Earnings Slump

Feeling the recession's sting

The severity of the current recession was written in red across scores of first-quarter corporate earnings reports last week. Beset by sagging sales and oppressive interest rates, companies in a broad array of industries, from autos and airlines to steel and even oil, posted sharp profit declines or outright losses.

With auto production at its lowest level in 30 years. Detroit is still mired in a depression. Ford revealed a January through March loss of $355 million, which was encouraging only when compared with a $440 million deficit during the same period last year. American Motors reported a $51...

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