NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- ION Geophysical ( IO), Global Geophysical Services ( GGS), Dawson Geophysical ( DWSN), OYO Geospace ( OYOG) and Geokinetics ( GOK) are five high-growth stocks within the scientific and technical instruments space that doubled in the last one year and have potential upside of 10%-42%. Being analysts' favorites, most of these stocks have no sell ratings.

Geoscientists use seismic data for exploring and developing oil and gas resources and to map potential/recognized hydrocarbon-bearing formations and geologic structures that are contiguous. A seismic survey is crucial for oil and gas exploration. The survey involves arranging several thousands of channels of acquisition equipment in a grid. In tandem, a fleet of vibrator trucks or a dynamite crew returns vibrations on the surface that pass into the formation or the acquisition equipment. The acquisition equipment intercepts and records these vibrations. On analysis, the acquired data provides 3-D images of the subsurface profile and indicates prospective reserves of oil or gas.

Demand for seismic equipment companies' services directly correlates to oil and gas explorers' capital spending, which, in turn, depends on oil and natural gas prices. With the onset of the global economic crisis in the final quarter of 2008, oil prices plunged from record highs reached earlier as the global economic slowdown impacted consumption. As a result, capital spending reduced by 18% during 2009 from 2008 levels, according to a global data report titled Oil & Gas Capital Expenditure Outlook 2011.

Going forward, capital expenditure in the oil and gas industry is expected to witness strong growth in 2011, at 15%. Improved seismic and drilling technologies and depleting reserves in shallow waters are the key drivers of drilling activities, according to the report.

5. ION Geophysical is a technology-focused seismic solutions company providing seismic data acquisition equipment, seismic software, and seismic planning, processing, and interpretation services to the global energy industry. Oil and gas exploration and production (E&P) companies and seismic acquisition contractors use ION's products and services to generate images of the subsurface during exploration, exploitation, and production operations.

For 2010 fourth quarter, the company's revenue was up 30.5% to $158.6 million, compared to the year-ago period on strong data library sales in basins worldwide, coupled with increased sales of towed streamer products. Furthermore, lower operating expenses and revenue growth resulted in the company reporting net income of $20.4 million or 13 cents per share, compared to a loss of $51.7 million or 44 cents per share during the same period a year ago.

For full-year 2010, total revenue grew 5.8% to $444.3 million from 419.8 million in the previous year. Moreover, net loss narrowed to $36.8 million or 27 cents per share, compared to $110 million or $1.03 per share from the prior year.

Of the five analysts covering the stock, 40% recommend a buy while the remaining rate a hold. On average, analysts foresee 9.4% upside to $14 from current levels. During the past one year, the stock has already accumulated 155% - the largest increase in the pack.

4. Global Geophysical Services provides an integrated suite of Geoscience solutions to the global oil and gas industry including high-resolution RG-3D Reservoir Grade seismic data acquisition, multi-client data library products, micro-seismic monitoring, seismic data processing, data analysis, and interpretation services.

For 2010 fourth quarter, total revenue stood at $93.5 million, down 5.2% year-over-year, and a sequential increase of 54.6%. The shift from proprietary to multi-client demand in the North American unconventional resource plays resulted in the year-over-year revenue decline. Moreover, as of Dec. 2010, backlog increased to approximately $265 million compared to $153 million in Dec. 2009.

For the full year, the company reported total revenue of $254.7 million from $312.8 million a year ago. However, cash and cash equivalents rose 65.8% to $28.2 million as cash flow from operations increased44.1% to $115.8 million from $80.4 million a year earlier. Furthermore, the company's multi-client library represented in excess of 7,000 square miles of data at year-end.

The company recently partnered with NuTech Energy Alliance Ltd. to launch a new multi-client product offering that provides an integrated earth model for over 6 million acres of the Eagle Ford Shale in Southwest Texas, built from multidisciplinary geosciences and engineering data spanning cores to well logs to seismic data. The product will support local exploitation, regional understanding, leasehold acquisition, and M&A. The company's wholly owned subsidiary Global Microseismic Services acquired STRM LLC., which offers Tomographic Fracture Imaging analysis (hydraulic fracturing) and interpretation solutions, complementing its existing micro-seismic monitoring services.

All the five analysts covering the stock rate a buy. There are no sell ratings on the stock. On average, analysts estimate 10% upside to $16 in value from current levels. The stock gained 20% during the past one year.

3. Dawson Geophysical is a provider of onshore seismic data acquisition services in the lower 48 states of the U.S., as measured by the number of active data acquisition crews. For the fiscal year ended Sep. 30, 2010, the company derived revenue from three dimension (3-D) seismic data acquisition operations, while it operated twelve 3-D seismic data acquisition crews.

For the latest first quarter ended Dec. 2010, total revenue doubled to $72.6 million from $36.3 million in the previous year. The revenue increase resulted from the redeployment of three data acquisition crews during FY10, increased channel count per crew, and improved utilization rates on existing crews. Subsequently, net loss narrowed to $1.7 million, or 21 cents per share, from $4.2 million, or 54 cents per share, in the year-ago quarter. The company has $35.5 million in cash and cash equivalents and short-term investments, while it remains debt-free.

The company recently completed the acquisition of TGC Industries ( TGE) in a stock-for-stock transaction. Based on the closing prices of both the stocks as of Mar.18, the transaction is valued at $157 million, or $8 per TGC share.

TGC owns in excess of 70,000 channels, of which 8,500 are the single channel OYO units across the U.S. and Canada. The combined entity will have an additional 69 vibrator units, and they are highly compatible with the vibrator energy source units that Dawson operates. In addition, TGC will bring additional survey capacity and dynamite energy source capabilities.

Of the four analysts covering the stock, 50% recommend a buy and 25% rate a hold. The stock has one sell rating. On average, analysts estimate a 12.0% upside to $48 in value from current levels. The stock has gained 46% during the past one year. Recently, Raymond James upgraded the stock to a strong buy with price target of $55.

2. OYO Geospace designs and manufactures instruments and equipment used in the acquisition and processing of seismic data, as well as in the characterization and monitoring of producing oil and gas reservoirs. It also designs, manufactures, and distributes thermal imaging equipment and thermal media products targeted at the screen print, point-of-sale, signage, and textile market sectors. The company operates in two segments: Seismic and Thermal Solutions.

During the latest first quarter ended Dec. 2010, total revenue surged 63.8% to $43.1 million from $26.3 million in the year-ago quarter, driven by a substantial increase in sales and rentals of its seismic products. Seismic sales soared 72.9% to $39.5 million due to strong demand from its wireless data acquisition systems, marine products and seismic reservoir products. The company delivered approximately 29,000 channels of its Geospace Seismic Recorder (GSR) wireless data acquisition systems including 7,800 rented channels. Net income surged to $8.2 million or $1.30 per share, compared to $1.1 million or 18 cents per share a year ago.

Heading into second quarter 2011, the company expects to fulfill sales commitments worth approximately 11,000 single-channel GSR units and rental commitments for another 12,000 single-channel GSR units, bringing its total GSR rental commitments to approximately 20,000 channels. Moreover, the company received a $7.4 million contract from BGP Inc., a subsidiary of China National Petroleum to purchase a 7,000 single-channel GSR wireless seismic data acquisition system, revenue for which is expected to be recognized during the second quarter.

All the three analysts covering the stock recommend a buy. On average, analysts estimate a 32.3% upside to $127 in value from current levels. The stock has already gained 105% during the past one year.

1. Geokinetics provides seismic data acquisition, multi-client data library and seismic data processing and interpretation services to the oil and natural gas industry. The services include acquisition of 2D, 3D, and multi-component seismic data surveys other geophysical services for customers in the oil and natural gas industry.

During the third quarter ended Sep. 2010, total revenue grew 38.4% to $134 million from $96.8 million during the same quarter a year ago. Revenue from seismic acquisition, which contributed 98.5% to total revenue, increased 40% to $132.1 million resulting from higher crew utilization, multi-client data library sales, and the impact of the PGS Onshore acquisition. As of Sep. 2010, total backlog stood at $642 million compared to $519 million at the end of the previous quarter.

The company is scheduled to report fourth quarter and full year earnings on April 1. Analysts polled by Bloomberg expect sales of $194.5 million and a loss of $1.02 per share for the fourth quarter. Estimated revenue represents year-over-year growth of 59%. For the full year, sales are forecast at $515 million, while loss is estimated at $5.6 per share.

Of the seven analysts covering the stock, 86% rate a buy while the remaining rate a hold. There are no sell ratings on the stock. On average, analysts estimate 42% upside to $12 in value from current levels.

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