The following has been adapted from an April 15, 2010, "News You Can Use" article by Andrew Sullivan, CFA, senior analyst on the Motley Fool Income Investor team. For full access to the service, click here and start a free 30-day trial subscription.

Income Investor "Buy First" stock PepsiCo (NYSE: PEP) has made a few missteps of late, including poor rebranding campaigns of both Gatorade and Tropicana. (Bidding adieu to the orange with a straw was never a good idea.) But it's also been doing a lot of things right, including making its shareholders happy. In the past month alone, the pop purveyor has boosted its dividend by 7%, authorized a $15 billion stock buyback, and perhaps most importantly, unveiled ambitious, double-digit growth targets for the next three years.

That's an impressive goal for a company of Pepsi's considerable size -- many smaller companies would be delighted with that sort of expansion. PepsiCo has a distinct advantage as it pursues its goals: the enviable combination of a $27 billion snack business and a $30 billion beverage business that it can leverage. Dubbed the Power of One, this means pairing food with beverages in promotions, such as Pepsi with Tostitos. Another plus is the better-for-you food and drinks business -- stuff like Quaker Oats, Naked Juice, SoBe tea, and Tropicana -- which as a whole is growing at a solid 10% a year. This is a $10 billion business now, but it could hit $30 billion by 2020.

The Income Investor team recommends a handful of "Buy First" stocks that are "the kinds of stocks you can build a fortune on. ... With huge cash flows, wide moats, great management teams, and proven track records, the Buy First companies are our favorites for the long haul, stocks we recommend for every investor." If you want to find companies like that, consider joining the Income Investor community.

This article was compiled by Kris Eddy, who does not own shares of PepsiCo, which is a recommendation of Income Investor. Motley Fool Options recommends roll your diagonal call on Pepsi. The Fool has a disclosure policy.