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: Ion Geophysical (NYSE: IO) dropped 10% in intraday trading today, after earnings came in well short of the consensus estimate.

So what: Earnings per share of $0.01 improved markedly from the year-ago quarter's -$0.09 but fell short of the consensus estimate of $0.07. Management said the company outperformed its internal plan despite a "slow start" in the data-processing and sensor-geophone businesses and a decision to indefinitely postpone planned multimillion-dollar sales in Libya because of political turmoil.

Now what: Today's headlines about plummeting oil prices are out of sync with a statement in the press release that "[e]xploration budgets will likely continue to increase as oil prices are hovering above $100." In commenting on the outlook, management said it anticipates a back-end-loaded year. But back-end loads don't often load, and with the company's P/E ratio of 45, it's no surprise that investors are unloading the stock.   

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