NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- I was talking to Stephanie Link, the co-portfolio director of Action Alerts PLUS, about energy companies seeking to unlock shareholder value through spinoffs.
Two interesting names came up during our conversation: Noble (NE - Get Report), an owner and leasing agent of offshore drilling rigs; and National Oilwell Varco (NOV - Get Report), a multisegmented services operator that is also mostly engaged in offshore drilling operations.
Noble Corp intends on spinning off much of its shallow water assets, taking a new IPO to offer another 20% of new shares as well as creating shares in the new company for current holders.
The idea behind this move is simple: It is to help Noble concentrate on what they believe, as I do, to be the best opportunity: deep-water drilling. Noble is in the process of building nine new deep-water rigs, where the prospects for leasing rates are far better than in the shallow water rigs that comprise the majority of their assets.National Oilwell Varco is spinning off its distribution assets, which include much of its maintenance and repair services. Stephanie correctly points out that even though this was a $4.5 billion business last year, it was a very low-margin business. Again, NOV is intent upon reaching into the bigger-margin money that it believes will come by concentrating on deep-water services. Both companies are frustrated with the static nature of their share prices -- mostly dead money for most of 2013 -- and are hoping that these "old-school" spinoffs will spur better performance. Are they going to be right? I'm not sure, but one thing I do know is that both companies are right to concentrate on deep-water drilling for the future. I talk with Stephanie more on how to do that outside of these two names in the video above. At the time of publication, Dicker owned shares of APC, BP.. At the time of publication, Action Alerts PLUS, which Stephanie Link co-manages as a charitable trust, owned shares of APC. Follow @dan_dicker This article was written by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.