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Statistics of Railways in United States.
lel to and north of Salouen river, reaching Sô and once again seeing houses on April 15. They arrived at Batang early in June, their route some distance west of it having joined the Imperial highway from Pekin to Lassa over which l'Abbe Huc travelled. From Tatsien-lou, where the French Tibetan mission is located, their route turned southward to Red river, which was reached, at Manhoau, on September 21, when their journey practically ended, as Hanoai was reached two days later.
An excellent map of the itinerary, by Prince Henri, accompanies the article.
A. W. G.
Third Annual Report on the Statistics of Railways in the United States to the Interstate Commerce Commission, for the year ending June 30, 1890: Washington, Government Printing Office, 1891 (advance copy, pp. 1-100).-This pamphlet, by Professor Henry C. Adams, is issued in advance of the full report, which is promised to comprise about 875 pages. It contains a summary, digest and discussion of the full report.
It appears that the total railroad mileage on June 30, 1890, was 163,597, an increase of 5,838 miles during the year. The increase came mainly from southeastern and western states. This mileage was owned by 1,797 distinct corporate bodies, but entirely controlled in one way or another by only 747 companies. To illustrate the extent to which consolidation of railroad property has gone, it may be stated that 47.5 per cent of all railroad mileage is controlled by but forty companies, and that 65.4 per cent is controlled by seventy-five companies. The greatest mileage controlled by one company is 6,053, operated by the Southern Pacific company.
The total capital and bonded debt of railroad companies was $9,871,378,389, or $60,340 per mile. Stock and bonds were about equal in amount. Mr. Adams estimates the value of railroad property by capitalizing at 5 per cent the dividends and interest on bonds paid during the year, reaching as a result $6,627,461,140, or about 2/3 of the nominal capital and bonded debt. The justice of this method may fairly be questioned. A comparison of the ruling prices of dividend-paying stocks with the rate per cent of the dividend shows that 5 per cent stocks are above par and that 4 per cent stocks average nearly par.
Moreover, it is well known that many railroads are built and operated, not for their own immediate earnings but to give value to other property of the companies, notably to lands, from the sale or lease of which the companies derive profits. Again, many railroads are built, not for present but for future profits, after they shall have induced settlement of their territory; and, furthermore, numerous branch roads have been built as defensive measures to prevent rivals from occupying territory; and in many cases earnings are used in betterment of property instead of distributing it as dividends. In all these cases the roads have value, although they are not paying dividends.
Taking all these matters into account, it does not appear that the railroad stocks of the country have, collectively, been watered to any great extent, if by "watering" is meant expanding nominal values above actual values.
Concerning dividends paid on stock, Mr. Adams presents a table showing that 63.76 per cent of all stock paid no dividends ; that but 6.47 per cent paid less than 4 per cent; that 25.26 per cent paid from 4 to 8 per cent, the remainder paying above 8 per cent. It appears that in the northeastern states much the highest dividends were paid, while in the west, so far as dividends are concerned, the stockholders have to wait for future develop
The total passenger mileage for the year was 11,847,785,617, a slight increase over the previous year. The total freight mileage was 76,207,047,298, an increase of nearly 10 per cent over that of the previous year. The gross earnings of the year were $1,051,877,632, and the operating expenses, $692,093,971, leaving as the income from operations $359,783,661. The income from other sources was $126,767,064, and the total deductions from income were $384,792,138, leaving as the net income $101,758,587, out of which there was paid as dividends on stock $89,688,204.
The magnitude of the railway interests of the country is set forth in the above enormous figures. It is still further emphasized by the fact that nearly three-quarters of a million men are in the employ of this industry. Assuming that each such employé supports two others besides himself, it is seen that the railroad interest supports two and a quarter millions, or more than one thirtieth of the inhabitants of the country.