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 offshore driller Hercules Offshore (Nasdaq: HERO) were soaring today, gaining as much as 23% on heavier-than-average volume.

So what: As my fellow Fool Toby Shute pointed out, the demise of Pride International (NYSE: PDE) spinoff Seahawk Drilling (Nasdaq: HAWK) is what's providing the excitement for Hercules. Why? Because Hercules is buying the assets of Seahawk at fire-sale prices.

Now what: At the end of last year, I highlighted Hercules as a beaten-down stock worth buying because it was trading at a hefty discount to its shareholders' equity. The risk, of course, is the company's focus in the Gulf of Mexico, which has been a dicey place to do business ever since the BP oil spill. With the purchase of the Seahawk assets, the company will increase its presence in the Gulf, though the increased heft could put it in a better competitive position.

The stock's jump today eliminates some of the opportunity in Hercules' stock, but it's still trading well below its equity value. Considering the issues in the Gulf and the company's debt load, though, I still see this as a speculative pick that should be part of a portfolio of other beaten-down stocks.

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Fool contributor Matt Koppenheffer owns shares of BP but does not own shares of any of the other companies mentioned. You can check out what Matt is keeping an eye on by visiting his CAPS portfolio, or you can follow Matt on Twitter @KoppTheFool or on his RSS feed. The Fool's disclosure policy prefers dividends over a sharp stick in the eye.