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: McMoRan Exploration (NYSE: MMR) popped 14% in intraday trading today after providing a business update via a press release and webcast.

So what: McMoRan expects to find large, accessible oil reserves in areas where it has acquired drilling rights beneath the Gulf of Mexico. That optimism overshadowed news that the company determined one of its evaluation wells is not commercially viable, which will result in a $37 million charge this quarter.

Now what: The energy exploration company has been purchasing drilling rights below shallow water, where drilling is less risky. Preliminary tests indicate these areas may hold "large accumulations" of oil and natural gas, according to management. McMoRan plans to continue drilling and conducting tests to assess the areas' potential. In the meantime, investors may want to explore other stocks: This company hasn't had a profitable quarter since the second quarter of 2008, and the consensus estimate calls for losses through the fourth quarter of 2012.

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Fool contributor Cindy Johnson does not own shares of any company named above. 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 Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.