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 drilling contractor Patterson-UTI Energy (NASDAQ:PTEN) jumped as much as 12% today, after the company released earnings.

So what: Revenue fell 9.9% from a year ago, to $652.8 million, but that was well ahead of the $599.5 million analysts expected. Net income fell 33%, to $58.9 million, or $0.40 per share, which was $0.12 better than estimates.  

Now what: Sometimes, it's more about expectations than where your results are headed, and that's the case for Patterson today. Drilling has been down in recent quarters, partly because explorers are becoming more efficient -- so the bar had been set fairly low. The earnings beat was good, but with shares still trading at 10.5 times trailing earnings, and profit dropping, I'm not a buyer today. I'll need to see drilling pick up to jump in on this one.

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