Business: Those Large Oil Profits

Whatever the merits of the President's windfall tax proposal, his jabs at the "already large profits" of the petroleum industry were designed to appeal to the public's deep suspicions that oil earnings are particularly bloated. The grumbling is sure to increase over the next few weeks as the companies begin announcing their first-quarter earnings. They will probably show increases on the order of 20% to 40% or more over the first quarter of 1978. Reason: oil inventories acquired months ago are becoming more valuable as OPEC continues to push up prices.

The numbers...

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