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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