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Zipcar climbs on 3Q results and forecast of profit

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) -- Shares of Zipcar Inc. surged about 28 percent in aftermarket trading Thursday after the car-sharing network reported strong third-quarter results and said it is still on track to report its first-ever annual profit in 2012.

Zipcar stock advanced $1.71 to $7.75 in aftermarket trading. The stock has lost more than half its value in 2012 as Zipcar's quarterly results and guidance up until now have disappointed Wall Street.

In the third quarter Zipcar said its revenue rose 15 percent, to $78.2 million, and its membership grew 18 percent to about 767,500. Analysts expected revenue of $75.6 million, according to FactSet.

Zipcar said it expects net income of as much as $3 million in 2012, and said it will do no worse than break-even. Wall Street is forecasting net income of $900,000, or 2 cents per share.

The company was founded in 2000 but has never been profitable. It lost $14 million in 2010 and $7 million in 2011, the year it went public.

In August Zipcar said it could earn as much as $2 million in 2012 but said a loss of up to $500,000 was also possible.

The company said its net income grew to $4.3 million, or 10 cents per share, in the third quarter. The result included a benefit of $1.7 million from zero-emission vehicle tax credits. In the third quarter of 2011 Zipcar posted net income of $651,000, or 2 cents per share, a year ago.

Analysts were expecting a smaller profit of a penny per share and $75.6 million in revenue.

Zipcar forecast $67 million to $71 million in revenue in the fourth quarter, which bracketed analyst estimates, and raised its full-year estimate slightly, to a range of $275 million to $279 million. Analysts expect $274.6 million.

Shares of Zipcar picked up 4 cents to $6.04 on Thursday prior to the release of its results. The stock is down 55 percent in 2012 through Thursday's close.