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The Good, The Bad, And The Unknown


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THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE UNKNOWN

Roiling, roiling, roiling. With interest rates on the rise and inflation lurking, the stock market has been jittery. Add another item for traders to worry about: the prospect that corporate earnings may not be as strong as forecasters had predicted. Measured by BUSINESS WEEK'S flash report of first-quarter profits, however, most of the news should be good. Average earnings were up 21%, on a 9% jump in sales. Early results don't include the major oil companies, Ford, GM, and IBM. Once they check in, profits will shrink somewhat. Then the market may really need a tranquilizer.TABLE: Current qtr. sales Qtr. profits Est. EPS Reported

(Millions) % chg. (Millions) % chg. (2/17) EPS Diff.

INDUSTRIALS 92,091.3 +8 6,842.5 +10 0.81 0.81 --

ABBOTT LABORATORIES 2,215.2 +8 366.2 +6 0.46 0.45 -0.01

ALCOA 2,221.6 +5 -40.4 NM 0.00 0.04* +0.04

BOISE CASCADE 1,014.1 +3 -37.6 NM -0.81 -1.35 -0.54

BRISTOL-MYERS SQUIBB 2,833.9 +3 581.0 +1 1.14 1.14 --

CATERPILLAR 3,286.0 +22 192.0 +465 0.92 1.89 +0.97

CHAMPION

INTERNATIONAL 1,226.1 -3 -31.0 NM -0.27 -0.41 -0.14

CHRYSLER 13,223.0 +21 938.0 +77 2.19 2.55 +0.36

COCA-COLA 3,352.0 +10 521.0 +15 0.41 0.40 -0.01

CORNING 948.9 +15 58.0 +16 0.27 0.28 +0.01

CPC INTERNATIONAL 1,737.7 +6 98.1 +9 0.63 0.63 --

GENERAL ELECTRIC 14,182.0 +10 1,068.0 -2 1.49 1.50* +0.01

GOODRICH (B. F.) 502.4 +33 4.9 NM NA 0.11 NA

HASBRO 489.1 0 26.7 +1 0.32 0.30 -0.02

IBP 2,819.4 +3 20.9 +69 0.44 0.43 -0.01

INLAND STEEL 1,075.7 +14 9.2 NM 0.20 0.03 -0.17

INTERNATIONAL PAPER 3,400.0 +1 72.0 +13 0.79 0.58 -0.21

LILLY (ELI) 1,637.0 +5 330.7 -11 1.25 1.14 -0.11

LOCKHEED 3,025.0 +21 92.0 +21 1.40 1.45 +0.05

McDONNELL DOUGLAS 2,953.0 -18 134.0 -25 2.70 3.41 +0.71

MERCK 3,514.3 +48 675.2 +10 0.56 0.54 -0.02

PHILIP MORRIS 12,727.0 +1 1,171.0 -4 1.24 1.34 +0.10

REEBOK INTERNATIONAL 857.4 +4 65.8 -3 0.80 0.77 -0.03

REYNOLDS METALS 1,261.1 +2 -21.1 NM -0.41 -0.46 -0.05

RUBBERMAID 491.6 +2 50.6 +2 0.35 0.32 -0.03

UNION CARBIDE 1,126.0 -6 63.0 +50 0.30 0.39 +0.09

UPJOHN 916.0 0 134.8 -11 0.71 0.76 +0.05

UNITED TECHNOLOGIES 4,838.0 -1 106.0 +66 0.83 0.73 -0.10

WEYERHAEUSER 2,385.8 +2 126.5 -29 0.60 0.62 +0.02

WHIRLPOOL 1,832.0 +4 67.0 +272 0.93 0.90 -0.03

SERVICES 34,592.7 +12 4,556.8 +42 0.74 0.86 +0.12

AMR 3,808.0 0 -7 NM -0.02 -0.30 -0.28

BANK OF NEW YORK NA NA 178.0 +33 1.55 1.73* +0.18

BANKAMERICA NA NA 513.0 +6 1.26 1.27 +0.01

BLOCKBUSTER

ENTERTAINMENT 883.0 +46 72.6 +62 0.28 0.29 +0.01

CBS 1,246.9 +42 69.3 +28 3.28 4.23 +0.95

CHASE MANHATTAN NA NA 364.0 NM 1.14 1.80 +0.66

CHEMICAL BANKING NA NA 319.0 -6 1.20 1.13 -0.07

CITICORP NA NA 609.0 +65 1.12 1.24 +0.12

CONSOLIDATED

FREIGHTWAYS 1,103.2 +11 15.3 +85 0.21 0.28 +0.07

CONTINENTAL BANK NA NA 63.0 +3 0.88 1.02 +0.14

DOW JONES 499.2 +8 43.2 +40 0.37 0.43 +0.06

FEDERAL HOME

LOAN MORTGAGE 1,574.0 +35 277.0 +37 1.14 1.44 +0.30

FOOD LION 1,804.0 +9 31.2 +42 0.07 0.06 -0.01

HILTON HOTELS 338.8 +2 22.7 -2 0.52 0.47 -0.05

HOME SHOPPING NETWORK 274.2 +15 6.7 NM 0.20 0.07 -0.13

HUMANA 853.0 +9 32.0 +78 0.18 0.20 +0.02

ITT 5,548.0 +3 319 +82 1.53 1.77 +0.24

McGRAW-HILL 559.8 +20 15.0 -2 0.21 0.30 +0.09

MERRILL LYNCH 4,738.8 +20 371.8 +9 1.41 1.68 +0.27

MORGAN (J. P.) NA NA 345.0 -20 1.84 1.69 -0.15

NATIONSBANK NA NA 417.0 +48 1.39 1.52 +0.13

NORWEST NA NA 190.5 +20 0.58 0.59 +0.01

OFFICE DEPOT 994.8 +71 22.9 +62 0.21 0.23 +0.02

PAINEWEBBER GROUP 1,082.4 +16 55.6 -21 1.10 0.71 -0.39

ROADWAY SERVICES 1,023.7 +20 15.9 -21 0.49 0.40 -0.09

SCHWAB (CHARLES) 323.1 +20 38.2 +8 0.56 0.65 +0.09

TIME WARNER 3,485.0 +6 -51.0 NM -0.19 -0.14 +0.05

TRIBUNE 482.8 +11 40.1 +35 0.48 0.53 +0.05

USAIR 1,685.9 -2 -196.7 NM -1.22 -3.64 -2.42

WELLS FARGO NA NA 202.0 +87 3.16 3.41 +0.25

WMX TECHNOLOGIES 2,284.1 +7 162.6 -18 0.36 0.34 -0.02

TECHNOLOGY 21,531.9 +16 1,640.3 +21 0.82 0.87 +0.05

ADVANCED MICRO

DEVICES 513.1 +26 84.6 +38 0.55 0.85 +0.30

COMPAQ COMPUTER 2,278.0 +41 213.0 +109 1.69 2.40 +0.71

CONNER PERIPHERALS 564.0 +1 23.8 NM 0.25 0.46 +0.21

DIGITAL

EQUIPMENT******* 3,258.8 -6 -183.3 NM -0.40 -1.34 -0.94

GENENTECH 189.0 +33 38.9 +171 0.19 0.33 +0.14

INTEL 2,660.0 +31 617.0 +13 1.34 1.40 +0.06

MICROSOFT******* 1,244.0 +30 256.0 +5 1.01 0.84 -0.17

MOTOROLA 4,693.0 +29 298.0 +46 0.51 0.54 +0.03

POLAROID 462.6 -1 1.4 NM 0.13 0.03 -0.10

RAYTHEON 2,314.0 +5 169.3 +7 1.30 1.25 -0.05

SUN MICROSYSTEMS 1,196.0 +5 57.5 +11 0.64 0.60 -0.04

TRW 2,159.4 +6 64.1 +25 0.92 0.97 +0.05

UTILITIES & TELECOM 41,819.6 +6 3,523.1 +19 0.70 0.66 -0.04

AMERITECH 2,990.4 +7 43.8 -85 0.66 0.69* +0.03

AT&T 16,560.0 +5 1,094.0 +17 0.78 0.80 +0.02

BELL ATLANTIC 3,373.2 +7 395.9 +6 0.88 0.91 +0.03

COMSAT 169.5 +2 18.3 0 0.48 0.45 -0.03

DOMINION RESOURCES 1,167.0 +6 151.4 +14 0.75 0.84 +0.09

ENRON 2,449.7 +32 173.1 +18 0.71 0.70 -0.01

GTE 4,746.0 -2 504.0 +10 0.53 0.52 -0.01

OHIO EDISON 601.2 +1 69.3 +1 0.48 0.44 -0.04

PACIFIC TELESIS 2,294.0 0 282.0 NM 0.72 0.67 -0.05

PUBLIC SERVICE

ENT. GROUP 1,794.4 +13 239.9 +7 0.91 0.94 +0.03

SPRINT 3,033.2 +12 227.4 NM 0.55 0.65 +0.10

US WEST 2,641.0 +5 324.0 +9 0.75 0.73 -0.02

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

DATA: STANDARD & POOR'S COMPUSTAT, A DIVISION OF 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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