Oil-Patch Bargains

Wall Street analysts hate the oil-service firms. But insiders are buying stock, and so am I

Hardly a day goes by when some Wall Street analyst doesn't knock the oil-services industry. These companies, which help the oil giants explore and drill for crude and natural gas, were market darlings from 1995 to 1997, but now have more detractors than anything west of Indonesia. Though many oil-service firms are already trading near two-year lows, analysts' earnings estimates for them will soon be revised further downward. No brokerage will want the likes of Halliburton or Schlumberger on its "recommended" list. The gloom around these stocks is only deepening. And I am buying them hand over fist.

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