Corporations: How the 50 Fared

CORPORATIONS It used to be that a corporation's size, like a ship's, was a rough measure of its power and ability to weather adversity. In today's inclement business climate, that is no longer true. The companies on FORTUNE'S 500 list, published this week, increased their net profits only an average 2% during 1969, compared with 3.1% for all industrial corporations. The largest companies seemed to fare the worst. Partly because many are in heavy industries that were particularly buffeted last year—aircraft, autos, oil—25 of the top 50 companies, and seven of the top ten, reported a profit decline.

There were eleven...

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