Top 50 Wal-Mart's on top. Which other companies made the top 50 this year? (more)
Best big companies to work for See more than 30 companies that made both the Fortune 1000 and Best Companies to Work For lists this year. (more)
20 best investments These 20 stocks offered some of the best returns to shareholders last year. Will they keep rising? (more)
3 of 20
BACK NEXT
3. Merrill Lynch
Fortune 500 rank: 30
2007 loss: $7.77 billion

Merrill Lynch was Wall Street's most aggressive player in the once-soaring housing market. But when real estate went sour last year, it ended up costing CEO Stan O'Neal his job. Merrill took an $8.9 billion write-down last October when it realized that its huge portfolio of subprime mortgage-backed securities wasn't worth what it thought it was.

Merrill's losses were not out of line with other big banks'. But Merrill's comparatively smaller investment banking and wealth-management businesses (which both saw record revenue and profits last year) couldn't make up the shortfall.

NEXT: Advanced Micro Devices
Last updated April 24 2008: 11:01 AM ET