Apple retains title of 'most admired' company for 7th straight victory

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For the seventh year in a row, Apple has been deemed the "World's Most Admired Company," edging out rivals such as Amazon and Google to take first place in the 2014 rankings.

The annual list of the "most admired" companies on the planet was published on Thursday by Fortune. While Apple remained No. 1, there were a number of changes in the top 10, starting off with Amazon and Google swapping places, and now representing second and third place, respectively.

Following those two rivals was Berkshire Hathaway in fourth place, followed by coffee maker Starbucks in fifth. Coca-Cola fell from fourth to sixth in this year's rankings, followed by Walt Disney in seventh.

Rounding out the top 10 were FedEx, Southwest Airlines, and General Electric. One major electronics company that fell out of this year's top 10 was IBM, which dropped to No. 16.

Other notable brands in the rankings include Nike (No. 13), Samsung Electronics (No. 21), Microsoft, (No. 24), Facebook (No. 38), eBay (No. 44), and Intel (No. 47).

U.S. wireless provider AT&T barely cracked the list at No. 50, while its chief rival Verizon was not ranked.

Fortune's annual "most admired" ranking is whittled down from a starting list of 1,400 companies. Eligible corporations are ranked by conducting surveys with 3,920 correspondents comprised of executives, directors and analysts.