5 Companies That Are Defying the Recession

While many small businesses have been suffering as the nation tries to emerge from a struggling economy, certain household-name businesses are doing quite well. From restaurants to retail stores, there are many examples of companies having success during these tough times.

McDonald’s (NYSE: MCD)

McDonald’s has profited quite a bit in this economy. Offering meals well under $10.00 and a number of new menu items, the chain served some 60 million customers each day in 2009, up 2 million per day from the previous year. Earnings per share for calendar year 2009 were up 9% from the previous year. The latest 2010 figures for July 2010 show United States sales growing by 5.7% over the same period in 2009. Sales in Europe rose 5.3% and Asia, the Middle East and Africa had a very impressive growth rate of 10.1%.

Walmart (NYSE: WMT)

The nation’s leading retailer has been able to hold up well during this most recent economic downturn. Long known as the low price leader, Walmart has attracted more customers that used to shop at somewhat more upscale stores. The regular clientele continue to shop at Walmart for hardware, household goods and groceries. Attractive pricing, a wide variety of items and many special deals have made Walmart the preferred choice of millions struggling with the difficult times. People still need to buy all the necessities such as clothes and food and Walmart is amongst the most affordable options out there.

Dollar General (NYSE: DG)

This store has found a niche that does very well in times where people need to make the most of a dollar. Offering most of their merchandise for a single dollar (some items are more), the store is great for things like cleaning supplies, paper plates, toilet paper and all sorts of other household items. People always have a few dollars in their pocket and can fill a bag for $10.00 or less. Shoppers still like to shop in quantity and Dollar General, with its conveniently located stores, has accomodated that need.

Goodwill Stores

Goodwill Industries has experienced a surge in customer traffic and sales. The king of the second hand or thrift stores is a well managed company that sells donated second hand merchandise (and some brand new items) at highly discounted prices. Women love shopping for clothes as they can pick up jeans for $5.00 that would sell new in a Department store for $50.00.

Florida Power & Light (FPL)

Like all regulated utilities, FPL continues to make a profit by providing service at a price determined by government agencies. They have invested well and are able to cut costs in many areas while providing excellent service. Management has taken advantage of technology and has instituted innovative plans to improve productivity which transfers to the bottom line.

Louise Baker is a freelance blogger and journalist who writes for Zen College Life, the directory of higher education, distance learning, and online schools. She most recently wrote about the top online colleges.

About the author

Jim Blankenship, CFP®, EA

Jim Blankenship is the founder and principal of Blankenship Financial Planning, Ltd., a financial planning firm providing hourly, as-needed financial planning and advice. A financial services professional for over 25 years, Jim is a CFP professional and has earned the Enrolled Agent designation, a designation that qualifies him as enrolled to practice before the IRS. Jim is also a NAPFA-registered financial advisor, which designates him as a Fee-Only Financial Advisor.

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