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3. Wal-Mart Stores
Fortune 500 rank: 1
2009 profit: $14.3 billion
Wal-Mart lowered prices on everything from TVs to shampoo to woo customers in the downturn. Because of its price cuts, the retailer managed to turn a profit amid the recession and gain more loyal shoppers.

In the company's 2009 annual report, CEO Michael Duke writes, "We have so much to be proud of at Wal-Mart when it comes to last year's financial results."

It's hard to disagree.

NEXT: 4. Procter & Gamble

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Last updated April 28 2010: 12:41 PM ET
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