Blowout earnings from Transocean (RIG, $157.40, down $0.45) wasn’t enough to keep the stock from closing at a 52-week high but it didn’t stop the shares from making one. The stock hit an all-time high today reaching $162 before selling-off with the rest of the market. It was pretty much a given that the biggest offshore oil driller in the world would easily top Wall Street’s estimates but Transocean really knocked the cover off of the ball.

For the quarter, the company reported income of $1.2 billion, or $3.71 per share, on revenue of $3.1 billion versus income of $553 million, or $2.62 per share, on revenue of $1.3 billion, for 1Q07. Wall Street had expected earnings of $3.33 a share.

What was interesting was the action in the Transocean May options. Bets were being placed on the May 160 calls (RIGEL, $2.60, down $1.34) for the bulls while the 145 puts (RIGQI, $0.35, down $0.80) were active for the bears. With the May options expiring next Friday, the stock could be stuck between these two targets until expiration. However, there was heavy volume in the out-of-the-money August 170 calls (RIGHN, $8.20, up $0.60) and even the August 200 calls (RIGHW, $2.25, up $0.40) saw some action.

Rick Rouse