Fortune magazine has ranked NextEra Energy — the company that is seeking regulatory approval to purchase Hawaiian Electric — as the top electric or gas utility on the publication’s 2016 list of the “World’s Most Admired Companies.”

Fortune, which refers to its annual rankings as the “definitive report card on corporate reputations,” gave NextEra top marks for innovation, people management, use of corporate assets, social responsibility, the quality of services and global competitiveness.

NextEra ranked second for quality of management, financial soundness and long-term investment value.

NextEra Energy has taken out ads touting the proposed merger with Hawaiian Electric.
NextEra Energy has taken out ads in support of its proposed acquisition of Hawaiian Electric Industries. NextEra Energy/Screenshot

Shareholders enjoyed a 250 percent return on their investment over the last decade, according to a statement NextEra distributed Friday to tout its ranking.

To compile the overall list of most admired companies, Fortune asks the Korn Ferry Hay Group to look at 1,500 companies — the 1,000 largest-revenue businesses in the U.S. and 500 companies with revenues of at least $10 billion that are based abroad.

The list-makers asked “executives, directors, and analysts to rate companies in their own industry” on the host of criteria noted above, according to an explanation of the methodology on Fortune’s website. In each industry, this generally involved comparing the 15 largest companies, 10 of which are American.

NextEra, which calls itself the “largest generator of power from the wind and sun,” provides electricity to 4.8 million homes and businesses in Florida at rates that are a fraction of those in Hawaii.

But the company has no shorage of detractors in its home state. NextEra subsidiary Florida Power & Light’s past dust-up with regulators in Florida has garnered scrutiny at the ongoing Public Utilities Commission hearing that will decide whether NextEra can purchase Hawaiian Electric.

For more information about the Fortune 500 ranking, click here, and feel free to check out Civil Beat’s complete coverage of NextEra and the ongoing merger hearing.

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