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 independent oil and gas company VAALCO Energy (NYSE:EGY) jumped as much as 20% today after reporting earnings.

So what: Fourth-quarter revenue was up 9% to $58.3 million and the company swung from a loss a year ago to a $26.4 million profit. On a per-share basis earnings were $0.46, coming in well ahead of the $0.34 that analysts expected.  

Now what: Margins expanded significantly in 2013 and expansion plans are under way. The cash flow is encouraging and the stock now trades at just over 9 times trailing earnings. Given the opportunities in Gabon and Angola I think shares continue to have room to run.

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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.