Molson Coors Brewing Co reported a bigger-than-expected rise in quarterly profit on Wednesday, helped by higher prices and cost savings from its MillerCoors U.S. joint venture with SABMiller Plc .

The brewer of Coors Light, Molson Canadian and Blue Moon beers said it earned $235.3 million, or $1.26 per share, in the third quarter ended September 26, up from $171.3 million, or 92 cents per share, a year earlier.

Adjusted earnings per share of $1.14 topped analysts' average forecast of 98 cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Shares of Molson Coors rose 3.2 percent to $51.00.

Sales excluding excise taxes fell 7.3 percent to $853.7 million. Total worldwide beer volume declined 2.9 percent.

Earlier on Wednesday, MillerCoors reported a 28.1 percent increase in net income. The U.S. venture said domestic sales to wholesalers fell 0.7 percent. Sales from wholesalers to retailers -- a better gauge of consumer demand -- fell 1.3 percent.

(Reporting by Jessica Wohl in Chicago, with additional reporting by Martinne Geller in New York and David Jones in London, editing by Gerald E. McCormick)