Business: Profitless Prosperity

Last week, as 1940 corporation earnings reports came out, Wall Street's judgment proved correct on one score: Profits were not keeping pace with production. To steelmakers and railroads, whose heavy capitalizations give them an advantage under the excess-profits tax, 1940 was a banner year (TIME, Feb. 10). But many a consumer industry found it a year of record sales, record costs, record taxes, and only moderate profits:

F. W. Woolworth Co., with its highest sales volume on record ($335,474,820), reported its lowest net income ($24,104,815) since dismal 1932. Besides a $2,400,000 tax increase, the company suffered a $3,317,900 decline in earnings from...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!