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Ferrellgas 3Q net income more than doubles

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (AP) -- Propane distributor Ferrellgas Partners LP said Thursday its fiscal third-quarter net income more than doubled, helped by higher sales volumes and lower propane costs.

For the quarter ended April 30, Ferrellgas posted a profit attributable to common unit holders of $44.2 million, or 56 cents per unit, up from $20.6 million, or 26 cents per unit, in the same quarter the year before.

Revenue fell 4 percent to $603 million from $629.6 million.

The results beat Wall Street predictions. Analysts, on average, expected a profit of 49 cents per share on $577.3 million in revenue, according to FactSet.

Ferrellgas attributed the revenue decline to lower propane sale prices to consumers. But at the same time, the company's propane costs fell 22 percent to $313.2 million.

Propane sales volumes rose 18 percent to 267.1 million gallons.

Ferrellgas shares rose 80 cents, or 4 percent, to $21.80 in afternoon trading.