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The overall market, as measured by the S&P 500 index, continued on its upward trajectory over the past week. The market index was relatively flat on Monday and then dipped in after-hours trading so that it opened lower on Tuesday morning than where it closed on Monday. The index then shot upward before dipping again between Tuesday's close and Wednesday's open. That upward direction continued until Friday, which corrected immediately following the open. The market then rallied around midday and went back up to close at 1,485.98. That marked the highest point that the market hit during the week. The oil market was much choppier, but oil prices did still climb over the week. Nearly all of this gain came in a massive rally on Thursday in response to a hostage situation at a BP and Statoil plant in Algeria. Other than that, the oil markets showed a number of rallies and corrections throughout the week but were otherwise range-bound. As usual, this had different effects on the seven offshore drilling contractors that are tracked in this weekly update series.

Seadrill (NYSE:SDRL) opened on Monday, January 14 at $38.25. The stock closed at $38.67 in after hours trading on Friday, January 18. Seadrill shareholders thus saw the value of their holdings increase by of $0.45 per share or 1.10% over the past week. Seadrill opened at $37.38 on December 24, 2012. This gives the stock a trailing four-week gain of $1.29 per share or 3.45%. Seadrill announced this week that it has received a contract extension from Tullow Oil for the use of the West Leo drilling rig. I hope to have an analysis of this contract extension posted to this site by the time you are reading this, but overall this contract extension improves Seadrill's earnings visibility and shows the strength of the offshore drilling industry.

SDRL 5-Day Chart

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Source: Fidelity Investments

SDRL 4-Week Chart

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Source: Fidelity Investments

Ensco (NYSE:ESV) opened at $61.07 on Monday, January 14. The stock closed at $61.82 in after hours trading on Friday, January 18. Shareholders thus saw the value of their holdings increase by $0.75 per share or 1.23% over the past week. The stock opened at $59.29 on December 24. Stockholders in the company thus saw their holdings increase by of $2.53 per share or 4.27% over the trailing four-week period. Barron's published a short analysis predicting that Ensco shares could continue to rise to $70 going forward. This would give a 13.13% return from the present level if Barron's is correct about this.

ESV 5-Day Chart

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Source: Fidelity Investments

ESV 4-Week Chart

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Source: Fidelity Investments

Transocean (NYSE:RIG) opened at $56.11 on Monday, January 14. The stock closed at $55.55 in after hours trading on Friday, January 18. Transocean's shareholders thus saw the value of their holdings decrease by of $0.56 or 1.00% this week. The stock opened at $45.50 on December 24, 2012. This gives Transocean stock a trailing four-week gain of $10.05 or 22.09% over the trailing four-week period. There has been considerable speculation over the past week regarding activist investor Carl Icahn taking a position in Transocean, including the possibility that Mr. Icahn may push Transocean's board to institute a dividend. Transocean also released an updated fleet status report on Friday. This report shows that the company's dayrates are rising and this should lead to increased revenues going forward, however the company's fleet also shrunk slightly as the Trident 17 was put onto the auction block for sale.

RIG 5-Day Chart

(click to enlarge)

Source: Fidelity Investments

RIG 4-Week Chart

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Source: Fidelity Investments

Diamond Offshore (NYSE:DO) opened at $72.37 on Monday, January 14. The stock closed at $73.04 in after hours trading on Friday, January 18. Shareholders of Diamond Offshore thus saw the value of their holdings increase by $0.67 per share or 0.93% over the week. The stock opened at $69.08 on Monday, December 24. The stock thus had a trailing four-week gain of $3.96 per share or 5.73%.

DO 5-Day Chart

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Source: Fidelity Investments

DO 4-Week Chart

(click to enlarge)

Source: Fidelity Investments

Atwood Oceanics (NYSE:ATW) opened at $48.00 on Monday, January 14. The stock closed at $49.80 in after hours trading on Friday, January 18. This gives the stock a gain of $1.80 per share or 3.75% for the week. Atwood opened at $45.25 on December 24, 2012. Thus, shareholders in the company saw the value of their holdings increase by $4.55 per share or 10.06% over the trailing four-week period.

ATW 5-Day Chart

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Source: Fidelity Investments

ATW 4-Week Chart

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Source: Fidelity Investments

Noble Corp (NYSE:NE) opened the week at $36.42 on January 14, 2013. The stock closed at $39.87 in after hours trading on Friday, January 18. Thus, shareholders saw the value of their holdings increase by $3.45 per share or 9.47% for the week. Noble opened at $35.62 on December 24, 2012. Thus, the stock had a trailing four week gain of $4.25 or 11.93%. Noble will announce its fourth quarter 2012 results this week, on January 23. Analysts are expecting earnings of $0.63 per share. Just a month ago, analysts were expecting earnings of $0.68 per share. The company's large amount of downtime may have something to do with this.

NE 5-Day Chart

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Source: Fidelity Investments

NE 4-Week Chart

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Source: Fidelity Investments

Pacific Drilling (NYSE:PACD) opened the week at $9.90 on January 14, 2013. The stock closed at $10.11 in after hours trading on Friday, January 18. Thus, shareholders saw the value of their holdings increase by $0.21 per share or 2.12% for the week. Pacific Drilling opened at $9.38 on December 24, 2012. Thus, the stock had a trailing four week gain of $0.73 per share or 7.78%.

PACD 5-Day Chart

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Source: Fidelity Investments

PACD 4-Week Chart

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Source: Fidelity Investments

All except for one of these stocks saw gains over the trailing five-day period and all seven of them saw gains over the trailing four-week period. The best performer over the past week was Noble Corp, with none of the others anywhere close to matching Noble's gain. The worst performer, and the only stock to see a five-day decline, was Carl Icahn's new target Transocean. Transocean was, however, the best performer by a significant amount over the trailing four-week period. None of the others managed to come close to Transocean's trailing four-week return. The worst performer over the trailing four-week period was Seadrill. As I have discussed in several articles over the past few weeks, the offshore drilling industry remains strong and is getting stronger. I expect to see the sector continue to deliver gains.

Source: Weekly Performance Update On 7 Offshore Drilling Companies