July 17, 2013 / 9:14 PM / 4 years ago

Noble Corp profits rise with rig rates, reliability

July 17 (Reuters) - Noble Corp, owner of the world's third-largest offshore drilling fleet, reported on Wednesday a higher-than-expected second-quarter profit as the rates paid for its rigs improved and the amount of downtime decreased.

Net profit rose to $177 million, or 69 cents per share, from $160 million, or 63 cents per share, a year earlier. Revenue grew 13 percent to $1.02 billion. Excluding a one-time item, it made 63 cents per share, whereas analysts, on average, had expected 56 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

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