Washington Gas Light Co.'s seasonal net loss in its fourth quarter amounted to $14.6 million, compared with a net loss of $16.5 million in the same period of 1998.

Results from the quarter were affected by a $1.8 million after-tax gain from the sale of land in Prince George's County. Natural gas companies typically record a loss in the September quarter because of the summer decline in demand.

For the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, Washington Gas Light earned $67.4 million ($1.47), slightly higher than the $67.3 million ($1.54) in fiscal 1998. Earnings per share were lower because of a 5.25 percent increase in the number of shares.

Net revenue for the year was $431.9 million, compared with $425.2 million in 1998.

* U.S. Foodservice profit jumped 37 percent in the first quarter of the company's fiscal year, reaching $23.1 million (23 cents a share), compared with $16.9 million (18 cents) in the same period a year earlier.

Income from operations climbed to $53.2 million from $45 million, while interest expenses declined to $14.6 million from $16.2 million, the company said. Net sales rose 14 percent to $1.7 billion, it said.

The company also incurred a non-cash expense of $4.5 million from amortization of goodwill.

Columbia-based U.S. Foodservice distributes food and related products to restaurants and institutions across the country. It employs 13,000 people.

The company split its stock two-for-one in August.

* Norfolk Southern Corp. reported third-quarter net income fell 87 percent, to $19 million (5 cents a share), compared with $158 million (42 cents) in the same quarter of 1998.

The Norfolk company said costs of dealing with congestion problems since taking over part of Conrail on June 1 pushed down profits. Operating expenses in the quarter ballooned 71 percent, to $1.35 billion.

First Call/Thomson Financial's survey of analysts predicted the company would earn 10 cents per share during the third quarter, the first full quarter in which Norfolk Southern operated its portion of Conrail lines. Norfolk Southern and Richmond-based CSX Corp. carved up Conrail's northeastern freight routes in a $10.3 billion takeover.

* Strayer Education Inc., the Washington-based owner of Strayer University, earned $1.5 million (10 cents a share) in the third quarter, a 20 percent decline.

The company reported a drop in revenue in the quarter ended Sept. 30, from $12.9 million to $11.8 million.

For the first nine months of the year, net income increased 8 percent, to $13.2 million (83 cents). Revenue through September was $49.4 million, a 10 percent increase.

* Harman International Industries Inc., the Washington maker of high-end audio and video products, said its quarterly net income dropped 42 percent, to $4.9 million, or 28 cents a share. The company said its operating expenses increased as a result of engineering, development and capital outlays to prepare for future contracts.

Net sales for the quarter ended Sep. 30, the company's first fiscal quarter, increased significantly, to $356.8 million from $315.9 million. And Harman International's gross profit--before selling, general and administrative expenses--increased 15 percent, to $96.2 million.