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GENERAL SIGNAL FOURTH QUARTER NET FROM CONTINUING OPERATIONS AT $.96, UP 32 PERCENT

         GENERAL SIGNAL FOURTH QUARTER NET FROM CONTINUING
                  OPERATIONS AT $.96, UP 32 PERCENT
    STAMFORD, Conn., Jan. 30 /PRNewswire/ -- General Signal (NYSE: GSX) today announced fourth quarter earnings per share from continuing operations of 96 cents compared to 73 cents on the same basis a year ago (or a loss of $1.70 including special charges and disposition losses). Sales were $2.0 million lower at $414.0 million and net income from continuing operations was $18.6 million compared to $14.1 million a year ago after excluding special charges and disposition losses.  An additional 1991 after tax charge of $9.8 million or 51 cents per share was taken in the fourth quarter related to the company's decision in 1990 to establish a program to dispose of its rail businesses.  Net earnings were $8.8 million or 45 cents per share, compared to a net loss of $37.7 million or $1.96 per share in last year's fourth quarter.
    For the full year, after tax earnings from continuing operations were $64.0 million or $3.32 per share compared to a loss of $13.3 million or 69 cents per share in 1990.  On a comparable basis, full year 1990 earnings were $71.7 million or $3.74 per share.  Sales in 1991 were $1.62 billion, down from $1.69 billion in 1990.  After losses on dispositions, 1991 net earnings and earnings per share were $54.2 million and $2.81, respectively, compared to a loss of $32.9 million or $1.71 per share in 1990.
    "The solid fourth quarter earnings performance, our best quarterly performance since the second quarter of 1990, was benefited by accelerated operating cost reduction efforts begun at that time, as well as continued improvement from the aggressive working capital management program in place for
the past several years.   In a marketplace facing a lingering recession, each of the company's three operating sectors significantly improved profits and operating margins on essentially flat sales,"  said Carpenter.
    "The process controls sector benefited from strength in pumps and valves, as well as reduced losses from large custom energy management systems, which the company is exiting.  The electrical controls sector saw improvement from its small motor and electrical fittings business which played against weaker performance from utility, power conditioning and construction markets.  Particular strength in the quarter came from the industrial technology sector as semiconductor, automotive and fare collection operations more than offset a decline in telecommunications performance.
    "Ongoing efforts to improve our productivity and efficiency continue to pay dividends as we've reduced the ratio of working capital to sales to 15.3 percent at year end from 18.3 percent in 1990 and nearly 30 percent in 1989; the ratio of selling, general and administrative expenses to sales fell to 20.6 percent compared to 21 percent in 1990 and 21.8 percent in 1989 and we paid down our debt by $105 million during the year.  As a result we've moved our debt to capitalization ratio down to 38 percent from 47 percent a year ago and 52 percent in early 1989," Carpenter continued.
    "Although a robust recovery is not yet in sight, our company is positioned to do well even if market conditions fail to improve.  With a little help from the economy, 1992 could prove to be a very rewarding year for General Signal," Carpenter concluded.
    General Signal Corporation, with 1991 sales of $1.62 billion, is a leading manufacturer of equipment and instruments for the process control, electrical, semiconductor and telecommunications industries.
                      GENERAL SIGNAL CORPORATION
                  Consolidated Statement of Earnings
           (In thousands except per share data -- Unaudited)
    Three months ended Dec. 31,              1991         1990
    Net sales                             $414,027      $416,255
    Cost of sales                          295,200       298,996
    Selling, general &
      administrative expenses               86,641        90,123
    Special charges                             --        46,200
    Total operating costs &
      expenses                             381,841       435,319
    Operating earnings/(loss)               32,186       (19,064)
    Net interest expense                     6,197         7,968
    Loss on dispositions                      --         (16,000)
    Earnings/(loss) from
      continuing operations
      before income taxes                   25,989       (43,032)
    Income taxes                             7,407       (10,257)
    Earnings/(loss) from
      continuing operations                 18,582       (32,775)(A)
    Loss from discontinued
      operations, net of
      applicable income taxes                   --            --
    Loss on disposal of
      discontinued operations,
      net of income taxes                   (9,800)       (4,958)
    Net earnings/(loss)                     $8,782      $(37,733)
    Earnings/(loss) per share
      of common stock:
       Continuing operations                 $0.96        $(1.70)(A)
       Discontinued operations                  --            --
       Loss on disposal                      (0.51)        ( .26)
       Net                                   $0.45        $(1.96)
    Average common shares                   19,328        19,262
    (A) Reflects after tax effect of loss on dispositions of $11.8 million, or $.60 per share and after tax effect of special charges of $35.1 million, or $1.83 per share.
                       GENERAL SIGNAL CORPORATION
                   Consolidated Statement of Earnings
             (In thousands except per-share data -- Unaudited)
    Year ended Dec. 31                       1991          1990
    Net sales                             $1,615,832    $1,694,947
    Cost of sales                          1,165,325     1,209,705
    Selling, general &
      administrative expenses                333,001       356,769
    Special charges                               --        46,200
    Total operating costs &
      expenses                             1,498,326     1,612,674
    Operating earnings/(loss)                117,506        82,273
    Net interest expense                      28,055        31,466
    Loss on dispositions                          --       (76,000)
    Earnings/(loss) from
      continuing operations
      before income taxes                     89,451       (25,193)
    Income taxes                              25,494       (11,917)
    Earnings/(loss) from
      continuing operations                   63,957       (13,276)2
    Loss from discontinued
      operations, net of
      applicable income taxes                     --        (5,449)
    Loss on disposal of
      discontinued operations,
      net of income taxes                     (9,800)      (14,208)
    Net earnings/(loss)                      $54,157      $(32,933)
    Earnings/(loss) per share
      of common stock:
       Continuing operations                   $3.32         $(.69)(B)
       Discontinued operations                    --          (.28)
       Loss on disposal                        (0.51)         (.74)
       Net                                     $2.81        $(1.71)
    Average common shares                     19,286        19,199
    (B)  Reflects after tax effect of loss on dispositions of $49.9 million, or $2.60 per share and after tax effect of special charges of $35.1 million, or $1.83 per share.
                       GENERAL SIGNAL CORPORATION
                           Sector Performance
                       (In thousands -- Unaudited)
    Three months ended Dec. 31                  1991           1990
    Net Sales:
    Process Controls                         $  175,400     $  186,700
    Electrical Controls                         132,900        128,300
    Industrial Technology                       105,700        101,300
    Total                                    $  414,000     $  416,300
    Operating Earnings:
    Process Controls                         $   16,900     $   14,800
    Electrical Controls                          11,700          8,800
    Industrial Technology                         9,400          6,200
    Special Charges                                  --        (46,200)
    Total operating earnings before
      corporate expenses and equity
      income                                 $   38,000     $  (16,400)
    Year ended Dec. 31                            1991          1990
    Net Sales:
    Process Controls                         $  707,400     $  727,300
    Electrical Controls                         515,400        503,200
    Industrial Technology                       393,000        451,100
    Dispositions                                     --         13,300
    Total                                    $1,615,800     $1,694,900
    Operating Earnings:
    Process Controls                         $   65,500     $   74,000
    Electrical Controls                          43,800         47,200
    Industrial Technology                        18,300         27,800
    Dispositions                                     --         (7,900)
    Special Charges                                  --        (46,200)
    Total operating earnings before
      corporate expenses and equity
      income                                 $  127,600     $   94,900
                             GENERAL SIGNAL CORPORATION
                             Consolidated Balance Sheet
                             (In thousands -- Unaudited)
                                           12/31/91      12/31/90
    Assets
    Current assets:
      Cash and cash equivalents             $18,352        $7,793
      Accounts receivable, net              294,441       305,292
      Inventories                           246,130       281,858
      Prepaid expenses and
        other current assets                 26,640        51,105
      Deferred taxes                         16,369        25,394
      Assets held for sale at
        net realizable value                     --        42,612
    Total                                   601,932       714,054
    Property, plant and equipment, net      263,650       283,040
    Investments, intangibles and
      other assets, net                     314,616       297,539
    Total                                $1,180,198    $1,294,633
    Liabilities and Shareholders' Equity
    Current liabilities:
      Notes payable and current
        maturities of long-term debt        $10,246       $11,782
      Accounts payable                      128,876       137,521
      Accrued expenses                      179,264       197,732
      Income taxes                           36,429        56,418
    Total                                   354,815       403,453
    Long-term debt less current maturities  293,072       397,939
    Other noncurrent liabilities             55,875        42,892
    Shareholders' equity                    476,436       450,349
    Total                                $1,180,198    $1,294,633
    -0-        1/30/92 R
    /CONTACT:  Nino J. Fernandez of General Signal, 203-357-8800/
    (GSX) CO:  General Signal Corporation ST:  Connecticut IN:  TRN SU:  ERN SM -- NY021R -- 5121 01/30/92 09:47 EST
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Date:Jan 30, 1992
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