Three major department-store chains reported lower quarterly earnings yesterday, blaming the poor results on unusual charges and because the latest quarter and year had one less week compared with a year earlier.

Federated Department Stores Inc., the parent of Abraham & Strauss, Bloomingdale's, Ralphs Grocery Co. and other retail chains, said yesterday its fiscal fourth-quarter profit declined 24 percent from a year ago.

Allied Stores Corp., which operates the Ann Taylor, Bonwit Teller, Brooks Bros. and other retail chains, said profits fell 3.9 percent.

And Carter Hawley Hale Stores Inc., which owns Neiman-Marcus and other department stores, posted a 42 percent drop.

Federated, which has headquarters in Cincinnati, said its net income for the three months ended Feb. 1 came to $154 million ($3.16 a share), compared with $201.5 million ($4.14) a year earlier. Sales slipped 1.2 percent to $3.23 billion from $3.27 billion.

For the year, Federated reported net income of $286.6 million ($5.88), down 13 percent from $329.3 million ($6.77) in the previous year. Twelve-month sales rose 3.2 percent to $9.98 billion, from $9.67 billion.

Results for both the latest quarter and year reflect a one-time, after-tax charge of $23.9 million from the consolidation of some divisions and restructuring and other costs, Federated said.Allied, based in New York, said its fourth-quarter net income came to $88.1 million ($3.89 a share), compared with $91.7 million ($4.37). Sales rose 3.3 percent to $1.37 billion, from $1.32 billion.

For the year, Allied said its net income jumped 13.2 percent to $159.3 million ($7.40), from $140.7 million ($6.71). Sales increased 4.1 percent to $4.135 billion, from $3.97 billion. Carter Hawley, of Los Angeles, said net income for the three months came to $18.9 million (58 cents a share), compared with $32.6 million ($1.29) in the same peirod a year ago. Sales were unchanged at $1.32 billion.

For the full year, Carter Hawley had net income of $48 million (92 cents), down 46.5 percent from $89.7 million ($2.75) in the previous year. Sales were up by 8.1 percent to $4 billion, from $3.7 billion.

The most recent quarter included a gain of $4.4 million from inventory-accounting adjustments and a loss of $2.5 million from the pending sale of the company's Canadian subsidiary, Holt, Renfrew & Co.