Wall Street analysts often believe that they know how much money large public companies will make before the companies actually post quarterly and annual profits. The most widely followed public corporations are tracked by as many as 50 analysts. The consensus estimates of these analysts are used to measure how America's most well-known companies are doing compared to expert expectations.
24/7 Wall St. looked at the consensus profit estimates for America's largest corporations for 2011 based on Bloomberg data. The goal was to see which 10 companies are forecast to make the most in net profit excluding special items this year. It is relatively normal for companies like Wal-Mart, which sell tens of thousand of products to tens of million of people, to post earnings figures close to what is expected. Wal-Mart's sales are over $400 billion a year, and it is a close proxy for the economy in general.