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|RCA Press Release for April 16, 1981|
RCA today reported lower sales and earnings for the first quarter of 1981.
Earnings for the three months ended March 31 amounted to $41.9 million, equal to 33 cents per share, compared with $78.7 million, or 89 cents per share in the first quarter of 1980. Sales for the quarter totaled $1.95 billion, as against $1.97 billion a year ago. Excluding the sales of businesses divested, sales for the quarter were up about 13 percent over last year.
Edgar H. Griffiths, RCA chairman, said that excluding the non-recurring gain on Satcom III last year and the introductory costs for the VideoDisc System, pre-tax profit for RCA business segments in 1981 was ahead of a year ago.
Profits for the Communications, Electronics and C.I.T. Financial business segments were higher than last year's first quarter.
Profits for NBC in the first quarter ran below the 1980 levels. In general, this reflected the adverse economic conditions which affected advertiser demand in the early months of 1981, combined with sharply higher programming costs. A further contributing factor to the earnings decline was the loss of revenue and the unscheduled costs related to the coverage of unanticipated major news events such as the hostage release from Iran.
The earnings of Hertz were below the 1980 first quarter mainly because of the significant drop in airline passenger traffic which adversely affected business car rentals.
"Since the national introduction of the RCA VideoDisc System on March 22, we have experienced a highly encouraging response at the consumer level," Mr. Griffiths said. "The reaction has been exactly in line with our expectations for steady sales growth and continued consumer interest in this remarkable new home entertainment product."