Long known as one of the hungriest and most aggressive players on Wall Street, Bear Stearns posted its fifth straight year of record profits. That’s in addition to eight decades of staying in the black and surviving bear markets, crashes, and more than a handful of brokerage liquidations. While Bear has historically earned much of its reputation and keep as a bond trader and clearinghouse, under CEO James Cayne it has lately parlayed that currency into becoming a jack-of-all-financial-trades. Its merchant banking arm has been busily making private equity investments in businesses ranging from Latin American consumer-finance to a maker of playground equipment. Bear’s prime brokerage division, which serves hedge funds and other VIP institutional investors, has seemingly come out of nowhere to become one of the Street’s most envied. Shares of the 84-year-old firm, chronically the subject of takeover talk, have soared 270% in the past six years.
|Sales Growth Rate**|
|12-Month Net Income||
|Total Return||Past 12 Months|
|Past 36 Months
|Industry||Investment Banking & Brokerage|