CHICAGO (AP) ¿ Neutral Tandem Inc., which provides services that connect phone networks between providers, said Wednesday its third-quarter profit jumped 80 percent, as the company expanded its reach and carried more minutes over its networks.

The company also boosted its outlook for the year, sending shares up $1.61, or 7.4 percent, to $23.44 in midday trading. The stock has ranged from $11.80 to $34.56 over the past year.

Earnings for the quarter rose to $11.1 million, or 32 cents per share, from $6.2 million, or 19 cents per share, in the same period last year.

Revenue increased 44 percent to $44.7 million from $31.2 million.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters had predicted a profit of 31 cents per share and $43.1 million in revenue.

Neutral Tandem said billed minutes rose 45 percent from a year ago. The company said it expanded into 10 new markets and continued to grow in areas where it already operated.

The company increased its forecast for full-year revenue to $168 million to $170 million, from a previous estimate of $162 million to $168 million.

Analysts predict revenue of $167.7 million in 2009.
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