Land driller shares have not been treated kindly over the past month. Helmerich & Payne (NYSE:HP) has been dealt some pain, and Grey Wolf (AMEX:GW) is in the doghouse. And Precision Drilling (NYSE:PDS) looks like it's been in a collision.

There's one small driller, Bronco Drilling (NASDAQ:BRNC), that's demonstrated some impressive resiliency these past few weeks. Bronco's shares have declined less than any peer that I'm aware of, not to mention the broader Oil Service HOLDRs (AMEX:OIH) exchange-traded fund. That's a stark contrast to its performance over the past year, during which it has lost a quarter of its share value. Let's take a look at what makes this driller a potential thriller.

I've already noted that Bronco secured a higher average dayrate for its fleet than larger competitor Unit Corp. (NYSE:UNT). I'm not the only one who has been impressed with the small fry. Curtis Jensen of Third Avenue Management has been snapping up shares like they're on sale. (And, well, they are.) Third Avenue now holds nearly 20% of the company, which trades hands at roughly book value.

An important recent shift was that the chairman duties were passed to Bronco's CEO. The former chairman is staying on the board. Nothing is being upended here. I view this move as a natural progression, and a healthy one for the company.

With a dirt-cheap valuation, a solid fleet full of refurbished rigs, and a re-energized management structure, I think this driller is ready to buck its downdraft and do well by its shareholders. I'm glad that one of the savviest small-cap managers around appears to agree with me.

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Precision Drilling is a Motley Fool Global Gains recommendation, and Unit Corp. is a Stock Advisor pick. You can drill into either newsletter free for 30 days.

Fool contributor Toby Shute doesn't own shares in any company mentioned. The Motley Fool has a thrilling disclosure policy.