A Grab Bag Quarter, But With Plenty Of Goodies

Corporate America's profits continued to rise in the third quarter--an average of 16%--but the improvement in performance was hardly universal. In BUSINESS WEEK's flash report of third-quarter results, the service and technology sectors posted strong gains, with profit hikes of 236% and 54% respectively. Among the standout companies was Citicorp, which kept earnings on the upswing with a spectacular 355% gain. In technology, computer maker Compaq was a standout, with a 116% earnings rise. Industrials, however, lagged. Price-cutting tore into the bottom lines of Philip Morris and Alcoa, for instance. Among the few bright spots in the category: Chrysler. The auto maker's hot new models propelled it to a 109% gain.

            Current qtr. sales      Qtr. profits      Est. EPS Reported
                          (Millions) % chg. (Millions) % chg. (8/19)     EPS   Diff.
      INDUSTRIALS          102,728.0  +2    6,343.2      -6    0.77     0.71  -0.06
      ABBOTT LABORATORIES    2,060.4  +5      316.2     +13    0.38     0.38   --
      ALCOA                  2,230.2  -6       28.8     -36    0.47     0.32  -0.15
      AVON PRODUCTS            957.1  +2       54.0       0    0.85     0.75  -0.10
      BRISTOL-MYERS SQUIBB   2,862.0  -3      608.0      +6    1.18     1.18   --
      CHAMPION INTERNATIONAL 1,245.3  -1      -53.5      NM   -0.30    -0.40  -0.10
      CHRYSLER               9,713.0  +5      423.0    +109    0.55     0.84  +0.29
      COOPER TIRE & RUBBER     326.1  +7       25.2     -17    0.39     0.30  -0.09
      CORNING                1,198.0  +9      -33.9      NM    0.63     0.49  -0.14
      DANA                   1,290.7  +9       33.3    +169    0.63     0.72  +0.09
      GENERAL DYNAMICS         900.0  +5       48.0     +66    1.49     1.52  +0.03
      GENERAL ELECTRIC      14,858.0  +4     1206.0     +21    1.41     1.41   --
      GEORGIA-PACIFIC        2,982.0  -3      -28.0      NM    0.08     0.08   --
      GOODRICH (B.F.)          500.8 -23       17.2    +537    0.66     0.59  -0.07
      HASBRO                   812.4  +5       75.5     +12    0.85     0.84  -0.01
      INTERNATIONAL PAPER    3,400.0  -2       48.0     -52    0.65     0.39  -0.26
      JOHNSON & JOHNSON      3,506.0  +1      454.0     +10    0.70     0.70   --
      KELLOGG                1,669.2   0      209.3      +5    0.87     0.90  +0.03
      LIZ CLAIBORNE            621.9  +1       38.3     -41    0.53     0.47  -0.06
      LOCKHEED               3,475.0 +40      117.0     +36    1.59     1.85  +0.26
      LORAL                    836.6 +13       46.7     +30    0.56     0.56   --
      MATTEL                   671.1 +11       83.9     +20    0.78     0.86  +0.08
      MERCK                  2,544.1  +3      705.7     +11    0.61     0.62  +0.01
      MONSANTO               1,849.0  -2       95.0    +107    0.60     0.78  +0.18
      PEPSICO                6,316.4 +14      458.2      +9    0.61     0.56  -0.05
      PFIZER                 1,872.5  +2     -214.2      NM    1.02     0.98  -0.04
      PHILIP MORRUIS        15,209.0  +1      971.0     -25    1.18     1.11  -0.07
      PPG INDUSTRIES         1,405.4  -2       24.8     -62    0.93     0.81  -0.12
      RUBBERMAID               515.2  +9       60.4     +15    0.37     0.37   --
      TENNECO                3,150.0  -1      116.0    +152    0.48     0.64  +0.16
      TEXACO                 8,479.0 -13      317.0      -2    0.88     1.13  +0.25
      U.S. SURGICAL            237.7 -19      -11.3      NM    0.00    -0.26  -0.26
      UPJOHN                   900.0  +1      -30.0      NM    0.78     0.86  +0.08
      WEYERHAEUSER           2,224.9  -5       66.6     -38    0.50     0.32  -0.18
      WHIRLPOOL              1,909.0   0       70.0     +27    0.93     0.96  +0.03
      SERVICES              36,912.1 +13    2,721.0     236    0.68     0.83  +0.15
      AMR                    4,199.0 +13      118.0      NM    1.37     1.33  -0.04
      CAPITAL CITIES/ABC     1,301.4  +7       78.3     +26    4.48     4.75  +0.27
      CAREMARK INTERNATIONAL   455.6 +23       21.2     +11    0.28     0.29  +0.01
      CBS                      752.6 +12      118.3    +177    3.22     4.19  +0.97
      CHASE MANHATTAN             NA  NA      267.0     +52    0.86     1.25  +0.39
      CHEMICAL WASTE MGMT.     541.6 +37     -359.9      NM    0.09     0.02  -0.07
      CITICORP                    NA  NA      528.0    +355    0.66     1.06  +0.40
      COSTCO WHOLESALE       2,364.8 +14       34.9     -11    0.31     0.29  -0.02
      FEDERAL EXPRESS        2,015.7  +8       32.9    +224    0.43     0.60  +0.17
      FIRST CHICAGO               NA  NA      284.1      NM    1.15     3.14  +1.99
      GANNETT                  876.5  +3       88.8     +12    0.61     0.61   --
      GRAINGER (W.W.)          698.8 +11       38.7      +4    0.75     0.75   --
      HCA                    1,253.0  -1       73.1      NM    0.41     0.41   --
      HOST MARRIOTT          2,028.0  +4       27.0      +4    0.27     0.21  -0.06
      McKESSON               3,028.3  +6       29.7      +16   0.63     0.69  +0.06
      MERRILL LYNCH          4,147.0 +22      359.7      +57   2.37     3.14  +0.77
      MORGAN (J.P.)               NA  NA      468.0      +46   1.56     2.30  +0.74
      MORRISON KNUDSEN         733.8 +26        9.3       NM   0.29     0.30  +0.01
      OFFICE DEPOT             659.9 +52       17.2      +76   0.15     0.18  +0.03
      PAINEWEBBER GROUP      1,043.3 +25       59.1      +14   0.82     1.12  +0.30
      PRIMERICA              2,015.7 +62      258.7      +57   0.99     0.96  -0.03
      ROADWAY SERVICES         983.9 +18       29.0      -12   0.83     0.74  -0.09
      SAFEWAY                3,558.9  +3       42.1     +111   0.29     0.34  +0.05
      SOUTHWEST AIRLINES       554.4 +24       43.9      +63   0.33     0.31  -0.02
      TIME WARNER            3,700.0  +6     -111.0       NM  -0.15    -0.30  -0.15
      WELLS FARGO                 NA  NA      165.0     +588   2.45     2.74   0.29
      TECHNOLOGY            24,635.1 +12    1,488.5      +54   0.60     0.58  -0.02
      ADVANCED MICRO DEVICES   418.4 +17       61.3      +25   0.68     0.61  -0.07
      APPLE COMPUTER         2,140.8 +21        2.7      -97  -0.04     0.02  +0.06
      COMPAQ COMPUTER        1,746.2 +64      106.8     +116   1.00     1.26  +0.26
      DIGITAL EQUIPMENT      3,014.9  -9     -103.2       NM  -0.11    -0.76  -0.65
      GENENTECH                165.4 +31       15.5     +102   0.10     0.13  +0.03
      HONEYWELL              1,452.3  -6       80.9      -53   0.61     0.60  -0.01
      INTEL                  2,239.8 +57      584.4     +143   1.33     1.33   --
      LOTUS DEVELOPMENT        240.1 +16       18.3      -39   0.34     0.41  +0.07
      MOTOROLA               4,408.0 +30      254.0     +100   0.77     0.88  +0.11
      MICROSOFT                983.0 +20      239.0      +14   0.77     0.79  +0.02
      POLAROID                 533.9  +4       24.9      -10   0.49     0.53  +0.04
      STORAGE TECHNOLOGY       304.0 -21     -108.7       NM  -0.18    -0.76  -0.58
      SUN MICROSYSTEMS         960.5 +12       16.6     +244   0.26     0.16  -0.10
      TEXAS INSTRUMENTS      2,161.0 +14      147.0     +153   1.08     1.54  +0.46
      UNISYS                 1,806.7 -13       84.1      +44   0.21     0.33  +0.12
      WESTINGHOUSE ELECTRIC  2,060.0  -9       65.0      -29   0.24     0.15  -0.09
      UTILITIES & TELECOM   21,914.3  +5    1,783.5      -16   0.77     0.65  -0.13
      AMERITECH              2,946.8  +5      363.0      +10   1.33     1.33   --
      BELL ATLANTIC          3,289.6  +3      386.7       -2   0.87     0.89  +0.02
      DOMINION RESOURCES     1,287.1 +19      199.0      +33   0.96     1.20  +0.24
      GTE                    4,943.0   0      558.0      +20   0.57     0.59  +0.02
      PACIFIC TELESIS        2,602.0  +4      323.0      +13   0.73     0.77  +0.04
      PUBLIC SERVICE ENT. GRP1,402.0 +12      192.2      +39   0.78     0.79  +0.01
      SPRINT                 2,867.6  +9      136.7       +9   0.49     0.39  -0.10
      US WEST                2,576.2  +5     -375.1       NM   0.72     0.70  -0.02
      NA=not available  NM=not meaningful   First-quarter results    Second-quarter 
      results     Fourth-quarter results
      DATA: STANDARD & POOR'S COMPUSTAT SERVICES, 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.