Thursday, March 05, 2009

Pocket Change Businesses

There are a lot of once mighty businesses that can now be had for pocket change.
  • Citigroup - the largest bank in the United States - their stock once sold for over $55 a share (January 2007) is now available for $1.02.
  • General Motors - once the largest auto manufacturer in the world - Their stock once sold for $87 a share (January 1999). Today it is worth $1.84 and, frankly, probably not worth that.
  • Bank of America survived the San Francisco earthquake on 1906, survived the Great Depression, and is choking to death trying to swallow Countrywide Financial and Merrill Lynch. Its stock price was over $50 a share in November 2006. Now it is just $3.20 a share.
  • The mighty General Electric had a market cap of $382 billion in March 2005. Today its market cap is only $70 billion. The stock price is a whopping $6.71 a share, less even than the price of the cheapest hammer sold by Home Depot.
I could go on but I need to take my antidepressant.

Great Minds Department: I wrote this before the New York Times published Jack Healy's article on exactly this topic although Healy must have been writing his article while I was writing mine. Interesting coincidence.

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