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What: Shares of Bill Barrett Corp. (NYSE: BBG) were getting pumped up today, climbing as much as 10%, after beating earnings estimates in its quarterly report.

So what: The oil and gas driller delivered a per-share profit of $0.15 on estimates of $0.10, though revenue was down 11% from a year ago, to $184 million. A smart hedging strategy seems to have partly accounted for the better-than-expected profit. Bill Barrett also showed strong improvements with oil production up 80%, and oil reserves up 66%. CEO Scot Woodall said the company has a "drilling inventory of more than 15 years based on current activity."

Now what: The quarterly profit was somewhat of a surprise for Bill Barrett, as the explorer and producer turned in just $0.01 of earnings per share for the year, down from $0.65 in 2011. With lease operating expenses climbing, and energy prices uncertain, Bill Barrett seems like a risky bet going forward, and the stock has fallen steadily over the last few years. The company may have passed its most recent test, but I'd like to see more consistent results before I get on board.

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Fool contributor Jeremy Bowman has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.