January 26, 2012
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 Flotek Industries (NYSE: FTK ) dropped as much as 14% today as the industry began to fall apart around it.
So what: There wasn't any specific news out from Flotek, but competitor earnings were enough to send investors running for the exits. Oil & Gas service providers Baker Hughes (NYSE: BHI ) and Carbo Ceramics both reported earnings that fell well below analysts' estimates as natural gas drilling took a turn for the worst.
Low gas prices have forced companies to cut back on drilling, impacting earnings much faster than some anticipated. This week alone, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) said that natural gas drill rigs in operation fell by 11 to 780.
Now what: Flotek has exposure to both natural gas and oil drilling, so the company should be able to make up the lost business on the oil side. Along with the drop in natural gas drilling, the EIA said, oil-directed rigs were up 32 to 1,223 in the past week. The oil rig count is up an incredible 53% from last year.
I wouldn't panic about these numbers just yet. The company will be reporting earnings in the next month or so and should provide a better picture of the future than the spreading panic we're seeing today.
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