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The Fourth Quarter: Go Figure


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THE FOURTH QUARTER: GO FIGURE

Freakish results at oil companies and Baby Bells, plus IBM's first profit in six quarters, make analysis of BUSINESS WEEK's flash report of fourth-quarter profits tricky. Earnings for the 84 companies tracked were up 51% from a year earlier. But take out IBM, and they fell 4%. Then again, if you also remove the Baby Bells--three of which took restructuring charges--voil , an 11% increase. Sales are up only 2% overall--but they climbed 6% if oil companies, facing ever-falling prices, are excluded. Current qtr. sales Qtr. profits Est. EPS Reported

(Millions) % chg.(Millions)% chg.(11/18) EPS Diff.

INDUSTRIALS 170,096.5 -2 7,830.4 -3 0.89 0.87 -0.02

ABBOTT LABORATORIES 2,228.0 +6 391.3 +12 0.48 0.48 --

ALCOA 2,310.8 -6 -86.9 NM 0.19 -0.20* -0.39

AMOCO 7,382.0 +2 584.0 +7 0.86 1.17 +0.31

BOEING 5,656.0 -25 304.0 -15 0.83 0.89 +0.06

BOISE CASCADE 996.9 +10 -23.7 NM -0.80 -0.98 -0.18

BORDEN 1,469.8 -2 -130.0 NM 0.02 -0.92 -0.94

BRISTOL-MYERS SQUIBB 2,992.8 +6 255.8 NM 1.12 1.10* -0.02

CATERPILLAR 3,168.0 +16 148.0 NM 0.84 1.46 +0.62

CHAMPION INTERNATIONAL 1,300.2 +5 -30.6 NM -0.43 -0.41 +0.02

CHEVRON 8,913.0 -16 294.0 -73 1.47 0.91 -0.56

CHRYSLER 11,952.0 +17 777.0 +118 1.49 2.11 +0.62

CORNING 1,083.0 +9 -120.9 NM 0.39 0.42* +0.03

DUPONT 9,251.0 +1 237.0 NM 0.56 0.35 -0.21

EXXON 27,843.0 -10 1,500.0 +7 1.01 1.20 +0.19

GENERAL ELECTRIC 18,087.0 +12 1,477.0 +22 1.68 1.73 +0.05

INLAND STEEL INDUSTRIES 978.3 +18 -20.7 NM 0.11 -0.79 -0.90

INTERNATIONAL PAPER 3,412.0 +1 100.0 NM 0.62 0.81 +0.19

KELLOGG 1,566.2 +10 149.5 +17 0.64 0.66 +0.02

McDONNELL DOUGLAS 3,629.0 -21 -132.0 NM 3.08 -3.36 -6.44

MERCK 3,000.8 +15 674.2 +11 0.59 0.56 -0.03

MOBIL 16,859.0 -4 349.0 -32 1.29 0.84 -0.45

MONSANTO 1,882.0 +1 58.0 NM 0.40 0.49 +0.09

PFIZER 1,989.2 +2 288.9 +4 1.00 0.90 -0.10

PHILIP MORRIS 14,714.0 -1 339.0 -72 1.02 0.90* -0.12

PPG INDUSTRIES 1,378.2 -2 53.9 -21 0.80 0.51 -0.29

QUAKER OATS 1,353.9 +2 42.8 -24 0.78 0.63 -0.15

REYNOLDS METALS 1,353.2 0 -238.6 NM -0.33 -0.31* +0.02

TELEDYNE 632.9 -12 15.7 +51 0.47 0.28 -0.19

TEXACO 8,575.0 -10 349.0 +2 1.07 1.25 +0.18

USX-U.S. STEEL GROUP 1,548.0 +28 124.0 NM 0.44 1.67 +1.23

WEYERHAEUSER 2,591.3 +10 101.7 +19 0.47 0.50 +0.03

SERVICES 32,601.6 +14 5,514.5 +50 1.03 1.14 +0.11

AMERICAN EXPRESS 3,708.3 +2 290.7 +14 0.71 0.57 -0.14

AMR 3,591.0 0 -246.0 NM -0.07 -2.65* -2.58

BANC ONE NA NA 286.3 +39 0.84 0.82 -0.02

BANKAMERICA NA NA 496.0 +5 1.23 1.21 -0.02

BANKERS TRUST NEW YORK NA NA 279.0 +110 2.43 3.26 +0.83

BURLINGTON NORTHERN 1,246.0 +4 118.0 +6 1.28 1.25 -0.03

CAPITAL CITIES/ABC 1,755.1 +7 166.7 +21 10.20 10.35 +0.15

CHASE MANHATTAN NA NA 313.0 +85 1.04 1.53 +0.49

CHEMICAL BANKING NA NA 347.0 +14 1.14 1.23 +0.09

CITICORP NA NA 575.0 +105 0.90 1.16 +0.26

CSX 2,315.0 +3 151.0 -1 1.52 1.46 -0.06

DEAN WITTER, DISCOVER 1,518.6 +14 138.5 +60 0.87 0.81 -0.06

DISNEY (WALT) 2,727.3 +14 368.6 +34 0.57 0.68 +0.11

FEDERAL EXPRESS 2,121.5 +8 59.7 +69 0.95 1.07 +0.12

FIRST CHICAGO NA NA 172.8 +27 1.34 1.81 +0.47

HILTON HOTELS 370.0 +10 32.3 +22 0.60 0.67 +0.07

MERRILL LYNCH 4,526.1 +39 347.2 +57 1.38 1.53 +0.16

MORGAN (J. P.) NA NA 392.0 +77 1.63 1.92 +0.29

NATIONSBANK NA NA 373.0 +59 1.32 1.37 +0.05

PAINEWEBBER GROUP 1,075.8 +29 56.9 +37 0.91 1.11 +0.20

ROADWAY SERVICES 1,376.8 +21 42.7 -17 1.11 1.08 -0.03

SCHWAB (CHARLES) 291.2 +28 28.5 +13 0.48 0.48 --

SUNTRUST BANKS NA NA 119.2 +33 0.97 0.97 --

TRAVELERS 2,195.3 +73 297.9 +35 0.94 1.19 +0.25

UNION PACIFIC 1,981.0 +3 235.0 +22 1.19 1.14 -0.05

USAIR GROUP 1,802.5 +10 -116.5 NM -1.66 -2.29 -0.63

WELLS FARGO NA NA 190.0 +228 2.75 3.18 +0.43

TECHNOLOGY 44,004.8 +8 1,970.9 NM 0.76 0.65 -0.11

ADVANCED MICRO DEVICES 413.4 +3 41.6 -40 0.63 0.41 -0.22

APPLE COMPUTER 2,468.9 +23 40.0 -75 0.34 0.34 --

COMPAQ COMPUTER 2,202.0 +55 151.0 +70 1.49 1.74 0.25

CONNER PERIPHERALS 574.4 -7 8.5 0 -0.45 0.17 +0.62

GENENTECH 150.9 +15 18.7 +201 0.12 0.16 +0.04

HONEYWELL 1,620.1 -5 112.6 +251 0.84 0.85 +0.01

IBM 19,396.0 -1 382.0 NM 0.56 0.62 +0.06

INTEL 2,389.0 +29 594.0 +39 1.40 1.35 -0.05

LOTUS DEVELOPMENT 278.3 +13 29.6 +103 0.58 0.64 +0.06

MICROSOFT 1,129.0 +20 289.0 +22 0.94 0.95 +0.01

MOTOROLA 4,993.0 +35 340.0 +88 1.02 1.15 +0.13

RAYTHEON 2,517.0 +5 185.4 +9 1.35 1.37 +0.02

SUN MICROSYSTEMS 1,130.7 +8 43.8 +82 0.45 0.46 +0.01

UNISYS 2,101.1 -7 117.7 +16 0.46 0.53 +0.07

WESTINGHOUSE ELECTRIC 2,641.0 +3 -383.0 NM 0.29 -1.11 -1.40

UTILITIES & TELECOM 28,637.3 +4 148.2 -94 0.71 0.68 -0.03

AMERICAN ELECTRIC POWER 1,331.0 +3 159.3 -7 0.78 0.79 +0.01

AMERITECH 3,016.3 +6 398.2 +19 0.67 0.73 +0.06

BELL ATLANTIC 3,317.2 +1 337.2 +3 0.84 0.77 -0.07

BELLSOUTH 4,124.8 +5 -252.6 NM 0.89 0.98* +0.09

NYNEX 3,392.9 +2 -1242.0 NM 0.81 0.64* -0.17

PACIFIC GAS & ELECTRIC 2,707.2 +6 208.4 +1 0.60 0.45 -0.15

PACIFIC TELESIS GROUP 2,297.0 +1 -405.0 NM 0.74 0.62* -0.12

PECO ENERGY 941.8 -4 138.9 -10 0.56 0.58 +0.02

SOUTHERN 1,945.0 +4 155.8 -6 0.44 0.41 -0.03

SOUTHWESTERN BELL 2,898.1 +6 385.9 +10 0.68 0.64 -0.04

US WEST 2,666.0 +6 264.1 +1 0.74 0.62 -0.12

NA = not available NM = not meaningful First-quarter results Second-quarter results * EPS adjusted for special items

DATA: STANDARD & POOR'S COMPUSTAT, A DIVISION MF MCGRAW-HILL INC. EARNINGS ESTIMATE DATA PROVIDED BY I/B/E/S INC., NEW YORK, NY. I/B/E/S IS A REGISTERED TRADEMARK OF I/B/E/S INC.


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