In a note to investors today FBR Capital Markets analyst Robert MacKenzie boosted his price target on Transocean, the world's largest provider of contract drilling, services to $96 from $70, saying the shares are continuing to reverse a trend that has seen Transocean lag its rivals.
MacKenzie reiterated an ''outperform'' rating on Switzerland-based Transocean (RIG). Shares of Transocean surged $3.93, or nearly 5%, to close at $82.94 and are less than $11 away from the 52-week high set in January 2010.
While MacKenzie is bullish on the stock, he did lower his earnings estimates however, as Transocean's rigs will continue to see downtime in the Gulf of Mexico, at least through the third quarter of this year, according to Barron's.
The analyst seems to have mixed emotions about Transocean rival Diamond Offshore (DO). He maintains an ''underperform'' rating and $56 price target on that stock and said today he was raising 2010 and 2012 earnings estimates, but paring his forecast for this year because Diamond Offshore will have to perform maintenance on some of its rigs, hampering earnings in the process.