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20. AFLAC
20. AFLAC
2010 Fortune 500 rank: 130
2009 profit growth: 19.4%
2009 revenue growth: 10.3%

CEO since 1990: Dan Amos

To promote a new health insurance product in Japan, AFLAC dressed up its duck as the manekineko, a mythical Japanese cat thought to bring good luck.

That helped sales rise 10%, to $18.3 billion, and earnings to rise 19%, to $1.5 billion. But it didn't stop AFLAC stock from sliding to $10.83 in March 2009 from its 2008 high of $68.81. (It's now around $56).

After that downturn, CEO Dan Amos decided to skip his annual stress test.

NEXT: 21. Apple

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Last updated April 28 2010: 12:37 PM ET
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