Ferrellgas profit beats Street; shares rise

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(Global Markets) - Propane distributor Ferrellgas Partners LP (FGP.N) said third-quarter profit jumped 84 percent, beating analyst estimates, as a fall in wholesale propane costs improved margins, sending its shares up 9 percent.

Ferrellgas's gross profit margins increased about 6 percent to 79 cents per gallon sold.

While propane has long been used to fire up barbecue grills, U.S. households and offices are increasingly using it as a heating fuel.

Net earnings rose to $21.1 million, or 26 cents per unit, from $3.4 million, or 4 cents per unit, a year ago.

Analysts had expected a profit of 19 cents a share, according to Thomson Global Markets I/B/E/S.

Revenue was $629.6 million, lower than market estimates of $688 million.

Ferrellgas shares were up 7 percent at $17.29 in morning trading on Friday on the New York Stock Exchange. They touched a ten-day high of $17.65 earlier.

(Reporting by Swetha Gopinath in Bangalore; Editing by Maju Samuel)