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Wednesday, October 24, 2012 - 7:55am

Delta's Third Quarter Profit Surges

Delta Air Lines Inc. says its third-quarter profit nearly doubled mostly due to the increasing value of its fuel contracts.

The Atlanta airline says it earned $1.05 billion, or $1.23 per share, compared with $549 million, or 65 cents, a year earlier. Excluding one-time items, it earned $768 million or 90 cents — just shy of Wall Street expectations of 91 cents.

Revenue rose 1 percent to $9.92 billion, also just under analysts' estimate of $9.93 billion, according to FactSet. Delta Air Lines Inc. says revenue was driven by its effort to trim seats according to demand.

Fuel costs dropped 23 percent. Overall, operating expenses fell 4 percent. Other expenses related to items like debt and interest fell 18 percent.

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