Helmerich & Payne: Great Bet If We Hit Massive Levels of Inflation

| About: Helmerich & (HP)
Research Rec.: Helmerich and Payne (NYSE:HP) at $22.55
Tuesday I bought the oil driller Helmerich and Payne at the price of $22.58. If you remember, I recommended this stock on September 29, 2006 at the price of $23.03. After the recommendation, I issued a sell recommendation of the stock on August 12, 2008 when the stock was selling around $53.95. I missed calling a sell recommendation at or near the top when the stock was selling for $77.24 in June of 2008.
Keep in mind that my current purchase is strictly speculation due to the fact that we're still in a severe bear market. This means that when, and if, the market and economy continue to go lower, the demand for oil and its price will go down further. However, according to Dow's theory the following upside targets for HP's stock price are:
  • $37.08
  • $47.12 (50% principal)
  • $57.15
  • $77.24

We can expect that a bear market rally would bring the stock price at least to the $37.08 level. However, we should never forget the downside risks this stock is likely to face. My expectations of the downside are based on the earnings falling by 50% which would not impact the dividend at all. Yet, a decline of earnings should bring a decline in the price of the stock. It is safest for us to assume that the price would fall at least half of the most recent low of $17.01. If you're willing to accept a decline of 62% then this is a great speculation (as opposed to investment) in a quality dividend paying stock. According to MergentOnline, HP has increased the dividend for 31 years in a row.

Some would argue that I should highlight the relevance of peak oil, future inflation due to the government stimulus, increased aggregate demand, and other assorted factors that affect oil. While these matters are important the reality is that the markets rule the day. What I do know about inflation is based on the chart below. I pulled from BigCharts.com the price movement of Helmerich and Payne, Coure D'Alene (NYSE:CDE), Agnico-Eagle (NYSE:AEM) and the Dow Jones Industrial Average from the period of 1973 to 1983.

click to enlarge

Notice how HP was able to beat out the traditional favorites during inflation like Agnico-Eagle, a gold mining company. Also notice how HP hammered the best precious metal bet on inflation, silver, as represented by CDE. As expected, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was a non factor as an investment but was used as a point of reference. If we're headed towards massive levels of inflation, after the wipe out of assets in the current deflation, then HP might be the best of the best when that time comes.