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 chemical company NewMarket (NYSE:NEU) jumped 17% today, after the company reported earnings and a special dividend.

So what: Third quarter revenue fell slightly to $554 million, and net income dropped 9%, to $64.7 million, or $4.83 per share. Excluding special items, earnings were $4.91 per share, which came in ahead of estimates of $4.42.

Management also announced a special dividend of $25 per share, payable November 17. This is on top of the normal quarterly dividend of $0.75 per share, payable December 21.

Now what: An earnings beat is always a welcome sight, but we shouldn't lose sight of the fact that revenue and income are heading in the wrong direction. Analysts aren't expecting a quick recovery, and I'm not buying into the stock until operations improve. The stock is also up more than the special dividend, and I think there may be some pullback after the initial dividend-induced bounce.

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This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.