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The overall market, as measured by the S&P 500, climbed over the past week. It was not a steady climb, however. The index was relatively flat on Monday, fell early on Tuesday and then rallied to close higher, steadily climbed on Wednesday and Thursday, and then fell again on Friday. Oil prices also rose over the week but they had a much steadier climb than did the market index. Overall, all six of the offshore drilling stocks climbed during the week, possibly bolstered by very positive earnings reports from both Diamond Offshore and Noble Corp.

SeaDrill (SDRL) opened on Monday, July 16 at $36.71. The stock closed at $39.30 in after hours trading on Friday, July 20. SeaDrill shareholders thus experienced a gain of $2.59 or 7.06% over the past week. SeaDrill opened at $32.94 on June 25, 2012. This gives the stock a four-week gain of $6.36 per share or 19.3%.

SDRL 5-Day Chart

Source: Fidelity Investments

SDRL 4-Week Chart

Source: Fidelity Investments

Ensco (ESV) opened at $49.20 on Monday, July 16. The stock closed at $52.22 in after hours trading on Friday, July 20. This gives the stock a gain of $3.02 or 6.14% over the past week. The stock opened at $43.29 on June 25. Stockholders in the company thus saw a gain of $8.93 or 20.6% over the four-week period.

ESV 5-Day Chart

Source: Fidelity Investments

ESV 4-Week Chart

Source: Fidelity Investments

Transocean (RIG) opened at $46.21 on Monday, July 16. The stock closed at $47.81 in after hours trading on Friday, July 20. Transocean's shareholders thus experienced a gain of $1.60 or 3.46% this week. The stock opened at $42.47 on June 25. This gives Transocean a gain of $5.34 or 12.6% over the trailing four-week period.

RIG 5-Day Chart

Source: Fidelity Investments

RIG 4-Week Chart

Source: Fidelity Investments

Diamond Offshore (DO) opened at $63.01 on Monday, July 16. The stock closed at $66.03 in after hours trading on Friday, July 20. This gives the stock a gain of $3.02 per share or 4.79% for the week. The stock opened at $57.06 on Monday, June 25. The stock thus had a trailing four-week gain of $8.97 per share or 15.7%. Diamond Offshore announced earnings this past Thursday, July 19. The company significantly beat estimates and this is one factor that led to the rally in the latter part of the week.

DO 5-Day Chart

Source: Fidelity Investments

DO 4-Week Chart

Source: Fidelity Investments

Atwood Oceanics (ATW) opened at $41.45 on Monday, July 16. The stock closed at $43.83 in after hours trading on Friday, July 20. This gives the stock a gain of $2.38 per share or 5.74% for the week. Atwood opened at $36.43 on June 25. Thus, shareholders in the company experienced a gain of $7.40 or 20.3% over the trailing four-week period.

ATW 5-Day Chart

Source: Fidelity Investments

ATW 4-Week Chart

Source: Fidelity Investments

Noble Corp (NE) opened the week at $34.26 on July 16, 2012. The stock closed at $36.84 in after hours trading on Friday, July 20. Thus shareholders experienced a gain of $2.58 or 7.53% for the week. Noble opened at $29.58 on June 25, 2012. Thus, the stock had a trailing four week gain of $7.26 or 24.5%. Noble announced its second quarter results earlier this week, on July 18, and they were very good. The stock surged on the news. The company's presentation of its results shows that the whole offshore drilling sector is showing very strong fundamentals for the next few years at a minimum. I will have an analysis of the results and their implications for investors posted to Seeking Alpha sometime this week.

NE 5-Day Chart


Source: Fidelity Investments

NE 4-Week Chart

Source: Fidelity Investments

Noble Corp was the best performer this week with SeaDrill in a very close second. With that said, all of these offshore drilling companies proved to be very strong performers this week. Transocean was the worst performing stock of these six with a 3.46% gain over the past week. Transocean was also the worst performing stock of these six over the trailing four-week period. Noble was the best performing stock of these six over the trailing four-week period. Three of the stocks (Noble, Ensco, and Atwood Oceanics) gained more than 20% in the trailing four-week period. A fourth stock, SeaDrill, was very close to this hurdle. As Noble's earnings call reveals, it is a good time to be an offshore drilling contractor.

Source: Weekly Performance Update On 6 Offshore Drilling Stocks