MUSCATINE, Iowa (Oct. 24)—Bandag Inc. recorded a $5 million jump in earnings for the quarter, coming in at $19.6 million compared to $14.6 million in the like 2001 span. Sales, however, slipped to $246 million from $257 million last year. Bandag cited a reduction in operating expenses, lower raw material costs and increased production efficiency, particularly in North America, as the primary reasons for the earnings increase. The company's North American operation experienced a modest sales increase during the period, CEO Martin G. Carver said. "Looking forward, we are hopeful that what we saw in the third quarter represents stabilizing market forces in the commercial tire industry and will serve as a base for commercial tire industry recovery beginning in 2003."