Campbell Soup Company (NYSE: CPB) yesterday reported diluted earnings per share of $.30 for the third quarter ended April 29, 2001, down 6 percent from the same period last year. Net sales in the quarter increased 3 percent to $1.4 billion, a 5 percent increase before the impact of currency. This performance was largely driven by a 7 percent volume increase in the U.S. soup business, which resulted in part from increased marketing investments. For the quarter, consumer purchases of U.S. soup increased 12 percent. For the first nine months of the fiscal year, consumer purchases of U.S. soup increased 6 percent. Net earnings for the quarter declined 12 percent to $122 million compared to $139 million a year earlier. Volume increases partially offset higher marketing, interest and corporate expenses.