Standard Oil Co. of California, the nation's fourth-largest oil company, said yesterday its profits rose 110 percent in the third quarter from the same period in 1978, continuing the trend of hefty profit increases for the nation's big oil companies.

House Speaker Thomas P. O'Neill (D-Mass.) said yesterday he believes the American public is more concerned about "the rip-off by the oil companies" than about whether Carter or Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) will be the next Democratic presidential nominee.

"Big oil is about as low in the eyes of the public as you can get," O'Neill said. He predicted trouble with the voters for any politician who supports big-oil interests in the windfall profits legislative battle.

Socal, which markets products under the Chevron brand name, said third-quarter profits were $576 million ($3.38 a share) compared with $274 million ($1.60) for the same quarter last year. Sales rose to $8.1 billion from $6 billion.

Nine-month profits were $1.33 billion ($7.82), up 72 percent from $773 million ($4.53) in 1978. Sales rose to $22 billion from $17.8 billion.

Like other large oil companies, Socal said most of its earnings gains came from overseas operations rather than domestic business. Oil companies' overseas prices aren't controlled as they are in the United States, and increases in costs can be passed on immediately.

Bethlehem Steel Corp. reported yesterday that its third-quarter net income rose 15.6 percent while nine-month profits rose 57.4 percent compared with the same periods of 1978.

Bethlehem Chairman Lewis W. Foy said the company had quarterly earnings of $74.8 million ($1.71 a share) on revenue of $1.8 billion compared with earnings of $64.7 million ($1.48)on revenue of $1.56 billion a year earlier.

So far in 1979, the nation's No. 2 steel producer has earned $237.1 million ($5.43) on revenue of $5.4 billion. In the first nine months of 1978, Bethlehem earned $150.6 million ($3.45) on revenue of $4.5 billion.

Shipment of steel products for the quarter amounted to 3.31 million net tons compared with 3.22 million net tons in the 1978 third quarter. Nine-month shipments were 6.7 percent higher than for the same period in 1978. n

Production of raw steel for the three-month period was 4.83 million net tons, an increase of only 10,000 net tons over production in the third quarter last year, Bethlehem said.

Uniroyal Inc. said yesterday that a decline in car sales and in driving because of the energy crisis this summer increased the tiremaker's loss to $11.5 million in the third quarter from $3 million in the same period of 1978.

Sales were $563 million, off from $642 million in the quarter last year. "Uniroyal experts to report a loss for the fourth quarter and year due to continuing softness in the domestic tire market, the strike in Mexico and a strike at a major U.S. plant," said a spokesman. "This, along with the losses in the third quarter and the strike-affected second quarter, will cause a loss from operations this year."

For the first nine months of this year, the company said it lost $8.6 million compared with a profit of $2.8 million in the first nine months of last year. Sales fell to $2 billion from $2.01 billion.

Resorts International Inc. announced third-quarter earnings of $39.5 million compared with $23.9 million in the same quarter last year.

Resorts said its nine-month earnings were $80.5 million, 136 percent higher than the $34.1 million for the nine-month period in 1978.

Net quarterly earnings were $6.37 a share on net sales of $311.2 million, up from $3.18 a share on sales of $168.7 million in the 1978 quarter.

Resorts said its three-month earnings in the Atlantic City casino during the period ending Oct. 1 this year were $83.5 million compared with $63.3 million during the quarter ending Oct. 1, 1978.