Corporate Officer: Last year was an unusually poor one for our pharmaceutical division, which has traditionally contributed about 70 percent of the corporation’s profits. It is therefore encouraging that there is the following evidence that the chemical division is growing stronger: it contributed 25 percent of the corporation’s profit up from 10 percent the previous year.
On the basis of the facts stated which of the following is the best critique of the evidence presented above?
(A) The increase in the chemical division’s contribution to corporation profits could have resulted largely from the introduction of a single, important new product.
(B) In multi-divisional corporations that have chemical divisions, over half of the corporation’s profits usually come from chemicals
(C) The percentage of the corporation’s profits attributable to the chemical division could have increased even if that division’s performance had not improved.
(D) The information cited does not make it possible to determine whether the 25 percent share of profits cited was itself an improvement over the year before.
(E) The information cited does not make it possible to compare the performance of the chemical and pharmaceutical divisions in terms of the percent of total profits attributed to each.
I agree with your reasoning. I have doubt for B. You say that it is irrelevant. Consider this: Normally the share of chemical divisions in the profits of the org. is more than half. Here, the share has reached only quarter stage. It tells that the chemical division is not performing well. A contender choice. How can it be irrelevant at all?
Let's say (B)
is true ---- does this mean that, in companies that have chemical divisions, the other divisions (such as pharmaceutical) are anemic? By contrast, the company in this question, in addition to having a chemical division as robust as any out there, also has other divisions that are even stronger, unlike the other chemical companies? In other words, this fact may imply that this company's chemical division is weak, or it may not. We simply don't have enough facts to decide. Remember, all we are comparing are percents. It's quite possible that 15% of one company is considerably more than 60% of another company. In CR terms, all this makes (B)
irrelevant --- any fact which could be a strengthener or could be a weaker, pending more as yet unknown facts, is irrelevant. Does this make sense?
I am not able to understand how come option C is correct & D is incorrect. Can you kindly throw some light on the same.
This is a great CR question, and I think the real sticking point is between (C)
. It comes down to exact wording. Let's look at the exact wording. (C) The percentage of the corporation’s profits attributable to the chemical division could have increased even if that division’s performance had not improved.(C)
draws the crucial distinction between percentage of profits and actual performance, actual numerical profits. That's the ambiguity at stake in this question. Just because percent goes up does NOT mean that overall profits went up. In particular, if the pharmaceutical division, which previously constituted 70% of the profits, had a sour year, profits for the whole company would be down, and all the smaller divisions would occupy a much larger percentage of that much smaller pie. This goes to the core of the problem. (D) The information cited does not make it possible to determine whether the 25 percent share of profits cited was itself an improvement over the year before.
This answer choice is about "percent share of the profits
" --- this year was 25%, and was this an improvement over last year's percent share in the profits? Well, in fact, the prompt explicitly tells us --- the previous year's share of the profits for the chemical division was 10%, so in terms of percent share in the profits, the 25% is a clear improvement. This answer choice says zilch about the important distinction between percent of profits and actual numerical profits.
Does all this make sense?
Magoosh Test Prep