Goodrich Petroleum shares rise after upgrade

NEW YORK (AP) -- Shares of Goodrich Petroleum Corp. rose Tuesday, after a BMO Capital Markets analyst upgraded the stock, saying that the shares could rise on any good news about some of the company's current exploration activities.

THE SPARK: Dan McSpirit raised his rating for Goodrich shares to "Outperform," pointing to the continued drop in their price over the past several months.

THE BIG PICTURE: Houston-based Goodrich is an oil and natural gas company that explores, develops and produces the fuels in Louisiana and Texas.

The company's stock has taken a beating over the past year, hurt by worries about a drop in its oil production and weak natural gas prices. Over the past 12 months, the shares have lost about 38 percent of their value.

In November, Goodrich reported a third-quarter loss that was worse than Wall Street expected, as revenue dropped 17 percent.

THE ANALYSIS: McSpirit said that in light of the drop in the stock's share price, the stock could potentially get a boost from any good news related to Goodrich's exploration efforts in the Tuscaloosa Marine Shale located in Louisiana and Mississippi.

The analyst said that while Goodrich's work in the shale is still in its early stages, investors generally aren't optimistic about it, which means that the stock could get a boot from any news that could be seen as a sign of progress.

McSpirit noted that test results for one of the company's wells are set to be released in connection with the company's fourth-quarter earnings next month.

THE SHARES: Up 69 cents, or 7 percent, to $10.34 in midday trading. Over the past 52 weeks, the shares have traded between $7.77 and $20.67.