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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Northern Oil & Gas Inc. (NOG) are higher by 11.27% to $9.08 on heavy volume in early afternoon trading on Friday, after the independent energy company posted better than expected 2014 fourth quarter earnings results. Another factor pushing Northern Oil stock higher today is the rise in the price of oil.

For the most recent quarter Northern Oil said its non-GAAP adjusted earnings were 21 cents per share, higher than the 20 cents per share analysts polled by Zacks Investment Research were anticipating.

Revenue for the 2014 fourth quarter was $257.5 million compared to the $102.1 million analysts had forecast.

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Oil prices are moving into the green today following a session of losses on Thursday. Crude oil (WTI) is up by 1.76% to $49.02 per barrel and Brent crude is gaining by 2.80% to $61.73 per barrel this afternoon, according to the index.

Oil is advancing today as traders are expecting data to show another reduction in U.S. drilling activity, and a survey from OPEC saying output declined in February, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates NORTHERN OIL & GAS INC as a Hold with a ratings score of C-. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate NORTHERN OIL & GAS INC (NOG) a HOLD. The primary factors that have impacted our rating are mixed some indicating strength, some showing weaknesses, with little evidence to justify the expectation of either a positive or negative performance for this stock relative to most other stocks. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, compelling growth in net income and attractive valuation levels. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including generally higher debt management risk and a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself."

You can view the full analysis from the report here: NOG Ratings Report

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