Transamerica Corp. on Thursday reported a fourth-quarter loss of $77.5 million, mainly the result of a $130-million charge to cover costs associated with reduced lending at its commercial finance unit.
The company's loss for the three months ended Jan. 31 amounted to $1.05 a share. Transamerica earned $27.8 million, or 32 cents a share, in the year-ago period.
Revenue during the period totaled $1.7 billion, down 5.5% from $1.8 billion.
The San Francisco-based company said the results were affected by the previously announced charge, which amounted to $1.70 a share.
The special charge reflected Transamerica's decision to cut lending to some industries and businesses and to write off receivables left over from previously sold businesses, the company said.
"Most of Transamerica's businesses did well in 1991 in a difficult economy. In particular, our consumer lending and life insurance companies both set earnings records," said Frank C. Herringer, Transamerica's president and chief executive.
"But the poor performance of the commercial finance unit resulted in disappointing consolidated earnings," he said in a statement.
For the full fiscal year, Transamerica said profit sank 81%. Earnings totaled $50.1 million, or 50 cents a share, compared to $266.3 million, or $3.29 a share, for the previous fiscal year.
But revenue rose 1.4% to $6.8 billion from $6.7 billion.