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The Rise & Demise of Companies in The Economic Crisis

The aftermath of 2009 where we look at the top 10 biggest losers and most profitable companies in the world by the numbers.

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Wondering what companies made the most money in 2009? Look no further than your car's gas tank. Companies involved in the oil business dominate the list of the most successful worldwide businesses of 2009. And if you're looking for those companies that suffered the biggest losses after the economic crisis of 2009, you'd do well to focus your attention on the housing and auto industries. The list of the top-10 biggest losers of the year is dominated by companies working in these businesses.

The names of the biggest winners and losers of 2009 shouldn't be much of a shock to anyone who followed the news coverage of the country's continuing economic slump. For instance, the biggest loser of 2009 was insurance giant AIG, which posted a loss of more than $99 billion dollars in 2009. AIG had reported a healthy profit, of $9.3 billion, as recently as 2007. The insurance company, though, was at the forefront of the country's economic crash, and received loads of bad press as it relied on a huge government bailout to stay afloat.

Also struggling in 2009 were the two biggest names in the mortgage-lending industry, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Fannie Mae reported a loss of more than $58 billion for the year, while Freddie posted losses of more than $50 billion. Rounding out the top five losers of the year were GM, with a loss of more than $30 billion, and another company active in the mortgage-lending mess, CitiGroup, which suffered a loss of more than $27 billion.Filling out the bottom half of the top-10 biggest losers of the year were Merrill Lynch, ConocoPhillips, Ford Motor, Time Warner and CBS.

Having far better years, were the companies that specialized in the oil and natural gas businesses. For instance, oil giant ExxonMobil topped the list of top-10 biggest winners of 2009. The company reported a stunning yearly profit of more than $45 billion. Coming in second place was Gazprom, which reported a profit of more than $26 billion. In case you don't recognize the name, Gazprom is the world's largest extractor of natural gas.

Coming in third on the list of winners was Shell and its yearly profit of more than $26 billion. Two more oil companies, Chevron and BP, rounded out the top five. Chevron celebrated a year in which it earned more than $23 billion worth of profits, while BP earned more than $21 billion.

The bottom half of the list of big winners was made up of PetroChina, GE, tech giant Microsoft, car maker Toyota and Nestle.

What's the lesson here? It's a fairly simple one: If you wanted to make big money in 2009, oil and gas was where it was at. If you wanted to watch your profits plummet? You should have tried originating mortgage loans.

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