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Par Year-End Revs Rise, Net Earnings Drop

While Paramount Communications’ operating revenues soared to all-time highs for the year, net earnings dove 82%. Comparisons to 1989 were colored by results of discontinued operations.

The 1989 results included a huge onetime gain of $1.2 billion from the sale of the Associates to Ford Motor Co. – an asset which added $279.4 million in earnings to Paramount’s coffers at the time. It also included a $48.3 million after-tax charge from Paramount’s failed bid to buy Time Inc.

By fiscal year’s end Oct. 31, Paramount showed net earnings of $259.1 million ($2.16 a share) down from $1.46 billion ($12.21). Revenue for the year climbed 14% to $3.87 billion from $3.39 billion.

For the fourth quarter, revenue grew 21% to $1.78 billion from $968.8 million. The quarter’s net profits dove 91% to $110.5 million (93&cents;) from $1.23 billion ($10.28), reflecting last year’s significant gain.

Operating results for the year and quarter skyrocketed. Earnings from continued operations hit $259.1 million, up from $11.5 million. For the quarter, the company showed $110.5 million in operating profits against a loss last year of $13.4 million.

Separately, Pioneer Electronic Corp. last week officially denied Jan. 7 claims by an unnamed Pioneer spokesman that Paramount Communications had approached it last fall about buying the studio’s film division.

Jack Valenti, president of the Motion Picture Assn. of America, speculated that Paramount sale rumor may have been a case of stock manipulation and suggested that a Securities & Exchange Commission investigation of the false reports could be in the offing.

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