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The overall market, as measured by the S&P 500, had a rather turbulent week but did not show the same volatility that it has in recent memory. The index rose on Monday, then fell on Tuesday to well below the week's open, and was relatively flat on Wednesday. The biggest gains, however, would come at the end of the week. Mario Draghi, chief of the European Central Bank, pledged to do "whatever is necessary" to save the euro. That triggered a tremendous rally that sent the overall market up on Thursday and into Friday. Oil prices, however, seemed to not be affected as much by this announcement. The price of crude was relatively flat throughout the week. While oil prices did indeed go down slightly in the early parts of the week and then up in the second half, the change in either direction was only a few hundred basis points. As always, this market action had different, but similar, effects on the six offshore drilling companies that I follow in this weekly update series.

SeaDrill (SDRL) opened on Monday, July 23 at $38.12. The stock closed at $39.60 in after hours trading on Friday, July 27. SeaDrill shareholders thus experienced a gain of $1.48 or 3.88% over the past week. SeaDrill opened at $35.79 on July 2, 2012. This gives the stock a four-week gain of $3.81 per share or 10.65%. Earlier this week, SeaDrill announced that it has entered into a $4 billion contract for the use of three rigs in the Gulf of Mexico. This promises to significantly increase the company's revenues beginning in the latter half of 2013.

SDRL 5-Day Chart

Source: Fidelity Investments

SDRL 4-Week Chart

Source: Fidelity Investments

Ensco (ESV) opened at $50.90 on Monday, July 23. The stock closed at $54.41 in after hours trading on Friday, July 27. This gives the stock a gain of $3.51 or 6.90% over the past week. The stock opened at $47.00 on July 2. Stockholders in the company thus saw a gain of $7.41 or 15.77% over the four-week period. Ensco announced its earnings on Thursday, July 26. The company tripled its profits compared to the prior year quarter. The company will also be joining the S&P 500. This will likely apply upward pressure to its share price as various investment vehicles such as index ETFs and index funds are forced to buy the stock.

ESV 5-Day Chart

Source: Fidelity Investments

ESV 4-Week Chart

Source: Fidelity Investments

Transocean (RIG) opened at $46.12 on Monday, July 23. The stock closed at $47.31 in after hours trading on Friday, July 27. Transocean's shareholders thus experienced a gain of $1.19 or 2.58% this week. The stock opened at $44.95 on July 2. This gives Transocean a gain of $2.36 or 5.25% over the trailing four-week period. The company announces its earnings on Thursday, August 2. If the company continues the recent trend of offshore drilling companies showing very strong earnings growth then this could provide the catalyst needed to propel the stock higher.

RIG 5-Day Chart

Source: Fidelity Investments

RIG 4-Week Chart

Source: Fidelity Investments

Diamond Offshore (DO) opened at $64.88 on Monday, July 23. The stock closed at $67.11 in after hours trading on Friday, July 27. This gives the stock a gain of $2.28 per share or 3.51% for the week. The stock opened at $59.28 on Monday, July 2. The stock thus had a trailing four-week gain of $7.83 per share or 13.21%.

DO 5-Day Chart

Source: Fidelity Investments

DO 4-Week Chart

Source: Fidelity Investments

Atwood Oceanics (ATW) opened at $42.67 on Monday, July 23. The stock closed at $44.60 in after hours trading on Friday, July 27. This gives the stock a gain of $1.93 per share or 4.52% for the week. Atwood opened at $37.76 on July 2. Thus, shareholders in the company experienced a gain of $6.84 or 18.11% 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 $35.86 on July 23, 2012. The stock closed at $37.55 in after hours trading on Friday, July 27. Thus shareholders experienced a gain of $1.69 or 4.71% for the week. Noble opened at $32.53 on July 2, 2012. Thus, the stock had a trailing four week gain of $5.02 or 15.43%. Noble has some strong growth potential due largely to its newbuild program.

NE 5-Day Chart


Source: Fidelity Investments

NE 4-Week Chart

Source: Fidelity Investments

Ensco was the best performer this week due largely to the company's very strong second quarter earnings report and on news that the company will be added to the S&P 500. Transocean was the worst performer over the past week, although all six of these companies did see gains over the period. Atwood Oceanics was the best performer over the trailing four-week period. All of the companies here except for Transocean saw their stocks deliver double-digit percentage returns over the past month. Transocean was, obviously, the worst performer over the trailing four week period.

Source: Weekly Performance Update On 6 Offshore Drilling Stocks