EARNINGS: Less from More

The biggest manufacturing corporation in the U.S. last week reported the biggest first-quarter sales in its history. General Motors' sales of $1,959,879,617 for the first quarter of 1951 were about 13% higher than the first three months of last year. But taxes had climbed so much faster that net income dropped by about 33% —to $141 million. (General Motors stock dropped 2§ in two days, helped drive down the entire market.)

Other companies had better news for stockholders last week: ¶ Packard Motor Car Co. cashed in on its sleek 1951 models, earned $2,499,973 in the first quarter, compared...