GOLDEN, Colo. (AP) _ Adolph Coors Co.'s profit increased nearly 24 percent in the first quarter as it sold more beer at higher prices.

The nation's third biggest brewer beat Wall Street's expectations, and Coors shares rose $1.12 1/2 to $50 a share in trading Thursday on the New York Stock Exchange.

For the 13-week quarter that ended March 28, the company reported net income of $14.8 million, or 40 cents per share, compared with $12 million, or 32 cents a share, a year earlier.

The latest results beat the 36 cents a share that analysts surveyed by First Call/Thomson Financial expected.

Revenue rose 5.6 percent to $464.5 million from $439.9 million a year ago. Sales volume rose 2 percent to 4.82 million barrels.

Peter H. Coors, vice chairman and chief executive of Coors Brewing Co., Adolph Coors Co.'s principal subsidiary, said the strong first quarter results were achieved through its domestic business.

``Modest price increases, cost disciplines and lower interest expense also contributed to increases,'' Coors said.

Coors' beer products include Coors Light, Original Coors, Killian's Red and Zima.