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LESS GUSTO FOR PROFITS THIS TIME AROUND

Despite some standouts, the second quarter wasn't superb

Will the second quarter keep up the pace of 30% earnings growth of 1997's first three months? So far, the answer appears to be no. That's the signal from the 80 companies in BUSINESS WEEK's flash report on second-quarter profits, which rose 8%, while sales were up 7%. What happened? Despite standout reports from Intel, Ford, and General Electric, other companies brought down the average with disappointing returns and write-downs. Chrysler Corp.'s earnings fell 53%, because an engine-plant strike cost an estimated $438 million. At International Paper Co., a $419 million loss included $535 million in pretax charges. There was good news in tech stocks (see below). But overall, investors will have to wait a while longer for another profit blowout.




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TABLE: A Sampling of First-Quarter Profits


Updated July 17, 1997 by bwwebmaster
Copyright 1997, Bloomberg L.P.
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