Mortgage Daily

Published On: April 6, 2005
Fortune 500 Mortgage Companies500 largest companies in America

April 6, 2005

By COCO SALAZAR

The parent of CitiMortgage and CitiFinancial retained a top 10 position in the latest FORTUNE magazine ranking of the 500 largest corporations in America — placing it at the top of all mortgage related companies on the list.

With revenues of $108.3 billion, the 2005 Fortune 500 listed Citigroup as the eighth largest in the nation for the second year in a row, making it the highest ranked mortgage-associated company and commercial bank. The New York-based lender retained its title as revenues increased 14% from 2003. With $99.1 billion in originations, its prime-lending unit, Citimortgage, experienced the smallest annual volume downturn amongst all the largest lenders.

Citigroup made the list in spite of a nearly $5 billion after-tax charge for the WorldCom class action settlement and other litigation reserves the company reported in its 2004 earnings announcement.

FORTUNE ranked the companies according to the revenue reported for last year. Revenues figures for all companies include consolidated subsidiaries and exclude excise taxes, while for commercial banks and savings institutions are interest and noninterest revenues.

Up two spots to No. 12 was Berkshire Hathaway. The company, whose revenue of $74.4 billion grew 17% annually, stepped into mobile home financing with its purchase of Clayton Homes, who has Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance Inc. and 21st Mortgage under its arm.

Berkshire’s legendary chairman, Warren Buffet, is being investigated as to how much he knew about a questionable transaction between Berkshire-subsidiary General Re and American International Group Inc. — which he was informed about before it took place, the Wall Street Journal reported.

As FleetBoston Financial exited the list, acquiring company Bank of America advanced six spots to No. 18. The North Carolina bank, the sixth largest lender in the nation, reportedly saw revenues jump almost 32% from the previous year to $63.3 billion. Bank of America settled Enron-related lawsuits last year and WorldCom-related suits this year.

Also exiting the ranking was Bank One, who merged with JPMorgan Chase & Co. last year and helped it climb six slots to No. 20. Revenues soared 28% to $56.9 billion for the parent of Chase Home Finance — the fourth top originator last year.

JPMorgan also settled a class action lawsuit with WorldCom investors last month for $2 billion.

Securities firm Morgan Stanley went up three notches to No. 36 as its revenues grew 13% to $39.5 billion.

Meanwhile, Wells Fargo slipped three levels to 52nd place even as revenues improved 7% to $33.9 billion last year.

Merrill Lynch, which recently announced it plans on buying jumbo loans from correspondent lenders, moved up five spots to No. 53 with 17% revenue growth to $32.5 billion.

With revenues soaring 27% to $29.8 billion, Goldman Sachs came in 59th place — a 15 spot advance from the previous year.

American Express, which provides mortgage financing through its banking subsidiary, placed 62nd, improving seven slots from the previous ranking as its $29.1 billion in revenues grew 13%, the magazine said.

Following closely behind in spot No. 65 was Wachovia Corp., which brought its ranking up eight notches with a 15% annual revenue increase to $28.1 billion.

Closing out the top 100 mortgage-related entities and advancing nine slots to No. 94 was Lehman Brothers Holdings, which saw revenues soar 23% to $22 billion. The New York-based company recently announced strong mortgage demand helped it achieved milestone revenue and net income in its fiscal first quarter this year.

Within the top 200, Cendant, the homebuilding parent of Cendant Mortgage, was No. 107 on the list with revenues of nearly $20 billion. Washington Mutual fell 27 spots down the ladder to No. 131 as revenues sunk 14% year-over-year to about $16 billion. U.S. Bancorp ranked 143rd, C

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