LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Times Mirror Co. reported earnings of $1.07 billion during the third quarter as a one-time gain of $1.1 billion from the sale of two legal publishing subsidiaries offset lower profits from newspaper publishing.

Earnings equaled $12.71 per share, compared with $66.9 million, or 64 cents per share, in the same period a year ago, the company reported Tuesday.

Excluding the gain and $94 million in pretax charges, earnings from continuing operations were $56.5 million, or 61 cents per share, a 4.4 percent increase over $54.1 million, or 49 cents per share, the previous year.

The results matched expectations of Wall Street analysts surveyed by First Call, who expected 60 cents a share. The company's stock was off $1.25 at $54 on the New York Stock Exchange.

The company, which publishes the Los Angeles Times, Newsday, The (Baltimore) Sun and other papers, will continue to look for ways to cut costs, particularly at the Times, said Mark Willes, Times Mirror's chairman, chief executive officer and president.

``Good operating performance at our eastern newspapers was more than offset by a substantial year-to-year operating profit decline at the Los Angeles Times, where costs have grown in anticipation of advertising revenue growth that has not, as yet, materialized,'' said Willes.

Earnings from the newspaper publishing segment fell 5.7 percent to $85.2 million. The decline was attributed to higher newsprint costs, which rose 9 percent, and efforts to increase sales at the Times.

The company reported a pretax charge of $80 million related to restructuring efforts and another pretax charge of $14 billion which it said did not qualify for accounting classification as a restructuring charge.

In July, Times Mirror sold its Matthew Bender & Co. Inc. and Shepard's Co. publishing businesses to the European publisher Reed Elsevier.

For the nine months ending Sept. 30, earnings were $1.17 billion, or $12.96 per share, compared with $178.1 million, or $1.56 per share.