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: The price of oil is higher again today -- up about 2.5% by lunchtime -- and that's providing more fuel for rallying oil stocks like Energy XXI Ltd (NASDAQ: EXXI). The deeply indebted offshore driller was up double-digits in early morning trading and is now up 34% this past week.
So what: Unless the rally in the price of oil is sustainable the most recent movement in Energy XXI's stock is really meaningless. The company needs a meaningfully higher oil price over the long-term. This is due to the fact that the company has a high debt load that's much harder to maintain now that we've seen a collapse in the price of crude. That collapse actually led to its credit outlook being downgraded to negative late last year by Fitch, which noted that Energy XXI needs $65 oil over the long-term.
Another reason why the stock is popping today is because Energy XXI reports earnings on Monday morning. While the recent rally in crude oil won't impact those numbers, it could impact the company's outlook for the year ahead. For example, rallying crude oil could enable Energy XXI to more easily sell assets to whittle down its debt.
Now what: Today's move is merely noise as it's largely driven by the price of oil, which isn't yet high enough to help the company. Instead, a much more meaningful moment could come on Monday after the company releases its latest results. That's when the company will provide investors with an update on what to expect in the year ahead.