General Motors Corp. today reported record worldwide sales of $13.6 billion for the first three months of 1977, handily topping the $11.4 billion recorded in the same quarter last year.
Profits for the giant auto maker were $903 million, or $3.14 per share, a new high for the first quarter, compared to $800 million and $2.78 per share for the same period last year.
A statement released on behalf of GM chairman Thomas A. Murphy and president Elliott M. Estes said the company continues to benefit from the "well balanced and broadly basedeconomic recovery now happening."
The GM executives, in a four-page statement, also said production of 1978 model cars, due to begin in three months, will be endangered unless Congress acts soon to amend emission limits for thos cars.
The cold and energy problems earlier this year cost the company production of 150,000 cars and trucks, they said, but GM expects to recover half of that output before the model year ends.
Chrysler Corp. reported record first quarter profits Tuesday of $75.4 million on sales of over $4 billion.
Ford Motor Co. is expected to report profits of about $400 million today on international sales of $8.8 billion for the quarter. Even beleagured AMerican Motors Corp. has said it is now operating in the black.
National Steel Corp., the nation's no. 3 steel producer, followed other major steel companies in announcing sharply lower earnings for the first quarter.
National earned $5.02 million, or 26 cents a share compared with 1976 first-quarter earnings of $13.54 million, or 72 cents a share a year earlier. Sales were $686.82 million a year ago.
As in the cases of U.S. Steel Corp. and Bethlehem Steel Corp., National attributed the sharply lower earnings to adverse effects of the weather and resulting fuel shortages.
National chairman George A. Stinson said "drastic curtailments of natural gas to our Giants forced the shutdown of production units and the purchase of expensive alternate fuels, both of which added substantially to our costs."
"With these problems now behind us," he said, "we believe the balance of 1977 will be a good yer for National Steel."
However, Stinson added: "At the same time, we must deal with mounting inflationary costs at all levels . . . (and) the recently negotiated labor settlement." He said "these combined cost increases cannot be fully recovered by current prices or increases in productivity."
Texton Inc., the industrial conglomerate, expects second-quarter profits to rise at least 9 per cent from the $30.9 million (82 cents a share) earned in the second quarter of 1976. Chairman G. William Miller told shareholders yesterday.
The previous record was set last year, when Textron reported ernings to $12 million or $3.23 a share on sales of $2.6 billion.
Miller said it would take another 60 days to assess the impact of President Carter's proposed energy program on consumer confidence before Textron could formulate a more specific outlook for the full year.
Among Textron products are Bell helicopters, Sheaffer pens, Talon zippers, machine tools and chemical products.
High audience ratings for its evening prime time television shows helped American Broadcasting Co. to almost double its first quarter profit to $1.01 shares frome tna 56ar a share from 56 cents a year ago.
Net income rose to $18.9 million on revenues of $378 million compared with $9.73 million a year ago on revenues of $313.69 million.
Chairman Leonard H. Goldenson said the high prime time ratings of its shows this winter led to a bulge in advertising receipts. He said advertises are responding favorably to ABC's lineup of programs for next autumn.
Mobil Oil Corp. reported higher first quarter earnings of $219 million (2.07 a share) compared to $213 million ($2.09 a share) a year ago. The company said the lower per share value thi quarter was due to more shares outstanding this year than last.
Consolidated revenue for the quarter, including Montgomery Ward and Container Corp., was estimated at $8.2 billion.
Pan American World Airways, Inc., cut its first quarter losses in half from last year's level to $24.1 million (57 cents a share) compared with $51.1 million ($1.21 a share) for the same period a year ago.
Total operating revenues increased 14.2 per cent for the quarter over last year, while total operating expenses increased only 7.9 per cent.
The profits of Colgate Palmotive Co., the international soap, household products and food maker, rose 10.8 per cent in the first quarter, the company announced yesterday.
Cologate said it earned $31.3 million, or 41 cents a share, in the quarter, compared with $28.5 million or 37 cents a share, a year ago. Revenues rose from $851 million to $921.7 million.
Last year's results were restated to reflect the acquisition of Riviana Foods Inc., the company said.
PepsiCo Inc. reported a 31 per cent gain in net income Tuesday for the first quarter.
The company said net income rose to $27.5 million ($1.12 a share) from $21 million (86 cents a share) in 1976. Sales increased to $597.8 million from $537.4 million.
Chairman Donald M. Kendail said the firm's key snack-food and soft-drink operations in the United States continued to make "important competitive gains by exceeding their industry growth rates by a considerable margin." He said foreign soft-drink volume had its best quarterly gain in eight years.