FINDLAY, Ohio-Strong demand for both its tires and engineered rubber products propelled Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. to record sales for the third quarter, though earnings fell just short of the 1995 period's. Cooper's net sales for the three months ended Sept. 30 climbed 12.8 percent to $423.2 million, which was an all-time record for any quarter, according to Chairman Patrick W. Rooney.
Net earnings totaled $26.9 million, 0.5 percent shy of the 1995 quarter.
Mr. Rooney attributed the shortfall to ``expenses related to various program implementations and startups,'' including the company's new engineered products plant in Mount Sterling, Mich., which went on stream in July.
``There will be a temporary continuation of these expenses into the fourth quarter,'' Mr. Rooney said, but the programs and expansions being implemented should put the company in good shape as it enters 1997, he added.
For the first nine months of 1996, Cooper reported that its net income slid 4.7 percent from 1995 levels to $75.2 million, despite an 8.2-percent increase in net sales to $1.20 billion.