Skip to main content

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Happy employees could mean happy investors.

New research finds that employees who genuinely like coming to work every day may have a positive impact on a company's stock performance.

Companies rated highly by their employees outperform the S&P 500 by 122 percentage points, according to a report issued Wednesday by Glassdoor, an online job review website. In comparison, those companies rated low by employees, underperform the S&P 500 by 29.5%.

The report analyzed the correlation between company culture and stock price performance, using the 36 largest public companies of its inaugural 50 best companies to work for list released in 2009. (Check out its most recent 50 best companies to work for list.) Incidentally, only four companies have been on the list each year since then -- Apple (AAPL) - Get Free Report, Chevron (CVX) - Get Free Report, Google (GOOGL) - Get Free Report and Qualcomm (QCOM) - Get Free Report.

Investors would have seen a 243.3% return in a portfolio that held the stocks of the inaugural list from 2009 through 2014. In comparison, the S&P 500 had a return of 121% over the five-year period. By contrast, a ratings-weighted portfolio of the 30 lowest rated companies (those on Glassdoor as of Jan. 31, 2015), earned just 91.5%, under-performing the S&P 500 by nearly thirty points.

Investing $1,000 into the "original class" portfolio would yield $3,470 by 2014, Glassdoor found.

"Based on our multi-year analyses, we find a meaningful economic link between intangible company assets such as employee satisfaction and broader stock market performance among publicly held companies," said Dr. Andrew Chamberlain, Glassdoor's chief economist and author of the report, in a press release.

Here are the 12 companies on the list with the highest stock price appreciation.

12. Google (GOOGL) - Get Free Report

Image placeholder title

Google is an Internet company that focuses on search, online advertising, software and cloud computing. (Google was the No. 1 company to work for on Glassdoor's Best Places to Work list for 2015)

Headquarters: Mountain View, Calif.

Employees: 51,500

2015 Glassdoor Rating: 4.5

Five-year stock return: 230%

11. Texas Instruments (TXN) - Get Free Report

Texas Instruments is a global semiconductor design and manufacturing company.

Headquarters: Dallas

Employees: 31,000

Five-year stock return: 233%

10. Nike (NKE) - Get Free Report

Image placeholder title

Nike is a global footwear brand that manufacturers and sells fashion and performance sneakers for men, women and children in categories that include basketball, soccer, running, training, action sports and golf. (Nike made Glassdoor's Best Places to Work list for 2015)

Headquarters: Beaverton, Ore.

Employees: 56,500

Five-year stock return: 262%

9. Intuit (INTU) - Get Free Report

Intuit creates business and financial management solutions to simplify tax and accounting needs for individuals and small businesses. Intuit's flagship products include QuickBooks, TurboTax, Quicken and Mint.

Headquarters: Mountain View, Calif.

Employees: 8,500

Five-year stock return: 278%

8. Marriott International (MAR) - Get Free Report

Image placeholder title

Marriott is a worldwide operator, franchisor, and licensor of hotels and timeshare properties under numerous brand names at different price and service points including The Ritz-Carlton, JW Marriott, Courtyard by Marriott, Residence Inn, Renaissance Hotels, Fairfield Inn & Suites and others.

Headquarters: Bethesda, Md.

Employees: 330,000

Five-year stock return: 289%

Image placeholder title

7. American Express (AXP) - Get Free Report

American Express is a global financial services and payments company, known best for its American Express charge card.

Headquarters: New York

Employees: 62,800

Five-year stock return: 381%

6. Nordstrom (JWN) - Get Free Report

Image placeholder title

Nordstrom is a leading fashion specialty retailer offering clothing, shoes and accessories for men, women and children. The company currently operates a total of 292 stores located in 38 states, with 115 full-line stores in the United States and two in Canada, 167 Nordstrom Racks, two Jeffrey boutiques and one clearance store.

Headquarters: Seattle

Employees: 62,500

Five-year stock return: 446%

5. Continental Airlines

Continental Airlines merged with United in in 2010 to form United Continental (UAL) - Get Free Report. The mega-airline operator operates nearly 700 mainline aircraft.

Headquarters: Chicago

Employees: 84,000

Five-year stock return: 464%

4. (CRM) - Get Free Report

Image placeholder title is the world's largest provider of customer relationship software.

Headquarters: San Francisco

Employees: 13,000

Five-year stock return: 598%

3. Apple (AAPL) - Get Free Report
Apple designs, manufactures, and markets mobile communication and media devices, personal computers, and portable digital music players, and sells a variety of related software, services and accessories. The company's products and services include iPhone, iPad, Mac, iPod, Apple TV, the iOS and OS X operating systems, iCloud, among other products. (Apple made Glassdoor's Best Places to Work list for 2015)

Headquarters: Cupertino, Calif.

Employees: 92,000

Five-year stock return: 752%

2. Whole Foods (WFM)

Image placeholder title

Whole Foods is a retailer of natural and organic foods. In fiscal year 2014, the company had sales of approximately $14 billion and currently has 409 stores in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom.

Headquarters: Austin, Texas

Employees: 88,000

Five-year stock return: 921%

1.Netflix (NFLX) - Get Free Report

Image placeholder title

Netflix is an Internet television network with over 57 million members in nearly 50 countries enjoying more than two billion hours of TV shows and movies per month, including original series, documentaries and feature films. 

Headquarters: Los Gatos, Calif.

Employees: 2,189

Five-year stock return: 1044%