NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Earnings season is my favorite time of year, even with the go-go nonstop action that forces so many sleepless nights. We have over 100 companies that are worth keeping your eyeballs focused on. Included here are the six most market moving energy-related companies.
: Diamond Offshore operates as an offshore oil and gas drilling contractor worldwide. It offers a range of services in the ultra-deepwater, deepwater and midwater markets, as well as in the non-floater or jack-up market. The company was founded in 1989 and is headquartered in Houston, Texas. Diamond is a subsidiary of
. Diamond Offshore trades an average of 1.3 million shares per day with a marketcap of $9 billion.
: $50.73 to $73.50
Price to Book
DO is forecast to report lower third-quarter earnings before the market opens on Oct. 18.
The consensus estimate is currently $1.01 a share, falling 84 cents (45.4%) from $1.85 during the same period last year. Analysts' estimates this quarter range from 83 cents, to a high of $1.16 per share.
Bret Jensen writes about Diamond in
Buy These Drillers on the Dip.
Diamond has many analysts following it, but opinion is mixed. Currently, Diamond has 16 buy recommendations, 17 holds and six recommend selling, out of 39 analysts covering the company. The stock appreciated 18% in the last year, and the average analyst target price for Diamond Offshore is $72.52.
I looked at Diamond's chart to gain a better understanding of market perception. The 200-day moving average is climbing at a sustainable bullish pace. The 60-day moving average is above the 200-day moving average while trending higher. The 60-day is rounding and the price recently broke lower.
What does it all mean? Technical traders and trend followers are not going to jump at the chance to invest based on the chart.
Shareholders receive $3.50 annually in dividend payments (well, sorta, kinda . . . actually Diamond has a small "regular" dividend and also has paid a "special" dividend over and over to bring the effective rate higher). Diamond's yield based on a recent price is almost eye popping at 5.36%.
The current proportion sold short based on the float is 7.1%, and I find this much interest by short sellers worth looking at in more depth. The high yield and the payout are the first things to look at. Short sellers have to pay what is known as "in lieu of" for the dividends the buyers of the stock would normally receive. Short sellers don't enjoy paying over 5% to maintain their short unless they believe the stock is likely to fall by a much greater amount.
The payout is high, and all things considered, I would not count on the high dividend as much as many others paying in the same range. The fact that the majority of the dividend is "special" is a red flag.
DO Revenue Quarterly
: McMoRan Exploration engages in the exploration, development, and production of oil and natural gas in the shallow waters of the Gulf of Mexico and onshore in the Gulf Coast area of the United States. The company was founded in 1994 and is headquartered in New Orleans, Louisiana. McMoRan trades an average of 2.3 million shares per day with a marketcap of $2 billion.
: $7.76 to $16.57
Price to Book
Investors aren't expecting an improvement in earnings. Analysts forecast per share results below last year in the same quarter. The earnings release is planned before the market opens on Oct. 19.
The consensus estimate is currently a loss of 14 cents a share, abating 8 cents from a loss of 6 cents during the matching period in the previous year. Loss estimates from analysts range from as deep as losing18 cents per share, up to as "little" as a loss of 4 cents per share.
Henry Schwartz writes about McMoRan in
Steep and Flat Skews.
Taken as a whole, the analysts are not bestowing much direction for McMoRan. Three out of 10 analysts rate McMoRan a hold. Five recommend this company as a buy and 1 recommends selling. Shares appreciated 8.4% in the last year, and the average analyst target price for McMoRan Exploration Co. is $14.06.
Shares have sold off since summer, but are not extremely oversold yet. Without beating estimates for the quarter and raising guidance, it appears McMoRan may test single-digit prices again soon.
Short interest with this stock is very high. More than one in five shares is short. Shorts are the smart money, but when they pile on this hard it can backfire too. The proportion of the float short is 22.2%. If they can hit the ball out of the bark, McMoRan has the makings for a short squeeze.
Weinstein Stock Tip
: Expect upward price action leading up toward the release as shorts cover and or hedge with options. Don't assume increases leading up to the release are a result of favorable results leaked.
MMR Revenue Quarterly
: Noble operates as an offshore drilling contractor for the oil and gas industry. The company offers contract drilling services for oil and gas wells. The company was founded in 1921 and is based in Baar, Switzerland. Noble trades an average of 3.2 million shares per day with a marketcap of $9 billion.
: $28.73 to $41.71
Price to Book
The third-quarter Oct. 17 earnings announcement is highly anticipated by hopeful investors.
The analysts' mean profit appraisal is presently 51 cents a share, a gain of 2 cents (3.9%) from 49 cents during the corresponding quarter last year. Estimates from analysts range from a low of 42 cents per share, up to 77 cents per share.
Thirty-six analysts rate Noble a buy or strong buy out of 41 analysts. The company has three holds, and one recommends selling. Twelve out of 41 analysts now rate Noble a strong buy up from 11 analysts a month ago. Analyst upgrades are substantially impressive for a company with as many buy recommendations as Noble already enjoys.
In the last year, the stock appreciated 18.7%, and the average analyst target price is $47.29.
The 200-day moving average is climbing, albeit, with a price that is testing the 200-day support level. Noble passed the first test of support; however, stocks rarely go through support on the first try.
I would proceed with caution, and if holding shares, I would seriously consider hedging your position.
Shareholders receive about 56 cents annually in dividend payments. The yield based on a recent price is 1.58%.
Based on the last reported short interest of the float, the short interest is inconsequential and not a concern at 2.6%.
NE Revenue Quarterly
: Baker Hughes supplies oilfield services, products, and technology services and systems to the oil and natural gas industry worldwide. The company was founded in 1972 and is headquartered in Houston, Texas. Baker Hughes trades an average of 4.4 million shares per day with a marketcap of $20 billion.
: $37.08 to $61.90
Price to Book
Baker Hughes is forecast to report lower third-quarter earnings before the market opens on Oct. 19. The consensus estimate is currently 84 cents a share, falling 34 cents (28.8%) from $1.18 during the same period last year. Analysts are estimating as low as 80 cents per share, up to 91 cents per share.
Dan Fitzpatrick writes about Baker Hughes in
Fitz Bits: Looking for a Phillips Breakout.
Analyst opinion is mixed with this company. Most of the analysts surveyed don't believe a buy or a sell is currently warranted. Baker Hughes has 16 buy recommendations out of 31 analysts covering the company, along with 14 holds, and 1 sell recommendation. The stock fell 11% in the last year, and the average analyst target price for Baker Hughes is $54.17, a price not seen yet in 2012.
Shareholders receive 60 cents annually in dividend payments, for a yield of 1.4%.
The short interest is slightly elevated, although, not yet enough to make me want to worry about it. As long as it stays under 4%, I won't give it much thought. Short interest is 3.5%, and if it starts to increase past 5%, I recommend monitoring for a possible exit.
BHI Revenue Quarterly
: Schlumberger, together with its subsidiaries, supplies technology, integrated project management, and information solutions to the oil and gas exploration and production industries worldwide. The company was founded in 1926 and is based in Houston, Texas. Schlumberger trades an average of 6.2 million shares per day with a marketcap of $96 billion.
: $59.12 to $80.78
Price to Book
Third-quarter earnings is highly anticipated by hopeful investors expecting an earnings growth report before the market opens on Oct. 19.
The mean bottom line appraisal is presently $1.07 a share, a gain of 9 cents (8.4%) from 98 cents during the corresponding quarter last year. The lowest analyst estimate this report is $1 per share, and the highest is $1.16 per share. Along with beating last year's results, this quarter is expected to beat last quarter's result of $1.05 per share.
David Katz writes about Schlumberger in
Staying Bullish on Energy.
Analysts are in love with this company. Schlumberger is sporting 31 buy or strong buy from a total of 33 analysts covering the company, with only two holds and no analysts rating it as a sell.
Eleven out of 33 analysts now rate Schlumberger a strong buy up from nine analysts a month ago. The stock appreciated 14.3% in the last year and the average analyst target price for Schlumberger is $88.42.
Based on technical analyst Schlumberger has important attributes. The 200-day moving average is climbing.
This stock currently has an annualized dividend of $1.075, yielding 1.51%.
Short sellers are not interested in betting against this energy company. Short interest is a nonfactor at a rate of 1% of the float.
: Halliburton provides various products and services to the energy industry for exploring, developing, and producing oil and natural gas worldwide. It operates in two segments, completion and production, and drilling and evaluation. The company was founded in 1919 and is based in Houston, Texas. Halliburton trades an average of 13 million shares per day with a marketcap of $32 billion.
: $26.28 to $40.43
Price to Book
Investors aren't expecting an improvement in earnings. Analysts forecast per share results below last year in the same quarter. The earnings release is planned before the market opens on Oct. 17. The consensus estimate is currently 68 cents a share, backsliding 26 cents (27.7%) from 94 cents during the matching period in the previous year. The lowest analyst estimate for this report is 60 cents per share, and the highest is 75 cents per share.
Dick Arms writes about Halliburton in
Don't Believe the Hype.
Halliburton usually reminds me of a great trader named James Saraceno, in trevorbain.com's chat room. Every successful trader I know has something unique about their personality. Saraceno's quirk is a rhyme for stocks with a bullish or bearish view. I must have heard Saraceno say "Hal is your pal" 5 gazillion times, and now it's burned into my brain.
Halliburton has 25 buy recommendations out of 32 analysts covering the company, along with five holds, and one sell rating. The stock is about even for the year with a 1 % gain, and the average analyst target price for Halliburton is $43.33.
This stock currently has an annualized dividend of $0.36, yielding 1.07%.
Currently, the short interest based on the float is inconsequential and not a big concern. Short interest is 2.9%.
I use Zacks.com, WSJ.com, Tradestation, and Reuters for my data. PE is generally adjusted PE based on an average number of shares.
Author does not hold a position in any stock mentioned.
This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.