Most admired: Home Depot rises, Delta arrives

Home Depot 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 metro Atlanta-based companies, Coca-Cola and UPS, made the list but lost ground.

Home Depot ranked No. 40, up from No. 45 last year. Archrival 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, Southwest Airlines, ranked No. 9 overall, down from No. 7 last year. Delta replaced Facebook, which moved up to No. 38.

Coca-Cola dropped to No. 6 this year from No. 4 spot last year. Fortune noted that despite changing consumer preferences for healthier beverages, which hurts soda sales, Coca-Cola has the “fortitude of its brand” and is developing healthier beverages. The company also is investing billions in its China market.

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

UPS dropped to No. 32 from No. 30 last year. The package delivery company’s largest U.S. competitor, FedEx, ranked No. 8 overall in admiration, up from No. 10 last year.

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