Noble Corp. today reported a 40% incline in net income for its third-quarter ended September 30.

The company's earnings hit $318 million, or $1.18 a share, from $207.2 million, or 76 cents a share a year ago, a near 55% jump. The average analyst estimate was $1.17 per share. Revenue also spiked, advancing 40% to $792 million from $562 million in the year-ago period.

The oil-drilling firm attributes its third-quarter success to the strength of its international presence.

Things can only look up for Noble, as the company has disclosed that one of its rigs in the Gulf of Mexico will most likely return to full service by the end of the month. Analysts agree, giving NE 12 strong buy ratings, 2 buy ratings, 4 hold ratings, 1 sell rating, and no strong sell ratings.

After enjoying a steady ramp higher since early March, NE stock topped out just below the 54 level in late July before retracting to the 48 level. Shares have stayed somewhat sideways since early August, meeting support at $46 and resistance at $51.

Today, the stock has broken the crucial $51 barrier after rallying nearly 4% in the wake of good earnings' news. Currently, NE is trading at $51.76, up 3.85%.