sixtableuseWith most of the major financials reporting earnings within the past week, today we were looking at market cap levels for a group of stocks we’ll call the “Surviving Six” — the six big banks and brokers that suffered through but made it out of the depths of the Global Financial Crisis.  The “Surviving Six” members are JP Morgan (JPM), Wells Fargo (WFC), Bank of America (BAC), Citigroup (C), Goldman Sachs (GS), and Morgan Stanley (MS).

At right is a table showing market cap levels for the “Surviving Six” at various points in time dating back to the start of the year 2000.  Back then, Citigroup was on top by a wide margin with a market cap of $178 billion.  JP Morgan (JPM) ranked second with a market cap that was half that of Citi’s.  The next date highlighted in the table is May 23rd, 2007 — the day the Financial sector saw its peak prior to the collapse.  On that date, Citi was still the largest of the group, but Bank of America (BAC) had moved up to 2nd with a market cap of $227.9 billion.

The third date highlighted is March 6th, 2009 — the low point of the Financial Crisis for the sector.  In less than 2 years, Citi went from a market cap of $272 billion to just $5.64 billion.  But hey, at least it survived!  At the lows, JP Morgan (JPM) stood in first with a market cap of $59.9 billion, while Goldman (GS) had moved up to second at $38.2 billion.

Finally, today’s market caps are shown, with JP Morgan on top at just over $300 billion.  Citi now ranks 4th at $162 billion, which is roughly $16 billion less than where it stood at the start of 2000.  Notably, Morgan Stanley’s market cap is almost at the exact same level it was at back in 2000.  Wells Fargo has impressively moved up the ranks over the years.  Back in 2000, WFC was the 2nd smallest of the bunch, but now it ranks as the 2nd largest.

Below is a chart showing the historical market caps of the “Surviving Six” going back to 2000.  It’s a fascinating look at the changing landscape of the industry over time.  The second chart below shows the combined market caps of the six companies.  While the S&P 500 Financial sector as a whole is still trading about 25% below its highs from 2007, you can see that the combined market caps of the “Surviving Six” has indeed taken out its 2007 high.

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