EARNINGS: Extra! Extra!

Corporations yelled out their third-quarter reports last week as excitedly as newsboys handing out extras—which was just what many of them were doing. More than 100 in such varied industries as oil, machinery, mining, steel, retail sales, chemicals, distilling—and even playing cards—declared extra dividends in cash or stock. Of some 200 companies reporting for the period ending Sept. 30, only six showed deficits, though some 60 others were down from the same period last year. For most, the combination of higher prices and high production made the quarter the most profitable in corporate history.

Comeback In Rails. The oil industry,...

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