[Commerce Seal]

UNITED STATES BUREAU OF THE CENSUS

Economic and Statistics Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce



ADVANCE DATA FROM THE QUARTERLY FINANCIAL REPORT FOR MANUFACTURING, MINING, AND TRADE CORPORATIONS--FOURTH QUARTER 1996

April 1997-------------------Released 10 a.m. (EDT), Monday, April 7, 1997 (CB97-56)
Contact: Ronald H. Lee (301) 763-5435 or Frank Hartman (301) 763-7182.

Except where noted, all figures in text and tables are not seasonally adjusted.
Sales and after-tax profits for all manufacturing are presented in Table 1 on both a seasonally adjusted and an unadjusted basis. Seasonally adjusted historical data for this series, as well as for total durable and nondurable manufacturing, are presented in Table 3. Data for individual manufactring industries are not seasonally adjusted.


Manufacturers' After-Tax Profits Bar Graph

Manufacturing corporations` seasonally adjusted after-tax profits averaged 6.1 cents per dollar of sales for the fourth quarter of 1996, down 0.4 (+/-0.21) cents from the third quarter of 1996. The Commerce Department`s Bureau of the Census also reported that on an unadjusted basis, after-tax profits for the fourth quarter averaged 5.5 cents per dollar of sales, down 1.1 (+/-0.21) from the preceding quarter, but up 1.2 (+/-0.22) cents from the same quarter in 1995.

For the fourth quarter of 1996, manufacturers` seasonally adjusted after-tax profits were $58.5 billion, down $3.3 (+/-1.1) billion from last quarter. On an unadjusted basis, fourth quarter after-tax profits were $53.8 billion, down $8.8 (+/-1.1) billion from last quarter, but up $14.4 (+/-1.2) billion from the same quarter a year ago.

Unadjusted durable manufacturers` after-tax profits for the fourth quarter of 1996 were $25.0 billion, down $2.6 billion or 9.5 percent (+/-3.2%) when compared to the third quarter of 1996. Most underlying industry categories were down. Fabricated metals` decline of $1.6 (+/-0.4) billion, the largest of the group, was due primarily to lower operating profits. Also down were stone, clay, and, glass, instruments, lumber and wood, iron and steel, motor vehicles, and nonferrous metals. Machinery and electrical machinery reported increases.

When compared to the fourth quarter of 1995, unadjusted durables manufacturers` profits were up $6.3 billion or 33.9 percent (+/-5.1%), with the underlying industries showing mixed results. Machinery, fabricated metals, aircraft, furniture, and instruments reported increases. Machinery`s $3.4 (+/-0.5) billion increase was due chiefly to higher operating profits and the absence of significant nonrecurring charges reported last year. Motor vehicles, nonferrous metals, and iron and steel reported decreases in earnings.

Unadjusted nondurable manufacturers` after-tax profits for the fourth quarter of 1996 were $28.8 billion, down $6.2 billion or 17.6 percent (+/-1.7%) when compared to the third quarter of 1996. Most underlying industry categories were down. Residual of chemicals` $3.1 (+/-0.1) billion decrease was a result of a decline in operating profits and the inclusion this quarter of significant nonrecurring charges against income. The $1.7 (+/-0.2) billion drop in industrial chemicals was due chiefly to lower operating profits. Rubber`s $1.1 (+/-0.2) billion decline was primarily due to the inclusion this quarter of significant asset writedowns and restructuring charges against income. Paper and textiles also reported declines. Petroleum and printing reported increases in earnings.

When compared to the same quarter in 1995, unadjusted nondurable manufacturers` profits were up $8.1 billion or 39.2 percent (+/-5.3%). All of the underlying industry categories except paper and rubber reported upturns in after-tax profits. Improved operating margins were responsible for the increases reported in food, printing, textiles, and apparel categories. The $5.1 (+/-0.1) billion increase in petroleum was due primarily to improved operating profits and the absence of significant nonrecurring charges reported last year. The increases reported in drugs and industrial chemicals were due primarily to the absence of significant nonrecurring charges reported in the fourth quarter of 1995. Paper`s decrease of $1.8 (+/-0.2) billion was due chiefly to lower operating profits. The downturn in rubber resulted from substantial nonrecurring charges this quarter more than offsetting improvements in operating profits.

Manufacturers` seasonally adjusted sales for the fourth quarter of 1996 were $961.3 billion, up $12.4 billion or 1.3 percent (+/-1.0%) from last quarter. On an unadjusted basis, sales were $976.2 billion, up $31.2 billion or 3.3 percent (+/-1.0%) from last quarter and up $61.1 billion or 6.7 percent (+/-0.9%) from the fourth quarter of 1995.

Seasonally adjusted sales at the nondurable level were $465.3 billion, up $6.3 billion or 1.4 percent (+/-1.3%) from last quarter. Seasonally adjusted durable manufacturers` sales showed no statistically significant change from last quarter. Unadjusted sales at the nondurable manufacturing level were $470.1 billion, up $6.6 billion or 1.4 percent (+/-1.3%) from last quarter and up $27.7 billion or 6.3 percent (+/-1.2%) from the fourth quarter of 1995. Unadjusted durable manufacturers` sales were $506.0 billion, up $24.5 billion or 5.1 percent (+/-1.7%) when compared to the third quarter of 1996. On a same quarter a year ago basis, durable manufacturers` sales were up $33.3 billion or 7.1 percent (+/-1.6%).

Also included in this release are fourth quarter 1996 data for large mining and wholesale and retail trade corporations.

These advance data, based on quarterly financial reports from about 8,300 corporations, were released today from the Quarterly Financial Report for Manufacturing, Mining, and Trade Corporations--Fourth Quarter 1996 (QFR-96-4). The publication includes statements of income and retained earnings, balance sheets, and related financial and operating ratios. The aggregated data are classified by industry and asset size.

For information on publications and electronic files, see the end of this release.

EXPLANATORY NOTES:

This quarter`s publication contains data revised due to the reclassification of corporations by industry, and revisions that reflect respondents` corrections of submitted data subsequent to original publication.

The data presented in this report are estimated from a sample survey and therefore are subject to sampling variability as well as nonsampling variability such as response error, nonreporting, and coverage errors. Estimates of sampling variability are presented in the publication. A statement such as "up 2.5 (+/-0.15) cents," appearing in the text, indicates the range (+2.35 to +2.65 cents) in which the actual change is likely to have occurred. The range given for the change is a 90 percent confidence interval that accounts only for sampling variability. If the range had contained zero (0), it would have been uncertain whether there was an increase or decrease; that is, the change would not have been statistically significant. For any comparison cited without a confidence interval, the change is statistically significant. The quarterly publication includes more detailed explanations of confidence intervals and sampling variability, along with additional measures of sampling variability.

This report is available on the day of issue through the Department of Commerce`s on-line Economic Bulletin Board (N-8-1) (202-377-3870) and on the Internet at (http://www.census.gov/csd/www/qfr.html).


TABLE 1. PART A--QUARTERLY FINANCIAL REPORT FOR MANUFACTURING CORPORATIONS

                                                   Seasonally Adjusted
                                                 4Q        3Q        4Q    
                                               1996      1996(1)   1995(1) 
Rate of return (after taxes):
 Cents per dollar of sales ................     6.1       6.5       4.9
 Percent on equity (annual rate) ..........      NA        NA        NA    

                                                   (million dollars) 
Net Sales.................................. 961,338   948,905   901,250
 Income after income taxes ................  58,487    61,738    44,127
 Dividends paid (cash) ....................      NA        NA        NA

(1) Revised.

SOURCE: Quarterly Financial Report for Manufacturing, Mining, and Trade Corporations--QFR-96-4, April 1997.


TABLE 1. PART B--QUARTERLY FINANCIAL REPORT FOR MANUFACTURING CORPORATIONS

                                                       Unadjusted
                                                 4Q        3Q        4Q    
                                               1996      1996(1)   1995(1) 
Rate of return (after taxes):
 Cents per dollar of sales ................     5.5       6.6       4.3
 Percent on equity (annual rate) ..........    15.4      18.4      12.3    

                                                   (million dollars) 
Net Sales.................................. 976,171   945,017   915,111
 Income after income taxes ................  53,797    62,598    39,361
 Dividends paid (cash) ....................  24,407    23,243    20,948

(1) Revised.

SOURCE: Quarterly Financial Report for Manufacturing, Mining, and Trade Corporations--QFR-96-4, April 1997.


TABLE 2. PART A--SALES AND PROFITS OF CORPORATIONS ENGAGED IN MANUFACTURING, MINING, AND TRADE--NOT SEASONALLY ADJUSTED

                                                         Sales
                                                 4Q        3Q        4Q 
                Industry Group                 1996      1996(1)   1995(1)
                                                   (million dollars)
All manufacturing corporations ............  976,171   945,017   915,111

Nondurable goods ..........................  470,143   463,531   442,427
  Food and tobacco.........................  124,609   124,003   120,076
  Textiles ................................   17,459    17,852    16,695 
  Apparel(2) ..............................   19,075    18,458    17,446
  Paper ...................................   39,154    40,919    42,305
  Printing ................................   46,570    45,164    45,269
  Chemicals ...............................  103,157   104,464   101,046
   Industrial chemicals and synthetics(3)..   39,552    40,619    38,612
   Drugs(3) ...............................   29,310    28,129    28,381
   Residual of chemicals(3)................   34,295    35,715    34,052
  Petroleum ...............................   90,338    82,869    70,530
  Rubber ..................................   29,780    29,803    29,060

Durable goods .............................  506,029   481,486   472,684
  Stone, clay, and glass ..................   18,207    19,419    15,604
  Primary metals ..........................   36,432    36,251    36,439
   Iron and steel(3) ......................   17,510    17,642    16,279
   Nonferrous metals(3)....................   18,922    18,609    20,160
  Fabricated metals .......................   42,168    43,628    39,507
  Machinery ...............................  107,304    99,936   100,931
  Electrical machinery ....................  101,696    92,099    91,952
  Transportation Equipment ................  127,721   119,437   120,967
   Motor vehicles and equipment(3) ........   83,942    78,210    82,971
   Aircraft, guided missiles, and parts(3).   34,977    32,410    30,156
  Instruments .............................   29,973    29,428    30,511
  Other durable goods .....................   42,529    41,289    36,774
   Lumber and wood products(3) ............   18,451    19,515    15,108
   Furniture and fixtures(3) ..............   14,541    13,612    12,778
   Miscellaneous manufacturing(3) .........    9,536     8,162     8,888

Mining(4) .................................   15,197    13,729    12,276
Wholesale trade(4) ........................  270,040   256,634   253,421
Retail trade(4) ...........................  270,935   237,019   263,258

* Operating profits are profits before nonoperating income and expense items and income taxes.
(1) Revised.
(2)Includes leather industry (previously titled "Other Nondurables").
(3)Included in major industry above.
(4)Mining and trade data are of the quarterly results of companies
in those divisions with assets over $50 million; whereas, data for manufacturing corporations represent the quarterly results of companies with assets over $250,000.

SOURCE: Quarterly Financial Report for Manufacturing, Mining, and Trade Corporations--QFR-96-4, April 1997.


TABLE 2. PART B--SALES AND PROFITS OF CORPORATIONS ENGAGED IN MANUFACTURING, MINING, AND TRADE--NOT SEASONALLY ADJUSTED

                                                    Operating Profits*
                                                 4Q        3Q*       4Q*
                Industry Group                 1996      1996(1)   1995(1)
                                                   (million dollars)
All manufacturing corporations ............   66,693    72,760    58,109

Nondurable goods ..........................   37,643    41,608    33,919
  Food and tobacco.........................   11,335    10,833     9,247
  Textiles ................................    1,112     1,236       592
  Apparel(2) ..............................      988     1,304       658
  Paper ...................................    2,666     3,651     4,905
  Printing ................................    4,730     4,592     3,698
  Chemicals ...............................    8,991    11,740     9,687 
   Industrial chemicals and synthetics(3)..    2,799     4,387     2,929 
   Drugs(3) ...............................    3,037     3,349     3,224 
   Residual of chemicals(3)................    3,155     4,004     3,535 
  Petroleum ...............................    5,877     6,017     3,635 
  Rubber ..................................    1,945     2,236     1,497

Durable goods .............................   29,050    31,153    24,191 
  Stone, clay, and glass ..................    1,758     2,443     1,275
  Primary metals ..........................    1,874     2,065     2,267
   Iron and steel(3) ......................      795       918       814
   Nonferrous metals(3)....................    1,079     1,147     1,452
  Fabricated metals .......................    2,867     3,952     2,453
  Machinery ...............................    4,618     4,545     2,572
  Electrical machinery ....................    9,997     7,576     8,120
  Transportation Equipment ................    3,952     5,216     3,369
   Motor vehicles and equipment(3) ........    1,075     1,794     2,606
   Aircraft, guided missiles, and parts(3).    2,495     2,751       261
  Instruments .............................    1,708     2,147     2,232
  Other durable goods .....................    2,274     3,209     1,902
   Lumber and wood products(3) ............      752     1,603       607
   Furniture and fixtures(3) ..............    1,069     1,061       678
   Miscellaneous manufacturing(3) .........      453       544       616

Mining(4) .................................    2,282     1,866     1,148 
Wholesale trade(4) ........................    5,643     6,028     5,490
Retail trade(4) ...........................   13,321     9,386    13,300

* Operating profits are profits before nonoperating income and expense items and income taxes.
(1) Revised.
(2)Includes leather industry (previously titled "Other Nondurables").
(3)Included in major industry above.
(4)Mining and trade data are of the quarterly results of companies
in those divisions with assets over $50 million; whereas, data for manufacturing corporations represent the quarterly results of companies with assets over $250,000.

SOURCE: Quarterly Financial Report for Manufacturing, Mining, and Trade Corporations--QFR-96-4, April 1997.


TABLE 2. PART C--SALES AND PROFITS OF CORPORATIONS ENGAGED IN MANUFACTURING, MINING, AND TRADE--NOT SEASONALLY ADJUSTED

                                                    After-Tax Profits
                                                 4Q        3Q        4Q 
                Industry Group                 1996      1996(1)   1995(1)
                                                   (million dollars)
All manufacturing corporations ............   53,797    62,598    39,361

Nondurable goods ..........................   28,803    34,976    20,696
  Food and tobacco ........................    7,316     7,143     5,675
  Textiles ................................      376       657       (32)
  Apparel(2) ..............................      705       817       466
  Paper ...................................      917     1,752     2,711
  Printing ................................    3,188     2,934     2,524
  Chemicals ...............................    8,965    13,650     6,631
   Industrial chemicals and synthetics(3)..    1,747     3,469       833
   Drugs(3) ...............................    4,563     4,466     3,313
   Residual of chemicals(3)................    2,655     5,715     2,484
  Petroleum ...............................    6,976     6,611     1,872
  Rubber ..................................      361     1,411       850
                                            
Durable goods .............................   24,994    27,622    18,665
  Stone, clay, and glass ..................      688     1,513       641
  Primary metals ..........................      808     1,402     1,615
   Iron and steel(3) ......................      120       584       506
   Nonferrous metals(3) ...................      688       818     1,109
  Fabricated metals .......................    1,572     3,147       236
  Machinery ...............................    6,586     5,809     3,188
  Electrical machinery ....................    7,622     6,375     7,350
  Transportation equipment ................    5,010     5,519     4,515
   Motor vehicles and equipment(3) ........    3,011     3,322     3,542
   Aircraft, guided missiles, and parts(3).    1,891     1,806       574
  Instruments .............................    1,192     1,865       524
  Other durable goods .....................    1,516     1,992       598
   Lumber and wood products(3) ............      404       994       386
   Furniture and fixtures(3) ..............      710       619      (321)
   Miscellaneous manufacturing(3) .........      402       379       533
                                          
Mining(4) .................................    1,480     1,905       411  
Wholesale trade(4) ........................    3,939     3,475     3,115
Retail trade(4) ...........................    6,460     4,832     4,440
 
* Operating profits are profits before nonoperating income and expense items and income taxes.
(1) Revised.
(2)Includes leather industry (previously titled "Other Nondurables").
(3)Included in major industry above.
(4)Mining and trade data are of the quarterly results of companies
in those divisions with assets over $50 million; whereas, data for manufacturing corporations represent the quarterly results of companies with assets over $250,000.

SOURCE: Quarterly Financial Report for Manufacturing, Mining, and Trade Corporations--QFR-96-4, April 1997.


TABLE 3. PART A--QUARTERLY FINANCIAL REPORT FOR MANUFACTURING CORPORATIONS--SEASONALLY ADJUSTED

                                                   Net Sales (1)
         Industry Group and Year         Q1       Q2       Q3       Q4
                                               (million dollars)
All manufacturing:
    1991 ............................  678,318  684,251  698,419  699,220
    1992 ............................  704,485  718,121  729,611  737,280
    1993 ............................  743,816  750,910  753,376  766,771
    1994 ............................  784,807  802,139  825,511  842,440
    1995 ............................  871,743  870,628  884,492  901,250
    1996 ............................  913,949  928,584  948,905  961,338
All nondurable manufacturing:
    1991 ............................  363,418  360,504  365,804  366,858
    1992 ............................  367,327  374,318  378,380  380,131
    1993 ............................  381,930  382,434  379,331  381,566
    1994 ............................  387,342  394,304  405,590  410,795
    1995 ............................  425,512  426,675  430,865  437,648
    1996 ............................  443,008  452,101  459,008  465,318
All durable manufacturing:
    1991 ............................  314,900  323,747  332,615  332,362
    1992 ............................  337,158  343,803  351,231  357,149
    1993 ............................  361,886  368,476  374,045  385,205
    1994.............................  397,465  407,835  419,921  431,645
    1995 ............................  446,231  443,953  453,627  463,602
    1996 ............................  470,941  476,483  489,897  496,020
 
(1) Revised.

SOURCE: Quarterly Financial Report for Manufacturing, Mining, and Trade Corporations--QFR-96-4, April 1997.


TABLE 3. PART B--QUARTERLY FINANCIAL REPORT FOR MANUFACTURING CORPORATIONS--SEASONALLY ADJUSTED

                                               After-Tax Profits (1)
         Industry Group and Year         Q1       Q2       Q3       Q4
                                               (million dollars)
All manufacturing:
    1991 ............................   19,888   17,927   15,991   13,773   
    1992 ............................ (42,339)   24,368   26,272   14,958
    1993 ............................   13,032   19,305   23,835   27,714
    1994 ............................   37,333   41,016   46,046   52,228
    1995 ............................   54,322   51,677   50,014   44,127
    1996 ............................   53,146   57,902   61,738   58,487
All nondurable manufacturing:
    1991 ............................   16,886   14,771   15,026   13,410
    1992 ............................  (3,858)   18,146   17,356   15,196
    1993 ............................   13,101   15,148   12,096   15,841
    1994 ............................   19,651   19,546   23,214   26,486
    1995 ............................   27,011   27,702   28,650   21,885
    1996 ............................   29,572   32,111   33,580   29,885
All durable manufacturing:
    1991 ............................    3,002    3,156      965      363
    1992 ............................ (38,481)    6,222    8,916    (238)
    1993 ............................     (69)    4,157   11,739   11,873
    1994 ............................   17,682   21,470   22,832   25,742
    1995 ............................   27,311   23,975   21,364   22,242
    1996 ............................   23,574   25,791   28,158   28,602

(1) Revised.

SOURCE: Quarterly Financial Report for Manufacturing, Mining, and Trade Corporations--QFR-96-4, April 1997.


TABLE 4. INCOME STATEMENT FOR RETAIL TRADE CORPORATIONS WITH ASSETS OF $50 MILLION AND OVER

                                                    4Q       3Q       4Q                              
                     Item                         1996     1996(1)  1995(1)
                                                      (million dollars)
Net sales, receipts, and operating revenues .. 270,935   237,019   263,258
Less: Depreciation, depletion and
        amortization .........................   5,044     5,015     4,879
Less: All other operating costs and expenses . 252,571   222,618   245,079

  Income (or loss) from operations ...........  13,321     9,386    13,300

Net nonoperating income (expense) ............ (2,895)   (1,830)   (5,241)

  Income (or loss) before income taxes .......  10,425     7,556     8,059

Less: Provision for current and deferred
        domestic income taxes ................   3,965     2,724     3,619

  Income (or loss) after income taxes ........   6,460     4,832     4,440

Cash dividends charged to retained earnings      
  in current quarter .........................   1,320     1,161     1,078

  Net income retained in business ............   5,140     3,672     3,362

Retained earnings at beginning of quarter .... 103,679   101,060    97,036
Other direct credits (or charges) to retained
  earnings (net) ............................. (1,543)     (645)    (1,536)

  Retained earnings at end of quarter ........ 107,276   104,087    98,863

(1) Revised.

SOURCE: Quarterly Financial Report for Manufacturing, Mining, and Trade Corporations--QFR-96-4, April 1997.


TABLE 5. INCOME STATEMENT IN RATIO FORMAT FOR RETAIL TRADE CORPORATIONS WITH ASSETS OF $50 MILLION AND OVER

                                                    4Q       3Q       4Q 
                     Item                         1996     1996(1)  1995(1)
                                                         (cents)
Net sales, receipts, and operating revenues ..   100.0     100.0     100.0
Less: Depreciation, depletion, and 
  amortization ...............................     1.9       2.1       1.9
Less: All other operating costs and expenses .    93.2      93.9      93.1

  Income (or loss) from operations ...........     4.9       4.0       5.1

Net nonoperating income (expense) ............   (1.1)     (0.8)     (2.0)

  Income (or loss) before income taxes .......     3.8       3.2       3.1 

Less: Provision for current and deferred
  domestic income taxes ......................     1.5       1.1       1.4
                                                                   
  Income (or loss) after income taxes ........     2.4       2.0       1.7 

(1) Revised.

SOURCE: Quarterly Financial Report for Manufacturing, Mining, and Trade Corporations--QFR-96-4, April 1997.


TABLE 6. OPERATING RATIOS FOR RETAIL TRADE CORPORATIONS WITH ASSETS OF $50 MILLION AND OVER

                                                    4Q       3Q       4Q 
                        Item                      1996     1996(1)  1995(1)
                                                        (percent)
Annual rate of profit on stockholders` equity
 at end of period:
    Before income taxes ......................   25.38     18.74     20.95
    After income taxes .......................   15.73     11.98     11.54

Annual rate of profit on total assets:
    Before income taxes ......................    8.54      6.16      7.02
    After income taxes .......................    5.29      3.94      3.87

(1) Revised.

SOURCE: Quarterly Financial Report for Manufacturing, Mining, and Trade Corporations--QFR-96-4, April 1997.


Schedule of Advance Data Release Dates--1997

Quarter      Manufacturing, Mining, and Wholesale Trade   Retail Trade

First 1997                     June 16, 1997             July 16, 1997
Second 1997                    September 15, 1997        October 15, 1997
Third 1997                     December 15, 1997        


The Quarterly Financial Report for Manufacturing, Mining and Trade Corporations publication series is offered for sale by the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C. 20402. Publications are available from GPO two weeks from the date of this release and phone orders are taken at (202) 512-1800 (see "Subscription order form"). The annual subscription rate is $33; single copy $10. [Remittances from foreign countries must be by international money order or by draft on a U.S. bank, $41.25 a year; single copy $12.50.]

Files are also available on 3.5 inch flexible diskettes from Customer Services (diskettes), Administrative and Customer Services Division, Bureau of the Census, Washington, D.C. 20233 (301)763-INFO(4636). The annual subscription cost is $84; $66 for the first diskette and $6 for each additional diskette.

Additional details regarding this program may be directed to Ronald Lee on (301) 763-5435 or Frank Hartman on (301) 763-7182.

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