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19. Oracle
Fortune rank: 19
2008 profit: $5.52 Billion
Oracle grew profits 29% as it passed IBM in software sales during the year to become the second-largest software maker.

Since 2005, company has aggressively been buying software makers that supply it with steady income. Oracle earns more from annual maintenance contracts for its databases and software than it does from selling them.

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Last updated April 20 2009: 11:09 AM ET
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