Bank Of America

2009 was tough for Bank of America. The company had to integrate its widely criticized acquisitions of Merrill Lynch and Countrywide while tapping into the Troubled Asset Relief Program three times for a total of $45 billion. On top of that, BofA had to deal with a critically ill housing market, declining asset values, a liquidity crisis, and the departure of CEO Ken Lewis.

Yet by the end of 2009, the bank was strong enough to pay back its TARP funds and boost capital with almost $20 billion from the sale of new stock. BofA isn't out of the woods, but analysts project "very strong capital markets" and improving credit trends. The company plans to increase lending to small- and medium-sized businesses and to assist families in the aftermath of the financial crisis.