Hercules Offshore Upgrade Spurs Volume

Hercules Offshore rose after Credit Suisse upgraded the stock to outperform from neutral.
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Hercules Offshore


shares were on the rise Monday on above-average volume after an analyst upgraded the company's shares to reflect improving demand.

Hercules Offshore was on the rise after Credit Suisse analyst Arun Jayaram upgraded the oil and gass drinlling company's stock to outperform from neutral, citing demand for Gulf of Mexico (GOM) jackups and an increased inland barge rigcount. Jayaram also increased his stock price target for Hercules Offshore to $7 a share from $5.

The demand rebound is partially due to the end of hurricane season, Jayaram noted, but said that anecdotal comments from drillers in the third-quarter earnings season as well as a bounce in permits suggest further rigcount gains are likely. That "should support a positive revaluation in Hercules Offshore shares given the company's meaningful leverage to the GOM jackup and inland barge markets."

Shares of Hercules Offshore were jumping by 69 cents, or 13.7%, to $5.73. Earlier in the session, the stock touched an intraday high of $5.79. More than 4.2 million shares changed hands by 11:45 a.m. EDT Monday, compared to the stock's 50-day average daily volume of 5.1 million, according to the



Hercules Offshore has 112.1 million shares outstanding with a short interest float of 4% as of Oct. 12, according to Yahoo! Finance. Insiders hold only 3.7% of the company's shares, with another 64.7% owned by institutions.

-- Written by Robert Holmes in New York


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