Atlanta has become one of the most important cities in the world. Its airport is the busiest in the U.S. and serves destinations worldwide. As populations have migrated away from the Northeast, Georgia and surrounding states have picked up more people, and Atlanta serves as the region’s hub for commerce and tourism. The fact that the Olympic Games have been in Atlanta recognizes the importance that the city plays, and the area’s long history resonates well with residents and visitors alike.
Atlanta is a diverse city, and the businesses that call it home are equally diverse. You can find leaders in a large number of different industries, ranging from soft drinks and home-improvement supplies to package delivery and air-travel services. With demographic trends continuing in its favor, Atlanta has the potential to keep leading the nation higher in the years to come. Although up-and-coming new companies will play a vital role in the long-term success of Georgia’s capital and the surrounding area, the four top local businesses will maintain their high-profile status atop the city’s engines of commerce for years to come.
Top Atlanta stocks
Source: Yahoo! Finance.
The real thing
Coca-Cola’s history as a publicly traded stock dates back nearly a century, and the soft-drink giant has seen its market capitalization jump roughly 7,000 times over that span to become one of the largest companies in the U.S. economy. With a globally recognized brand, Coca-Cola has been a pioneer in the beverage industry, building the infrastructure that supports bottling, distribution, and production of its namesake cola and dozens of related products over the years. For more than half a century, Coca-Cola has taken part of its ample cash flow and returned it to shareholders in the form of steadily increasing dividend payments.
Coca-Cola has met with challenging times in recent years. Changing consumer preferences have led to sugary carbonated beverages becoming less popular, and some have targeted the products for taxation in support of public-health measures designed to discourage behavior that can lead to obesity. Coca-Cola has responded by emphasizing healthier alternatives like its bottled waters, juices, teas, and other still beverages, and the reception that its new strategy has gotten has been favorable. Nevertheless, Coca-Cola has further to go before it can sound an “all clear” on the threat to its core business.
Building a retail empire
Home Depot positioned itself at the center of the housing booms both in the early 2000s and over the past eight or nine years, and both times, it’s successfully navigated turbulent industry waters to find success. During the original housing boom, Home Depot greatly appealed to homeowners who were fixing up homes to flip in a hot market, and a strong economy and ample access to credit gave customers plenty of ability to make expensive purchases. Even when the housing boom ended, Home Depot found ways to cater to customers, enabling those who were stuck in underwater mortgages to renovate their existing homes in lieu of moving into more attractive homes that were suddenly unavailable.
More recently, Home Depot has tapped into both the do-it-yourself market and the professional contractor market, with its Pro offerings giving industry specialists the goods and tools they need to get their jobs done efficiently and effectively. Impressive share-price advances have rewarded shareholders, and the company’s inclusive culture has appealed to investors and shoppers alike.