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BETHLEHEM STEEL REPORTS RESULTS FOR FOURTH QUARTER AND YEAR 1992

 BETHLEHEM, Pa., Jan. 27 /PRNewswire/ -- In his first report as chairman and chief executive officer of Bethlehem Steel Corporation, Curtis H. Barnette said that, although 1992 had been a difficult year, Bethlehem had made significant accomplishments in pursuing its strategy of concentrating on steel, rebuilding financial strength, and restructuring its businesses.
 "Our number one priority," he emphasized, "is to return Bethlehem to sustained profitability," and he listed actions taken throughout the year which position Bethlehem to take advantage of an improving economy and steel marketplace.
 Barnette said that one of Bethlehem's most significant actions was to establish as separate business units the two flat-rolled steel plants which account for approximately 80 percent of the company's steel sales. The Bethlehem Burns Harbor Division and the Bethlehem Sparrows Point Division will each be responsible for its own marketing, operating and financial performance. Each will be better able to serve its customers and respond more quickly to changes in the markets for its sheet and plate products.
 Bethlehem also incorporated the Steelton Rail Products and Pipe Division as a wholly owned subsidiary, Pennsylvania Steel Technologies, Inc. Operating under a new competitive labor contract, PST is proceeding with a modernization program to produce premium rails and install a new electric steelmaking furnace.
 The company completed a $300 million program to build state-of-the- art galvanizing lines at its Burns Harbor and Sparrows Point business units. These two lines, which started up in December, can produce more than 700,000 tons a year of high-quality, value-added sheet products to meet customers' present and future needs.
 Construction is also proceeding on a new 270,000-ton-per-year steel coating line in Jackson, Miss. An equally owned venture between Bethlehem and National Steel, the new line will provide galvanized and Galvalume sheet for the growing light construction market.
 Bethlehem also took significant steps to strengthen its financial position and improve its liquidity. In August it received $171 million in net proceeds from an offering of 13.8 million shares of common stock. In December it signed a new four-year revolving credit facility with a group of 19 banks, with initial commitments of $400 million. During 1992 Bethlehem also received more than $125 million from the sale of assets.
 As planned, Bethlehem exited the business of its Bar, Rod and Wire Division, discontinuing operations located in Johnstown, Pa., Lackawanna, N.Y., and Sparrows Point, Md. A wire mill has been sold, and a letter of intent has been signed which, if implemented, would result in the sale of the remainder of the business.
 To provide better service to customers and accelerate business and technical plans, Bethlehem and Electronic Data Systems entered into a comprehensive agreement in which EDS will provide Bethlehem's information technology requirements over the next 10 years.
 As a result of restructuring and other actions, Bethlehem reduced its total employment by more than 4,000 in 1992. This reduction, though difficult, is part of Bethlehem's comprehensive plan to reduce costs in order to return the corporation to profitability as soon as possible.
 Bethlehem Steel Corporation today reported a net loss of $53 million, or $.65 per common share, for the fourth quarter of 1992, compared to a net loss of $638 million, or $8.47 per common share, for the fourth quarter of 1991. Sales were $990 million for the fourth quarter of 1992, compared to $1.026 billion for the fourth quarter of 1991.
 Bethlehem reported a net loss of $449 million, or $5.78 per common share, for the year 1992, compared to a net loss of $767 million, or $10.41 per common share, for the year 1991. Sales for 1992 were $4.0 billion, compared to sales of $4.3 billion for 1991. Bethlehem's net loss for the year 1992 includes a $250 million net charge representing the cumulative effect of adopting two new Financial Accounting Standards Board Statements, Accounting for Postretirement Benefits Other Than Pensions and Accounting for Income Taxes. These accounting changes also decreased Bethlehem's losses before the cumulative effect of changes in accounting principles by $11 million for the fourth quarter and $45 million for the year 1992. Because of the complexity of these accounting changes, Bethlehem is issuing a separate release today which discusses them.
 Results for the fourth quarter and year 1992 also include a $31 million gain at the BethShip Division for reimbursement of a portion of losses reported in prior years on a contract for construction of two oceanographic ships for the U.S. Navy. Results for the year 1992 include a $25 million charge to increase Bethlehem's reserve for loss contingencies in connection with certain litigation. Bethlehem's net losses for the fourth quarter and year 1991 of $638 million and $767 million included a $575 million net restructuring charge.
 Before income taxes, the cumulative effect of changes in accounting principles and restructuring charges, Bethlehem had losses of $63 million and $239 million for the fourth quarter and year 1992 compared to $63 million and $190 million for the fourth quarter and year 1991. The decline in year-to-year operating results was primarily due to unfairly traded steel imports and lower realized steel prices, an unfavorable change in product mix, higher employment and coal mining costs. Quarterly operating results also declined because of these factors, but the decline was offset by the gain at the BethShip Division.
 "We are beginning to see the signs of moderate recovery in both the overall economy and steel markets and expect that this will generate an increase in domestic industry shipments from 82 million tons in 1992 to 84 million tons in 1993" said Bethlehem Chairman Curtis H. Barnette. "While 1993 is forecast to be a better year for the domestic economy and steel industry, our customers and Bethlehem will still be operating in a difficult global economy marked by intense competition."
 "We will continue to drive for significant cost reductions, efficiencies and quality improvements throughout Bethlehem" said Barnette. "These efforts, together with an anticipated improvement in our product mix with the startup of two new coating lines, place Bethlehem in an excellent position to take advantage of an economic and steel market recovery in 1993, expanded infrastructure investment and relief from unfairly traded steel. Trade cases covering flat-rolled carbon steel products are proceeding and our objective is to achieve compliance with our trade laws. If the economy continues to improve, fair trade in steel is achieved, and the value and demand for steel strengthen as expected, we believe that the actions we are taking to improve our operating performance will return Bethlehem to profitability later this year."
 In the fourth quarter of 1992, Bethlehem shipped 2,131,000 tons of steel products compared to 2,080,000 tons in the fourth quarter of 1991. For the year 1992, Bethlehem's shipments of steel products totalled 9,062,000 tons, compared to 8,376,000 tons in 1991. Raw steel production was 2,572,000 tons for the fourth quarter of 1992, compared to 2,498,000 tons for the fourth quarter of 1991. For 1992, raw steel production was 10,544,000 tons, compared to 10,022,000 tons in 1991. Bethlehem utilized 66 percent of its production capability in 1992, compared to 63 percent in 1991.
 The Basic Steel Operations segment had losses from operations of $79 million and $198 million for the fourth quarter and year 1992 compared to losses from operations of $619 million and $708 million for the fourth quarter and year 1991. This segment's results for 1991 include the previously mentioned restructuring charge. The 1992 results of this segment do not include results for the Bar, Rod and Wire Division, because its results were charged directly to accrued liabilities established by the restructuring charge recorded in 1991 for exiting this business. All production at the Bar, Rod and Wire Division ceased during the third quarter of 1992, except for the wire mill which was sold during the fourth quarter.
 Domestic steel industry shipments increased 4 percent in 1992 to approximately 82 million tons from 79 million tons in 1991. The higher level of 1992 shipments was primarily attributable to improved demand from the automotive and construction markets. Excluding shipments of the Bar, Rod and Wire Division, steel shipments of the Basic Steel Operation's segment were approximately 10 percent higher in 1992 than in 1991. Despite the improved level of shipments, steel prices continued to decline in 1992 in substantially all major product lines and, on average, were 3 percent lower in 1992 than in 1991.
 Although employment costs were higher in 1992 than in 1991 as a result of wage and benefit increases under Bethlehem's labor agreement with the United Steelworkers of America (USWA), overall operating costs of the Basic Steel Operations segment were lower in 1992 than in 1991.
 In 1992, Bethlehem increased its reserve for loss contingencies by $25 million in response to an adverse decision in litigation concerning title to coal previously mined by Bethlehem in Kentucky. In addition to this unfavorable litigation charge, Bethlehem's coal operations incurred substantially higher operating costs in 1992 due to poor market and mining conditions.
 The Steel Related Operations segment reported income from operations of $28 million and $11 million for the fourth quarter and year 1992 compared to operating losses from operations of $6 million and $21 million for the fourth quarter and year 1991. The results for the fourth quarter and year 1992 include a $31 million gain at the BethShip Division for reimbursement of a portion of the losses reported in prior years on a ship construction contract for the United States Navy. The ships were delivered to the Navy in 1989 and 1990. The BethShip Division's 1992 operating results also benefited from increased levels of fabrication and repair work. The BethForge Division continues to experience losses due to weak markets for forgings and higher operating costs. This segment's 1991 results include profits of the former Freight Car Division, which was sold in October 1991.
 Cash and cash equivalents increased to $208 million at December 31, 1992 from $84 million at December 31, 1991 due to inventory reductions and to proceeds from asset sales. Bethlehem realized net cash proceeds from asset sales of $125 million in 1992 and currently plans to generate about $50 million from asset sales in 1993.
 During 1992, Bethlehem contributed $40 million to its pension funds compared to $131 million in 1991. As a result, Bethlehem's pension liability increased to $1.2 billion in 1992 from $965 million at December 31, 1991. Bethlehem said it will make additional contributions to its pension funds during 1993 as appropriate.
 Capital expenditures were $329 million in 1992 compared to $564 million in 1991 and are estimated to be approximately $325 million for 1993.
 The board of directors today declared dividends of $1.25 per share on Bethlehem's $5.00 Cumulative Convertible Preferred Stock and 62-1/2 per share on Bethlehem's $2.50 Cumulative Convertible Preferred Stock, each payable March 10, 1993, to holders of record on Feb. 10. No dividend was declared on Bethlehem's common stock.
 BETHLEHEM STEEL CORPORATION
 Consolidated Statements of Income
 (dollars in millions, except per share data)
 (Unaudited)
 Three Months Year Year
 Ended Dec 31
 1992 1991 1992 1991
 NET SALES $ 990.4 $1,025.7 $4,007.9 $4,317.9
 Costs and Expenses:
 Cost of Sales 934.6 972.2 3,773.9 4,059.7
 Depreciation 64.2 58.8 261.7 241.4
 Selling, administrative
 and general expense 42.4 45.0 159.3 171.0
 Estimated restructuring
 losses - net --- 575.0 --- 575.0
 TOTAL COSTS AND EXPENSES 1,041.2 1,651.0 4,194.9 5,047.1
 Loss from Operations (50.8) (625.3) (187.0) (729.2)
 Financing Income (Expense):
 Interest and other
 income 1.4 0.9 4.9 9.7
 Interest and other
 financing costs (13.7) (13.2) (57.2) (45.5)
 LOSS BEFORE INCOME TAXES
 AND CUMULATIVE EFFECT
 OF CHANGES IN
 ACCOUNTING PRINCIPLES (63.1) (637.6) (239.3) (765.0)
 Benefit (Provision)
 for Income Taxes 10.0 (0.5) 40.0 (2.0)
 LOSS BEFORE CUMULATIVE
 EFFECT OF CHANGES IN
 ACCOUNTING PRINCIPLES (53.1) (638.1) (199.3) (767.0)
 Cumulative Effect
 of Changes in
 Accounting Principles --- --- (250.0) ---
 NET LOSS (53.1) (638.1) (449.3) (767.0)
 Dividend Requirements
 for Preferred and
 Preference Stock 6.2 6.1 24.3 24.7
 NET LOSS APPLICABLE
 TO COMMON STOCK $(59.3) $(644.2) $(473.6) $(791.7)
 Loss Per Common Share $(0.65) $(8.47) $(5.78) $(10.41)
 Average shares
 outstanding (thousands) 90,498 76,252 81,980 76,072
 /delval/
 -0- 1/27/93
 /CONTACT: H.H. Von Spreckelsen, manager, corporate communications, of Bethlehem Steel, 215-694-3711/
 (BS)


CO: Bethlehem Steel Corporation ST: Pennsylvania IN: MNG SU: ERN DIV

CC -- PH021 -- 9699 01/27/93 13:13 EST
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