Atwood Oceanics +2.1% as Barron's says shares should climb 40%

|About: Atwood Oceanics Inc. (ATW)|By:, SA News Editor

The Barron's bounce is alive and well even amid today's broad stock market losses, as Atwood Oceanics (ATW +2.1%) benefits from a weekend article that says the midcap offshore driller should rise 40% in the next year.

The vast majority of ATW's rigs are on contract through 2015, meaning ATW is less exposed to the recent dip in day rates than rivals, and ATW is more efficient than peers, making it more resilient in a weaker market; its 40% operating profit margin is 11 percentage points above the average offshore oil driller's and tops rivals' like Transocean (RIG), at 26%, and Rowan (RDC), at 21%.

ATW's free cash flow has been negative since 2011 because of its shipbuilding program, but some analysts think cash should gush again starting in 2015, and the company could start issuing a dividend or buying back shares.