New York (May 22, 2003) -- What makes the most successful public companies so successful? It all boils down to the financial rewards to shareholders, and a heady mix of management practices that show clear leadership, strategizing, innovation and talent.

That's the finding of The Evergreen Project, a large-scale study conducted by professors and students at America's top business schools which examined the impact of more than 200 practices on 160 businesses, representing 40 different industries. The initial results, released after the 10-year study ended in 1996, were recently updated to include data from 1997-2001.

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