• U.S.


2 minute read

For the past year Consolidated Edison Co. of New York, Inc. has run cartoon advertising headlined “It’s Only a Penny,” showing that one cent’s worth of electricity will toast 26 slices of bread. Last week the $1,300,000,000 utility issued its third-quarter earnings report. Its net income of $3,506,027 was enough to toast 156 slices of bread for the holder of each share of its common stock—precisely 26 slices more than for the same period last year.

Consolidated Edison was more fortunate than most businesses. Vast majority of third-quarter earnings, though somewhat better than second-quarter figures, were far below last year’s July 1-Oct. 1profits. That this difference was likely to narrow in future reports appeared throughout U. S. industry last week.

Utilities. Power production last week hit a 1938 peak, 1.3% below a year ago.

1938 1937

Commonwealth & Southern. . $2,716,349 $3,052,275

Electric Bond & Share…. 2,339,936 2,571,601

Steel production this week was 61% of capacity (41% year ago), up 112% since July 1.

Bethlehem Steel $446,866 $9,249,560

U.S. Steel d5,847,791 30,617,638


Automobile manufacturers, among the chief victims of Depression II, last week were so agog over good omens for the Auto Show (see p. 71) that sour earnings fazed them not a whit.

Chrysler $962,278 $12,967,602

General Motors 5,397,804 44,481,237

Chemicals, hard hit by Depression II, although they earned profits, are now recovering rapidly.

Du Pont $12,350,713 $22,963,289

Union Carbide & Carbon. . 5,451,980 10,013,034

Electrical Equipment. Third-quarter earnings were generally less than the second quarter’s, considerably under those a year ago.

General Electric $4,371,300 $13,370,327

Westinghouse Electric 1,712,220 5,394,748

Oil. Huge inventories of refined products last month forced widespread crude oil price cuts.

Shell Union $3,534,056 $7,503,291

Tide Water Associated 2,424,200 4,474,735

Building has put up the toughest resistance to Depression II. Last week new construction was 216% ahead of last year.

Johns-Manville $882,366 $1,780,857

U. S. Gypsum 1,607,725 1,456,307

Food. Since retail prices have held up fairly well, low farm prices have fostered profits.

General Foods $4,036,830 $2,922,351

Standard Brands 1,887,747 2,335,726

Aircraft rode out Depression II on the crest of an armament boom. Earnings:

Douglas $728,815 $326,973

Martin 768,393 492,532

United Aircraft 1,142,694 1,032,643

Railroads. Car loadings last week were near their 1938 high, 20% above July 2 but still 8% below a year ago. Nine nonths’ earnings:

Chesapeake & Ohio $12,558,894 $24,919,653

N. Y. Central d21,433,123 7,235,793

Southern d3,332,890 1,196,546


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