Westinghouse Electric Corp. reported yesterday that it had a decline of more than 50 percent in earnings in the first quarter.
The Pittsburgh-based company said the drop was due primarily to a sharp fall in the operating profits of its broadcasting business, where advertising revenues were hurt by the recession and the Persian Gulf war.
Westinghouse reported that revenues of its Electronic Systems Group, the bulk of which is based in Maryland, were about even with last year's level. But the group's operating profits declined, particularly in its non-defense segment, because of start-up costs and the impact of the recession.
The Electronic Systems Group, headquarters in Linthicum, is undergoing a major diversification program to expand into new commercial markets and lessen its dependence on the Department of Defense.
It's goal is to have 50 percent of its sales coming from non-Pentagon
contracts by 1995. About 27 percent of its sales currently comes from non-DOD businesses, including air traffic control radars for commercial airports.
"Results for the first quarter were about in line with our expectations," Chairman Paul E. Lego said in a prepared statement.
He said, "I am encouraged by the fact that total orders and the backlog in the first quarter increased slightly, compared to last year's quarter."
While revenues in Financial Services were about even for the quarter, compared with last year, operating profit was down substantially because of the lack of gains from the sale of equity interests in financing transactions and significantly higher levels of non-earning receivables.
Westinghouse stock, traded on the New York Stock Exchange, closed yesterday at $28.125 a share, down 25 cents.