Peoples Drug Stores Inc. and Auto-Train Corp., appear to be bucking the recession during the last few months and have posted double-digit quarterly earnings increases.

Net earnings for the Alexandria-based People chain rose 22 percent during its second quarter ended April 12, from $769,000 (21 cents a share) to $939,000 (25 cents). Sales rose 35 percent from $95 million to $128 million.

"Peoples' second-quarter gains continue to reflect increased consumer response to new and timely marketing programs well-attuned to the inflation-affected shopper," said Peoples Chairman Adrian C. Israel.

"Our total-health-care products and our well-advertised price-freeze campaign on prescriptions and Peoples' brand items has been especially well received," Israel said.

First-half net income rose 25 percent from $3.6 million (98 cents) to $4.5 million ($1.20). Sales also rose, from $238 million to $297 million.

Last December People purchased 68 percent of the capital stock of Haag Drug Co. During the past quarter the remaining stock was bought.

Auto-Train of Washington reported first-quarter earnings of $639,043 (39 cents a share) compared with a $663,882 loss a year earlier. Revenues for the auto- and passenger-carrying train line were $8.3 million, up from $6.3 million.

The company attributed its profits gain to significantly increased ridership. The firm said it carried 27,934 autos and 59,592 passengers in the last quarter compared with 21,732 autos and 46,244 car passengers a year earlier.

Rouse Co. of Columbia, however, reported lower net earnings during its first quarter ending March 21. Net income decreased from $773,000 (6 cents a share) to $624,000 (4 cents).

Earnings before noncash charges from operations were $3 million compared with $2.7 million.

The recession and high inflation and interest rates are "creating uncertainties and challenges for all of American business," said Rouse Co. President Mathias J. DeVito. Rouse "is well-positioned to face these economic uncertainities, and 1980 should be a satisfactory year providing a solid base for strong future growth," he said.

Hazleton Laboratories Corp. of Vienna reported a 19 percent increase in revenues and a 42 percent increase in earnings for its third quarter ending March 31. Earnings were $500,000 (20 cents a share) compared with $352,000 (16 cents), and revenues were $10.9 million compared with $9.2 million.

Nine-month earnings were $1.5 million (63 cents) compared with $1 million (50 cents). Revenues rose from $26.5 million to $32.2 million.