Fortune 500 earnings soared this year, despite a feeble recovery, as companies cut costs fast and deeply. From Goldman Sachs to Google, here are the biggest winners.
Fortune 500 rank: 2
2009 profit: $19.3 billionThe global recession cost Exxon bragging rights: It's no longer America's largest company ( that title now goes to Wal-Mart) and it isn't posting record profits. Indeed, earnings got cut in half as sales dropped by more than a third in 2009.
But Exxon remains unlike any company on our list. Consider that the oil giant spent a record $27 billion during the year on exploration projects, yet it still earned more than the gross domestic product of Macedonia.
NEXT: 2. Microsoft