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The overall market, as measured by the S&P 500 index, had a rather rough week. The index was flat on Monday, then immediately began a rapid descent starting on Tuesday morning. This downward course continued all through the week, only interrupted by a quick rally on Thursday morning. That did not last long, however, and the index immediately resumed its downward descent. The oil futures market was a completely different story - it was up for the week. Oil prices descended and then rallied on Monday. This rally continued with a sharp uptick midday Tuesday. The oil market was overall relatively flat for the rest of the week. There were a few soft swings here and there but it remained stuck in a very tight range following the rally early in the week. This affected all seven of the offshore drilling companies that I track in these updates in a different way but for the most part, they all followed the oil markets and not the broader stock market. It was also quite a slow news week for the entire offshore drilling industry so there were few developments that would have any impact on the stock prices.

SeaDrill (NYSE:SDRL) opened on Monday, October 8 at $39.17. The stock closed at $39.55 in after hours trading on Friday, October 12. SeaDrill shareholders thus profited from a gain of $0.38 or 0.97% over the past week. SeaDrill opened at $40.88 on September 17, 2012. This gives the stock a trailing four-week loss of $1.33 per share or 3.25%. SeaDrill's new carved-out MLP, SeaDrill Partners, expects to raise approximately $192.5 million which will be used to acquire stakes in two of SeaDrill's currently operating rigs. Thus, this money will go to SeaDrill in exchange for partial ownership of two rigs. This will serve to free up some capital for SeaDrill, similar to the way that the equity carve-out of North Atlantic Drilling did last year. The partnership itself could also prove to be an interesting opportunity for income-seeking investors.

SDRL 5-Day Chart

Source: Fidelity Investments

SDRL 4-Week Chart

Source: Fidelity Investments

Ensco (NYSE:ESV) opened at $53.84 on Monday, October 8. The stock closed at $54.99 in after hours trading on Friday, October 12. Shareholders thus profited from a gain of $1.15 or 2.14% over the past week. The stock opened at $57.96 on September 17. Stockholders in the company thus suffered a loss of $2.97 or 5.12% over the trailing four-week period.

ESV 5-Day Chart

Source: Fidelity Investments

ESV 4-Week Chart

Source: Fidelity Investments

Transocean (NYSE:RIG) opened at $44.75 on Monday, October 8. The stock closed at $45.50 in after hours trading on Friday, October 5. Transocean's shareholders thus profited from a gain of $0.75 or 1.68% this week. The stock opened at $46.39 on September 17. This gives Transocean stock a loss of $0.89 or 1.92% over the trailing four-week period.

RIG 5-Day Chart

Source: Fidelity Investments

RIG 4-Week Chart

Source: Fidelity Investments

Diamond Offshore (NYSE:DO) opened at $65.43 on Monday, October 8. The stock closed at $66.26 in after hours trading on Friday, October 12. Shareholders of Diamond Offshore thus profited from a gain of $0.83 per share or 1.27% for the week. The stock opened at $68.84 on Monday, September 17. The stock thus had a trailing four-week loss of $2.58 per share or 3.75%. FBR Capital downgraded Diamond Offshore stock this week from Outperform to Market Perform. The reason for the downgrade is that the firm is getting more selective among the offshore drillers. Diamond Offshore is certainly not on the leading edge of this market nor does it have the growth prospects of some of the other drillers such as SeaDrill or Pacific Drilling (or even Noble) so that appears to be the most likely reason for the downgrade.

DO 5-Day Chart

Source: Fidelity Investments

DO 4-Week Chart

Source: Fidelity Investments

Atwood Oceanics (NYSE:ATW) opened at $45.23 on Monday, October 8. The stock closed at $45.58 in after hours trading on Friday, October 12. This gives the stock a gain of $0.35 per share or 0.77% for the week. Atwood opened at $48.69 on September 17. Thus, shareholders in the company experienced a loss of $3.11 or 6.39% over the trailing four-week period.

ATW 5-Day Chart

Source: Fidelity Investments

ATW 4-Week Chart

Source: Fidelity Investments

Noble Corp (NYSE:NE) opened the week at $34.99 on October 8, 2012. The stock closed at $35.86 in after hours trading on Friday, October 12. Thus shareholders profited from a gain of $0.87 or 2.89% for the week. Noble opened at $38.32 on September 17, 2012. Thus, the stock had a trailing four week loss of $2.46 or 6.42%. Stock ratings site TheStreet.com reiterated its BUY rating on Noble stock on Thursday, citing growth in revenue and net operating cash flow. Noble will announce its third quarter earnings on Wednesday, October 17. I intend to have an earnings preview on this site prior to the announcement.

NE 5-Day Chart


Source: Fidelity Investments

NE 4-Week Chart

Source: Fidelity Investments

Pacific Drilling (NYSE:PACD) opened the week at $9.80 on October 8, 2012. The stock closed at $10.14 in after hours trading on Friday, October 12. Thus, shareholders profited from a gain of $0.34 or 3.47% for the week. Pacific Drilling opened at $10.52 on September 17, 2012. Thus, the stock had a trailing four week loss of $0.38 or 3.61%.

PACD 5-Day Chart

Source: Fidelity Investments

PACD 4-Week Chart

Source: Fidelity Investments

All seven of these stocks saw gains over the past week. This stands in stark contrast to the overall market as measured by the S&P 500 index. The best performance out of all seven, however, was delivered by Pacific Drilling. Atwood Oceanics was the worst performer over the past week, followed closely by SeaDrill. In direct contrast to this week's gains, all seven of these stocks delivered losses to investors over the trailing four-week period. Of these, the best performer (and thus the stock with the smallest loss) was Transocean. This stock appears to be hovering relatively close to its bottom, judging from its performance over both the trailing four-week and longer periods. The worst performance belongs to Noble Corp., although Atwood Oceanics is very close behind for this dubious title.

Source: Weekly Performance Update On 7 Offshore Drilling Companies