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The New York Stock Exchange is by far the world’s largest stock exchange in terms of market capitalization of its listed companies, which is $16.6 trillion as of February, 2015. It is also one of the oldest stock markets in the world. Founded on March 8, 1792, this stock exchange today lists about 1867 companies (as of Feb, 2015). Along the years, it has had its fair share of controversies and is now wholly owned by Intercontinental Exchange.
It comes as no surprise that some of the longest-trading stocks and securities in the world are listed on the NYSE. Numerous American companies, more than a 100 years old, have survived through the years and continue to offer their stocks on the NYSE. Being home to some of the oldest stocks in the world, this stock exchange offers plenty of choice for those looking to find safe investment options. Below, we’ll be going through a few of the oldest trading NYSE stocks.
The Bank of New York (NYSE:BK)
This financial services company was founded in 1784 by Alexander Hamilton, a founding father of America. It was the first company to be publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange. In 2007, the Bank of New York merged with Mellon Financial to become Bank of New York Mellon (NYSE:BK). Over the last 40 years, this company’s stock grew nearly 2000% in value, but like all financial institutions, it took a hard hit during the recession. In July 2000, the company’s stock reached its peak trading price, at just under $63.
Consolidated Edison (NYSE:ED)
One of the largest investor-owned energy companies in the USA, Consolidated Edison (NYSE:ED) was originally known as the the New York Gas Light Company. This company was first listed on the NYSE in 1824, and soon merged with five other gas companies to form the Consolidated Gas Company. Also known as Con Ed or Con Edison, its stock gained 700% in value since 1970. Con Edison stock hit an all-time high trading price of $70.37 on Jan 23rd, 2015. Having consistently increased dividends for the last 4 decades, this company boasts of a yield of just under 4%.
Coca Cola (NYSE:KO)
Originally introduced as a patent medicine in the late 19th century, Coca Cola (NYSE:KO) was bought by Asa Griggs Candler, who made his fortune selling the famous soft drink. In 1919, a group of businessmen, led by Ernest Woodruff, purchased the Coca-Cola Company for $25 million. After reincorporating the business as a Delaware Corporation, the company's stock was publicly listed on the NYSE—at the time, common stock was sold at $40 per-share, while preferred stock was sold at $100 per-share. After numerous stock splits over the years, each share of Coca Cola today trades at $41.79.
Source: Pfizer stock chart by waldorf-kras
One of the oldest pharmaceutical companies in the world, Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) was established way back in 1849. In 1900, Pfizer filed for an official certification of incorporation in the state of New York. At the time, an authorized capital of $2 million was divided into 20,000 shares of $100 each. Pfizer finally went public on June 22, 1942, when 240,000 shares of a common stock were put up for sale. On April 9, 1999, Pfizer stock peaked at $48.62 a share, and after a downtrend for almost a decade, its stock is finally on an upward slope, priced at $32.99 as of Feb 5, 2015.
This financial self-service, security and services corporation is known to be the largest U.S. manufacturer of ATMs. Founded in 1859, Diebold (NYSE:DBD) was incorporated in 1876 under the state laws of Ohio. Diebold stock began trading publicly in the 1930s, and the company was finally listed on the NYSE on April 27, 1964. Over the last 25 years, Diebold has been increasing its dividend payouts—at present, it offers a dividend yield of 3.56%. The current per-share price, as of February 6, 2014 stands at $32.33. (See: Diebold stock analysis)
Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG)
Source: P&G stock chart by waldorf-kras
William Procter and James Gamble co-founded Procter & Gamble in 1837, and formalized their business agreement by pledging the sum of $3,596.47 per head. In 1890, Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG) decided to go public for the first time. After P&G was incorporated as a public company, the management decided to sell shares in order to raise the capital required for expansion. The next year, on June 11, 1891, Procter & Gamble stock was finally listed on the NYSE. During that time, P&G stock was sold in blocks of 100 shares, at a per-share price of $100. As of February 5, 2014, the company has a market cap of $205.1 billion. With a standing per-share price of $6,290, P&G stock generates a dividend yield of 0.64%.
Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ)
Source: JNJ stock chart by waldorf-kras
Co-founded by the three Johnson brothers in 1886, this company has gone on to become a multinational manufacturer of medical devices, pharmaceuticals, and consumer packaged goods. On September 24, 1944 Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) went public for the first time, and relinquished its position as a private company. In 1944, this conglomerate was made of 31 different companies, with 17 of them being outside the USA. During its IPO, Johnson & Johnson stock was priced at $37.50 per-share. Over the course of the 20th and 21st centuries, Johnson & Johnson stock was split 6 times. As of February 5, 2014, each share of the company costs $102.46 and a fetches dividend yield of 2.73%.
International Business Machine Corporation (NYSE:IBM)
Almost everybody knows this company as IBM (NYSE:IBM), but what most don’t know is that it was initially called the Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company (CTR). The CTR was formed in 1911 after the merger of four different companies—it was listed on the NYSE in 1916. The Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company finally changed its name to the International Business Machines Corporation in 1924. Between 1927 and 1929, IBM stock almost quadrupled in value from $54 to $216 a share due to increased demand for its accounting machines and time cards. But, after the infamous Wall Street crash that soon followed, the company’s share price had sunk to $9.12. After 41 stock splits and adjustments since 1925, this old stock is today priced at $157.91 per share and offers a dividend yield of 2.79%. (See: IBM stock analysis)
Berkshire Hathaway Inc (NYSE:BRK.A)
This conglomerate holding company can trace its roots back to 1839, when the Valley Falls Company was first founded in Rhode Island. In 1929, the Valley Falls Company merged with Berkshire Cotton Manufacturing Company to form the Berkshire Fine Spinning Associates. Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A) was finally created after this company’s merger with the Hathaway Manufacturing Company in 1955. By the end of the 1950’s, the new company was dying—its per-share price fell to about $15 by 1962. That was when the famous value investor Warren Buffett stepped in and started buying the company’s stock, increasing his shareholding to 49% by 1963.
Soon, the Oracle of Omaha took charge of the company and set it upon a different course by foraying into the insurance sector. Today, Berkshire Hathaway stock is highly valued in the market, and each share costs a staggering $224,560. The market cap of the company is $369.18 billion, making it one of America’s largest companies in terms of market capitalization. Moreover, the stock market prices of this company have nearly doubled in a decade.
Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT)
In 1888, Dr. Wallace C. Abbott began to manufacture alkaloidal pills and subsequently, incorporated his firm as Abbott Alkaloidal Company in 1900. In 1915, the company changed its name to Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT) and in 1929, it went public with a listing on the Chicago Stock Exchange. After nearly 42 years of being listed on the NYSE, this company’s stock is currently priced at $45.62, as of February 5, 2015. Recently in October, 2012, its per-share price had touched an all-time high of $71.61. Over the past 25 years, this company has increasingly been raising its dividend payouts, and its current dividend yield is 2.1%.
Kellogg Company (NYSE:K)
Founded by William Keith Kellogg in 1906, Kellogg (NYSE:K) was originally called the Battle Creek Toasted Corn Flake Company. After being renamed twice over the next few years, it was finally incorporated as the Kellogg Company on December 14, 1922. After consecutively rejecting buyout offers, the Kellogg Company expanded into Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom by 1938. During the company’s IPO on January 9, 1952, as many as 415,600 shares were offered at $23.75 per share—around 4,000 investors took part in this investment. Ever since March 20, 1959, the Kellogg Company has been publicly traded on the NYSE. As of February 5, 2015, each share of Kellogg costs $67.03 and offers a dividend yield of 2.92%. With a market cap of $23.68 billion, the company presently has a P/E ratio of 13.93. Its stock has been split thrice over the ages.
Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F)
Source: Ford stock chart by waldorf-kras
Brainchild of the famous Henry Ford, Ford (NYSE:F) was originally incorporated on June 16, 1903. When Ford went public on January 17, 1956, 10.2 million of its shares raised nearly $660 million (inflation-adjusted figure); the Ford IPO was considered to be the largest IPO in history until that time. Offered at a per-share price of $64.50, Ford stock closed at $69.50 on the first day of trading. The stock sold on that day had a market cap of approximately $709 million. Today, Ford stock is priced at $15.85 per-share, after 8 stock splits that took place over half a century. It offers a dividend yield of 3.79% at present, and has a P/E ratio of 10.39. (See: Ford stock analysis)
Xerox Corporation (NYSE:XRX)
Source: Xerox stock chart by waldorf-kras
This American multinational company was initially called the Haloid Company, and was founded in 1906. The Haloid Company first went public on April 17, 1936, and consequently, changed its name to Haloid Xerox Inc. in 1958. The company, after finally being renamed as Xerox (NYSE:XRX), was listed on the NYSE on July 11, 1961. Xerox stock closed that day at $104, after selling around 7,700 shares. After 6 stock splits along the years, Xerox stock is currently priced at $13.46—it peaked at $62 on Jan 29, 1999. With a market cap of $14.96 billion, the company has a P/E ratio of 14.99 and a dividend yield of 2.08%. (See: Xerox stock analysis)
The Hershey Company (NYSE:HSY)
The largest manufacturer of chocolates in North America, Hershey (NYSE:HSY) has a rich history. Founded by Milton S. Hershey in 1894 as the Hershey Chocolate Company, it was incorporated as a public company under the state laws of Delaware on October 24, 1927. It has since acquired a number of other companies, and generates massive revenues in present times. Hersheys, as it is popularly known throughout the world, reported revenues of $7.1 billion in 2013. After accounting for stock splits, each share from Hershey’s IPO is now worth 360 shares. Today, each share of the company costs $105.81, signifying a huge return for those who had invested in its IPO. This company currently offers a dividend yield of 2.02%, and has a P/E ratio of 28.1.
Macy’s Inc (NYSE:M)
Source: Macys stock chart by waldorf-kras
This mid-range chain of department stores was once called R.H. Macy & Co. Initially founded by Rowland H. Macy in 1858, this company was generating around $36 million in annual sales by 1918. Macy (NYSE:M) first went public in 1922, after which, it subsequently started opening regional stores to takeover competing retailers. On May 5, 2006, Macy’s stock had hit a peak of $78.19, and as of Feb 5, 2015, each share of Macy’s was priced at $63.70. It’s been almost a century since this stock was listed on the NYSE, making it one of the oldest stocks out there. Macy’s stock presently generates a dividend yield of 1.96%, and has a P/E ratio of 15.28.