The down momentum is hard. I may look for 28 rather than 30 as an entry point. Risk reward is not favorable at 32-33. ESV not hit as hard but fell into the high 30's just late last year, so I am more fearful of buying other than for a quick trade.
To some extent, the drop in commodities may make a potential qe3 make these stocks fly later in the later year. That may make them worth the gamble.
I wouldn't bank on seeing $28. And the risk/reward isn't favorable at $32-33? Upside about 50%, downside about 10%, I'm not sure it gets much better than that.
I'd love to see a buyback here. A dividend would be nice longer-term but there's a lot of volatility related to dividend announcements, cuts, ex-divi dates etc that I wouldn't care to see in NE. But a solid buyback that shows management's conviction that we're undervalued would be a wise move.
Fields, the aggressive newbuilds program rules out any buyback or dividend increase until 2014 at the earliest...NE runs the balance sheet conservatively and they are close to their own limit on leverage right now (max target of 40% of total cap., if memory serves me right) see the materials on the last investor presentation...Remember that their senior debt rating is now BBB+ down a notch.
Fields---They have had share repurchase plans in the past---they didn't do a very good job then[ usually paid too high] and the results weren't too good. If they have extra cash---give it to the shareholders --at least to put a bandage on the PPS wound!!!