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Dean Foods quarterly profit beats estimates

May 11 (Reuters) - Dean Foods Co, the largest U.S. milk processor, reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit as the company did not pass on the benefits of falling milk prices to consumers.

The company's shares were up 6.7 percent in premarket trading on Monday.

Excluding items, the company earned 24 cents per share. Analysts on average had expected 18 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Net loss attributable to Dean Foods widened to $73.7 million, or 78 cents per share, in the first quarter ended March 31, from $9 million, or 9 cents per share, a year earlier.

The first-quarter loss was due to early extinguishment of debt, impairment of certain intangible assets and other restructuring actions.

Net sales fell 12.4 percent to $2.05 billion.

(Reporting by Sruthi Ramakrishnan in Bengaluru; Editing by Don Sebastian)