NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The price of a barrel of crude oil is down 18% since June 30, while shares of oil and gas drillers Ensco (ESV) , Noble (NE) - Get Noble Corporation Report and Transocean (RIG) - Get Transocean Ltd. Report are down 33%, 31% and 37%, respectively.
The significant underperformance makes these oil services stocks too cheap to ignore.
Ensco ($37.51) reports quarterly results before the opening bell on Thursday. Analysts expect the company to earn $1.62 a share. This stock has a 12-month trailing price-to-earnings ratio of 6.2 and a dividend yield of 8%. Investors should consider buying weakness to the Oct. 10 low at $35.96, which is 28% below the stock's 200-day simple moving average at $49.76.
Noble ($20.12) reports quarterly results after the closing bell on Wednesday and analysts expect the company to earn 56 cents a share. This stock has a 12-month trailing P/E of 6.1 and a dividend yield of 6.8%. Investors should consider buying weakness to the Oct. 15 low at $17.93, which is 33% below the stock's 200-day SMA at $26.66.
Transocean ($28.52) reports quarterly results on Nov. 5. Analysts expect the company to earn 77 cents a share. This stock has a 12-month trailing P/E ratio of 6.1 and a dividend yield of 9.2%. Investors should consider buying weakness to the Oct. 15 low at $27.91, which is 31% below the stock's 200-day simple moving average at $40.32.
Let's look at the weekly chart for crude oil to justify these investment strategies.
Courtesy of MetaStock Xenith
The weekly chart for crude oil ($80.75) shows the Fibonacci retracements of the popped crude oil bubble -- from its peak at $147.27 in July 2008 to the post-bubble low at $33.20.
The green line is the 200-week simple moving average for crude oil ($80.75) which has been a magnet since mid-2009. Crude oil has been below its 200-week SMA since August 22.
Since Oct. 2010 crude oil has been trading between its 38.2% Fibonacci retracement at $76.84 and its 61.8% retracement at $103.77. Each time oil traded above $103.77 it changed direction to the downside.
Let's compare that with the weekly charts for today's cheap oil services stocks.
Ensco ($37.51) has a pattern similar to that of crude oil, but the stock is well below its 38.2% retracement at $45.34. The buy level is the 23.6% retracement at $36.41, which lines up with the Oct. 10 low at $35.96.
Noble ($20.12) has nearly given up its entire gain from the low of $16.80 set in December 2008. This stock is thus below its 23.6% retracement at $27.04. The Oct. 15 low at $17.93 is the first buy level, then $16.80.
Transocean ($28.52) has given up all of its bubble growth. The Oct. 15 low is at $27.91, and you have to look back to June 2004 for the next chart level at $26.07.
At the time of publication the author held no positions in any of the stocks mentioned.
This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.
TheStreet Ratings team rates TRANSOCEAN LTD as a Hold with a ratings score of C. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:
"We rate TRANSOCEAN LTD (RIG) a HOLD. The primary factors that have impacted our rating are mixed ? some indicating strength, some showing weaknesses, with little evidence to justify the expectation of either a positive or negative performance for this stock relative to most other stocks. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its growth in earnings per share, compelling growth in net income and attractive valuation levels. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that the stock has had a generally disappointing performance in the past year."
You can view the full analysis from the report here: RIG Ratings Report