Schwartz Brothers Inc., a music and video distributor based in Lanham, lost $3.1 million in the quarter ended Oct. 31 because it put aside $3.9 million to cover bills it deemed unlikely to collect.

The third-quarter loss compares with a profit of $425,000 in the same quarter a year earlier.

Revenue for the quarter fell 22 percent to $26.9 million from $34.4 million last year.

The company said that its large provision for doubtful accounts was "caused by adverse payment experience and bankruptcies of several ... customers, the slowing of the national economy and the imposition of more stringent and aggressive collection procedures."

Schwartz Brothers, which distributes compact discs, tapes, videocassettes and related products in a territory that spans Michigan to New England to Florida, blamed its reduced sales in the quarter on the weakened economy, the lack of major hit audio and video releases and its own tighter policies for granting credit.

Microlog Corp. of Germantown lost $475,000 in the year ended Oct. 31 because slow sales caused a loss in the year's final quarter.

That compares with a profit of $1.1 million in the previous year.

The company, which makes and sells voice-messaging systems, said revenue for the year was $14.6 million, compared with $15.5 million last year.

Until the final quarter, sales were running ahead of the previous year. But then they dropped steeply, to $3.3 million in the last quarter, compared with $5.7 million in the same quarter a year earlier. That resulted in a quarterly loss of $564,102, compared with a profit of $974,940 a year ago.

"Microlog's results for the past fiscal year were considerably worse than anticipated," said Chairman J.G. Hartwell. "Microlog was not able to develop a national distribution network as planned, and sales to major customers were well below last year's levels."

The company also announced that it plans to repurchase up to $1 million of its stock over the next three months.