CHICAGO (AP) _ Tribune Co. reported sharply lower fourth-quarter earnings of $21.4 million or $1.01 a share Tuesday due to non-recurring charges, but said yearly results hit a record $292.9 million or $7.26 a share because of asset sales.

The quarterly figures were about half the $40.8 million, or $1.01 a share, earned during the final period of 1985. Revenue for the period increased by 6 percent to $543.9 million from $513 million.

The company attributed the lower results to non-recurring charges arising from disposal of the company's chemical business, as well as refinancing costs to reduce future interest expense and take advantage of 1986 tax rates.

It said that without the non-recurring charges quarterly profits would have risen 2 percent to $41.6 million.

Tribune publishes the Chicago Tribune and has interests in the broadcasting, entertainment and newsprint businesses.

The record earnings for the year were 136 percent over the 1985 earnings of $123.8 million, or $3.06 a share. The 1986 earnings included a non-recurring addition of $160.4 million, mainly from the sale of the Los Angeles Daily News and the company's cable television systems.

Revenue for 1986 was a record $2 billion, compared with $1.9 billion a year earlier.