Goodrich Petroleum 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 oil and gas producer Goodrich Petroleum (NYSE: GDP  ) climbed as high as 10% on Wednesday after the company announced its production guidance for 2012.

So what: Goodrich expects oil production to grow by an impressive 130% to 160% in 2012, so it's no surprise that investors are looking to get in ahead of the big increase. When you couple that production boost with the fact that management also expects to cut its spending by about 25%, the company should be able to deliver some strong cash flow growth in 2012.

Now what: I wouldn't be so quick to ride this rally just yet. While things are certainly looking better for Goodrich, its heavy debt load and above-average beta continue to make it a speculative opportunity. Unless you're willing to stomach the usual risks and volatility associated with highly levered small-cap energy stocks, it's probably best to take a pass.

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

Fool contributor Brian Pacampara owns no position in any of the companies mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.

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