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Play Updates

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The current format of the Play Updates has changed. Only the pertinent data that has changed from the prior week will be shown in an effort to concentrate more on new commentary on new plays rather than restating existing positions. Each play has a link back to either its last full commentary or its initial description.

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OSX - $189.61 +0.07 Oil Service Index - Stop loss OSX $160

No change, support at $180 is holding.

Index Description:

The Philadelphia Oil Service Index is an index of 15 companies that provide drilling and production services, oil field equipment, support services and geophysical/reservoir services. This index contains companies like Halliburton, Nabors, Schlumberger, etc.

Complete list of OSX components

To see the initial commentary on this position click here

Breakdown trigger $185 hit Jan-04

Position:
SHORT Sept $250 PUT - OFJ-UJ @ 58.50, Stop loss OSX $160

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ECA - $46.95 +0.31 - Encana

Rebound is continuing on higher gas prices. No change. Pray for continued cold weather.

To see the initial commentary on this position click here

Earnings schedule: Feb-15th

Current recommendation: Buy at $45

Breakdown target: $45 hit Jan-3rd

Position: 2009 $50 LEAP Call ZBM-AJ @ $6.60

Insurance put: None

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THE $32.47 +0.31 - TODCO

No earnings date yet. Strong support just below at $31. No change in play

To see the initial commentary on this position click here

Earnings schedule: N/A

Current recommendation: Buy at $32

Breakdown target $39 hit 12/7/06

Position: 2009 $45 LEAP ZYU-AI @ $8.40

Insurance Put: None

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CHK $29.00 +0.04 - Chesapeake Energy

CHK gave up a little ground on Thursday but remained flat for the week. Earnings still a month away. No change in play.

To see the initial commentary on this position click here

Earnings schedule: Feb-23rd

Current recommendation: Buy under $29

Position: 2009 $35 LEAP VEC-AG @ $5.30

Insurance put: none

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FXI $105.50 -0.85 - FTSE/Xinhua China 25 Index Fund

That was not fun! After a week of progressively higher moves the profit taking in the Chinese markets knocked -$6 off the FXI on Thursday erasing all our gains for the week. Into every rally a little rain must fall and hopefully our storm is over.

The iShares FTSE/Xinhua China 25 Index Fund seeks investment results that correspond generally to the price and yield performance, before fees and expenses, of the FTSE/Xinhua China 25 Index.

Component list

This iShare focuses on the largest companies in China (58% of it positions) and Hong Kong (42%). These are the most liquid companies in these markets. With Asia growing by leaps and bounds the FXI generated a +40% return in 2005 without using options. We hope to do better using LEAPs.

Current recommendation: Buy under $105

Breakout target: $94.50 hit 11/22/06 on gap open to $95.80

Position: 2009 $100 LEAP Call VHF-AT @ $13.50

No insurance

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MRO $88.82 +1.65 - Marathon Oil

Marathon earnings are Thursday and they are expected to do well. Let's hope there are no surprises. No change in play.

To see the initial commentary on this position click here

Earnings schedule: Feb-1st

Current recommendation: Buy at $85

Position 2009 $100 LEAP Call VXM-AT @ $12.60

Insurance put: None

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HES - $51.94 +1.42 - Hess Corporation
(Formerly (AHC))

Hess set another new high for the year on Friday and is preparing to test resistance at $52.50. Bear Stearns upgraded to outperform. Earnings on Wednesday. We exited the insurance put to save money at $1.00 when stopped at $51.50. No change in play.

To see the initial commentary on this position click here

Earnings schedule: Jan 31st

Current recommendation: Buy at $47

Position:
11/05/06 2009 $50 LEAP Call VHS-AJ @ $6.80
Cost adjustment put exit +1.60, cost = $8.40

Insurance Put: Triggered Jan-3rd @ $49
01/03/07 May $45 put HES-QI @ $2.60, exit 1/26 $1.00

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BTU - $40.35 -0.48 - Peabody Energy

BTU reported earnings that rose +42% but most of that was a favorable tax ruling. Regular earnings rose +7.9% on revenue that rose +10.4%. However, BTU warned that Q1 earnings would be below estimates due to rising labor costs, medical expenses and lower prices for metallurgical coal. After taking a -$3 hit on the earnings and warning BTU rebounded to end down only -.48 for the week. No change in play.

To see the initial commentary on this position click here

Earnings: Jan-25th +42% including special items.

Current recommendation: Buy at $35

Position:
10/22/06 Jan-2009 $50 LEAP Call ZZT-AJ @ $8.70

Insurance put: Triggered with drop through $39
01/03/07 March $35 Put BTU-OG at $1.15, stops at $35 and $42.50

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DVN - $68.04 +.38 - Devon Energy

Devon set a new high for 2007 on Wednesday. Devon was also listed as one of Morningstar's top picks for 2007 with a fair value price of $93. I would take it. I hope they are right.

We exited the insurance put on Monday when DVN traded at $68.50.

To see the last full commentary on this position click here

Earnings schedule: Feb-7th

Current recommendation: Buy at $65

LEAP Position:
10/03/06 Position: 2009 $70 LEAP Call VVH-AN @ $9.00
Cost update: 1/22 Put exit +0.20 = $9.20

Insurance put: Triggered 12/18 at $69
Position: Apr-2007 $60 Put DVN-PL @ $1.30, exit $1.10 1/22

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RIG - $75.62 -.18 - Transocean Inc

Volatility in RIG has completely evaporated with RIG holding around the $75 level. Earnings still two weeks away. We are running out of time on our Feb $75 put but it is still at the money. Any surprise to the downside and we are covered. I am lowering the upside stop to $77.50 to preserve any remaining value on a new move higher. I also raised the stop on the downside to $72.50 because of the short time frame.

Their rig report released Jan-5th

To see the last full commentary on this position click here

Earnings schedule: Feb-14th

Current recommendation: Buy at $74

LEAP Position:
10/03/06 Position: 2009 $80 LEAP Call VOI-AP @ $12.90

Insurance put: Triggered at $79 on Jan-3rd
1/3/07 Feb $75 PUT RIG-NO @ $2.55, stops $72.50, $77.50

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TSO - $73.82 +3.15 - Tesoro Corporation ** Stop Loss $71.00 **

TSO moved up their earnings date to Monday and I am hoping for good things. However, given the strong gains of +131% I am fearful of a sell the news event. I am putting on a stop loss at $71 just in case. If we are stopped we will look for another entry on the next dip with a new strike.

To see the last full commentary on this position click here

Earnings schedule: Jan-29th

Current recommendation: Buy at $65.00 with stop at $60

LEAP Position:
10/04/06 Position: 2009 $70 LEAP Call ZGC-AN @ $7.70

Insurance put: None

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APC - $41.92 -1.03 - Anadarko Petroleum ** Stop Loss $40 **

APC announced a deal to sell properties in Montana and North Dakota to Encore Acquisition for $410 million. Encore promptly bought put contracts on 80% of the proved production for the rest of 2007 and 2008 at $57.50 per bbl. This guarantees their purchase cost and still gives them upside. Nice move Encore! Every time APC announces one of these sales the stock drops when it should be rising. They are eliminating non-core assets and eliminating dept. What are we missing here? I added a stop loss just in case.

To see the last full commentary on this position click here

Earnings schedule: Feb-6th

Current recommendation: HOld

LEAP Position:
9/20/06 Position: 2009 $50 LEAP Call OCP-AJ @ $6.90
Cost adjustment for expired Jan put +2.35 = $9.35

Insurance put: 9/25
Position: Jan $40 PUT APC-MH @ $2.35, expired

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SU $74.53 +0.74 - Suncor Energy

Suncor reported earnings on Thursday that were very hard to understand due to the number of special items in the report. It appeared earnings fell in some statements but rose in others. The comparisons are difficult since Suncor production was cut nearly in half by a fire in 2005. Increased production in 2006 and insurance proceeds from that fire make comparisons tough. The market responded with a gap open on Friday to leave us with a minor gain for the week. They said production should rise slightly in 2007 and they had hedged 30% of their daily production with costless collars with a floor of $51.64 per bbl. This allows them upside with a ceiling of $93.26 per bbl. Production forecasts still call for an increase from 260,000 bpd to 500,000 bpd in 2010 and 550,000 bpd in 2012.

There was also a rumor that BP was planning a buyout of Suncor. There is at least one rumor per quarter of some major oil company planning an oil sand acquisition. The problem is expenses. The major oils do not want to be saddled with the high cost and extreme effort involved in extracting the oil sands. They would be glad to partner with the oil sands companies on the refining and sales side but with oil at $50 most analysts don't expect any rush to buy Canadian firms. No change in play.

To see the last full commentary on this position click here

Earnings: Jan 25th $0.78 per share

Current recommendation: Buy at $70

LEAP Position: 9/11/06
Position: 2009 $80 LEAP Call OYX-AP @ $14.30
Cost update Dec put expired: +2.10 to $16.40

Insurance put: 9/18
Position: Dec $60 Put SU-XL @ $2.10, expired

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SLB $62.66 +1.65 Schlumberger

SLB continued to add to its gains early in the week but hit a plateau late in the week. The pause was likely due to a decline in Haliburton profits of -40% and weaker than expected results from BJ Services. BJS earnings rose +46% year over year but sequential revenues fell -8%. This may have given SLB investors a pause to reconsider. No change in play.

To see the last full commentary on this position click here

Earnings schedule: Jan 19th, +71% to $1.13 billion

Current recommendation: Buy at $60, stop at $55

LEAP Position:
1/2 9/11/06 @ $8.60
1/2 9/12/06 @ $8.00
Position: 2009 $70 LEAP Call VWY-AN @ $8.30
Cost update for expired Jan put +2.00 = $10.30

Insurance Put: 9/18
Position: Jan $50 Put SLB-MJ @ $2.00, expired

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UPL $50.00 -.50 - Ultra Petroleum ** Stop Loss $49.50 **

UPL hit a new two-month high on Tuesday on no news. It was related to the price hike in gas more than something specific to UPL. The long-term trend is still down in UPL until gas inventories equalize. I am afraid we are due for another test of $45 as winter comes to an end. We could buy a March $45 put for 95 cents or simply exit the play now for a 35% loss. I am going to suggest both. Let's exit the UPL play at $49.50 and buy the March $45 put currently 95 cents. If UPL does decline to $45 for a retest we might be able to recoup some of our loss and we can reenter the LEAP at $45.

Changes in play:

Stop loss $49.50
Buy March $45 Put UPL-OI @ 95 cents, no stop

UPL said recently that their profit margins at $4 gas were +30%, $6 gas 50% and $8 gas 100%. They have a 16-year inventory of wells to be drilled.

AMEX Oil & Gas Conference Dec 5th
Enercom Oil and Gas presentation

To see the last full commentary on this position click here

Earnings schedule: N/A

Current recommendation: Buy at $45, stop at $40

LEAP Position:
9/12/06 Position: 2009 $60 LEAP Call OZH-AL @ $10.60
Cost update expired Jan put +2.85 = $13.45

Insurance Put:
9/18 Position: JAN $40 Put UPL-MH @ $2.85, expired

Insurance put:
1/28 Buy March $45 Put UPL-OI currently 95 cents. No stop

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SUN $60.94 +0.66 - Sunoco

Sun set another new two-week high on Thursday but it was less than exciting. There is just no momentum ahead of earnings next week. $58 is strong support and there is no reason to exit so we wait for earnings. No news and no change in play.

To see the last full commentary on this position click here

Earnings schedule: Jan-31st

Current recommendation: Buy at $60, stop at $54

LEAP Position:
9/12/06 Position: 2009 $70 LEAP Call VUN-AN @ $13.50
Cost update expired Jan put +2.40 = $15.90

Insurance Put:
Position: Jan $55 Put SUN-MK @ $2.40, expired

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PXP $46.08 +1.57 - Plains Exploration

A strong rebound in PXP with the 100-day average continuing to provide strong support for the continued uptrend. No news, no earnings date and no change in play.

To see the last full commentary on this position click here

Earnings schedule: N/A

Current recommendation: Buy at $44, stop $40

LEAP Position:
9/12/06 Position: 2009 $50 LEAP Call ZXL-AJ @ 7.50
Cost update expired Jan put +1.90 = $9.40

Insurance Put:
9/25 Jan $40 Put PXP-MH @ $1.90, expired

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FST $31.47 +1.30 - Forest Oil

A nice rebound underway but we are still under strong resistance at $35. Still no earnings date but I am expecting strong results when they are announced. No news and no change in play.

Enercom conference presentation

To see the last full commentary on this position click here

Earnings schedule: N/A

Current recommendation: Buy at $30, stop at $27

LEAP Position: 9/12/06
Position: 2009 $40 LEAP Call OJG-AH @ 4.50

No insurance due to cheap LEAP

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VLO $52.49 +1.45 - Valero Energy

Valero continued its two-week rebound ahead of earnings next Thursday. No news and no change in play.

To see the last full commentary on this position click here

Earnings schedule: Feb-1st

Current recommendation: Buy at $50, stop at $45

LEAP Position:
9/24/06 Position: 2009 $60 LEAP Call VHB-AL @ $7.70
Cost update expired Jan put +2.25 = $9.95

Insurance Put:
Position: 9/25 Jan $45 Put VLO-MI @ $2.25, expired

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PBR - $97.37 +2.78 - Petroleo Brasileiro

A good week for PBR as it redeemed $392 million in notes. No news and no earnings date set. No change in the play.

To see the last full commentary on this position click here

Earnings schedule: N/A

Current recommendation: Buy at $92, stop at $85

LEAP Position:
9/08/06 Position: 2009 $100 LEAP Call VDW-AT @ $14.90
Cost update Jan expired put +1.80 = $16.70

Insurance put:
9/11 January $70 PBR-MN @ $1.80, expired

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DO - $81.04 +1.83 - Diamond Offshore

DO continued higher ahead of earnings and is very close to a new 6-month high if it can take out $85. No change in play.

To see the last full commentary on this position click here

Earnings schedule: Feb-8th

Current recommendation: Buy at $75, stop at $69

LEAP Position:
8/29/06 Position: 2009 $80 LEAP Call VCT-AP @ 14.20
Cost reduction: Oct $70 Put profit -3.15, cost now $11.05
Cost increase: Dec $60 put expired -2.40, cost now $13.45

Insurance Put:
10/08 Dec $60 Put DO-XL @ $2.40, expired

Position closed:
10/03 October $70 put DO-VN @ $1.65, exit @ $4.80, +3.15

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ATPG - $40.24 +2.02 - ATP Oil and Gas Corp

ATPG continues to be the strongest short-term trend in the portfolio. They announced a new combination of acquisitions in Gulf with strong production. No earnings date yet. No change in play. I would continue to be a buyer here based on the very strong outlook and activity in 2007 and beyond.

To see the last full commentary on this position click here

Earnings schedule: N/A

Current recommendation: Buy at $38, stop at $34

LEAP Position:
8/20/06 Position: 2009 $40 LEAP Call VCL-AH @ $11.70
12/17/06 Cost update expired Dec 35 put -1.50 = $13.20

Insurance put:
9/06 Position Dec $35 PUT HKU-XG @ $1.50, expired

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PTR - $123.85 -0.70 - Petrochina

After a very nice start to the week the profit taking in the Chinese indexes knocked PTR back -$5 and right back to where the week started. PTR parent CNPC reported earnings of $23.88 billion for all of 2006. This was a +37% growth rate. Crude production for CNPC jumped +52%. I would continue to be a buyer here at this level.

I still believe this stock could be well over $150 before our 2008 LEAP comes due.

To see the last full commentary on this position click here

Earnings schedule: N/A

Current recommendation: Buy at $125.50, stop at $119

LEAP Position:
5/14/06 Position: 2008 $120 LEAP Call LJC-AD @ $16.20
Cost adjustment: Close short Dec $115 call +1.30 = $17.50
Cost adjustment: Close long July $90 puts +3.00 = $20.50
Cost adjustment: Close long Sept $110 put -2.60 = $17.90
Cost adjustment: Expired Dec $100 put +2.20 = $20.00
Cost adjustment: Closed Jan $135 put -2.60 = $17.40

Insurance put: (12/31)
1/03/07 Jan $135 Put PTR-MG at $138.50, $1.90
1/04/07 Profit stop at $132.50, $4.50 for +2.60.

Insurance put: (9/11)
Position: December $100 Put PTR-XT @ $2.20, expired

Insurance put: (8/13)
Position closed:
Sept $110 Put PTR-UB @ $2.40, stop @ $106 @ $5.00, +2.60

Insurance combo: Closed
Short: Dec $115 Call PTR-LC @ $3.20, 6/13, exit $4.50, -1.30
Long: (2) July $90 Puts PTR-SR @ $3.70, 6/13, exit $0.70, -3.00

Insurance puts: (Closed 6/7)
Closed: June $105 PUT PTR-RA, @ $4.20 (5/22), exit 6/7 @ $4.30

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Non-Energy Positions
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DHI - $27.82 +0.29 - DR Horton

After a +$2 spike on Tuesday's good news DHI gave it all back on Thursday's drop in existing home sales. Friday's jump in new home sales failed to reverse the trend. $27 is support, $30 resistance. No change in play.

To see the last full commentary on this position click here

Earnings: Jan-23rd, +35 cents vs 98 cents in 2005.

Current recommendation: Hold

LEAP Position:
9/24/06 Position: 2009 $25 LEAP Call VEI-AE @ $5.10

Insurance put: None
 

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