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Petrobras' Search May Be a Boon for National Oilwell Varco

Stocks in this article: PBR NOV MS TOT

The so-called FPSO (Floating, Production, Storage and Offloading) technology vessels remove the need for pipelines and thus lessen the risk of oil spills. The FPSO platform is portable, so it can be directed out of the path of hurricanes, another major plus.

As the PBR Web article referenced above puts it, "The BW Pioneer is the first FPSO to produce oil and gas in the U.S. portion of the Gulf of Mexico, and has the capacity to process 80 thousand barrels of oil and 500 thousand cubic meters of natural gas per day. Petrobras is the first company to develop an oil field in the Gulf of Mexico using a FPSO, a technology that has already been successfully and systematically employed in Brazil."

As the price chart below demonstrates, PBR shares hit its 52-week low and 3-year low price of $17.27-a-share on June 28th, 2012. On Friday, Sept. 14 shares hit an intraday high of $24.83, close to a 44% price rebound in less than three months! It closed on Monday, Sept. 17 at $23.85.

PBR Chart PBR data by YCharts

Investors appear to agree with many analysts who found PBR's share price undervalued below $18, but now they seem somewhat pricey and look poised for a pullback. On Monday they closed down 1.4% to $23.85. Patient investors may wait to see if shares retrace half their gain and consolidate around $19.40.

By offering to sell part of its production and mineral rights in these prolific energy fields, the company is inadvertently telling the energy and investment community that FPSO vessels and technology actually works.

According to the Journal article, that would be a nice positive for Houston-based National Oilwell Varco (NOV).

NOV is a lucrative company that designs, constructs, manufactures and sells systems, components, and products for oil and gas drilling and production, as well as provides oilfield services and supplies, and supply chain integration services to the upstream oil and gas industry worldwide. The company recently hit its 52-week share price high above $87 a share after reporting a 26% year-over-year quarterly earnings gain as of June 30.

With a price-to-earnings-to-growth (PEG) ratio of only 0.86, and the potential for some big new orders (NOV has been buying companies that make FPSO parts), look for opportunities to snag some shares when they next visit the lower Bollinger Bands region near $75 . With shares currently around $83.80, you may not need to wait too long.

As of the time of publication the author had no position in any of the companies mentioned.

This article was written by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.

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