A Great 2011 for Samson Oil & Gas

As 2011 comes to a close, it's a great time to look back at what happened to the stocks that interest you. By making sure you know the important things that a company accomplished -- as well as the setbacks it experienced -- you can make a better decision about whether it's a smart investment for your portfolio.

Today, let's take a look at Samson Oil & Gas (ASE: SSN) . With its operations squarely focused on the booming natural gas industry, Samson Oil & Gas has looked poised to benefit from efforts to increase demand. Yet the stock has still suffered throughout 2011. Below, I'll take a closer look at the events that moved Samson Oil & Gas's stock this year.

Stats on Samson Oil & Gas

Year-to-Date Stock Return24.9%
Market Cap$144 million
Revenue, Trailing 12 Months$7.6 million
1-Year Revenue Growth187.3%
1-Year Profit GrowthNM (loss of $8.4 million over past 12 months)
Cash / Debt$54 million / $0
CAPS Rating*

Source: S&P Capital IQ. NM = not meaningful.

What happened to Samson Oil & Gas this year?
There's nothing more exciting for an investor than to own a company that's on the cutting edge of something big. That's where Samson is right now, as the tiny Australia-based driller has worked hard to fund its development programs, selling off some of its Wyoming properties to Chesapeake Energy (NYS: CHK) to pay off all its debt and give it a hefty cash balance to boot.

Even more promising have been early results from Samson's Niobrara holdings, through its joint venture with Halliburton (NYS: HAL) . Combined with the company's exposure to the Bakken play -- an area where Brigham Exploration, which was recently bought out by Statoil (NYS: STO) , and Kodiak Oil & Gas (NYS: KOG) has had success -- the ramp-up in production could be just the tip of the iceberg for Samson.

The real question for Samson is whether continuing consolidation will make it a target that's too hard to resist. As one of the cheapest Bakken stocks, Samson could see acquisition interest from giants like ExxonMobil (NYS: XOM) or SandRidge Energy (NYS: SD) . Samson has no shortage of bigger peers, so it'll be interesting to see how the M&A angle plays out.

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Click hereto add Samson Oil & Gas to My Watchlist, which can find all of our Foolish analysis on it and all your other stocks.

At the time this article was published Fool contributor Dan Caplinger doesn't own shares of the companies mentioned. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Chesapeake Energy and Statoil. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Fool has a disclosure policy.

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