Fortune 500 rank: 393
2008 revenue: $6.3 billion
2008 total shareholder return: 5.1%
Homebuilder Pulte couldn't fight major declines in the housing market, with consolidated revenues down 32% for 2008 to $6.3 billion as average home sale prices fell 12% to $284,000 and the number of closed homes fell 24% to 21,022. But thanks to its relative strength and $1.655 billion of cash on hand, the company ended 2008 with its stock price up. Already big, Pulte announced a plan this year to buy fellow homebuilder Centex for $1.3 billion, betting that the housing market is near its bottom.
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