Boosted by increased sale of military and commercial aircraft, Fairchild Industries reported yesterday record sales and profits for the fourth quarter and all of 1978.
The diversified aerospace and communications satellite company -- acquitted by a federal judge Wednesday on charges of filing false income tax returns for 1971 and 1972 -- said profits more than doubled last year to $24.5 million ($5.11 a share) from $9.6 million ($2.05) in 1977.
Fairchild's revenues swelled to $544 million from $399 million the previous year, and the corporation's backlog of government and commercial orders topped $1 billion at year's end -- not counting about $300 million for aircraft funded by Congress last year but not expected to be placed under contract until month.
The 1978 earnings included a nonrecurring gain of $1.4 million (29 cents a share) in the first quarter from the exchange of $875 million of new debentures that expire in 1998 for debentures due in 1992.
In the fourth quarter, Fairchild earned $7.3 million ($1.50) on sales of $160 million compared with yearearlier profits of $3.5 million (76 cents) on sales of $112 million.
Based on this performance, Fairchild directors approved increases in the company's dividend rate each quarter last year to 75 cents a share for the year compared with 37 1/2 cents paid in 1977.
Fairchild delivered 89 of its A-10 close-air-support fighters to the U.S. Air Force last year compared with 56 in 1977. A Texas subsidiary, Swearingen Aviation, delivered 51 executive and commuter turboprop planes compared with 38 in 1977.
The earnings report followed by one day U.S. District Court Judge James R. Miller's decision in Baltimore finding Fairchild innocent in the income tax case. Miller, ruling on a Fairchild motion filed before the prosecution had completed its presentation of evidence, said the government might have been able to prosecute its case successfully "under an appropriate indictment" but not on the tax violations alleged.
Baltimore Gas & Electric Co. reported 1978 profits of $122.5 million ($3.38 a share) compared with $103 million ($2.86) the previous year as revenues increased to $974 million from $793 million.
Electricity sales rose 4.6 percent last year, while natural gas sales increased 5.5 percent, BG&E said.
Rowe Furniture Corp. of Salem, Va., reported higher profits and a record volume of furniture shipments in the year ended Now. 30. Earnings rose 122 percent to $1.27 million (53 cents a share) from $572,000 (24 cents), while shipments rose about 6 percent to $50.2 million.
Planning Research Corp., a professional services company based in D. C., reported a 27 percent increase in profits for the six months ended Dec. 31 to $2.9 million (42 cents a share) from $2.3 million (33 cents) a year ago. Sales rose to $130 million from $101 million. President John Toups said PRC's backlog is a record $202 million.
Chesapeake Corp. of Virginia, a forest products firm, reported 1978 profits of $7.8 million ($2.74 a share) compared with $10.3 million ($3.69) in 1977, but revenues increased to $175 million from $152 million. In the fourth quarter, the company charged off $3 million for litigation involving civil class action antitrust settlement.