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 Gastar Exploration, (NYSEMKT:GST) fell 13% today after reporting earnings.

So what: Fourth-quarter revenue was up 42%, to $26.7 million, coming just short of the $26.9 million estimate from analysts. Worse yet, earnings of $0.01 per share fell $0.05 short of estimates.

Now what: Asset sales and acquisitions would have made it hard for anyone to guess earnings down to the penny last quarter, so I wouldn't worry too much about the miss. What will be important going forward is generating solid returns from the assets the company currently has. Analysts are expecting $0.36 in earnings per share this year, and seeing profits swing in that direction from just $0.18 in 2013 is what investors will be looking for.

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.