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Virgin America tops third-quarter estimates, expects unit rev decline

A Virgin America Airbus A319 takes off from San Francisco International Airport, San Francisco, California, February 7, 2015.

Virgin America Inc (VA.O) on Thursday said lower fuel costs helped its profit jump in the third quarter, but forecast that the money it makes per mile would fall in the fourth quarter as it expands flight capacity amid intense competition.

The Burlingame, California-based airline earned $71.9 million in the quarter, up 73 percent from a year earlier. Excluding special items, it earned $73 million, or $1.64 per share, topping the average analyst estimate of $67 million, or $1.56 per share...