3. Helmerich & Payne ( HP) is a driller of oil and gas wells for domestic, offshore and international projects. HP will announce fourth-quarter 2011 results Nov. 17.

For the fourth quarter of 2011, the company is expected to pay a dividend of 7 cents a share as compared to 6 cents per share in the year ago quarter. Currently, the company has a dividend yield of 0.5%.

For the fourth quarter of 2011, net income is seen increasing to $114.25 million, or $1.05 per share, from $82.81 million, or 77 cents per share, in the year-ago quarter. Sales are seen rising 20% to $672.86 million from $558.96 million in the same quarter prior year. Gross margin is likely to expand to 44.77% from 28% in the year-ago period. Return on assets is seen increasing to 4.49% from 3.71% in the year-ago period, while cash flow per share is also seen increasing by 62% to $1.97.

Of the 22 analysts covering the stock, 41% recommend a buy and 55% suggest a hold. Analysts polled by Bloomberg expect the stock to gain almost 23.4% to $66.13 from current levels over the next 12 months.

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