Standard Oil Co. (Indiana), the nation's fifth-largest oil concern, said yesterday that its first-quarter profit rose 25 percent from a year earlier, but Standard Oil Co. (Ohio), No. 13, said its earnings dipped 13 percent.
Indiana Standard, which sells its oil products under the brand name Amoco, attributed its improved earnings to eliminating the huge loss it incurred in last year's first quarter on oil refining and marketing operations.
The Chicago-based company said overall income climbed to $470 million ($1.60 a share) from $377 million ($1.29) a year earlier as revenue fell 8 percent to $7.2 billion from $7.9 billion.
Standard of Ohio said its profits fell to $454.7 million ($1.85 a share) from $520.4 million ($2.12) as revenue fell to $3.1 billion from $3.2 billion.
The two companies were the first of the big oil concerns to report earnings for the first quarter. Industry analysts expect the major international companies to show year-to-year declines averaging at least 20 percent as a result of weak demand for petroleum and falling crude prices.
Standard of Ohio and Indiana Standard, as mainly domestic operators, were expected to show flat or slightly improved results because they were not hurt by the hawkish pricing policies of Saudi Arabia and other foreign producers.
Increased government aerospace business enabled McDonnell Douglas Corp. to increase its first-quarter earnings about 20 percent in the first quarter to $48.5 million ($1.23 a share) from $41.3 million ($1.03) in the same period last year.
Sales rose to $1.71 billion from $1.62 billion a year ago.
The company attributed its earnings improvement to combat aircraft and missile programs and to lower net interest expenses.
Delta Air Lines, the largely nonunion industry profit leader that had been viewed as an example of how to survive deregulation, reported its first quarterly loss in 25 years--$45.7 million on operations.
Delta, whose hub is Atlanta, said the recession, "uncontrolled deep discount fares and ticket giveways by others," factors outside its control, contributed to its poor third-quarter results. It said it had to match the discounts to remain competitive.
Delta's after-tax loss amounted to $18.3 million on revenue of $818.8 million, compared with after-tax income of $27.9 million (70 cents a share) in the same quarter a year ago. Operating expenses were $927.1 million, an 8 percent increase.
Delta said it posted a nine-month net loss of $2.2 million compared with a net of $98.9 milion in the first 9 months of its last fiscal year. Operating revenue grew 3 percent to $2.67 billion, while operating expenses swelled 10 percent to $2.71 million.
Polaroid Corp. reported yesterday that its profits tumbled 80 percent in the first quarter to $1.9 million (6 cents a share) from $9.5 million (29 cents) a year ago. Sales were down to $260.9 million from $276.2 million.
The declines stemmed from "the continuing decline in worldwide economic conditions coupled with higher prices in some markets as a result of the strength of the U.S. dollar against foreign currencies," Polaroid President William J. McCune Jr. said.