2009 profit: $19.3 billion
The global recession cost Exxon bragging rights: It's no longer America's largest company ( that title now goes to Wal-Mart) and it isn't posting record
profits. Indeed, earnings got cut in half as sales dropped by more than a third in 2009.
But Exxon remains unlike any company on our list. Consider that the oil giant spent a record $27 billion during the year on exploration projects, yet it still earned more than the
gross domestic product of Macedonia.
NEXT: 2. Microsoft