Fundamentally, IOC seems undervalued, but no amount of discussion seems to matter in the face of market forces.
On a trading basis, it is getting hammered just like most of the junior oil/gas issues. IOC has been down for each of the last 6 trading sessions, equaling its worst string of consecutive down days in the last year-long trading period. Therefore, it is likely to bounce -- even if only marginally -- next week.
However, the current down move is not likely over either in time or price -- for the industry or IOC, absent a "corporate event." Various technical measures need to reach negative extremes.
Having avoided $5 of the recent decline by a previously described covered call sale, my weekly sold puts were exercised last Friday and I'm now the owner of IOC at $47.40. Knowing that I was going to be put the stock last Friday, I wrote some $48 calls expiring this next Friday against the pending position, as an attempt to further subsidize the purchase, if the stock doesn't close above $48 this coming Friday. In addition, I sold some $48 puts expiring this coming Friday to either double my position and/or replace stock to be called away.
I want to be an owner going into the AGM, but only if the stock has already bottomed from the current weakness.
Sooner or later, some fundamentals will shine through.
Trading games will continue while we wait out the current weakness.
I, too, am selling puts to attempt to replace (CHEAPLY) the shares I allowed to be called away at the most recent option expiration. Rather than selling the stock, I'd written calls that resulted in essentially the same result you achieved -- effectively getting $52.06 on 1/2 my positions and $52.66 on the other half.
My own view is that today was the BEGINNING of weakness that will spread out over at least the next few weeks. This is based on the chart and various indicators (mostly momentum) related thereto. The action has been toppy for the last several weeks. It should be noted that this set-up has been in evidence for most of the energy and service stocks, with the exception until very recently in the offshore drillers (SDRL, DO, RIG, et al). Today's Goldman report won't help stem the tide, even though Goldman is typically unhelpful to anyone but their trading book.
With respect to IOC, there's a complicating factor of the upcoming AGM. Something MAY come out of that meeting that trumps the current price/technical action. Having said that, there is ZERO buying enthusiasm for IOC. Volume is unremarkable; option action is subdued -- and the price has gone nowhere for the last couple of weeks. All of this is in spite of the incessant drumbeat of takeover talk.
So, we wait -- and play -- with little risk of any run away to the upside, absent a takeover event.
Today, I sold some $48 puts for $.60 that expire this week. As long as the stock doesn't decline rapidly, they'll expire worthless -- wash, rinse, repeat. At the worse, the stock will be acquired at about $47.40 (about 10% gain in a week) -- less than the 50-day MA (currently at $47.70) which I expect the price to at least touch in the not-too-distant future.
With continued oil sector weakness and a non-event AGM (or at least a market shrug toward whatever comes out), this IOC weakness could take the stock MUCH lower. Good for traders.
At least we are largely rid of the uber pumpers who would "hear" things in their dreams and try to foist the nonsense on the group which became to be called "moderates" -- those who were open to alternative interpretations.
They had their short-term predictions (and financial #$%$) handed to them so many times, their sheeple followers dropped away one by one and they retreated to the safety of the former no-whining pen called SHU.
Even SHU seems now to have some balance, since it isn't any longer being fed by the IOC employee enablers who have been sent packing cutting off the flow of bogus information.