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The overall market, as measured by the S&P 500 index, had a rocky week as it declined slowly by steadily from early Tuesday through late Thursday. The market did see a rally on Friday but it was not strong enough to pull the index back up to its levels earlier in the week. Oil prices reacted quite differently, meanwhile. Overall, crude oil prices rose slowly until midday Thursday when they plunged. Friday saw a slight recovery, but prices remained well below Monday's opening price. As usual, this market action had differing effects on the six offshore drilling stocks that are tracked in this weekly series.

SeaDrill (SDRL) opened on Monday, August 20 at $41.10. The stock closed at $41.13 in after hours trading on Friday, August 24. SeaDrill shareholders thus experienced a gain of $0.03 or 0.01% over the past week. SeaDrill opened at $39.58 on July 30, 2012. This gives the stock a four-week gain of $1.55 per share or 3.92%. SeaDrill will announce its second quarter earnings on Monday, August 27. Over the past week, I posted a three article series on Seeking Alpha in which I laid out my predictions and analysis of what to expect with this earnings report. I expect to see contract revenues show an increase over the first quarter, possibly tempered by downtime on some ultra-deepwater rigs due to maintenance on the blow-out preventers.

SDRL 5-Day Chart

Source: Fidelity Investments

SDRL 4-Week Chart

Source: Fidelity Investments

Ensco (ESV) opened at $57.62 on Monday, August 20. The stock closed at $57.52 in after hours trading on Friday, August 24. Shareholders thus incurred a loss of $0.10 or 0.17% over the past week. The stock opened at $54.27 on July 30. Stockholders in the company thus profited from a gain of $3.25 or 5.99% over the trailing four-week period.

ESV 5-Day Chart

Source: Fidelity Investments

ESV 4-Week Chart

Source: Fidelity Investments

Transocean (RIG) opened at $49.15 on Monday, August 20. The stock closed at $48.96 in after hours trading on Friday, August 24. Transocean's shareholders thus incurred a loss of $0.19 or 0.39% this week. The stock opened at $47.25 on July 30. This gives Transocean a gain of $1.71 or 3.62% over the trailing four-week period. Brazil's Petrobras (PBR) pledged support for Chevron (CVX) and its contractor Transocean this week for in the two firms' legal battle over a 3,000 spill off of the coast of Brazil. This indicates that Brazil's state-run oil company seemingly wants to do everything in its power to prevent Transocean from being locked out of the country as Petrobras needs a large number of offshore rigs to meet its expansion goals.

RIG 5-Day Chart

Source: Fidelity Investments

RIG 4-Week Chart

Source: Fidelity Investments

Diamond Offshore (DO) opened at $68.63 on Monday, August 20. The stock closed at $66.69 in after hours trading on Friday, August 20. Shareholders of Diamond Offshore thus incurred a loss of $1.94 per share or 2.83% for the week. The stock opened at $66.25 on Monday, July 30. The stock thus had a trailing four-week gain of $0.44 per share or 0.66%. Diamond Offshore went ex-dividend on July 30, 2012. Shareholders as of that date will receive total dividends of $0.875. Thus, the company delivered a total gain of $1.315 or 1.98% to its investors over the trailing four-week period. Diamond Offshore was downgraded this week by Guggenheim from "Buy" to "Neutral." Guggenheim cited the lack of near term catalysts and the stock's current valuation. Interestingly, the price target remained the same at $77. Additionally, the company was forced to evacuate several rigs in the Gulf of Mexico due to the possibility of Tropical Storm Isaac turning into a hurricane. These factors likely weighed on the stock this week and led to the poor performance relative to peers.

DO 5-Day Chart

Source: Fidelity Investments

DO 4-Week Chart

Source: Fidelity Investments

Atwood Oceanics (ATW) opened at $46.00 on Monday, August 20. The stock closed at $45.63 in after hours trading on Friday, August 24. This gives the stock a loss of $0.37 per share or 0.80% for the week. Atwood opened at $44.62 on July 30. Thus, shareholders in the company experienced a gain of $1.01 or 2.26% 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 $38.67 on August 20, 2012. The stock closed at $38.45 in after hours trading on Friday, August 24. Thus shareholders suffered a loss of $0.22 or 0.57% for the week. Noble opened at $37.54 on July 30, 2012. Thus, the stock had a trailing four week gain of $0.91 or 2.42%. Noble went ex-dividend on August 2, 2012. Shareholders as of that date will be receiving a dividend payment of approximately $0.13. Thus, stockholders saw a gain of $1.04 or 2.77% over the trailing four-week period when the dividend is considered. Noble Corporation will be presenting at the Barclay's Capital CEO Energy-Power Conference on September 6. I will be analyzing the company's presentation and posting it to this site after the event.

NE 5-Day Chart


Source: Fidelity Investments

NE 4-Week Chart

Source: Fidelity Investments

Only SeaDrill delivered a gain over the past week, albeit a small one. As a result, it was the best performing stock of this group over that timeframe. All five of the other stocks handed a loss to investors over the past week. Ensco had the smallest percentage loss of the five losers. Diamond Offshore was the worst performer of these six by a margin of more than 200 basis points. All of the stocks look much better over the trailing four-week period, however. All six delivered percentage gains over that period. Of these, Ensco was by far the best performer and Diamond Offshore the worst.

Source: Weekly Performance Update On 6 Offshore Drilling Stocks