Image source: Getty Images.

What happened 

Shares of oil and gas company Jones Energy Inc (NYSE: JONE) jumped as much as 16.9% today after being upgraded by an analyst. At 12:40 p.m. EDT, shares were still up 12.3% for the day. 

So what

Analysts at Stifel upgraded Jones Energy stock from hold to a buy rating and doubled its price target to $6 per share. They think increased exposure to Oklahoma's STACK/SCOOP play will pay off, particularly after an 18,000 net acre acquisition in August for $136.5 million. The acquisition was huge compared to Jones' $245 million market cap, so it's a big bet the company is making on Oklahoma. 

Now what

Analyst upgrades or downgrades can drive stocks for a day or two, but long-term they have no impact on a business's operations. In fact, analyst ratings tend to underperform the market over long periods of time. 

What investors should look for is improvement in operations from the acquisition and a real return on the investment, because that's what will drive the stock long-term. An analyst rating shouldn't have any significant impact on your investment thesis.