Fortune 500 rank: 4
2009 profit: $11.0 billionGE's finance unit haunted it throughout the year. Overall earnings fell by a third. Part of that decline reflects losses on consumer loans and commercial real estate within GE Capital -- the unit responsible for about half of GE's profits.
The massive conglomerate, which makes everything from locomotives to jet engines to hospital scanners, also lost its AAA-credit rating which could hurt it down the road.
NEXT: 13. Bristol-Myers Squibb