Why Shares of Basic Energy Services, Inc 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 service contractor Basic Energy Services, Inc (NYSE: BAS  ) jumped 16% after the company reported earnings.

So what: Fourth-quarter revenue was up 2%, to $308.0 million, in line with what analysts expected. It still reported a loss of $7.4 million, or $0.18 per share, but that was $0.08 better than estimates, so that's what investors liked today. 

Now what: Rigs count was basically flat last year, and that didn't help Basic Energy Services' operations last year. Losses are actually growing, which isn't a good sign for any company, especially one that investors expect to swing to a profit at the end of 2014. This stock is just too high a risk for me today, and I'd wait for operations to turn around before jumping in.

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