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TheStreet Open House

Bet on the Horse and the Jockey

Stocks in this article: ATPG LUK GS

ATP Oil and Gas (ATPG), once a market favorite, has been hit hard as oil prices have plummeted. The company has a market cap of $110 million, but debt of about $1.3 billion. However, over the last several months the company has announced asset monetization deals and most importantly, the deals have gone through. Proceeds have been used to pay down debt.

The company is still run by the founder and insiders own over 20% of the stock. Last week during a company presentation, the company announced that it was seeking out other initiatives to help maximize the value of the company's assets. Several days later, the company announced a $150 partnership deal with a unit of General Electric (GE - Get Report).

Yesterday Mar. 2 , the company announced it had earned $3.34 per share in 2008. The company replaced 214% of its 2008 production, an impressive metric by any standard in the oil industry. The market can't seem to get over the debt, but the biggest portion, $1.04 billion, is not due until 2014. The company is in fine shape to meet all debt covenants for 2009.

Insiders haven't been selling at all and with 20% insider ownerships, the executives are behaving just as they should be -- like shareholders. Each share of stock today represents over seven barrels of proved and probable oil reserves.

Finally, Goldman Sachs (GS - Get Report) has weathered the storm exceedingly well relative to peers. If we are going to blame the top brass at Citigroup (C - Get Report) and Bank of America (BAC - Get Report) for the disasters those banks are facing, then it's only fair to give Lloyd Blankenfien some credit for steering Goldman away from complete meltdown. It's been the only financial to raise outside capital from Warren Buffett.

While book value has been a trap for the financial industry, Goldman's appears more solid than the rest. Even though it is now a bank holding company, Goldman uses mark-to-market to value its holdings and the valuations currently applied reflect the grave fears in the marketplace today.

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