4. Hercules Offshore ( HERO) Company Profile: Hercules Offshore is a provider of shallow-water drilling and marine services to the oil and natural gas exploration and production industry. Share Price: $4.03 (Dec. 2) 2011 Stock Performance: 15.8% Analyst Consensus: Like Sirius XM, Hercules Offshore shares had a nice run in 2011. The stock surged in February after the company announced that it would acquire nearly all of Seahawk Drilling's assets for $105 million in cash and stock. However, shares pared those gains in September after Hercules Offshore announced it had increased its stake in Discovery Offshore to more than $34 million. For the most part, analysts like Hercules Offshore, with the stock garnering 10 "buy" ratings out of 24 researchers covering the stock. The average price target of $4.88 would mean an increase of 21% from current levels. Bullish Case: Credit Suisse analyst Brad Handler is optimistic on Hercules Offshore as the Gulf of Mexico market heats up. He has a target price of $6.50, well above the average analyst price target. "We believe continued day-rate and contracting momentum in the Gulf of Mexico should drive a limited number of reactivations by mid-2012, supporting positive share price performance on a relative basis provided macro concerns remain 'eased' on a go-forward basis," Handler wrote in an Oct. 28 research report.