Business: Earnings: Not All Bad

As fourth-quarter and year-end earnings were reported last week, the news was not all bad, and in some industries it was surprisingly bright.

Despite the problems of surplus, the oil companies did well. Texaco's indicated fourth-quarter profits rose to $1.73 per share from $1.44, giving it a year-end profit record of $6.34 per share v. $5.85 a year earlier. Said Chairman Augustus C. Long: "New records were established in every phase of our operations." This year will be even better, he thinks, with U.S. demand improving 2% to 3% and overseas demand by 7%. Socony Mobil piled up indicated earnings of 96¢...

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