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: McMoRan Exploration (NYSE: MMR) is down 12% in trading today as results failed to meet Wall Street's expectations.

So What: McMoRan's per-share loss was nearly cut in half to $0.26, but investors were disappointed that revenue of $94.8 million missed expectations of $98.7 million. Production was down to 146 million cubic feet of gas equivalent per day, lower than expected.

Now What: As most Gulf of Mexico-centric drillers and explorers are enjoying higher prices, McMoRan is lagging because of a disappointing quarter. But as the Gulf of Mexico becomes open for drillers, this could provide a buying opportunity for McMoRan. Earnings missed estimates by only $0.01 and increased exploration in the Gulf should provide more opportunity next year.

Interested in more info on McMoRan Exploration? Add it to your watchlist by clicking here.

Fool contributor Travis Hoium does not have a position in any company mentioned. You can follow Travis on Twitter at @FlushDrawFool, check out his personal stock holdings or follow his CAPS picks at TMFFlushDraw.

Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. True to its name, The Motley Fool is made up of a motley assortment of writers and analysts, each with a unique perspective; sometimes we agree, sometimes we disagree, but we all believe in the power of learning from each other through our Foolish community. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.