Why Ocean Rig UDW Inc.'s Shares Popped 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 drilling rig owner Ocean Rig UDW Inc. (NASDAQ: ORIG  ) jumped as much as 10% today after reporting earnings.

So what: Fourth-quarter 2013 revenue jumped 50% to $345.5 million, and the company swung from a loss to net income of $39.7 million, or $0.30 per share. Analysts were only expecting $0.16 per share in earnings, so performance was well above what investors had already priced in. 

Now what: The ultra-deepwater market that Ocean Rig has invested in continues to perform well, and the fleet operated with a 95.8% utilization rate. The momentum should continue this year with a new drillship coming in March, and two more in 2015. I'm leery of any company run by Ceorge Economou, who has a history of questionable shareholder capital allocation, but I like the ultra-deepwater market, and it continues to perform well for Ocean Rig.

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