When China sneezes, the world catches a cold, goes the saying. If you accept the premise, then coal producers get violently ill when things turn in China.
Such was the year for Alpha Natural, which specializes in the kind of coal China consumes for steel production. Prices for the commodity fell the entire year. Alpha's ill-timed $7 billion acquisition of Massey Energy in early 2011 further weakened the company's bottom line. Shares fell by 52%.
Wal-Mart retook the top spot, Berkshire Hathaway made the top five, and Apple grew enormously.