2009 profit: $12.3 billion
CEO Bill Weldon called 2009 one of the hardest years in Johnson & Johnson's 124-year history. The world's biggest health-care products company faced patent expirations worth $3 billion in sales along with a worldwide economic downturn, which drove earnings down.
But by the fourth quarter, sales were rising across all three of its major businesses -- medical devices, pharmaceuticals, and over-the-counter medicines. Meanwhile, JNJ announced 7,500 job cuts that are expected to save up to $900 million in 2010.
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