Home Depot rises, Coke, UPS fall on most admired list

Home Depot, the home improvement retailer, moved up a few notches on Fortune magazine’s annual list of the world’s 50 most admired companies, while Delta Air Lines, which was not on the list last year, landed on it this time around.

Two other major metro Atlanta corporations, Coca-Cola and UPS, however, lost ground.

Home Depot ranked No. 40 this year, up from No. 45 last year. Its main competitor, Mooresville, N.C.-based Lowe’s, didn’t rank among the top 50 overall.

Delta, which was not on the list last year, ranked 48th this year. Its newest competitor at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, Dallas -based Southwest Airlines, ranked No. 9 overall, down from No. 7 last year. Delta replaced Facebook, which moved up to No. 38.

Coca-Cola, the world’s largest beverage company, dropped to No. 6 this year from its No. 4 spot last year. Fortune noted that despite changing consumer preferences for healthier beverages, which is hurting Coke’s and rival Pepsi’s carbonated sales, Coca-Cola has the “fortitude of its brand” and is pursuing development of healthier beverages. The company also is investing billions in its China market.

PepsiCo ranked No. 42 on the Fortune list, falling from its No. 37 spot last year..

Sandy Springs-based UPS dropped to No. 32 from its No. 30 spot last year. The package delivery company’s largest U.S. competitor, Memphis-based Fedex, ranked No. 8 overall in admiration, up from No. 10 last year.

The complete list of top 10 most admired companies: Apple (1), Amazon.com (2), Google (3), Berkshire Hathaway (4), Starbucks (5), Coca-Cola (6), Walt Disney (7), Fedex (8), Southwest Airlines (9) and General Electric (10).

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