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 copper-wire manufacturer Encore Wire
So what: The math behind Encore's big jump today is pretty simple. Wall Street analysts were looking for earnings per share of $0.20 on revenue of $254 million for the quarter and the company absolutely crushed those targets. Encore reported total revenue of $303 million and EPS of $0.46. The results were driven by a 42% jump in the spread between what the company sells its wiring for and what it pays for copper as compared to the first quarter of last year. It also saw a 29% volume increase.
Now what: Encore's CEO attributed part of the past year's strength to the exit of a competitor in early 2010. However, he also sung the praises of Encore more generally, pointing out the company's low-cost business model and strong balance sheet. Trading at 20 times expected 2011 earnings per share, it's hard to consider Encore overly cheap, but it's important to remember that it's currently operating in a very unfavorable environment. If the construction market is able to start recovering, Encore's bottom line could end up looking even better.
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Fool contributor Matt Koppenheffer does not have a financial interest in 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. 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. The Fool’s disclosure policy prefers dividends over a sharp stick in the eye.