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The Biggest Companies You've Never Heard Of (PHOTOS)

First Posted: 07/27/10 10:19 AM ET   Updated: 05/25/11 06:10 PM ET

By 24/7 Wall St.: The great majority of the largest companies in America are easily identified by name by most consumers. That is because their names match one or more of their most important brands. McDonald's in the fast food business. It is its own largest brand. The same is true for companies including Ford, or Google, or AT&T.

But there are a number of huge companies, many with revenue in the tens of billions of dollars, many with revenue greater than firms with famous brands, that are almost completely unknown to the public. Investors often do not know the names of these firms and very few know what businesses they are in.

A very few huge companies do not care if the consumer knows their names or what they do. Some make or distribute brand-name products and make massive sums of money doing it. Others supply parts and services to companies that do have major brands. Obscurity does not directly relate to sales, as the companies on this list show.

Among the companies on this list are Altria, which manufactures and distributes Marlboro cigarettes, one of the best know brands in the world. Also on the list is TJX which owns the Marshals department store chain, and Aramark which supplies over one million meals to people in the nation's prisons.

Here's the list, and for more information that check out 24/7 Wall St.

Yum! Brands, Inc.
1 of 9
-founded in 1997

-located in Louisville, KY

-49,000 employees

-$11 billion

Yum! Brands, Inc. is the world’s largest restaurant company by chain brands, operating over 37,000 restaurants in over 110 countries and territories. Anyone who has dined at a Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, KFC, or Long John Silver’s knows exactly what they do. PepsiCo once owned these operations, but they were spun off in the 1990s under the name Tricon Global Restaurants. They have since changed the name. Yum! Brands sounds better.

--24/7 Wall St.
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Filed by Nate C. Hindman  |