It's Time To Add These 2 Drillers Back Into Portfolios

Drilling Companies Making A Comeback $DO $NE

With less and less drilling over the last few years there hasn’t been much action when it comes to drilling companies.  But things are shaping up as natural gas is getting a new push from price increases and newly discovered oil patches fight for rig time.  These sleeping giants are looking more and more attractive as drilling companies start to out perform their share prices.

After trailing the market since 2010, energy services stocks Diamond Offshore (DO) and Noble Corporation (NE) are starting to show signs of life again.

Earnings are reversing their late decade slide.

At Diamond Offshore, earnings per share peaked at $9.89 in 2009 before retreating to $4.63 in 2012. However, this year may be the trough for earnings. Analysts are projecting a return to earnings growth in FY13, with consensus looking for a 14% lift to $5.27. This would mark the most substantial percentage gain in earnings since 2008.

At Noble, earnings similarly peaked in 2009, at $6.41, before retreating to $1.30 in 2011. In 2012, they’re expected to increase 75% to $2.28 and in FY13, they’re expected to climb another 91% to $4.35.

While natural gas prices plummeted in the U.S., they’ve remained stronger overseas.

Extensive shale drilling cut domestic natural gas prices in half from 2008′s highs. The drop in prices overseas has been less dramatic, particularly in Japan, where LNG demand has increased following its nuclear reactor disaster.

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