Transocean operates a fleet of more than 160 rigs and vessels, giving it scale that others lack. With seven new vessels on the way, the firm is materially growing its capacity now, while interest rates remain low and energy companies look for cost-efficient ways to pull commodities out of the ground. The firm's decision to sell off its legacy jackup fleet in favor of building next-generation jackup equipment should give RIG some extra advantages over competitors with less modern fleets. By making big moves while the firm was dealing with Macondo-related turmoil, management was able to pull off changes in one clean move.
More recently, Transocean has been undergoing a proxy battle with Carl Icahn, which finally got resolved yesterday with RIG's decision to pay a $3 per share dividend and change up the board's composition. Ultimately, the move should speed along shareholder returns for 2014.
Wells FargoBig bank Wells Fargo ( WFC) is having a solid year in 2013; shares of the financial giant have rallied 25% since the calendar flipped over to January. And that's in spite of the $869 million settlement that the firm agreed to pay out a month ago -- a payout that takes a material bite out of Wells' earnings for the quarter ahead. >>Buy These 5 REITs to Cash In This Year That doesn't change the fact that Wells Fargo is certainly the best-positioned of the big banks. Wells was one of the best-capitalized names heading in to the Great Recession five years ago, and it's continued that tradition all the way out, picking up Wachovia's huge deposit base along the way. The firm's huge basket of cheap deposits should continue to fuel its earnings in the years ahead, especially as rates take on some upward trajectory. After all, as rates get boosted, the spreads WFC earns on its loan book will too. Right now, Wells Fargo boasts one of the heftiest dividend payouts among mega-cap financial firms, and that cost yield should continue to grow for investors who get in early. Wells actually trades for a discount to the earnings premium placed on other big banking names right now. That makes this Rocket Stock a good buy for investors seeking financial sector exposure.