The Quaker Oats Company (NYSE: OAT) today reported earnings per share of $1.15 for its third quarter ended September 30, 2000, excluding unusual items. This compares to $1.01 per share in the third quarter of 1999, an increase of 14 percent.Including unusual items in both years, third-quarter earnings were $1.15 per share in 2000, versus $0.98 per share in 1999. Unusual items totaled $500,000 of net income in 2000, compared to $3.8 million, or three cents per share, of net expense in 1999.Commenting on the quarter, Robert S. Morrison, chairman, president and chief executive officer, said, "This marks the 11th consecutive quarter that Quaker has registered double-digit EPS growth. With nearly 7 percent overall sales growth-12 percent in worldwide Beverages and 2 percent in worldwide Foods, our portfolio once again outpaced industry growth."In the U.S., Gatorade completed another excellent beverage season, increasing its volume, sales and category share considerably. Hot cereals got off to a strong season start, and grain-based snacks posted its fourth successive quarter of solid growth."