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The overall market, as measured by the S&P 500 index, showed considerable volatility over the past week. In the early stages of the week, from Monday until Wednesday, the index surged higher relatively consistently. This changed later in the week. On Friday, the market bore witness to a plunge that completely erased the gains earlier in the week and returned the market index back to the levels where it stood at the beginning of the week. Things were a bit different in the commodities markets. The price of crude oil showed a few momentary falls and rallies throughout the week, however prices were almost perfectly flat until midday Friday. At that time, oil prices spiked upward and then fell. At its peak, WTI crude touched $93 per barrel and quickly fell to just slightly over $90 per barrel. As usual, the market action had a different impact on the seven offshore drilling companies that I track in this weekly series.

SeaDrill (NYSE:SDRL) opened on Monday, October 15 at $39.72. The stock closed at $41.43 in after hours trading on Friday, October 19. SeaDrill shareholders thus profited from a gain of $1.71 or 4.31% over the past week. SeaDrill opened at $39.71 on September 24, 2012. This gives the stock a trailing four-week gain of $1.72 per share or 4.33%. SeaDrill Partners (NYSE:SDLP), SeaDrill's carved-out MLP, announced that shares in its IPO would be priced at $22 per share. At this price, the IPO will result in SeaDrill receiving $192.5 million in exchange for partial stakes in West Capricorn, West Aquarius, West Vencedor, and West Capella. This partnership looks to have several advantages for SeaDrill itself, including increasing the overall liquidity of the company's assets.

SDRL 5-Day Chart

Source: Fidelity Investments

SDRL 4-Week Chart

Source: Fidelity Investments

Ensco (NYSE:ESV) opened at $55.19 on Monday, October 15. The stock closed at $59.51 in after hours trading on Friday, October 19. Shareholders thus profited from a gain of $4.32 or 7.83% over the past week. The stock opened at $57.47 on September 24. Stockholders in the company thus experienced a gain of $2.04 or 3.55% over the trailing four-week period. Stock ratings site TheStreet.com reiterated its BUY rating on Ensco on Monday, citing strong revenue and earnings growth relative to peers.

ESV 5-Day Chart

Source: Fidelity Investments

ESV 4-Week Chart

Source: Fidelity Investments

Transocean (NYSE:RIG) opened at $45.64 on Monday, October 15. The stock closed at $48.52 in after hours trading on Friday, October 19. Transocean's shareholders thus profited from a gain of $2.88 or 6.31% this week. The stock opened at $47.60 on September 24. This gives Transocean stock a gain of $0.92 or 1.93% over the trailing four-week period. Transocean released an updated fleet status report this week. This report shows that several rigs managed to increase their dayrates. The company's contract backlog also increased substantially. Ultimately, this will provide increasing revenue and profits for Transocean once the new contracts take effect. The company's future revenue potential has also been secured due to the increased backlog. This shows improving fundamentals for the company's rig fleet.

RIG 5-Day Chart

Source: Fidelity Investments

RIG 4-Week Chart

Source: Fidelity Investments

Diamond Offshore (NYSE:DO) opened at $66.47 on Monday, October 15. The stock closed at $70.79 in after hours trading on Friday, October 19. Shareholders of Diamond Offshore thus profited from a gain of $4.32 per share or 6.50% for the week. The stock opened at $68.61 on Monday, September 24. The stock thus had a trailing four-week gain of $2.18 per share or 3.18%. Diamond Offshore reported earnings on Thursday that crushed analysts expectations. However, sales, EPS, and profit margins were all lower than the prior year quarter. Diamond Offshore stated that it expects demand for ultra-deepwater and deepwater rigs to remain strong for years.

DO 5-Day Chart

Source: Fidelity Investments

DO 4-Week Chart

Source: Fidelity Investments

Atwood Oceanics (NYSE:ATW) opened at $45.85 on Monday, October 15. The stock closed at $49.58 in after hours trading on Friday, October 12. This gives the stock a gain of $3.73 per share or 8.14% for the week. Atwood opened at $45.86 on September 24. Thus, shareholders in the company profited from a gain of $3.72 or 8.11% 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 $35.92 on October 15, 2012. The stock closed at $39.85 in after hours trading on Friday, October 19. Thus, shareholders profited from a gain of $3.93 or 10.94% for the week. Noble opened at $37.26 on September 24, 2012. Thus, the stock had a trailing four week gain of $2.59 or 6.95%. Noble announced its third quarter earnings after the market closed on Wednesday, October 17. As expected, the company's earnings took a fairly large hit due to downtime and rig delays. The impact from this downtime is limited to the third quarter and so the company's earnings are likely going to see a rebound in the fourth quarter. I expect to have a full analysis of Noble's earnings posted within the next few days.

NE 5-Day Chart


Source: Fidelity Investments

NE 4-Week Chart

Source: Fidelity Investments

Pacific Drilling (NYSE:PACD) opened the week at $10.05 on October 15, 2012. The stock closed at $10.15 in after hours trading on Friday, October 19. Thus, shareholders profited from a gain of $0.10 or 1.00% for the week. Pacific Drilling opened at $10.11 on September 24, 2012. Thus, the stock had a trailing four week gain of $0.04 or 0.40%.

PACD 5-Day Chart

Source: Fidelity Investments

PACD 4-Week Chart

Source: Fidelity Investments

All seven of these stocks saw gains over both the past week and the trailing four-week period. In this case, the strong earnings and fleet status reports coming out of the sector appear to have played a bigger role in this positive performance than the market as a whole. The best performer over the past week was Noble, which returned 10.94%. The worst performer over the past week was Pacific Drilling with a 1.00% gain. The best performer over the trailing four-week period, meanwhile, was Atwood Oceanics. The worst performer over the trailing period was once again Pacific Drilling. Noble and Diamond Offshore both reiterated the industry's strong fundamentals during their respective earnings reports. Ultimately, this should result in continued strong performance over the long-term going forward.

Source: Weekly Performance Update On 7 Offshore Drilling Stocks