News: Analysis & Commentary: CORPORATE PROFITS
A SURPRISINGLY SPUNKY SECOND QUARTER
The gloom-and-doom crowd was wrong. Net income increased 17%, and sales rose 12% in BUSINESS WEEK's flash survey of second-quarter profits at 83 companies. It was a surprisingly robust performance, despite disappointing earnings at Ford, down 8%, and Chrysler, down 86%. The technology sector came in above expectations, even with soft-ish reports from Microsoft and Intel, managing a 54% increase overall (below). Add to that strong results from papermakers Champion International, Georgia-Pacif ic, and International Paper, plus big increases at industrials Alcoa (up 383%) and USX (up 45%). The result: a quarter with some kick.