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 manufacturer Century Aluminum Co (NASDAQ:CENX) jumped as much as 16% this morning after it reported better than expected earnings.

So what: Revenue jumped 40% to $587.9 million and the company swung from a net loss in last year's first quarter to net income of $73.8 million, or $0.76 per share. Analysts had expected an improvement from a year ago, but they estimated $576.9 million in revenue and $0.63 per share in earnings.  

Now what: Management said that strong demand in the U.S. and some signs of growth in Europe are helping operations. But China remains a wild card and could flood the market with product, as it's done with other commodities like steel recently. I would be cautiously optimistic about Century Aluminum Co, and with a forward P/E ratio of 9, the stock seems fairly priced given the risk. But commodity markets can change on a dime, so keep an eye on pricing trends because the first-quarter profit could evaporate quickly.

Travis Hoium has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.