Noble Energy's third-quarter net income jumped 90.1 percent following rising oil and natural gas prices, and the exploration and production company increased its production forecast Thursday.
Noble reported earnings of $441 million, or $2.39 per share, for the three months ended Sept. 30. That compares with $232 million, or $1.31 per share, in the same part of 2010. Revenue grew 22.4 percent to $924 million in the quarter.
Excluding unrealized gains on investments and other special items, Noble Energy said its adjusted earnings were $234 million, or $1.24 per share, for the quarter.
That breezed past Wall Street's profit expectations of $1.04 per share in adjusted earnings, Noble fell short on revenue predictions of $931.7 million, according to analyst polled by FactSet.
Oil prices jumped by 33.7 percent to an average $98.15 per barrel while natural gas increased 13.8 percent to $3.21 per 1,000 cubic feet.
The price increases more than offset a 2.2 percent decline in overall oil and gas production. Production fell in the North Sea because of equipment delays, and in the U.S., the company sold assets in Illinois while production at some of its onshore and Gulf of Mexico fields naturally declined.
Noble increased its production forecast to reflect new production from fields in the Marcellus Shale region of Appalachia. Its expects to produce between 226,000 and 234,000 barrels of oil and gas in the fourth quarter and between 220,000 and 222,000 barrels of oil and gas per day in 2011.
Shares of Noble Energy Inc. rose more than 2 percent, or $1.93, to $86.07 in early trading.