AVIATION: Near Miss

The stockholders of American Airlines, Inc., largest U.S. domestic airline, are a patient lot. For the last three years their company has been in the red, has paid dividends only six times in 16 years. Last week the stockholders finally got some good news. In 1949, thanks to higher mail pay, a 42% gain in freight traffic and a 15% rise in passenger traffic, American had netted the biggest profit in its history —$6.5 million (v. a 1948 loss of $2.8 million). That was equal to 79¢ a share.

But there would be no dividend just yet, even though American...

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