Why Bill Barrett Shares Jumped

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 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.

Don't miss the next update on Bill Barrett. Add the company to your Watchlist by clicking right here.


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