Two speculatives to hold, two to sell

Article Excerpt

COMPTON PETROLEUM $0.80 (Toronto symbol CMT; SI Rating: Speculative) (403-237-9400; www.comptonpetroleum.com; Shares outstanding: 125.6 million; Market cap: $100.5 million) explores for oil and natural gas in western Canada. Its $829.3-million debt is over eight times its $100.5-million market cap. However, most of its debt is not due until 2013, so it shouldn’t face liquidity problems until then. Compton will cut its capital spending and production until natural gas prices improve. Even so, it expects to generate cash flow of $65 million, or $0.50 a share, this year. The company still has lots of reserves and drilling prospects, so it will be in a good position to boost its output and pay down its debt when gas prices rebound. Compton Petroleum is still a hold. ARIAN SILVER $0.06 (Toronto symbol AGQ; SI Rating: Start-up) (1-800-917-4102; www.ariansilver.com; Shares outstanding: 175.1 million; Market cap: $10.5 million) explores for silver in Mexico. Arian has experienced management, and its properties are in regions that have producing mines. Previous owners…

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