6 of 20
BACKNEXT
6. Chesapeake Energy
6. Chesapeake Energy
Fortune 500 rank: 296
2009 loss: $5.8 billion
Recession-hit consumers got a much-needed break on their heating bills this year when natural gas prices reached a low not seen in years. But for Chesapeake, the price drop cut deeply into results as revenue slid by a third and the company plummeted into the red, partly due to a $6.9 billion charge on the value of its gas and oil properties.

During the year, natural gas producers failed to cut output, even as demand softened. At one point, the volume of gas in storage got so high that companies feared they would run out of room. Meanwhile, producers weren't drilling new wells; instead better technology reduced costs and allowed the drilling of shales, which were once hard to tap. The downside: natural gas flooding an already over-supplied market.

NEXT: 7. CC Media Holdings
Last updated April 20 2010: 1:46 PM ET
Email | Print | Share  |  RSS
 
google my aol my msn my yahoo! netvibes
Paste this link into your favorite RSS desktop reader
See all CNNMoney.com RSS FEEDS (close)
Top 50 Wal-Mart knocks Exxon Mobil out of the No. 1 slot to rule the Fortune 500 again. Which other companies made the top 50 this year? More
They're hiring! These Fortune 100 employers have at least 200 openings each, totaling more than 60,000 jobs. What are they looking for in a new hire? More
20 most profitable Fortune 500 earnings soared, despite a seemingly feeble recovery. From Exxon Mobil to Goldman, here are the biggest winners. More