SECURITIES: Obsolete Operation

Fortnight ago young Robert Ellsworth Gross, president of Lockheed Aircraft Corp., published an unaudited preview of his 1939 annual report: sales, $35,303,444, up 244% from 1938; net earnings in excess of $3,140,000 ($4.05 a share), up 610%; unfilled orders over $40,000,000 (they jumped to $70,000,000 last week). Bob Gross's preview was incidentally a potent sales talk for an operation that took place last week. It was a type of operation that has threatened to become obsolete: a public offering of common stock to obtain new capital.

Last week the sales talk produced sensational results. A Manhattan syndicate, offering 225,000 shares of...

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