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: Oil and gas development and production systems and services company FMC Technologies (NYSE:FTI) stock jumped as much as 10% today, closing with a 7.5% gain after a surprise beat on earnings for its first quarter.
So what: Despite the challenging oil and gas drilling environment, FMC's earnings per share of $0.63 came in ahead of the $0.59 average analyst estimate. Total revenue of $1.7 billion was 7% lower than the year-ago period, largely as a result of both heavy reduction in U.S. onshore drilling activity, and the negative impact of the strong U.S. dollar on the company's international sales.
Now what: Even in a weak market, FMC is holding up relatively well, largely on the strength of its $5.5 billion order backlog. Of that total, subsea systems make up $4.8 billion, and management is expecting to add another $3 billion or more in awards in 2015. The company's stock is down more than 35% since last August -- but it's looking like the company is relatively well prepared to ride out the current oil market, as it isn't heavily reliant on U.S. onshore production or development for a large percentage of its sales. Subsea is by far the majority of its business, and if the backlog holds up, FMC Technologies could be a decent "bounce-back" candidate.
The stock is probably going to be pretty volatile, especially if oil prices remain low for a while.