Stock Option Investment Advice

Atwood Oceanics (ATW) Boasts Strong Fiscal Second Quarter

Houston based Atwood Oceanics (ATW) announced a strong gain in second quarter profit and revenue. The offshore oil field service provider said its profits jumped 32 percent during the quarter ending March 31, while its revenue spiked 20 percent.

Net income for the quarter was $41.8 million, or $1.30 per share. During the same quarter in 2007, the company earned $31.8 million, or $1.01 per share. Revenue rose to $113.5 million, from $94.3 million during the second quarter last year. These are all strong numbers that are certainly please to investors holding the company in their trading portfolio or personal stock portfolio.

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Analysts had anticipated a more modest profit for the company. Estimates pegged earnings at $1.15 per share on revenue of $109 million. The sound beating of expectations definitely motivated stock trading following the announcement. The company’s share price rose about $3, or about 3 percent during the trading day, after the announcement.

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Covered calls might come into play at this point for the stock. Investors operating on a long-term stock trading strategy may decide covered call strategies are a good short-term position given the stock’s relatively high price point. The stock is just off its 52-week high, which is above $113. It currently trades near $106. The one year price target is below at $97.78.

As an oil-based company, Atwood is obviously benefiting from increased service revenue resulting from the continued demand and price growth in oil. Oil prices are on a seemingly endless rise as they just cleared $124 per barrel. Earlier this week, stock research and investment research firm Goldman Sachs called for oil to reach $150-200 per barrel within two weeks.

The potential challenge for Atwood is similar to that of other companies growing from increased oil demand. If oil demand slows and prices stop their relentless climb, the risk is for stock investing demand to slow, potentially prompting a strong reversal in share prices leading to a sharp drop.

Based on the potential for strong demand for oil through the busy summer season, a possible aggressive strategy for the conservative investor might be to watch for a dip in price and to buy shares of the company. The likelihood of oil demand and price rises through the summer seems fairly certain. Many analysts are watching for $4.00 per gallon retail gas prices this summer. The Energy Information Administration just this week forecasted an average June gas price of $3.73.

Regardless of the stock choice, holding at least one oil based stock in a trading portfolio seems like a good strategy for many investors over the next several months. A diversified portfolio is generally recommended and an oil service company seems to be a good fit for a thoroughly diversified investors.

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[tags] Houston, ATW, Atwood Oceanics Inc., covered call strategies, investing in stock options, personal stock portfolio, poweroptions, stock investing, stock market help, stock market investment strategies, stock options, stock research, stock trading [/tags]

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