From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Rockwell to Take $1.5-Billion Charge: Rockwell International Corp. said changes in accounting for retirement benefits will result in a $1.5-billion charge against net income. The conglomerate, with electronics, aerospace, automotive and graphics businesses, expects per-share earnings to decline 15% from 1991's $2.57 per share before the effect of the special charge, Chairman Donald R. Beall said. He said operating earnings should rebound in 1993, when results from the automotive and factory automation segments are expected to improve. Beall said neither the 23-cent quarterly stock dividend nor cash flow will be affected by the one-time charge. The accounting change, mandated by the Financial Accounting Standards Board, requires corporations to set up reserves for anticipated retiree health care costs beginning Jan. 1, 1993. Most large corporations previously had accounted for the costs when they paid them.

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