Why Athlon Energy Inc's Shares Popped

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 Athlon Energy Inc (NYSE: ATHL  ) jumped 11% today after reporting earnings.

So what: Management reported a 109% increased in adjusted EBITDA to $63.3 million in the quarter and a 69% increase in daily production volumes to 12,960 BOE/day. That resulted in adjusted net income of $18.6 million, or $0.24 per share, which was ahead of Wall Street's $0.16 estimate.

Now what: This is the second straight quarter management has crushed estimates and clearly operations are improving rapidly. I think that a $2.6 billion market cap is a reasonable value given the EBITDA growth we saw last quarter. If management continues to exceed expectations the stock has a lot of upside potential, even at today's price.

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