B. F. Goodrich Co. reported yesterday that sales and earnings for the third quarter were higher than the period last year although costs rose faster than prices.

The tire maker reported net income of [WORD ILLEGIBLE] million ($1 a share) on sales of $619.5 million for the third quarter of 1978, up from net income of $15.3 million ($1.01) on sales of $561.7 million in the same period a year ago.

For the first nine months, Goodrich reported net income of $54 million ($3.57) on sales of $1.7 billion in the same period last year.

Third-quarter results included the effects of a merger with Continental Conveyer & Equipment Co. of Winfight Ala., and the sale of a portion of its interest in a Japanese affiliate.

The Akron-based company issued about 1.7 million shares of common stock about 370,000 shares of prefered stock and approximately $19.9 million in exchange for the Continental common stock.

United Technologies Corp. announced record net income and sales for the third quarter and first nine months of 1978 and said its backlog of business as of Sept. 30 was the highest ever announced record net income and sales for the third quarter and first nine months of 1978 and said its backlog of business as of Sept. 30 was the highest ever.

Net income for the quarter ending Sept. 30 as $62.59 million, up 24 percent from the $50.59 million for the same period of 1977, UTC Chairman and President Harry J. Gray said.

Because more shares of comon stock were outstanding, howeer, earnings per share declined to $1.36 for the third quarter from $1.42 in the same period last year. Sales for the period increased 15 percent, from $1.34 billion to $1.54 billion.

Net income for the first nine months of 1978 was $172 million ($4.11 a share), up 18 percent from $146 million ($4.30) recorded in the first nine months of 1977, the corporation said.

United Technologies' divisions include Pratt & Whitney Aircraft Group, Otis Elevator, Sikorsky. Among its products are aircraft engines, elevators, helicopters and automotive products.

UTC is trying to take over Carrier Corp. of Syracuse, N.Y., but Carrier and the Justice Department have gone to court in efforts to block the takeover.

American Airlines' third-quarter profits surged 71.2 percent to the highest level for any period in its history, due primarily to the success of "super-saver" fares and the strong performance of the economy, the airline said yesterday.

American posted a profit of $90.1 million ($3.04 a share), up from $52.6 million ($1.74) a year ago. Operating revenues rose to $772.5 million from $655 million, the company said.

The airline said traffic during the summer had been stronger than ever before.In addition, the company said it was able to keep its cost under "reasonable" control."

For the nine months, the airline had a profit of $127.1 million ($4.12) compared with a profit of $82.6 million ($2.67). Operating revenues rose to $2.06 billion from $1.76 billion.

The company reported that its load factor - the percentage of seats occupied by paying passengers - rose from 61.2 percent to 69.0 percent in the quarter ended Sept. 30. In August, the load factor reached 73.1 percent, the highest for any month since 1959.

Burlington Northern Inc. reported net income of $25.9 million ($1.91 a share) for the third quarter compared with a loss of $1.8 million a year ago.

The transportation and natural resources company had third-quarter revenue of $655 million compared with $535.1 million in 1977, an increase of 22 percent.

Net income for the first nine months stands at $94.4 million ($7.07) compared with $56.5 million ($4.28) a year ago. Nine-month revenues rose to $1.847 billion from $1.563 billion.

Norman M. Lorentzsen, president and chief executive officer, said increases of 17 percent in coal loadings and 42 percent in Taconite loadings were largely responsible for the improved showing.

Warner-Lambert Co. reported that sales and net income for the third quarter rose 13 percent over the same period last year.

Earnings for the quarter were $60.8 million on sales of $730 million compared with $53.7 million net income on $646 million sales in the third quarter of 1977. Earnings per share were 76 cents, up from 67 cents.

For the first nine months, sales were $2.07 billion this year, up 11 percent from $1.86 billion recorded during the same period of 1977. Nine-month earnings were $168 million ($2.11 a share), up about 10 percent from $152 million ($1.91) last year.

Listing itself as the world's sixth largest pharmaceutical firm, Warner Lambert also markets a line of health-care and hospital products, contact lenses, consumer goods such as Schick razor blades and shavers, Freshen-up chewing gum and pet-care products.

The company recently acquired Entemann's, an East Coast bakery.

Knight-Ridder Newspaper Inc. earned 49 cents a share on continuing operations in the third quarter, up from 42 cents a year ago.

Profit was $16.09 million on revenues of $212.89 million compared with $13.76 million a year ago on revenues of $183.77 million.

Nine-months profit was $53.73 million ($1.64 a share) on revenues of $636.03 million compared with $40.76 million ($1.25 a year ago on revenues of $541.31 million.

Full-run advertising lineage rose 6.8 percent in the quarter, and advertising revenues were up 1.47 percent. Daily circulation was up one percent, and Sunday circulation 0.6 percent, with circulation revenue up 3.2 percent.