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Could Westpac Banking Corp, Woodside Petroleum Limited and Origin Energy Limited be ready to rise?

In the past week, the S&P ASX All Ordinaries Index (ASX: ^XAO) hit a new 52-week high of 5,521 and over the last 12 months has risen 8.47%. Interest rates are still low and may stay that way longer with the combination of a relatively strong Aussie dollar and weaker than expected inflation.

Gold dipped briefly down to about US$1,270 before quickly recovering to US$1,293 in overseas markets on Thursday. The US Fed will be meeting next week about interest rates, so market participants may be positioning themselves for downward pressure on gold prices.

In the past week, these three stocks hit new highs.

Westpac Banking Corp (ASX: WBC) made an all-time high of $35.84. Recently, all of the banks have rising strongly. Westpac’s shares dropped as low as $27.51 in June 2013, yet recovered about 30% to a $35.78 close.

Woodside Petroleum Limited (ASX: WPL) climbed to a 52-week high of $41.35. It released its March quarter report showing a 5% increase in oil and gas production on the previous corresponding quarter. Revenue was up 15.9% due to higher oil volumes and better realised prices.

It is still in negotiations with the Israeli government concerning its Leviathan LNG project off the coast of Israel. This project could mean a step-change in the company’s earnings.

Origin Energy Limited (ASX: ORG) set a 52-week high of $15.00. Earlier this month it released its interim results of a 5% increase in underlying net profit. As of 31 December 2013, the company’s Australia Pacific LNG (APLNG) project was more than halfway completed and it expects to deliver its first LNG from its Queensland processing facilities in mid-2015.

Foolish takeaway

Of these three, I prefer Origin because even though it is about another year before first LNG delivery, the combination of greater projected production revenue and less capital expenditure for the construction phase will both add to the bottom line. The market will respond to that in expectation of higher profits, potentially lifting the share price before first delivery.

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Motley Fool contributor Darryl Daté-Shappard does not own shares in any company mentioned. 

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