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 SM Energy (NYSE:SM) jumped 12% today, after reporting third quarter earnings.

So what: The company reported quarterly production of 620 MMCFE/d, which was above previous guidance. But revenue fell 28.6%, to $379.0 million, and the company swung to a loss of $38.3 million, or $0.58 per share. On an adjusted basis, the company made $0.14 per share, which was double what analysts expected.

Now what: The company performed well versus expectations, but lower costs for oil and natural gas are hurting results. I don't see any light ahead for prices of either commodity and, even if the company meets higher production levels, there may not be any profit left for investors. I'm leaving SM Energy alone until prices rise, which may be a while.

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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.