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Noble Shares Climb as Profit Tops Estimates

Shares of Noble climbed nearly 5 percent on Thursday, a day after the offshore oil and gas contract driller reported a better-than-expected third-quarter profit on improved margins and higher rates for its rigs.

After the market close on Wednesday, Noble said profit excluding one-time items was $1.22 a share, up from 76 cents a year earlier. Analysts had expected $1.17 a share, according to Reuters Estimates.

In a note to clients, Tudor Pickering Securities described Noble's earnings as "beautiful" and said the results raised the bar for other contract drillers.

Noble shares were up $1.89 to $51.75 in late-morning trade on the New York Stock Exchange after rising as high as $52.19 earlier in the session.

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