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 Gastar Exploration, (NYSEMKT: GST) fell 13% today after reporting earnings.
So what: Fourth-quarter revenue was up 42%, to $26.7 million, coming just short of the $26.9 million estimate from analysts. Worse yet, earnings of $0.01 per share fell $0.05 short of estimates.
Now what: Asset sales and acquisitions would have made it hard for anyone to guess earnings down to the penny last quarter, so I wouldn't worry too much about the miss. What will be important going forward is generating solid returns from the assets the company currently has. Analysts are expecting $0.36 in earnings per share this year, and seeing profits swing in that direction from just $0.18 in 2013 is what investors will be looking for.