Yesterday I swapped my holdings in Patterson-UTI for Noble Corp. I also reduced my holdings in SPX Corp, which has been a great turnaround play for me. I sold 20% of my position, which I do to rebalance to a target weight. This limits my risk, and given that nothing moves up in a straight line, it allows me to add 2-4%/year to my returns. For more information ion this sort of trade, for those that have access to RealMoney, see this article.
As for the swap, have a look at this article from Forbes. I see reason to swap to a cheaper name, when earnings trends are working in favor of deep water drillers. If oil prices rise a great deal, I will be proven wrong here, but at current oil prices, I like the swap.
Full disclosure: long NE SPW
Update: now, what should happen after I sell PTEN but that it puts up decent, but not stupendous numbers, and it goes up 5%. The relative return difference since the swap is -3%. I don’t play for days, so this does not bother me. My methods work on average over the intermediate term. The proper measurement period for this swap is over the next 1-3 years.