Computer Companies

Sperry Corp. said that its fiscal third-quarter profit fell 17% from a year earlier despite a 23% revenue gain, but another major computer maker, Burroughs Corp., said that fourth-quarter profit rose 16%.

However, Sperry is "looking forward to a very strong fourth-quarter performance by our electronics business, particularly commercial computers," Gerald G. Probst, chairman and chief executive, said in a statement.

Sperry's latest results included an after-tax charge of $12.7 million. The charge reflects an award to the Israeli government following arbitration of a contract dispute involving Sperry military communications products.

Profit was also constrained by the strong dollar and Sperry's "depressed farm-equipment business," the company said.

In addition, the year-earlier results included a $5.6-million after-tax gain from discontinued operations.

During the quarter, the information systems group's revenue and operating profit rose 30% and 43%, respectively, the company said.

For the first nine months of its fiscal year, New York-based Sperry said net income jumped 40% on a 13% increase in revenue.

Burroughs, based in Detroit, said its calendar fourth-quarter revenue rose 6%.

"The traditional area of strength for Burroughs, mainframes (large-scale computers), realized solid growth," W. Michael Blumenthal, Burroughs' chairman and chief executive, said in a statement.

For all of 1984, Burroughs' profit and revenue rose 24% and 9%, respectively, from a year earlier.

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