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 Star Bulk Carriers Corp. (NASDAQ:SBLK) were up as much as 18% after reporting fourth-quarter earnings today.

So what: The dry bulk shipper posted earnings of $0.07 per share, above expectations of $0.04, while revenue fell 8.9%, to $16.3 million, worse than estimates of $18.5 million. Despite the drop in revenue, Star Bulk seems to be headed in the right direction, as the company posted its first annual profit in two years, making considerable steps to trim costs along the way as operating expenses were down sharply on a percentage basis.

Now what: Looking ahead, CEO Spyros Capralos said, "We believe that our company is now well-positioned to take advantage of the improving dry bulk market, as we have repositioned our fleet toward the larger vessel sizes." He was also  optimistic about industry dynamics, saying he expects "resilient dry bulk commodity demand growth to enhance the earnings power of our larger, diverse and competitive asset base." Star Bulk did not provide guidance, but the improving cost equation and growing commodity demand should bode well, and the company has already seen a string of strong earnings beats. Shares have nearly tripled since last summer, and should move higher if it can keep topping estimates. 

Jeremy Bowman has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. 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.