Why GrafTech International Ltd.'s Shares Jumped 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 GrafTech International Ltd. (NYSE: GTI  ) are up 12% today after the company reported fourth-quarter earnings.

So what: The quarter wasn't all that strong with revenue down 17% from a year ago to $309 million and a loss of $0.03 per share, both well below estimates. But management said revenue would grow 15% to 20% this year, which implies a range of $1.34 billion to $1.4 billion, well ahead of the estimate of $1.24 billion from Wall Street.  

Now what: This is a classic example of forward guidance meaning more than reported performance because investors are clearly looking past a weak quarter. I will say that management's expectation of $150 million to $180 million in EBITDA is attractive given the company's $1.4 billion market cap and growth rate. I think there's room for the stock to run but management will have to meet or exceed the goals it set today for the stock to do well in 2014.

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