Why Forest Oil's Shares Dropped Today

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 oil and gas producer Forest Oil (NYSE: FST  ) dropped 14% today after the company released earnings.

So what: Revenue dropped 24% in the third quarter to $118.2 million, which was short of the $132.3 million analysts expected. Net income did swing from a $458.6 million loss a year ago to a $2.2 million, or $0.02-per-share, profit, but again it was below the $0.09 in earnings analysts expected.  

Now what: Average sales volume was down 1% from a quarter ago because of lower volumes from the Texas panhandle. The company is selling that asset, so long-term that won't be a drag on results. What investors want to see is improved production from the Eagle Ford shale play, and despite a 67% jump in production sequentially, they still weren't buying. Until we see what the company expects to produce next year I'll take a cautious approach, particularly with profits at minuscule levels.

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