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 industrial products distributor MRC Global Inc (MRC -1.59%) jumped as much as 18% today after reporting better than expected earnings.

So what: Net sales actually dropped 1% from a year ago to $1.29 billion, but net income jumped 24% to $29.1 million, or $0.28 per share. The results easily topped the $1.21 billion in revenue and $0.18 per share in earnings that Wall Street analysts had expected.  

Now what: Clearly, demand is down in the upstream energy markets, but that hasn't had too much of an impact on MRC Global yet. Management has adjusted to focus on improving margins overall and improving sales where possible in downstream segments. Shares are probably fairly priced at 11 times trailing earnings given the drop in sales, but MRC Global continues to generate lots of cash and that's a good sign for a distribution like this.