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 energy company Forest Oil Corporation (NYSE:FST) plunged a whopping 36% today after the company reported earnings.

So what: Fourth quarter revenue of $88.5 million fell short of the $96.3 million Wall Street was expecting and earnings of $0.02 was a penny below estimates. But what's more alarming was a decrease in proved reserves from 1,363 Bcfe a year ago to 625 Bcfe to end 2013.  

Now what: Part of the decline in reserves can be accounted for by 800 Bcfe in asset divestitures. The decline in reserves was clearly sharper than investors expected and when combined with weak revenue and earnings the stock was crushed today. Wall Street is still expecting a big pickup in profit near the end of 2014, but until we see that happen I'd take a very cautious look at the stock.

How to play energy now
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Travis Hoium has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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