer experience or strong financial performance. The whole really is greater than the sum of the parts with Amazon, and this holistic perception creates a meaningful connection between Amazon and consumers, resulting in an excellent reputation score."

Other retailers to make the list include Kohl's (ranked 13th with a pulse of 77.91), Lowe's (ranked 21st with a pulse of 76.35), Target (ranked 23 with a pulse of 76.17), Home Depot (ranked 24th with a pulse of 76.11), Macy's (ranked 26th with a pulse of 75.69), JCPenney (ranked 27th with a pulse of 75.34), CVS Caremark (ranked 30th with a pulse of 71.44), Kroger (ranked 36th with a pulse of 73.35) and Office Depot (ranked 39th with a pulse of 73.58).

Click here to for the complete list of companies.