Featured Expert Issues Recommendations On: OSCA, TORC,

                           PQUE, SPN,                             TDW, EPL, DNR, and GIFI      CHICAGO, Dec. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- How has your portfolio fared since the  end of 2000? Tim Murray's portfolio is up 16.6% during that time and is up  239% since its inception in 1998. Today he provides a review of the Louisiana  Energy Conference and the companies he found there that could energize your  portfolio. For the complete report and more in-depth market commentary, visit         (Photo: )        Here are the highlights from the Featured Expert column:      OSCA, Inc. (Nasdaq: OSCA): This is a Lafayette, Louisiana based oil  service company that focuses on well completions. The company has been around  since 1979 and is well established with revenues of $134 million for the first  three-quarters of this year, but it just went public this year. Actually it  has the best looking chart of the group. Still the slow down in offshore Gulf  of Mexico drilling has caused reductions in the earnings estimates.     Torch Offshore, Inc. (Nasdaq: TORC): This New Orleans based oil service  company specializes in laying small diameter, less than 12-inch diameter,  pipelines offshore to connect wells to major pipelines. It has been around for  24 years but was also a new issue this year. In the stock market it has been a  sinking stinker. It came out at $16 this June and closed today at $4.55.     PetroQuest Energy, Inc. (Nasdaq: PQUE): This is a Lafayette, Louisiana  based exploration and production company with very high energy, young and  impressive management. Their specialty is the Gulf Coast basin. They have been  public for almost two years and the stock has done very well. It is expensive  on the current fundamentals, selling at approximately four times both sales  and book value.     Superior Energy Services, Inc. (NYSE: SPN): We have been following this  New Orleans based oil service company for sometime and are very impressed with  these guys.  They are not sitting around waiting for better times, but are  actively creating better ways to do business today. Their focus is on the  wellhead and they provide production related services and products.  The  company has been public since 1992 and their revenues have grown considerably  since then.     Tidewater, Inc. (NYSE: TDW): New Orleans based Tidewater has the world's  largest fleet of offshore oil service boats and is the dominant player in the  Gulf of Mexico. It was by far the most substantial company presenting at this  conference.  Their global diversification helps them ride out slowdowns in one  area such is what is going on in the Gulf of Mexico now.     Energy Partners, Ltd. (NYSE: EPL): The New Orleans based company is  another new exploration and development company and has been public for just  over one year.  They focus on the large mature fields of the central Gulf of  Mexico shallow water shelf.  We have had some good trades in EPL this year and  expect more in the future. In contrast to PetroQuest, the management is a  little more mature and also very impressive.     Denbury Resources (NYSE: DNR): This Dallas, Texas based exploration and  development company is a good deal more complex than either PetroQuest or  Energy Partners and we are not sure that that is a plus for Denbury. They also  have considerable potential exposure to some business that they did with  Enron.     Gulf Island Fabricators Inc. (Nasdaq: GIFI): We hate to pick on Houma,  Louisiana based GIFI, but they are still sitting fat with cash and appear  happy to wait for better time instead of trying to shake trees to make things  happen. One problem that we see is that if there is a sudden surge in heavy  fabrication, much larger companies will get back into the business.     Be sure to read the rest of the article and find out all of the stocks  this investment expert is currently recommending.     About Zacks Featured Experts   To be a successful investor you need professional advice. Experts who know  what they're talking about and can help you achieve your financial goals in  good markets ... and especially in bad ones will help you improve your  portfolio. That is why Zacks Investment Research has assembled the best  investment experts in the business to offer their powerful advisory  newsletters to you on all the major investment topics: Stocks, Mutual Funds,  Bonds, Options, Futures etc.     Stock Picks from Featured Experts Highlighted in FREE Investment  Newsletter   The best way to tap into the powerful advice from these experts is through  our free weekly e-mail newsletter, "Profit from the Pros". Each week we  highlight several Featured Experts and their hottest stock picks in this free  e-mail newsletter. 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Disclaimer:  Past performance does not guarantee future results.  Investors should always research companies and securities before making any  investments. Nothing herein should be construed as an offer or solicitation to  buy or sell any security.     Contact: Terry Batey of, 312-630-9880, ext. 307, Email:  Visit:                     MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT -  Click Here          SOURCE  Zacks Investment Research  /CONTACT:  Terry Batey of, +1-312-630-9880, ext. 307, Email: /         /Photo:               AP Archive:               PRN Photo Desk, +1-888-776-6555 or +1-212-782-2840/      /Web site:                         /    (OSCA TORC PQUE SPN TDW EPL DNR GIFI)   CO:  Zacks Investment Research; OSCA, Inc.; Torch Offshore, Inc.; PetroQuest    Energy, Inc.; Superior Energy Services, Inc.; Tidewater, Inc.; Energy    Partners, Ltd.; Denbury Resources; Gulf Island Fabricators Inc.  ST:  Illinois  IN:  FIN PUB MAG  SU:  
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