After biting the bullet in 1988 to the tune of an 87 percent drop in net earnings, the next two years at Evans & Sutherland Computer Corp. promise to be "very interesting and very exciting," says chairman, president and chief executive David C. Evans.

The computer firm's 1988 annual report doesn't offer much explanation for the drastic decrease in sales and earnings during 1988. Spokeswoman Susan Mickelsen said that was published in quarterly press releases and the year-end earnings announcement last February.During 1988, Evans & Sutherland wrote down $4 million in excess inventory as the company restructured its operations into two divisions and eliminated almost 150 jobs. The move was, in large part, responsible for earning falling from $1.72 per share to 22 cents a share over a 12-month period.

But Evans doesn't dwell on the restructuring's dismal impact on profits. Instead, the co-founder of the Salt Lake-based computer graphics concern talks about how the changes will position Evans & Sutherland for the future.

"It is my belief that we are now organized and prepared to implement a well-integrated plan," Evans said, basing that plan on the company's strong position in the simulation and scientific markets, development of an interactive super-computer and cooperation between the company's new computer and simulation divisions.

Among the new products Evans & Sutherland will introduce this year is the ES-1 supercom-puter, scheduled for delivery sometime this summer.

"This product will be important in the scientific computing and simulation businesses, which have long been our key markets," Evans said, noting delays caused by problems in fabricating super-computer chips have been resolved and supplies are plentiful.

Priced in the $3 million-$8 million range, the ES-1 represents a "significant price/performance breakthrough for true supercomputer-class machines," the report said.

Five years of research and development with major automobile manufacturers in Europe and the United States has resulted in a new computer graphics system for industrial design, also scheduled for delivery in 1989.

First delivery of the systems will be this year to Ford and Chrysler, which helped in developing the product, Mickelsen said. The system will be used to design automobile bodies and cut down on the time and expense of creating clay models of proposed cars.

Evans noted the continued success of the company's simulation division, which produces graphic computer systems used in civil pilot training, military tactical training and simulation for vehicle engineering. The product line has been broadened to allow Evans & Sutherland to operate as a visual systems prime contractor.

Finally, the company's wholly owned subsidiary Tripos Associates, St. Louis, continues to be a leading supplier of applications software for computational chemistry, requiring large amounts of computation like that provided by the new ES-1, Evans said.