EARNINGS: Cheers---& Some Groans

In the outpouring of third-quarter earnings reports last week, most companies found plenty to cheer about. Even where sales were off, the drop was so heavily cushioned by the cut in taxes this year, that in most cases net profits held up well. Of the 600-odd corporations that had reported by last week, almost half racked up substantial gains over the third quarter of prosperous 1953. As a result, many a corporation increased its dividends or handed out extras.

The highest flyers were the airlines and aircraft manufacturers (see below)....

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