TeleCommmunications Inc. lost $392 million in the fourth quarter on lower revenue, reversing a profit from the same period last year, the cable giant reported Tuesday.

The loss compared to a profit of $722 million in the fourth quarter of 1996. Revenue dropped 11 percent to $1.92 billion from $2.16 billion, reflecting the spinoff of TCI's satellite business and a change in the way it accounts for results of its electronic retailing services.Per-share figures were not provided because TCI's stock is broken into three different categories.

The results include TCI Group, the company's cable operations; Liberty Media Group, its programming arm; and TCI Ventures, which holds the company's technology-related investments.

TCI Group, which represents most of its business, narrowed its fourth-quarter loss to $47 million from $298 million. Revenue increased 3 percent to $1.65 billion from $1.60 billion, due to higher advertising and subscription revenue.

The results for TCI Group exclude the parent company's National Digital Television Center, billing operations and telephony businesses, which previously had been grouped with the cable operations.

For the year, TCI lost $626 million, compared to a profit of $292 million in 1996.