GlobalSantaFe Corp.'s third-quarter net income rose 83%, helped by its contract drilling segment, which had lower than expected costs.

The Houston-based drilling contractor's earnings rose to $448.6 million, or $1.96 a share, from $245.6 million, or $1.02 a share, a year earlier. Excluding costs related to its pending acquisition of Transocean Inc. (RIG), per-share earnings were $2.02. GlobalSantaFe's revenue increased 23% to $1.19 billion from $909.2 million a year ago, the company said. On average, analysts polled by Thomson Financial predicted third-quarter per-share earnings of $1.89 and revenue of $1.16 billion