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What: Shares of Hornbeck Offshore Services, (NYSE:HOS) surged more than 10% by early afternoon trading on Wednesday. This was after the company announced first-quarter results that handedly beat earnings estimates.

So what: For the first quarter Hornbeck Offshore Services reported revenue of $134.6 million. That was down $2 million, or 1.4% from the first quarter of last year and down 16% from the fourth quarter due to soft spot market conditions as well as the fact the company stacked several vessels due to lack of work.

However, despite the weaker revenue, Hornbeck's earnings were stronger than expected. Excluding gains on asset sales the company made to the U.S. Navy, Hornbeck earned $15.2 million, or $0.42 per share. Not only was that $0.14 per share better than analysts expected, but it exceeded the $0.32 per share in earnings the company delivered in the first quarter of 2014. Lower costs really drove the better than expected profitability as Hornbeck's operating expenses declined 10.5% and its general and administrative expenses fell from 10% of revenue in the first quarter of last year to just 8.8% in the first quarter of 2015.

Now what: All things considered Hornbeck turned in a solid quarter. It was able to cut its costs and deliver better than expected profitability. That being said, the outlook for the company's energy-related offshore business remains muted due to weak oil prices.