Investment: Many Happy Returns

The world's biggest manufacturer has more owners than Baltimore or Houston has people, and last week these 1,150,000 investors had good reason to rejoice. General Motors Corp., reporting record nine-month profits of $1.36 billion on alltime sales of $13 billion, voted a year-end extra dividend of $2 a share. With higher dividends for the first three quarters, that will raise G.M.'s big payoff from $4 a share last year to $4.45 this year, and give some 250,000 shareholders enough for a down payment on a new Chevy or even a '65 Cadillac. While G.M.'s calculated munificence will reverberate throughout...

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