Shares of DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. were trading higher Friday following the studio’s third quarter earnings, boosted by the company’s box office hit, “Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted.”

The Glendale-based animation studio reported net income of $24.4 million (29 cents a share) for the quarter, compared with $19.7 million (23 cents) in the same period a year earlier. Revenue was up 16 percent to $186 million.

The results handily beat analysts’ projections of earnings of 11 cents a share on $139 million in revenue, according to Thomson Financial Network.

The strong financial performance was attributed to the strong performance of the third installment in the “Madagascar” series about zoo animals shipwrecked on the island nation. It brought in $47.1 million during the quarter and $720 million in worldwide box office.

“Madagascar 3” is the fifth highest-grossing film of the year on a global basis, said DreamWorks Animation Chief Executive Jeffrey Katzenberg, in a statement.

Earlier feature films “Puss in Boots” and “Kung Fu Panda 2” contributed to the quarter through international pay television sales.

Earnings for the fourth quarter are expected to be driven by the continued international box office and global home video market of “Madagascar 3” and the theatrical release of “Rise of the Guardian” in November.

Shares were up $1.44, or 7 percent, to $22.05 in afternoon trading on the Nasdaq.

Mark R. Madler