TO the layperson, it can often seem that the stock market is a game of extremes. You either lose big, or you win big.
When it comes to high risk commodity plays -- a space Providence Resources had been occupying since it was founded -- that was definitely the case.
At a shareholder meeting last year, chief executive Tony O'Reilly had to placate some investors who were unhappy with the company's performance.
The share price was consistently flat, Providence was not producing much oil, nor did it look likely to in the near future.
Mr O'Reilly was facing grumblings about his pay and the lack of a dividend for people who had long backed the company and received little reward.
Then one man took the floor and admitted that, by that time at least, he was under water on his shareholding. However he was certainly not unhappy.
"To be honest, I'm along for the ride [with Providence] and I'm loving every minute of it," he told the meeting.
While his turn of phrase was met with laughter from the floor at the time, there will be a lot more shareholders echoing that sentiment now.
In a world that has seen apparently prudent investors effectively wiped out by losses on "safe as houses" banks, Providence's success over the last year has been remarkable.
The ISEQ Overall Index has gained about 26pc in the last year, outpacing many indices around Europe, but Providence is up a remarkable 208pc in the last 52 weeks.
That has bumped Providence's market capitalisation up by over €300m to €508m, making it the 20th biggest company on the Dublin market.
With greater interest in the company comes more investment from institutional investors, and importantly, more liquidity in the stock, which over time reduces the daily spread in share price movements and (hopefully) removes some of the volatility in the share price.
So far, investors in Providence seem to be winning big. The company produces a small amount of oil at a field in the UK but if their oil discoveries around Ireland, in particular the Barryroe field off Cork and the Dunquinn prospect in the Atlantic Margin produce in large quantities, Providence will eventually become less of a high risk play for individual investors.