6 of 20
6. Wal-Mart Stores
6. Wal-Mart Stores
Fortune 500 rank: 1
2010 profit: $16.4 billion

Wal-Mart defended its top spot on the Fortune 500, but it slipped three notches on our list of the most profitable. The cause: recession-weary shoppers. In the depths of the downturn, Wal-Mart slashed prices on everything and attracted American consumers.

Wal-Mart couldn't keep the strategy going in 2010: The company posted U.S. same-store sales declines for the entire year. Dollar store chains and online merchants have eroded some of Wal-Mart's appeal. Its foray into chicer clothes didn't help results either.

NEXT: 7. International Business Machines
Last updated May 10 2011: 8:38 AM ET
Top 50 Wal-Mart holds Exxon Mobil at bay and rules the Fortune 500 for the second year in a row. Which other companies made the top 50? More
They're hiring! These Fortune 100 employers have at least 350 openings each, totaling more than 96,000 jobs. What are they looking for in a new hire? More
Best big companies to work for See the 27 companies that made both the Fortune 500 and Best Companies to Work For lists this year. More

Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2018 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2018. All rights reserved. Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor's Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2018 and/or its affiliates.