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 Computer Sciences (NYSE:CSC) are enjoying a monster post-earnings pop, which is par for the course for a company that's had double-digit moves for all but one of its earnings reports over the past two years. Today, the stock's 19% rise came on the back of a huge earnings beat, despite a slight decline in quarterly revenue year over year.
So what: Computer Sciences posted $3.85 billion in quarterly revenue, about 3% lower than its prior-year quarter and just under the consensus expectation of $3.88 billion. However, adjusted earnings per share, at $0.83, smashed through the Street's expectations of $0.47. There was a restructuring charge of $0.25 per share contributing to that great result, but even a $0.58 EPS result that removes that charge from the final tally significantly outperforms expectations. Computer Sciences also offered a strong guidance range for 2013, with EPS of $2.30 to $2.50 exceeding consensus estimates of $2.24 even on the low end.
Now what: Although Computer Sciences is not currently profitable, its free cash flow has not dipped below breakeven in years, and the most recently available free cash flow numbers result in a single-digit price-to-free-cash-flow ratio, even after today's surge. It's only after this pop that Computer Sciences has reached a new 52-week high, and it seems likely that further gains are within reach, as long as these optimistic projections hold true.
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Fool contributor Alex Planes holds no financial position in any company mentioned here. Add him on Google+ or follow him on Twitter, @TMFBiggles, for more news and insights. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.