Fortune magazine ranks Coca-Cola No. 10 among "most admired" companies

For the first time since 1999, Coca-Cola Co. has cracked the top 10 of Fortune magazine's list of most admired companies. At No. 10, the world's biggest drinks company ranked just below Wal-Mart and just above Microsoft. Coke ranked tops among beverage companies, up from third a year before. The survey asked businesspeople to vote for companies they admired most, from any industry. Apple led the 2010 rankings, followed by Google and Berkshire Hathaway. Sandy Springs-based UPS came in at No. 33.

Fortune cited the strength of Coca-Cola's brand and its ability to increase sales last year in emerging markets such as China and India. It also said Coca-Cola has been a leader on environmental issues. Coke aims to be water neutral by 2020, replenishing the amount of water it uses. CEO Muhtar Kent told the AJC recently that Coke has reduced its water consumption in India, which in past years was the site of serious controversy over Coca-Cola's water management. Coke will also set money aside to help African villages capture rainwater.