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 construction company McDermott International (NYSE:MDR) jumped as much as 33% today after releasing better than expected earnings.
So what: Fourth-quarter revenue was up 56% from a year ago to $806.4 million and net income improved from a $326.2 million loss to a profit of $8.2 million. On a per share basis, that equates to earnings per share of $0.03, which was far better than the $0.06 per share loss Wall Street was expecting.
Management also said that 2015 revenue should be between $3.3 billion and $3.6 billion with operating income of $25 million to $50 million.
Now what: This is really a case of results being "less bad" than everyone expected because McDermott isn't exactly going gangbusters. When operating income of $25 million-$50 million wows investors you know that expectations are low.
With that said, I think the expectation for a small profit in 2015 and contracts with national oil companies in Qatar and Saudi Arabia show that they'll be able to weather the current low oil price storm. I think today's pop is a big move given the uncertainty ahead, but if operations continue to remain profitable in today's market there's certainly upside when the oil industry returns to normal operations. Whenever that may be.