EARNINGS: Past the Billion Mark

When General Motors was incorporated in 1916, the net profits of all 80,000 U.S. manufacturing corporations were $4,157,-626,000. Last week General Motors alone announced that by year's end it would earn, after taxes, a profit exceeding $1 billion. Never before in history has one corporation made so much in so short a time. In fact, after just three-quarters of 1955, G.M.'s profits amounted to a staggering $912,887,537, or more than it had ever earned in the whole of its best previous year (1950: $834 million).

Many other records fell last week as more third-quarter earnings figures were published. Standard Oil...

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