Manufacturers' after-tax profits fell in 4th quarter

April 06, 1999|By BLOOMBERG NEWS

WASHINGTON -- Profits after taxes at major U.S. manufacturers fell during the fourth quarter of 1998 to the lowest level in three years, the Commerce Department said yesterday. Retailers' profits were higher.

After-tax profits at major manufacturers averaged 5.1 cents per dollar of sales during the fourth quarter. That's down from the 6.2 cents in the third quarter and 6 cents in the fourth quarter of 1997.

Last year's fourth-quarter average was the lowest since an average of 4.9 cents per dollar of sales for the fourth quarter of 1995, the government said. Overall, manufacturers' after-tax profits totaled $50.1 billion during the fourth quarter, compared with the third quarter's $60.6 billion. After-tax profits totaled $59.3 billion in the fourth quarter of 1997.

The Commerce Department also said after-tax profits at major retailers with assets of $50 million or more averaged 3 cents per dollar of sales during the fourth quarter of last year. That's up from the third quarter's 1.9 cents and matched a 3-cent average during the fourth quarter of 1997.

Retailers' after-tax profits totaled $9.3 billion during the fourth quarter, compared with the third quarter's $5.3 billion. After-tax profits totaled $8.8 billion in the fourth quarter of 1997.

Pub Date: 4/06/99

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