Parker Drilling Shares Popped: What You Need to Know

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of Parker Drilling Company (NYSE: PKD  ) spiked 10% higher today on two analyst upgrades.

So what: Both Wells Fargo and Wellington Shields upgraded Parker Drilling from "market perform" to "outperform" this morning. The stock is not heavily followed on Wall Street, so the upgrades are a significant catalyst for the stock.

Now what: The timing seems a bit odd for analysts. The stock is already up 30% in 2011, so it looks as if they're a little late to the party. I'm a bit more cautious on this move. Parker has failed to meet earnings expectations the past two quarters, and after the long stock run-up, it looks to me as though analysts just don't want to miss any more upside. I'll watch today's move from the sidelines and wait until this analyst bump dies off before jumping in.

Interested in more info on Parker Drilling? Add it to your watchlist.

Fool contributor Travis Hoium has no position in any company mentioned. You can follow Travis on Twitter at @FlushDrawFool, check out his personal stock holdings, or follow his CAPS picks at TMFFlushDraw.

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