Why Shares of Swift Energy Company Dropped 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 Swift Energy  (NYSE: SFY  ) fell 10% today after the independent oil and natural gas company released first-quarter earnings.

So what: Earnings were solid, with revenue up 1.6% from a year ago to $148.5 million and well ahead of the $132.6 million estimate from Wall Street. On the bottom line, earnings fell 25% from a year ago to $5.4 million, or $0.12 per share, $0.02 above the Street estimate.  

Now what: It appears the real disappointment comes not from poor results last quarter but from fear that growth won't hit expectations. Management has said it is looking for a joint venture partner to help accelerate drilling in its promising Eagle Ford shale play. They targeted the end of the second quarter of 2014 to have a deal complete but they're still in negotiations right now. This doesn't mean a deal won't be announced in the next two months, but investors were disappointed that it wasn't announced today because this is where they're looking for growth. Long term, I don't think this is an issue, and the company's shares could pop again if a joint venture is announced.

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