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Interested in oil and gas drilling stocks? To help give you ideas where to look, we focus today on companies with strong liquidity. Having cash on hand can set oil and gas stocks apart from their peers in that cash can go towards making strategic long-term investments or acquisitions, or towards new exploration. To help narrow the list, we focused on companies that analysts have given a 'Buy' or better ratings. You might be interested in the list we came up with.

The Current ratio is a liquidity ratio used to determine a company's financial health. The metric illustrates how easily a firm can pay back its short obligations all at once through current assets. A company that has a current ratio of one or less is generally a liquidity red flag. Now this doesn't mean the company will go bankrupt tomorrow, but it also doesn't bode well for the company, and may indicate that it could have an issue paying back upcoming obligations.

The Quick ratio measures a company's ability to use its cash or assets to extinguish its current liabilities immediately. Quick assets include assets that presumably can be converted to cash at close to their book values. A company with a Quick Ratio of less than 1 cannot currently pay back its current liabilities. The quick ratio is more conservative than the Current Ratio because it excludes inventory from current assets, since some companies have difficulty turning their inventory into cash. If short-term obligations need to be paid off immediately, sometimes the current ratio would overestimate a company's short-term financial strength. In general, the higher the ratio, the greater the company's liquidity (i.e., the better able to meet current obligations using liquid assets).

We first looked for oil and gas drilling stocks. We then looked for companies that have strong liquidity (Current Ratio>2)(Quick Ratio>2). We then screened for businesses that analysts rate as "Buy" or "Strong Buy" (mean recommendation < 3). We did not screen out any market caps.

Do you think these stocks will outperform? Use our list to help with your own analysis.

1) Halcon Resources Corporation (HK)

Sector:Basic Materials
Industry:Oil & Gas Drilling & Exploration
Market Cap:$1.46B
Beta:1.85

Halcon has a Current Ratio of 29.52, a Quick Ratio of 29.34, and an Analysts' Rating of 1.80. The short interest was 8.06% as of 06/08/2012. Halcn Resources Corporation, an independent energy company, engages in the acquisition, production, exploration, and development of onshore oil and natural gas properties in the United States.

The company holds its interests in Electra/Burkburnett fields located in Wichita and Wilbarger Counties, Texas; Northeast Fitts and Allen fields in Oklahoma; and various fields in Louisiana. As of December 31, 2010, it had proved reserves of 14.

2) FX Energy Inc. (FXEN)

Sector:Basic Materials
Industry:Oil & Gas Drilling & Exploration
Market Cap:$260.94M
Beta:1.72

FX Energy Inc. has a Current Ratio of 6.47, a Quick Ratio of 6.45, and a Analysts' Rating of 1.70. The short interest was 7.03% as of 06/08/2012. FX Energy, Inc. engages in the exploration and production of oil and gas properties primarily in Poland and the United States. The company primarily focuses on the exploration of Rotliegend sandstones in the Permian Basin, Poland. As of December 31, 2011, its estimated proved reserves were 53.

3) Helmerich & Payne Inc. (HP)

Sector:Basic Materials
Industry:Oil & Gas Drilling & Exploration
Market Cap:$5.05B
Beta:1.21

Helmerich & Payne Inc. has a Current Ratio of 2.59, a Quick Ratio of 2.43, and an Analysts' Rating of 2.30. The short interest was 4.36% as of 06/08/2012. Helmerich & Payne, Inc. engages in the contract drilling of oil and gas wells. It provides drilling rigs, equipments, personnel, and camps on a contract basis to explore for and develop oil and gas from onshore areas and fixed platforms, tension-leg platforms, and spars in offshore areas.

The company conducts land drilling operations primarily in Oklahoma, California, Texas, Wyoming, Colorado, Louisiana, Mississippi, Pennsylvania, Utah, Arkansas, New Mexico, Alabama, Montana, North Dakota, and West Virginia; offshore drilling operations in the Gulf of Mexico, offshore of California, Trinidad, and Equatorial Guinea; and international land drilling operations in Ecuador, Colombia, Argentina, Mexico, Tunisia, and Bahrain.

4) Atwood Oceanics, Inc. (ATW)

Sector:Basic Materials
Industry:Oil & Gas Drilling & Exploration
Market Cap:$2.60B
Beta:1.48

Atwood Oceanics, Inc. has a Current Ratio of 2.76, a Quick Ratio of 2.21, and a Analysts' Rating of 2.20. The short interest was 5.92% as of 06/08/2012. Atwood Oceanics, Inc., an offshore drilling contractor, engages in the drilling and completion of exploratory and developmental oil and gas wells worldwide. The company owns 10 mobile offshore drilling units located in the U.S.

5) Samson Oil & Gas Limited (SSN)

Sector:Basic Materials
Industry:Oil & Gas Drilling & Exploration
Market Cap:$148.60M
Beta:1.48

Samson Oil & Gas Limited has a Current Ratio of 3.44, a Quick Ratio of 3.43, and an Analysts' Rating of 1.00. The short interest was 1.53% as of 06/08/2012. Samson Oil & Gas Limited, together with its subsidiaries, engages in the acquisition, exploration, development, and production of oil and gas properties in the United States.

The company holds interests in the North Stockyard project in Williston Basin, North Dakota; the State GC Oil and Gas field in Lea County, New Mexico; the Sabretooth Prospect in Brazoria County, Texas; the Hawk Springs project in Goshen County, Wyoming; and the Roosevelt project in Roosevelt County, Montana. The company was founded in 1980 and is headquartered in Perth, Australia.

*Company profiles were sourced from Finviz.

Source: 5 Cash Loaded Oil And Gas Drilling Stocks To Watch