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THE TIPSTER WATCH OUT FOR ENERGY FIRMS' EARNINGS

PROFIT taking has been the order of the day in energy stocks and with crude oil prices looking toppy at the $80 a barrel mark, the upward trend for some oil and gas equities may be over. <br /><br />Oil giant BP reports its third quarter results numbers on Tuesday and the stock has so far struggled to get beyond its recent high of 577p so a short might be worth considering. Capital Spreads offers a price of 564.9p-565.9p.<br /><br />BG Group is another energy stock reporting this week. Societe Generale analysts think it should prove relatively resilient to depressed liquefied natural gas prices thanks to contracted sales. However, they fear that the market may in the short-term focus on the firm&rsquo;s production levels, which are forecast to have fallen on the previous quarter. SGhas a target price of 1,245p over the next 12 months.&nbsp; IG Index is currently offering a March contract with a spread of 1,139p-1148.1p.<br /><br />Analysts are talking up property construction firm Balfour Beatty at the moment, and with good reason. The firm managed to get a 97 per cent take up in its rights issue last week and it has won US contracts worth $449m. <br /><br />The company appears well positioned for future growth and speculators have been looking to buy into medium-term spread bets as a result. The share price rose by 6p to highs of 292.3p at the end of last week. ShortsandLongs.com has a rolling spread of 290.2p-291.5p.<br /><br />Aero Inventory, an web-based support company for aerospace companies, releases its annual results next week. Spread betters have already been buying in anticipation of good news, perhaps fuelled by the firm expanding with a 10-year lease on new warehousing. Shares rose 11p to 268p on Friday and Spreadex has a December-based spread of 267.4p-271.9p.