KANSAS CITY — Earnings at American Italian Pasta Co. jumped sharply in the third quarter, advancing to $20,232,000, equal to 93c per share on the common stock, from $978,000, or 5c per share, in the same quarter a year ago. Net sales in the third quarter ended July 3 were $145,527,000, down 7% from $155,844,000. "Our strategy to focus on store brands and our strongest performing proprietary pasta brands continues to pay off," said Jack Kelly, chief executive officer. Retail revenues increased 3% to $113 million, primarily because of an increase related to higher volumes partially offset by a decline in lower average selling prices. Institutional revenues decreased 29% to $32.5 million during the third quarter, primarily due to an 11% decrease in volume and an 18% decrease in average selling prices. For the nine months ended July 3, net income was $72,456,000, or $3.52 per share, up from $11,816,000, or 62c per share. Net sales were up 18% to $479,048,000.