H. J. Heinz Company (NYSE:HNZ) yesterday announced third-quarter core earnings of $227.4 million, or $0.65 per diluted share, on sales of $2.27 billion for the period ending January 31, 2001, versus $0.63 per share in the year-earlier quarter, in line with its March 5 outlook. Reported net income was $270.5 million, or $0.77 per share versus $171.1 million, or $0.47 per share, last year. (Note: Core earnings exclude special items, as set out in the attached table.) Sales for the third quarter improved 3.7% on a constant currency basis and declined 1.1% on a reported basis, compared with the same period last year.