Tech Sets A Fast Pace
Strong earnings growth was expected, and so far, that's what we've got. The 116 companies in BUSINESS WEEK's flash report on second-quarter profits raced to a 21% gain, as revenues climbed 9%. Tech companies did much of the heavy lifting this quarter, including IBM (+65%), Microsoft (+62%), and Intel (+49%). Also helping were sizzling gains at GM (+467%), Time Warner (+487%), and Texas Instruments (+656%). On the down side: Ameritech (-52%), Coca-Cola (-21%), and Caterpillar (-37%). But the trend is double-digit growth in profits, and that will likely remain true even after more companies report.