Communications: Wringing Bell

Though it is the world's biggest corporation, and earned $1.3 billion in the first nine months of 1965, the American Telephone & Telegraph Co. is not exceptionally profitable. Its return of only 8% on invested capital ranks it 43rd among the 50 largest utilities. By contrast, General Motors, which last week announced nine-month profits of $1.54 billion, the highest of any company ever, collects 22.8% on its capital. Reason for A.T. & T.'s modest return: as the nation's No. 1 private monopoly, it is sternly regulated and frequently investigated by Federal and state...

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