E. F. Hutton Group Inc. yesterday reported a loss for the fourth quarter of 1985 and lower income for the year, one of turmoil for the financial services company. In 1985, the firm earned $43.7 million ($1.63 a share), down from $52.7 million ($2.05) in 1984. Of those earnings, $14.3 million related to a one-time gain under a federal tax reform act.

Annual revenue was a record $3.1 billion, up from $2.7 billion. Revenue in the 1985 quarter was a record $869 million compared with $864 million in 1984.

The firm blamed a quarterly loss of $12.2 million (46 cents), and decreased annual earnings on $40.3 million of loss reserves to cover potential losses on second and third mortgages it purchased from the failed First American Mortgage Co. of Baltimore and on a $44 million note receivable from a corporate customer.

In addition, Hutton's brokerage subsidiary, E. F. Hutton & Co., pleaded guilty in May to charges connected with an illegal check-overdrafting scheme. The results for the quarter and year would have been worse but for a $23.2 million gain on the sale of the firm's E. F. Hutton Credit Corp. subsdidiary.

Manville Corp. of Denver yesterday reported a loss of $45 million for 1985 because of the sale and closure of some operations.

Revenue for 1985 exceeded the previous year at $1.941 billion. The loss for 1985 was $45.07 million ($2.92) compared with earnings of $77.3 million ($2.18) in 1984.

For the fourth quarter, revenue rose to $492.12 million from $472.61 million in the same quarter the previous year. Net quarterly earnings were $20.89 million (61 cents) compared with $18.19 million (50 cents) for the same quarter in 1984.

UAL Inc., parent of United Airlines, said yesterday it had net earnings of $20.5 million (43 cents a share) in the fourth quarter, a decline of 69 percent from the same period of 1984, on revenue of $1.9 billion.

The company also posted a loss on operations of $77.1 million for the most recent quarter compared with an operating profit of $131 million in the year-earlier period. The net profit was produced by taking extra money out of pension funds.

In the fourth quarter of 1984, UAL Inc. earned $67 million ($1.76) on revenue of $1.7 billion.

For the year, UAL lost $48.7 million on revenue of $6.4 billion compared with net income of $282 million ($7.46) on revenue of $6.97 billion in 1984. Ferris said the loss was principally the result of a 29-day pilots' strike. The airline itself lost $88.2 million in 1985.

The Tribune Co., publisher of the Chicago Tribune and New York Daily News, and Capital Cities-ABC Inc. yesterday reported profit gains during 1985, while Knight-Ridder Newspapers Inc. posted fourth-quarter profit declines and mixed annual results.

The Tribune Co. said its income during last quarter of 1985 increased 13 percent to $40.8 million ($1.01 a share). In the last three months of 1984, the company's profit was $35.9 million (89 cents). The Chicago-based media company said its revenue rose to $513 million in the period from $501.4 million a year earlier.

For the year, Tribune Co. had an income of $123.8 million ($3.06). That was a 20 percent increase from 1984, when income was $103 million ($2.55). Total revenue was $1.94 billion, up from $1.79 billion the previous year.

Capital Cities, which purchased the American Broadcasting Cos. Inc. in January for $3.5 billion, had a profit of $39.8 million ($3.04 a share) for the fourth quarter compared with $38.2 million ($2.94) in 1984. Capital Cities-ABC reported revenue of $271.5 million during the quarter, up from $259.5 million a year earlier.

For the year, the media conglomerate's profit was $142.2 million ($10.87) compared with $142.8 million ($10.98) in 1984. Revenue increased to $1.02 billion from $939.7 million in 1984, while total operating revenue during the quarter rose to $459.3 million from $451.7 million in 1984.

Knight-Ridder reported income of $132.7 million ($2.19 a share) for all of 1985 compared with in $140.8 million ($2.15) the previous year. Total revenue in 1985 was $1.73 billion compared with $1.66 billion in 1984. Earnings per share rose during 1985 partly because Knight-Ridder purchased 9.5 million shares of its own stock.