Fortune 500 rank: 1
2009 profit: $14.3 billionWal-Mart lowered prices on everything from TVs to shampoo to woo customers in the downturn. Because of its price cuts, the retailer managed to turn a profit amid the recession and gain more loyal shoppers.
In the company's 2009 annual report, CEO Michael Duke writes, "We have so much to be proud of at Wal-Mart when it comes to last year's financial results."
It's hard to disagree.
NEXT: 4. Procter & Gamble