Updated from 5:13 p.m. EDTContinental Airlines ( CAL) overcame surging jet fuel costs to report a third-quarter profit Tuesday that blew past Wall Street's estimates. The nation's sixth-largest airline said it earned $61 million, or 80 cents a share, in the quarter ended Sept. 30, compared with a year-ago loss of $18 million, or 29 cents a share. Results included a $3 million charge. Without it, Houston-based Continental earned $64 million, or 83 cents a share, more than triple the 27-cent profit forecast from Thomson First Call. Revenue was $3 billion, up 15.3% from $2.6 billion a year before and a bit better than the $2.99 billion consensus estimate. After the earnings announcement, shares of Continental surged 31 cents, or 2.6%, to $12.20 in extended trading. The stronger revenue was the result of this year's industry fare hikes and Continental's expansion of lucrative international routes. The carrier also had lower labor costs than last year, thanks to concessions most of its employees agreed to earlier this year. Nevertheless, high fuel prices remain painful. Continental said it paid $684 million to fill its mainline fleet, which excludes small regional jets. That was 65.2% higher than its year-ago fuel tab, and jet kerosene -- traditionally an airline's second-biggest expense behind labor -- has become Continental's top cost. In the week following Hurricane Rita, a barrel of jet fuel increased nearly $32, hitting $124 just before the quarter ended. Continental's results appear all the more impressive because hurricanes Katrina and Rita hurt operations. Rita forced the airline to suspend flights for 36 hours at its biggest hub, in Houston, costing the company $25 million during the quarter. "My co-workers did an incredible job to overcome tremendous challenges posed by hurricanes Katrina and Rita," said Larry Kellner, chairman and chief executive officer. "Continental continues to grow and outdistance its competitors because of my co-workers' economic sacrifices, teamwork and tireless dedication."