Rank: 26 (Previous rank: 23)
CEO: John G. Stumpf
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Wells Fargo had a somewhat mixed 2011, with revenues down 6%, but net income was up by 28% from the previous year. The increase in profits was in large part caused by the bank's more optimistic loan repayment expectations and decreased expenses. And with signs that the mortgage market might be closer to turning a corner -- or at least reaping the benefits of government assistance programs -- the bank is expecting still brighter things to come. It also doesn't hurt that some of Wells Fargo's competitors, like Bank of America, have reduced their mortgage-related activity, leaving some market share for the taking.
The San Francisco-headquartered bank also put the finishing touches on its 2009 merger with Wachovia, which it acquired for $15 billion. Up next? More acquisitions, perhaps. Wells Fargo announced in February that they will acquire BNP Paribas' North American energy loan business for an undisclosed amount.
Industry: Commercial Banks