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 energy contractor Willbros Group (NYSE: WG) fell 20% today after the company released earnings.
So what: First-quarter revenue jumped 30% to $487.4 million, which came in ahead of the $463.8 million estimate. But Willbros lost $11.6 million, or $0.24 per share, from continuing operations, far worse than an estimated $0.04 loss.
Now what: Most of the poor performance occurred in the oil and gas business where "project issues" and poor weather negatively affected income. This is a seasonally down quarter so the loss isn't terribly surprising but operational issues are concerning and this is the fourth earnings miss in the last five quarters. Until Willbros can swing to a strong and sustainable profit I'm not a buyer because management can't seem to control the bottom line.
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