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Noble Corp. ( NE), an offshore oil driller, has been rated a buy since November 2005 on the basis of its record quarterly performance that benefited from favorable market conditions, heightening drilling activities worldwide and its return on equity, which has consistently improved over the last three years. Third-quarter revenue climbed 40.8% on the year to $791.28 million, while net income increased 53.6% to $318.28 million, further supported by operating-margin expansion. There has been heightened drilling and exploration activity recently, following the growing demand for oil and gas because of improving standards of life as well as an increase in automobile usage.