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This week was an interesting one for the market, most notably due to Hurricane Sandy and the resulting closures of both the New York Stock Exchange and the NASDAQ on both Monday and Tuesday. As a result, U.S. markets saw only three days of trading this week. The market as a whole, as measured by the S&P 500 index, was broadly higher this week. Wednesday was somewhat choppy and started off with a decline, only to be followed by a late day rally. Thursday opened significantly higher and was volatile, but overall was flat. There was weakness on Friday, culminating in a market sell-off that pushed the index down by approximately ten points. Following this sell-off, the index remained higher than Wednesday's opening price, however.

The hurricane did not affect the status of the crude oil markets and oil traders were active on all five days of this week. Sandy undoubtedly did have an effect on oil prices, however. Oil prices were broadly lower on Monday and then saw a rally followed by a correction on Tuesday. Wednesday saw an early spike upward and then remained relatively flat into midday Thursday. Oil prices spiked again midday Thursday and then began a slow decline that lasted into Friday. Friday saw oil prices plunge rapidly, quickly erasing all of the gains of the whole week and then some. As usual, all this market action had different effects on the seven offshore drilling companies that are tracked by this weekly series.

Seadrill (NYSE:SDRL) opened on Wednesday, October 31 at $41.01. The stock closed at $40.69 in after hours trading on Friday, November 2. Seadrill shareholders thus witnessed a loss of $0.32 or 0.78% over the past week. Seadrill opened at $39.17 on October 8, 2012. This gives the stock a trailing four-week gain of $1.52 per share or 3.88%. In last week s update, I briefly mentioned Seadrill's acquisition of Asia Offshore Drilling. The company continued forward on that this week and increased its ownership of Asia Offshore Drilling to 65.93%. I have submitted an analysis of this takeover to Seeking Alpha and hopefully it will be live on the site by the time you are reading this.

SDRL 5-Day Chart

Source: Fidelity Investments

SDRL 4-Week Chart

Source: Fidelity Investments

Ensco (NYSE:ESV) opened at $58.75 on Wednesday, October 31. The stock closed at $59.59 in after hours trading on Friday, November 2. Shareholders thus profited from a gain of $0.84 or 1.43% over the past week. The stock opened at $53.84 on October 8. Stockholders in the company thus experienced a gain of $5.75 or 10.68% over the trailing four-week period. Ensco shares positively benefited from an earnings beat on Thursday and reached $60 per share at one point during the trading session. This is the highest price that the shares have traded at since 2008.

ESV 5-Day Chart

Source: Fidelity Investments

ESV 4-Week Chart

Source: Fidelity Investments

Transocean (NYSE:RIG) opened at $46.43 on Wednesday, October 31. The stock closed at $46.06 in after hours trading on Friday, November 2. Transocean's shareholders thus suffered a loss of $0.37 or 0.80% this week. The stock opened at $44.75 on October 8. This gives Transocean stock a gain of $1.31 or 2.93% 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 $69.96 on Wednesday, October 31. The stock closed at $68.86 in after hours trading on Friday, November 2. Shareholders of Diamond Offshore thus suffered a loss of $1.10 per share or 1.57% for the week. The stock opened at $65.43 on Monday, October 8. The stock thus had a trailing four-week gain of $3.43 per share or 5.24%. Diamond Offshore went ex-dividend on October 30. Shareholders as of the close of the market on the previous day will receive total dividends of $0.875 per share. This dividend payment effectively decreases this past week's loss to $0.225 or 0.32%. It also effectively increases the trailing four-week gain to $4.305 or 6.58%.

DO 5-Day Chart

Source: Fidelity Investments

DO 4-Week Chart

Source: Fidelity Investments

Atwood Oceanics (NYSE:ATW) opened at $47.71 on Wednesday, October 31. The stock closed at $48.83 in after hours trading on Friday, November 2. This gives the stock a gain of $1.12 per share or 2.35% for the week. Atwood opened at $45.23 on October 8. Thus, shareholders in the company profited from a gain of $3.60 or 7.96% 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 $38.25 on October 31, 2012. The stock closed at $37.13 in after hours trading on Friday, November 2. Thus, shareholders suffered a loss of $1.12 per share or 2.93% for the week. Noble opened at $34.99 on October 8, 2012. Thus, the stock had a trailing four week gain of $2.14 or 6.12%. Noble went ex-dividend on this week on Thursday, November 1. Shareholders as of the close of the market on the previous day will receive a dividend payment of approximately $0.13 per share. This dividend payment effectively decreases the loss over the past week to $0.99 per share or 2.59%. This dividend payment also effectively increases the gain over the trailing four-week period to $2.27 per share or 6.49%.

NE 5-Day Chart


Source: Fidelity Investments

NE 4-Week Chart

Source: Fidelity Investments

Pacific Drilling (NYSE:PACD) opened the week at $10.19 on October 31, 2012. The stock closed at $10.43 in after hours trading on Friday, November 2. Thus, shareholders profited from a gain of $0.24 per share or 2.36% for the week. Pacific Drilling opened at $9.80 on October 8, 2012. Thus, the stock had a trailing four week gain of $0.63 per share or 6.43%.

PACD 5-Day Chart

Source: Fidelity Investments

PACD 4-Week Chart

Source: Fidelity Investments

This week saw mixed performances from these seven companies. Three of the stocks witnessed gains with the remaining four posting losses for the week. Of these, the biggest gain was Pacific Drilling with Atwood Oceanics in a very close second place. The worst performer was Noble Corp by a significant margin. None of these others even came close to posting as large of a weekly loss. The trailing four-week period was somewhat different, performance wise. All seven of these stocks posted gains over that period.

The best performer of the group was Ensco, by a fairly large margin. The worst performer was perennial laggard Transocean which continues to be dogged by the uncertainty surrounding the Deepwater Horizon litigation.

Source: Weekly Performance Update On 7 Offshore Drilling Stocks