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4. General Electric
Fortune rank: 4
2008 profit: $17.41 Billion
CEO Jeff Immelt called 2008 "brutal.'' GE's earnings were dragged down 22% by losses in its biggest business: GE Capital.

Once an earnings generator, the financial services segment's missteps in residential mortgages and commercial real estate forced GE to get a capital infusion from Warren Buffett and cut its dividend.

NEXT: Wal-Mart Stores
Last updated April 20 2009: 11:09 AM ET
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