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 oil and natural gas exploration and production company Gulfport Energy (Nasdaq: GPOR) bucked the market's downward trend and jumped as much as 19% in intraday trading today after a stronger-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings report.

So what: Nearly everything was clicking for Gulfport in the fourth quarter. Production volume for total oil equivalents was up 20% from the prior year while the average realized price per barrel of oil equivalents was up 27% to $70.75. Both oil and natural gas liquids saw increases in production and realized prices, while both production and prices were down for natural gas. The company also delivered on the bottom line, showing a per-share profit of $0.32, which easily topped Wall Street estimates of $0.29.

Now what: Looking ahead, the company sees a further 16% increase in production levels for 2011. At the midpoint of its guidance range, management expects 2.3 million barrels of oil equivalent. Gulfport's stock has surged since late last year, making it decidedly less attractive than it was. However, the company seems to be doing a lot of things right and if oil prices hold up, shareholders could be in line for some more pleasing earnings reports.

Want to keep up to date on Gulfport Energy? Add it to your watchlist.


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.

Fool contributor Matt Koppenheffer does not own shares of any of the 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.