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Why Babcock & Wilcox Shares Jumped

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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 The Babcock & Wilcox Company (NYSE: BWXT  ) jumped as much as 14% today after it beat estimates on its top and bottom lines in its quarterly earnings report.

So what: The clean energy specialist posted an adjusted EPS of $0.56, ahead of estimates of $0.42, and revenues jumped 8%, to $865.3 million, easily beating estimates of $841.7 million. Guidance for 2013 was also strong, with revenue of $3.4 to $3.55 billion, in line with estimates, and adjusted EPS of $2.25 to $2.45 was ahead of analyst projections.

Now what: After an initial jump, shareholders seemed to be less enthusiastic, as the stock finished with just a 2.2% gain on the day. Taking out adjustments for mark-to-market pricing and pension plans, Babcock & Wilcox only made a $0.33 per-share profit in the quarter, and top-line growth for the next year looks sluggish at just about 6.5%. Management has helped boost earnings per share with buybacks, but they will need stronger growth opportunities to keep the stock price moving up.

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