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: It's earnings season, folks, and the natives are restless ... in a good way. This morning, investors in Navigant Consulting
So what: The numbers beat analyst estimates handily.
Now what: But the optimism is overdone. Consider that even though Navigant earned $0.03 more than it was "supposed" to earn in Q1, management didn't so much as budge its guidance for the full year. It's still calling for revenues to max out at $760 million, with "adjusted" earnings of no more than $0.77 per share.
Worse, the number that really matters in the earnings report -- the amount of free cash flow generated in the quarter -- got worse instead of better. Whereas one year ago, Navigant burned $24 million in cash, Q1 2011 saw Navigant burn more than $25 million. Call me a skeptic, call me a Fool, but to my mind that's no reason at all to bump up the stock price 15%.
Can Navigant hold onto its gains, Rich's skepticism notwithstanding? Add it to your watchlist, and find out.