Oil: Frosting from the Frozen North

One of the hottest stocks on the Big Board in recent weeks has been that of Atlantic Richfield—and in this instance there has been some logic behind the heat. Last May the company announced that it was splitting its stock two for one and increasing its dividend. Its first-half sales of $840 million were up 15.5%, and earnings were up 14% to $70 million. On top of that it has, with Humble Oil, confirmed an oil find on the North Slope of Alaska that Interior Secretary Stewart Udall calls "apparently the largest in the history of the country."

The man...