Biggest Financial Stock Recoveries

September to October of 2008 were some of the scariest months of the financial crisis as Lehman Brothers collapsed and other large banks had to be bailed out. Five years later, the financial sector has seen some remarkable recoveries.

September to October of 2008 were some of the scariest months of the financial crisis as Lehman Brothers collapsed and other large banks had to be bailed out. Five years later, the financial sector has seen some remarkable recoveries.

To look back, Bloomberg has ranked the U.S. financial companies that have made the biggest recoveries. The companies were ranked based on the percentage-point difference between their stock returns from Oct. 9, 2007 to March 9, 2009 (the high and low points prior to and during the financial crisis) and from March 9, 2009 to Sept. 10, 2013 (which was the recovery period).

Companies were included if they had a market capitalization of at least $10 billion on Oct. 9, 2007. Real estate companies and REITs were excluded from consideration.

Interestingly, while these stocks have made huge rebounds after the financial crisis, most have not come close to pre-crisis prices, according to Bloomberg.

10. Capital One Financial

Percentage-point turnaround: 786.4

10/9/07 to 3/9/09 returns: -87.1%

3/9/09 to 9/10/13 returns: 699.3%

Price on 10/9/07: $72.01

Price on 9/10/13: $67.85

On March 9, 2009, Capital One’s stock price was at a measly $8.70, but that’s far and away the best mid-recession price out of these 10 companies.

9. Hartford Financial Services Group

Percentage-point turnaround: 824.5

10/9/07 to 3/9/09 returns: -95.5%

3/9/09 to 9/10/13 returns: 729.1%

Price on 10/9/07: $97.74

Price on 9/10/13: $31.75

Despite Hartford’s financial recovery, the company’s stock price is still down 67% from its pre-recession level.

8. Principal Financial Group

Percentage-point turnaround: 825.1

10/9/07 to 3/9/09 returns: -90.6%

3/9/09 to 9/10/13 returns: 734.6%

Price on 10/9/07: $64.87

Price on 9/10/13: $43.75

Principal’s stock dropped to $5.8 on March 9, 2009, which is one of the better mid-recession stock prices in the top 10, but its current price is just a third of what it once was.

7. SLM

Percentage-point turnaround: 828.9

10/9/07 to 3/9/09 returns: -93.4%

3/9/09 to 9/10/13 returns: 735.5%

Price on 10/9/07: $48.50

Price on 9/10/13: $24.76

SLM’s stock took a huge tumble at the end of 2007, but after hitting rock bottom in March 2009, it has steadily been climbing higher. However, it’s only half of the way to getting back to its pre-crisis price.

6. American International Group

Percentage-point turnaround: 844

10/9/07 to 3/9/09 returns: -99.5%

3/9/09 to 9/10/13 returns: 744.5%

Price on 10/9/07: $1,174.64

Price on 9/10/13: $49.42

It’s hard not to think about AIG when remembering the financial mess of September 2008 and the bank bailouts. After all, this is the company that was one of the poster children of the slogan “too big to fail.” And even now, the company is still on the list, according to regulators.

5. Lincoln National

Percentage-point turnaround: 924.8

10/9/07 to 3/9/09 returns: -92.4%

3/9/09 to 9/10/13 returns: 832.4%

Price on 10/9/07: $69.20

Price on 9/10/13: $44.98

In the midst of the recession, Lincoln National’s stock hit $5 on March 9, 2009, but its negative return from October 2007 to March 2009 is considerably better than the majority of the top 10.

4. Discover Financial Services

Percentage-point turnaround: 983.2

10/9/07 to 3/9/09 returns: -76.9%

3/9/09 to 9/10/13 returns: 906.3%

Price on 10/9/07: $23.03

Price on 9/10/13: $50.14

Considering the rest of this list, Discover’s negative returns during the recession don’t seem all that bad, even though they still top 75%. Even better, its current stock price is far above its pre-crisis price.

3. XL Group

Percentage-point turnaround: 1,069.1

10/9/07 to 3/9/09 returns: -95.8%

3/9/09 to 9/10/13 returns: 973.3%

Price on 10/9/07: $81.46

Price on 9/10/13: $30.59

After falling to $3.21 on March 9, 2009, the XL Group’s stock has only recovered a third of its pre-crisis stock price.

2. Genworth Financial

Percentage-point turnaround: 1,378.3

10/9/07 to 3/9/09 returns: -97%

3/9/09 to 9/10/13 returns: 1,281.3%

Price on 10/9/07: $31.72

Price on 9/10/13: $12.57

Genworth had the second-largest negative return during the financial crisis on this list, just after AIG’s spectacular tumble. Its stock also dipped the lowest, hitting $0.91 on March 9, 2009. Although, Genworth’s stock looked like it was recovering in April 2010, its price has fallen again since then.

1. Fifth Third Bancorp

Percentage-point turnaround: 1,426.4

10/9/07 to 3/9/09 returns: -95.8%

3/9/09 to 9/10/13 returns: 1,330.6%

Price on 10/9/07: $35.06

Price on 9/10/13: $18.50

At the height of the financial crisis, Fifth Third Bancorp’s stock price had dropped to just $1.39. However, the bank’s current stock is still nowhere near its pre-crisis level.