CLEVELAND (AP) -- Steel maker LTV Corp., blaming cheap imports, reported a $61 million fourth-quarter loss and a 14 percent drop in quarterly sales Friday.

The loss, which amounted to 62 cents per share, included pretax charges of $55 million. In last year's fourth quarter, LTV earned $32 million, or 31 cents a share. Sales fell to $989 million, from $1.15 billion last year.Excluding the extraordinary charges, which covered the costs of closing certain facilities and cutting jobs, LTV's loss was $14 million, or 15 cents a share. That topped analysts' expectations of a loss of 18 cents per share.

Shares of LTV, which initially fell, ended the day unchanged at $6.93 3/4 on the New York Stock Exchange.

For the year, LTV lost $27 million, or 29 cents a share, compared to profits of $30 million, or 27 cents per share in 1997.

Sales slipped 4 percent, to $4.27 billion from $4.45 billion.

"Unprecedented levels of unfairly traded imports continue to flood our markets," said Peter Kelly, LTV president and chief executive officer. He asked Congress on Wednesday to reduce imports to protect U.S. jobs.

Through November, Japanese imports in 1998 increased to 5.7 million metric tons, up from 2.1 million tons for the same period in 1997. U.S. steel makers say the influx has forced them to reduce prices and contributed to more than 10,000 layoffs.