Fortune 500 companies enjoyed a banner year in terms of collective profit last year, but did so at the expense of slashing a record 821,000 jobs.
The business magazine released its latest rankings of American corporations Thursday, reporting that 2009 profits were up a remarkable $391 billion - more than three times greater than the previous year.
But the windfall wasn't due to greater sales, as revenues actually fell 8.7 percent. Cost-cutting was the preferred strategy and companies cut 3.2 percent of its workforce to finish in the black.
Wal-Mart returned to the top spot on Fortune's list, benefiting from shoppers looking for discount deals during the recession. Exxon-Mobil, last year's number one, fell to second.