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Who Are Pittsburgh's Real Nonprofits? 

Pittsburgh's health-care giants are, we're often reminded, nonprofits. They're supposed to plow earnings back into their operations, charitable care, feel-good TV ads … just so long as the money isn't being handed back as dividends for shareholders. But what if you could buy a piece of Highmark? Just how profitable is this altruism racket? We looked at the most recent annual financial reports of Highmark and UPMC, comparing them to annual reports of some publicly traded Pittsburgh corporate citizens. Turns out that, at least in an economic downturn, the real charity cases are in metals manufacturing. US Steel actually lost money on its steelmaking operations last year, making it a true not-for-profit. Perhaps they could use a bake sale? Or an ad campaign with a lot of violins?

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Methodology: Numbers based on the most recent annual report filed by each employer, except for UPMC, whose data numbers are based on an Aug. 27 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette account of its next filing. Revenue includes earnings from sales or operations only, excluding income from investments and other sources. Income figures are net of operating expenses, depreciation/amortization costs and -- where applicable -- taxes.

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