Pacific Ethanol stock jumps 61%

From Times Wire Services

Pacific Ethanol Inc., which counts Microsoft Corp. Chairman Bill Gates among its shareholders, surged after reporting results better than analysts expected.

Pacific Ethanol shares rose $1.94, or 61%, to $5.14. The stock has slumped 37% this year.

The Sacramento-based company swung to a loss of $35.2 million, or 90 cents a share, excluding a noncash charge of $87.1 million, from a profit of $3 million, or 5 cents, a year earlier.

"They actually made money if you take away the non-cash charge" of 96 cents a share, said Joseph Gomes Jr., an analyst at Oppenheimer & Co. in New York. "The consensus was for a loss of about 9 cents [a share] and they actually made 6 cents."

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