Fortune rank: 4
2008 profit: $17.41 BillionCEO Jeff Immelt called 2008 "brutal.'' GE's earnings were dragged down 22% by losses in its biggest business: GE Capital.
Once an earnings generator, the financial services segment's missteps in residential mortgages and commercial real estate forced GE to get a capital infusion from Warren Buffett and cut its dividend.
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