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Quick Hits: McDermott's First Quarter Surprise


Brief scrutiny of today's headlines.

When McDermott (MDR) warned yesterday that first quarter profits would miss Wall Street expectations -- the result of bad weather disruptions of its oil and gas operations -- it was a surprise to me. I know nothing other than what's in the press release at this point, but I'm somewhat skeptical of the excuse.

That said, the company has a tremendous water infrastructure business, which is an area I want to be in. Equally tremendous is its power infrastructure business, another area I want to be in.

McDermott's offshore energy services and construction business should benefit from continued secular tailwinds. It's price to earnings ratio is in the teens, and the company's backlog is almost the same size as its enterprise value. This should lend support to the stock price.

Surprises likes yesterday's downward guidance are the reason I almost always carry protection on my largest long positions. This includes McDermott. Should the stock approach the $50 mark, my inclination is to start shedding, or rolling down, some of my long-dated puts. Otherwise, I'll probably just sit on my hands until the earnings release and conference call.
Position in MDR
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