Northern Oil and Gas, Inc.'s third quarter earnings exceeded analyst predictions, surging dramatically from the year-ago period on the back of record oil and gas sales and gains from oil hedges.

The company pocketed $28.6 million, or $0.46 per share, in net income, up from last year when it logged just under $1 million in income and $0.02 per share. Analysts estimated earnings of $0.22 per share.

Revenues soared to $69 million, up from $9.8 million in the prior-year period, surpassing analyst predictions of $46.06 million. The higher revenue reflected an increase in prices. Average prices for a barrel of oil were 17 percent higher than they were during the same period a year ago.

Revenues were bolstered by a 181-percent increase in oil and natural gas sales, which hit a record $43.7 million compared to last year. The company's quarterly production volumes totaled 528,362 barrels of oil, a 111-percent increase when compared to the 2010 third quarter, and a 32-percent increase when compared to this year's second quarter.

Also significantly contributing to the revenues was $27.1 million in mark-to-market gains from oil hedges compared with a $6.4 million loss a year ago.

The company this past quarter also announced Thomas W. Stoelk, 56, will be the company's new chief financial officer. He will join the company starting Dec. 12.

We are extremely excited to add Tom to the Northern Oil team, and believe he will add a wealth of experience and expertise to our rapidly growing company, said Michael Reger, the company's chief executive officer. We believe Tom's skill set will fit perfectly with the objectives of our company going forward.