Peabody Energy (BTU) - Get Report said Thursday its third-quarter earnings rose 25.3% from the year-ago period, led by rising demand for coal and higher prices.

The company earned $142 million, or 53 cents a share, in the quarter, compared with $113.3 million, or 42 cents a share, a year ago. Analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call were expecting earnings of 44 cents a share in the quarter.

Third-quarter revenue rose 3.4% from a year ago to $1.27 billion, against analysts' expectations of $1.4 billion. Revenue per ton in the quarter rose 6% in the U.S. and 7% in Australia.

Peabody reaffirmed its 2006 earnings guidance of $2 a share to $2.43 a share. Analysts forecast full-year earnings of $2.21 a share. The company expects full-year production of about 230 million tons.

Shares of Peabody were trading up $2.02, or 4.9%, to $42.97 Thursday.

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