Atwood Oceanics ( ATW) has denied rumors that it is the target of a merger or acquisition.

The Houston-based offshore drilling contractor's stock has climbed in recent days, in contrary motion to its peers, sparking speculation that it was ripe for the picking. The company denied the rumors in a press release, adding: "The Company is otherwise unaware of any corporate activities that would account for unusual market activity for the Company's common stock."

Shares of Atwood, which competes with the likes of Diamond Offshore Drilling ( DO), Nabors Industries ( NBR) and Transocean ( RIG), closed down 0.4% to $18.97 Tuesday, on volume of nearly three times average. The stock has a 52-week high of $63.46.

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